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Won't somebody think of "young people"? (Edit: and No, older people aren't "to blame")

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Jelly

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Edit:
My point in making this post was mainly to highlight the hypocrisy of many people advocating against the current lockdown because of the "Young People".

As part of that, I have listed below the myriad complex reasons that for the first time in hundreds of years, people aged under 39 (which is hardly "young" by normal standards) will be significantly less well off that their parents; and pointed out that (as an overall group) older people have been net beneficiaries of many of those policies.

Quite a few people have taken this as some kind of attack, or some kind attempt to blame older people for the current situation... It isn't intended as one that's just how things stand from a factual point of view

I can full understand it might be arresting or uncomfortable to read, and it may be outright aggravating to be generalized about if you're an older person who hasn't in fact seen any of the benefit personally whilst being impacted by some of the negatives below... But please don't have a go, accusing me of blaming you when I have not done so.


Forked from the How would you rate the UK's handling of this pandemic? thread as I think this is worthy of a seperate discussion.

On that aforementioned thread, the same talking point keeps coming up:

Lockdown is a cost mainly to the young, mainly to protect the elderly.
Now, speaking as a young person...

There are lots of things stacked in favour of the older generations and the impact of lockdown is miniscule compared to:
  • The distortion of the housing market into an investment vehicle, effectively pulling up the ladder on young people's access to housing security.
  • Maintaining the pension triple lock whilst systematically reducing real-terms financial support to working age people in poverty.
  • Economic policy which prioritises the realisation of short term gains in the markets over the kind of long term organic growth which would support meaningful wage growth for adults of working age (and espwhich keeps pace with inflation.
  • The consequent systematic restructuring the UK economy in such a way that access to well paying jobs with prospects of significant career development are increasingly out of reach for a majority of young people (at all levels of education but especially for those without a university degree).
  • The impact of successive changes to the funding of higher education which have consistently reduced access and teaching quality, whilst increasing the financial stress and debt burden.
  • Disproportionate infrastructure investment in the South East, where the population is disproportionately older and wealthier.
  • Failure to make any meaningful attempt to address the impact of second homes on access to the housing market for young people in rural areas.
  • Failure to control the impact of right to buy on social housing stocks, or prevent the transfer of social housing into the private rented sector at grossly inflated rents.
  • Continued and increasingly dismissive and scornful treatment of young people who attempt to raise these issues, (or any other political issues which they feel deeply about) in the UK's (frankly abysmal) print media.

So I guess we're collectively innured to just getting screwed for the benefit of older people these days.

Which leads lots of young people to be very cynical...

Cynical enough in fact to question:

Why is it that so many of the very same people who seem unwilling to acknowledge, let alone address any of those difficult issues which are having a massive impact, who suddenly have our back over the impact of lockdown?

Answers on a postcard, please.
 
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billw

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All valid points. I think many of the younger generations that I know are less cynical, and a lot more despondent and worried that the future is just going to be a massive pile of cack. Lockdown has indeed robbed them of a year of development, learning, social interaction, and work.
 

clogs

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I'm 72 and do everything I can to help train the young....thats if they can get off the A*rse......
I did a 5 year apprenticeship with and extra year in Tech collage.....
the rental market has always been expensive regardless of the date/time......
I and many I know worked 2-3 jobs, went without lots of things to get where I am today.....
Fairly reg working 14-16 hours per day, 7 days per week......
mind I didn't need or want all the electronic cr*p that seems to control everybodies lives these days....
if you want to get on get a trade I was told and it's the same today.....
stop buying food out and ur Starbucks coffee.....
and mostley for the up and comming y/man stop buying make up.....hahaha....
we didn't have central heating , w/machines etc....it's not a god given right.......
My earliest memory of a bath was a galv bath hanging on a nail outside the back door....
do without and make do......it'll make a man of you
or get inlisted......
I also feel well stuffed when the suits stole my pension pot.....and I still work everyday, 7 days a week.....
To get better money I worked abroad for a long time living rough to save money.....
there will always be somebody better off than you.....it's just now the creams is taken by more at the top than ever.....
lastley there is no such thing as easy money if you have to work for it....
Cant all be bimbo's or wags......
sorry son, get a life and or a decent job.....
 

Rorschach

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Do you think the elderly do "have the back" of the young regarding lockdown. Many on this forum don't and I haven't seen many out in the real world either.

EDIT: clogs above there a classic example of the kind of people I meet regularly.
 

Jelly

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I think many of the younger generations that I know are less cynical, and a lot more despondent and worried that the future is just going to be a massive pile of cack.
I suppose there's at least two (I'd argue three) generations of young people at the moment with fairly different viewpoints...

From the people I meet around my own age and younger I've formed the following meaningful characterisations sweeping generalisations:

  • Those too young to have really grasped the impact of the 2008 crash at the time.
    • Generally still optimistic about life, because it's not been (figuratively) beaten out of them yet.
    • Often angry and Idealistic, most likely to think the present is terrible and that if we don't do something the future will be much worse.
    • Are probably right in their assesment of the situation, but don't get listened to because they're collectively young looking and a bit shouty.
  • Those too young to have experienced adulthood before the 2008 crash, but old enough to grasp something big was happening.
    • Most despondent group.
    • Probably getting the worst deal overall, including from lockdown.
    • Will probably all die of anxiety induced heart conditions before reaching retirement age.
  • Those who were young adults before the 2008 crash
    • Most cynical and bitter.
    • It's all broken dreams and resentment of being told they could buy a house if only they would stop eating avacado toast and had had the foresight to be born into a family with significant parental wealth.
 

Rorschach

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  • Those who were young adults before the 2008 crash
    • Most cynical and bitter.
    • It's all broken dreams and resentment of being told they could buy a house if only they would stop eating avacado toast and had had the foresight to be born into a family with significant parental wealth.
Hey that's me! lol
I lost my job in 2008 because of the crash, no jobs available at the time. It was rough, I had to use the savings I had to support myself and because I was still living at home (and had some savings) I wasn't entitled to any benefits or jobseekers. At the time I had never even tasted avocado so the delights of avocado toast weren't there to console me.
 

Jameshow

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I would also suggest a sex divide too.....

Women not only have the option for marriage a staying at home but also career options which are greater than for men .... Medicine 60% Nursing, midwifery primary school teaching, caring, beauty as well as any form of unisex employment which means that apart from the higher levels of professions / management and politics the table is turned upon the greater proportion of men particular white working class men.

They call it the dumbbell phenomena where you have a large number of male noble prize winners but also a large number at the bottom of the heap evidenced by the male suicide rate 75%

I work with many of these chaps and the opportunity for them are is low and worse still if they have any Mental health conditions.

Just saying....

Cheers James
 

Jelly

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Do you think the elderly do "have the back" of the young regarding lockdown.
I've seen a lot of people who are anti-lockdown for purely ideological reasons (including a few Tory MP's who are getting on a bit) rather hypocritically reach for the "young people" argument when it suits their purposes.


Many on this forum don't and I haven't seen many out in the real world either.

EDIT: clogs above there a classic example of the kind of people I meet regularly.
Whilst I can argue with you at length on othere issues, I would tend towards agreeing on this.
 
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RobinBHM

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Answers on a postcard, please
there is the slimmest glimmer of light...which is:

Every previous pandemic has led to social change.
The UK has both the pandemic and brexit which will massively shape the future.

All I can say is: if things get really bad in the UK, it might be a catalyst for political change

We currently have a massively broken political system and that needs to change for future generations.

My guess is this country needs to change FPTP to PR
And this country needs to stop party donations and lobbying....it results in billionaires being able to influence policy
In short we have a parliamentary system that enable the rich to influence policy to ensure the wealth stays with them.
half of English land is owned by less than 1% of the population....no wonder it expensive to buy a house



Take the housing crisis: so many people are now stuck in the vicious rent cycle, it is one of the greatest causes of in work poverty, with so many people having to pay out a substantial amount of their salary for rent, there is not enough left for food and energy.

A radical solution would be land value tax

have a look at it....its a potential solution
 

Jelly

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the table is turned upon the greater proportion of men particular white working class men.

...

I work with many of these chaps and the opportunity for them are is low and worse still if they have any Mental health conditions.
This is a big part of the economic arguments in general.

We've re-shaped our economy in such a way that there are far fewer secure & stable non-professional careers available.

Because men in predominantly working class areas tended to occupy those jobs, they've been disproportionately hit by that particular change.

I can't count the number of skilled fitters, machinists, and multiskilled ex miners I've met who could be doing really excellent work in ver productive jobs which would justify a decent salary, reduced to general labouring for minimum wage.

I feel quite strongly that neither left not right of the UK political spectrum has made any meaningful attempt to acknowledge or address this, because it becomes much more complex and our media and political environment only really supports concepts which can be expressed in vacous soundbites.
 

MikeJhn

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The problem as I see it is that we have become a NOW generation, everything must be available now, saving up for something or doing without does not come into the equation, I know of one family that are on the poverty line/hand out, but they all have mobile phones even the five year old who is one of seven children in the family.
 

lurker

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Excluding the south east, the ratio of house prices to average salary are very similar now as they were when I bought my house 40 years ago.

Both my (early 30s) sons have their own home.
One has a house bigger and better than I have ever owned.
The other has already paid off 50% of his mortgage.
Both put in the effort (a levels, degree, professional qualifications, chartership) of getting into a (real) profession.
If you graft its not a lot different from my day.

Their friends all seem to be the same.
8 nephews and nieces, ditto.
2 nephews (same idle parents) whine about how unfair life is and how lucky their cousins are.
 
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Jelly

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A radical solution would be land value tax

have a look at it....its a potential solution
Interesting FT article and poll on this here: Clickity Click

The thrust seems to be that FT readers seem to come out slightly in favour of wealth taxes...

Which seems incongruous at first glance as they're likely to be disproportionately effected, but the likely explanation is that being more economically savvy they can see it's in their long term interests as it would enable the UK to break out of the trap of low productivity, meaning they'd end up earning more in the long run as a result of the economic growth created.

I would be in favour of a change in Capital Gains Tax to actively encourage long term investment which creates jobs, and a land value tax which disincentivises treating land and property as an investment vehicle.
 

Rorschach

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Excluding the south east, the ratio of house prices to average salary are very similar now as they were when I bought my house 40 years ago.

Both my (early 30s) sons have their own home.
One has a house bigger and better than I have ever owned.
The other has already paid off 50% of his mortgage.
Both put in the effort (a levels, degree, professional qualifications, chartership) of getting into a (real) profession.
If you graft its not a lot different from my day.
I don't think so, certainly not in the South West either then (and our house prices are not that high). I worked it out with my mother, when she bought her house the mortgage was about 3-4 times her yearly salary (full time clerical, so not a rock bottom wage but certainly by no means high). That same house today is 10 times the equivalent salary.
 

lurker

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I bought a house for £25k
my salary was just under £3k
just sold it for £250k

And.... back then woman of child bearing age could only borrow one third of her salary.
two and a half times mine and a third of the wife’s was the absolute maximum.
 

Mickjay

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If the yardstick of the inequality is house prices against salary, should interest rates not come into the equation too, or doesn't that count? Our first house, early 80s, was bought with a mortgage rate of around 9% which was just about affordable, which subsequently increased over the years to around 15% which meant my mortgage payments were about 80% of my take home pay. Didn't leave a lot for much else, so yes my house was cheaper but it cost me more relative to my income.
 

lurker

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If the yardstick of the inequality is house prices against salary, should interest rates not come into the equation too, or doesn't that count? Our first house, early 80s, was bought with a mortgage rate of around 9% which was just about affordable, which subsequently increased over the years to around 15% which meant my mortgage payments were about 80% of my take home pay. Didn't leave a lot for much else, so yes my house was cheaper but it cost me more relative to my income.
That period coincided with our kids arriving.
No maternity payments in those days, my wife was on the dole for two years, it was worth very little as I had a salary.
The wife, as a nurse had a job to go back to once the kids were older : weekends and nights, so I could look after them.
For most women they told the boss they were pregnant and then went to the wages office for their “cards”.
 

RobinBHM

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Excluding the south east
Im just in the process of selling my late fathers house, he lived in Edenbridge Kent.

average 3 bed semi...price around £400k (and it needs a lot of refurb, neighbours house is up for £495k)

£200k 1 bed flat
£250k 2 bed flat
£300k 2 bed terrace
£350k 3 bed terrace
£450k 3 bed semi
£600k 3 bed det

not exactly affordable -and not even a super expensive area
 

Woody2Shoes

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And this country needs to stop party donations and lobbying....it results in billionaires being able to influence policy
In short we have a parliamentary system that enable the rich to influence policy to ensure the wealth stays with them.
half of English land is owned by less than 1% of the population....no wonder it expensive to buy a house

Take the housing crisis: so many people are now stuck in the vicious rent cycle, it is one of the greatest causes of in work poverty, with so many people having to pay out a substantial amount of their salary for rent, there is not enough left for food and energy.
I agree with the sentiments in your first point, but the reality is that whatever system/rules we have, there will always be those who are motivated to try and skew things in their favour (the extend to which they succeed and/or are seen to succeed is a measure of how much of a problem this is).

Re. your second point, I have a real problem with the emotive language "crisis..vicious..poverty" and the ideas behind it.

1) In this country we have been brainwashed into thinking that we must aspire to own property. Renters are much more "mobile" if they want to be and "secure" if they don't want to be - they can move to a new location to take up new work without the time and (large) costs associated with buying/selling/owning. Many people in many parts of the world, including the UK (and indeed several of my neighbours) live long, contented and productive lives in rented dwellings of one sort or another. A healthy rental market is almost certainly "a good thing" for a country/economy.

2) Even in this country, mass property ownership is a relatively new invention - driven by lenders being enabled (since the 1980s or so), by deregulation, to lend to those who then bid up the prices of existing houses - in certain areas, but not in others. Prior to the 1970s/80s, buying a house - or most anything else - with borrowed money was very difficult.

3) As above, an even newer invention is the expansion of "buy to let" - again driven by deregulation of lending - causing more money to be thrown at the market.

4) Regarding the proportion of houshold income, food takes up much less than in did historically, housing surprisingly similar to historical averages (barring some hotspots).

It was the illegal and cynical corruption of lending against property, mainly but not exclusively in the US, which stored up the problems which have led to negative real intererst rates post-2008 (talk about a wealth tax - it's already been happening!). The fact that a house which was worth £20K 20 years ago and is now worth £400K, or whatever, is really simply an indication of how we have debased our currency.

An excellent way to bring house prices down would be to put the brakes on all lending against property, however, spookily, there would still be those who couldn't afford to buy property (and actually, I don't see why that should be a problem).
 

RobinBHM

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We've re-shaped our economy in such a way that there are far fewer secure & stable non-professional careers available.
delivery drivers on zero hour contracts working 12 hour shifts to make the rent
 

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