Have we got it all wrong about Baby Boomers?
-‘Baby Boomers have over saved for their retirement’
-‘80% of the country’s wealth controlled by Baby Boomers’
-‘Baby Boomers levels of wealth are far greater than necessary to maintain their living standards in retirement’
-‘Baby Boomers made wealthy whilst they sleep due to housing markets, cheap credit and decent pension provisions’
Five statements; five accusations; one interpretation that unites them all:
‘The biggest boy at the Easter egg hunt happened to strike lucky, managed to come across most of the eggs without really looking and now not only refuses to share them with the others, but also looks on in contempt whilst the younger children run around in frantic desperation doing their very best to find the pitiful portion of eggs left, not knowing their efforts will probably be in vain’.
If you hadn’t already realised, you Baby Boomers out there are that big nasty boy who hasn’t been taught to share with others.
This is what we’ve been told time and again. But is this really fair? I think not.
I think this is a massive over-generalisation leading to a conclusion which is based on not all of the facts, but the ones we like and the ones that support our argument.
And just like others before me, and I imagine others after me, I will now try to ram this theory down your throat by citing reports and statistics that favour my opinion.
James Lloyd of the Strategic Society Centre claims that ‘people of working age are those most likely to be wealthy, with two thirds of the richest 10% of households aged between 45 and 64’.
See, it’s not all doom and gloom for those of us that aren’t Baby Boomers.
Furthermore, a Trade Union Congress (TUC) report claims that ‘only 5% of pensioners pay higher rate income tax’.
Now, unless you happen to believe that a huge proportion of that generation are tax evaders and criminals, this being the generation that likes to frequent coffee shops in the local village and talk in the sweetest way possible about the ‘youth of today’ whilst sucking on Werther’s Originals (more generalisations and stereotypes I’m aware, I apologise for anyone who may find this offensive), we should probably explore the possibility that we may have been slightly incorrect in our initial assessment of the situation.
We sometimes seem to forget that this is the generation who are probably helping to fund tuition fees, helping children onto the property ladder, having to help pay for parents long term care, having to fund longer retirements, planning to leave behind money for their children that they probably weren’t left and having to foot the bill of dramatic increases in living costs.
This is something that the telegraph reported on, claiming that ‘a three-fold increase in retail prices means that someone would need £299 today to have the equivalentpurchasing power of £100 back in 1982’.
So, when all is said and done I ask again, is it really fair to lay such accusations at the footsteps of the Baby Boomer generation.
Now unless you have a jolly good reason to believe otherwise, I would probably suggest you should probably say no!
Anyway, I’m new to this game, and I’m sure my opinion will develop and change over time.
If this was a topic in a history lesson, I guess this would be the revisionist view in opposition to that of the traditional.
I’m now looking forward to those who will be able to oppose this with a post revisionist theory.