Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why The Young, Especially, Should Be Interested In Reforming Entitlements

From Walter Russell Mead, via Instapundit:
The war on the young is led ‘by cadres of elderly men, content to manage decline. and exacerbated by younger generations, who don’t seem to know what’s going on or understand the gravity of the financial situation that will hit them in the future. . . .

The war on the young is most intense in countries (and, in the US, industries and states) which have the blue social model deeply embedded in their social institutions. It is an interesting struggle: these days, the young face serious trouble finding employment and will be saddled with debts run up by their elders as they grow up.

The older generations benefited from a kind of escalator system in life. You step on the escalator after finishing your education and it almost automatically carries you upward in life, with higher pay and higher status until, at retirement, you step off and enjoy a good, level standard of living for the rest of your days.

One of the younger generations’ biggest problems is that many of those escalators don’t work anymore. In Italy and Japan, companies are reluctant to hire young people on what American universities call “tenure track”; unsure about their future needs and resources they don’t want high cost employees that can’t be fired. The older workers are too powerful to dislodge — just as in American universities the tenured professors are too powerful to give up tenure. So younger workers increasingly are hired if at all on temporary contracts, with lower benefits and fewer prospects for promotion.
Wealth transfer from the young to the old isn't fair, just, or sustainable with decreasing birth rates.

Update: can the Republicans exploit that weakness?
The young people in the ad look dissatisfied and pouty. Barack Obama’s voice and the words "winning the future," from one of his old campaign speeches, echo in the background.

"You’re LOSING my future," says one young man.

The ad — which has aired during sportscasts, reality TV shows and late-night comedy programs popular with younger people — was produced for the College Republican National Committee. It is an attempt to play on the fears that haunt college campuses — fears that they won’t find jobs, fears that they’ll be living with less than their parents did.

Their fears are, of course, far from exclusive to their generation. But some say the fact that it has taken hold in a voting bloc that helped usher the president into office on a wave of hope and change provides a big opening for Republicans — unless the president can find a way to get them fired up again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Age War. I have been preparing and fighting it for a generation. As a soon to be retiree, I take comfort in knowing that my foes still do not have a firm grasp of fractions, decimals, and percents, let alone compound interest.