Friday, 16 February 2018
Baby Boomer Myths - old people are horrid and have stolen our future
Text for today is this Tweet:
I'm guessing that it's some sort of 'subtweet' - directed to one or other 'boomer' on social media but not bravely enough to actually identify them. As one of those 'baby boomers', I find this sort of myth-making fascinating, especially given none of us spend our time fantasising about fighting in WWII.
The first observation in the Tweet does rather miss the point (and, of course, grants were means tested with the result that I got a full grant and my brother didn't) since in 1970 only 6% of school leavers went to university - nearly all of them male. Most of the 'middle class baby boomers' being complained about didn't go any where near a university education, they left school at 16 or 18 and went to work. Today approaching 40% of school leavers go to university despite those terrible loans (and well over 50% of those heading to university are women). So baby boomers can't remember getting a grant for a university education they didn't receive!
The next comment is about housing affordability. It's true that housing, especially in London, is less affordable now, but we should also remember that back in 1970 something like 45% of people lived in council houses. A fair load of the people our tweeter is dismissing as 'middle class baby boomers' were born and raised in council houses. It was only the glorious initiative of right-to-buy that gave loads of boomers the chance to own.
There's folk out there who want to lay the blame at the door of sixty-somethings rather than respond to the actual problem. For sure, the 'green belt' is second only to the NHS as a national sacred cow and the boomers (or at least the ones in the south) have done very nicely out of the house price gains. But this is no excuse for the sort of nonsensical 'old people are horrid and have stolen our future' comments this tweet illustrates.