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Daughter, my generation is squandering your birthright

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, April 20th, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: babies, health, newspapers, sustainability - Tags: , ,

There’s a great piece in The Guardian from George Monbiot.  It’s in the form of a letter to his 3 week old second daughter, saying about the things he hopes she does not miss out on when she grows up.

Things like a National Health Service, where everyone gets looked after, rather than just those who can afford it.

And things like tigers and rhinos.

Things like a world not facing ever more extreme weather events due to climate change.

Things like a less unequal society.

He points out that we have crossed 3 of the 9 planetary boundaries beyond which the natural resources which make our lives viable can no longer be sustained; with another 3 in danger.

It’s a whole line of inter-generational theft going on, without even getting on to the financial inter-generational theft Bernard Hickey regularly reminds us about.

Will our children see the welfare state, the the tiger and the rhino as part of a ‘mythologised Arcadia’?

Maybe I’m just open to this with my having 2 pre-school daughters as well; but I hope we can stop the social destruction – and maybe mitigate the environmental…

But at least he ends on a note of hope, and not just about his project of ‘rewilding‘.  We also have learnt the importance of attachment in parenting.  So hopefully there’s a happier childhood in store, a closer link to the natural world and greater resilience to fight the ills of the future world that will definitely need fighting…

46 comments on “Daughter, my generation is squandering your birthright ”

  1. Bored 1

    We have as individuals and society no sense of anything other than our present and short term future. This became very apparent for me when sitting down recently and beginning a handwritten family history. What became quickly obvious was the velocity of changes during the last 40 years. My grandparents would recognise the world of my childhood in the 60s, they would not recognise that of their grandchildren today. My children think that the way the world is today is normal. My grandfather would notice the environmental changes instantly and describe them as abnormal.

    We have become the frog sitting in the slow boil pot.

  2. Richard Christie 2

    Way too hard for sleepy hobbits.
    Best ignore.

  3. Carol 3

    Attachments between children and parents have always been there, and have been known for a fairly long time, and yet the birthright for younger generations has still been squandered.

    So what’s the circuit-breaker that will motivate large sections of society to have more care for others, the future, and the natural world generally?

    I don’t have any children of my own, but I am concerned about the abuse and destruction of the natural world, and the legacy we are leaving for future generations.

    Monbiot has written an important piece… as he so often does. He ends on a note of “hope”, but without any tangible idea of how to protect the birthright for younger generations.

  4. prism 4

    I can’t help thinking of Nero fiddling while Rome burns when reading about the boys having fun in Las Vegas. I think Jung talked about a premonition affecting society before World War 2. We have had a lot of tv reality shows where people are in turn pushed out of the group which has an eye on a big money prize. It’s like that in NZ now with the rich making sure they have their larger portion and the rest of us have what’s left.

  5. captain hook 5

    this is the “BRIGHTER” future that we all “ASPIRE” to.
    we all have colour teevees, cellphones, leafblowers, speedboats, hardly davisons,angle grinders, horiziontal planers, trips to macchu piccu and the king of spain still thinks its okay to go to africa and waste megafauna.
    the thing is that the world is getting closer and closer to all used up but the accountants and the politicians ares till trying to wring more and more out of less and less.
    and the poor have to survive on the detritus of industrial production.
    not looking good.

  6. It’s not inter-generational theft, it’s inter-class theft.
    The rich kids will inherit riches, the poor kids will not.
    The idea that generations have anything to do with inequality or exploitation is a favourite diversion of the capitalists, deflecting attention away from their class system.
    The so-called baby boomers are not a generation that lives at the expense of their parents and their children but the babies of the boom. 
    Capitalism is anarchistic.   Each capitalists calculates what is in his/her short-term (each production cycle) interests, and repeats mindlessly until the system breaks down and he/she is consigned to the dustbin of history. The length of capitalism’s life is the measure of the long suffering working class. 

    • lefty 6.1

      +1 dave brownz

    • fatty 6.2

      nah, that’s wrong…intergenerational theft fits inside the class issue. Intergeneration theft does not ‘replace’ class inequalities, it highlights class inequalities.
      Class is THE issue…inside that is the three big issues – intergenerational, racial and gender inequalities.

      “The so-called baby boomers are not a generation that lives at the expense of their parents and their children but the babies of the boom.”

      Bollocks…boomers have always been a dominant voting block that have always voted in their own interests. Check how the tax changes over the years have always benefited boomers.
      “children of the boom”? …you don’t seriously believe that do you? …we could have full employment right now, we could have affordable everything now, we are more productive than we were in the 50s & 60s.
      We just have to highlight the class inequality…its Pakeha male boomers who own too much

    • fatty 6.3

      also, “The rich kids will inherit riches, the poor kids will not.”

      This RWNJ mantra is also bollocks. Those boomers who are rich and healthy will live to about 100…the Gen X & Gen Y will probably live to about the same. Those who are ‘rich’ will inherit the money at about 75-80 years old.
      The inheritance argument is both wrong and misleading, its not even useful for the rich kids

      • dave brownz 6.3.1

        Fatty there is no such thing as intergenerational theft.
        The boomers were a one-off in NZ history. While all boats rose with the tide, some were dugouts and some were flash cruisers. And when we look deeper to find the cause of the boom we find that it was  the working class that made it and paid for it, often with their lives.
        Those who benefited from the boom will pass off that benefit to their kids. Kids benefit before their parents die. Its called ‘cultural’ capital, better schools, better health, as well as cash for cars or house deposits.
        Those who benefited less, mainly workers and Maori, will pass on less to their kids, if anything, and poverty will be inherited, and its effects, illiteracy, addiction, being violently evicted from your state house, you name it. 
        It has absolutely nothing to do with generation.

    • KJT 6.4

      Yeah. Blame boomers, blame beneficiaries, blame the unemployed, blame everyone except the wealthy sociopathic corporate monsters who are causing the problem.

      While we are fighting amongst ourselves

      This boomer. White, fat middle aged, middle class male has been fighting for a decent inclusive society since I was old enough to know better.

      It was not boomers who voted for Muldoon, Rogers and Richardson, it was the generation before voting to keep their wealth in retirement. Similarly it is the next generations, who are too young to remember the first ACT Government, who vote for their pockets.

      Like most boomers, I want my kids to inherit a better place than we have, not worse.

      • fatty 6.4.1

        *some boomers are nice
        *some boomers are nice
        yawn…nobody is blaming EVERY boomer. Just like nobody blames EVERY Pakeha for racism, or EVERY male for gender inequality.*some boomers are nice
        All the intergenerational issue does is it points out inequalities – when and how they happened.
        *some boomers are nice
        “Similarly it is the next generations, who are too young to remember the first ACT Government, who vote for their pockets.”
        *some boomers are nice
        Good point, most people vote for there pockets…just more boomers so they generally get what they vote for. *some boomers are nice
        *some boomers are nice

        • KJT 6.4.1.1

          You totally do not get it.

          The pointing the finger at boomers, beneficiaries, Jews, or whowever the latest scapegoat de-jure is.

          Is a sideshow to distract us while some people run away with our wealth.

          Is just a way of distracting the blame from those who are really at fault. Those who buy our political system to keep the wealth they stole from us.

          While we are busy stupidly pointing fingers amongst ourselves the real culprits are burgling the place.

          Not boomers who were voting for their pockets. The previous generation voted for their retirement income.
          Gen X and y are voting NACT because they are too young to remember Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. And I hate to say it, but too many of X and Y are totally unconcerned about anything, apart from them selves. .

          The majority who voted for Muldoon were the moneyed farmers and retirees he bribed while the election system was gerry mandered to give rural seats, and retirement communities extra votes. We still see that in Whangarei which was extended to include the National voting rural area.

          Now they have found they only have to bribe the media!

          • fatty 6.4.1.1.1

            No KJT…you totally do not get it.

            I’ll repeat what I said above cause you obviously didn’t read that I already consider class to be the issue:
            “Class is THE issue…inside that is the three big issues – intergenerational, racial and gender inequalities.”

            Everyone knows class is the issue…we now have to figure out who holds the power, how they got it and how they maintain it.

            “Gen X and y are voting NACT because they are too young to remember Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. And I hate to say it, but too many of X and Y are totally unconcerned about anything, apart from them selves.”

            Good point. I totally agree with you. The reason for this is that Gen X & Y have been brought up in a world of individualistic greed, we have been shut out of politics to the point that our voice is not worth projecting. That’s why we don’t vote.

            You need to stop seeing intergenerational theft as a sideshow…its an explanation as to why the class divide has grown, not a sideshow

            …arguing with boomers about intergeneration inequalities is like arguing with Kyle Chapman about white privilege… boomers are blind to their own generational privilege…they say stupid things like “i’m not rich”…duh.

            I’m also amused that when i callout the fact that boomers are greedy and control resources its homogenizing and generalising and assumes all boomers are rich…but its OK to say “too many of X and Y are totally unconcerned about anything, apart from them selves”
            you are of course right…gen x & y are unconcerned about anything, apart from them selves.

            • KJT 6.4.1.1.1.1

              The class divide growing has very little to do with boomers.

              Most of us opposed it.

              I deliberately generalised about X and Y because I knew you would pick up on it. I also thought you would pick up on that generalizing about gen X and Y is just as pointless and inaccurate as generalizing about boomers.

              Many boomers, especially the later ones probably do not feel too privileged with 28% interest rates in the early 80,s, watching gen X take 3 years to get to the same level at work that took them 20, (because of the sheer numbers of boomers), and watching gen X and Y vote to sell the assets we paid taxes and worked for years to build up.

              In fact Gen X’s earnings over their life are likely to be much more than boomers, simply because there are less of them.

              You. Did not start your working life paying 60 cents on the dollar taxes!
              Which I was OK about because I thought at least my kids, when I had them, would have a free education and health care because of my taxes. Unfortunately some idiots keep voting for NACT and NACT light. Not that we were given alternatives.

              See. Saying it is generational thing is stupid. The same class warfare has been occurring for centuries.

              The Neo-Liberal religion is just the latest in a long line of religious justification for a few thieving from the efforts of the many. And blaming any other scapegoats is a distraction from the real culprits.

              Note that Brash, Richardson, Douglas were all children of WW2, not boomers!

              • RedLogix

                Saying it is generational thing is stupid. The same class warfare has been occurring for centuries.

                Yes. That comment above was a very nice summary. The whole ‘generational warfare’ thing is a complete misconception. It’s nothing more than a distraction from the real issue of class.

              • Draco T Bastard

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-World_War_II_baby_boom

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_brash – not a boomer
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Richardson – a boomer
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Douglas – not a boomer and not a child of WWII either

                The Neo-Liberal religion is just the latest in a long line of religious justification for a few thieving from the efforts of the many. And blaming any other scapegoats is a distraction from the real culprits.

                Agreed

                There always seems to be some invented justification to keep the real bludgers in power and “academics” to prove that justification.

              • fatty

                “I deliberately generalised about X and Y because I knew you would pick up on it. I also thought you would pick up on that generalizing about gen X and Y is just as pointless and inaccurate as generalizing about boomers.”

                Wrong again…I told you I agree with your generalisations (do you actually read anything I write?…and for the record I don’t believe your comment was a trap, I think its a lame excuse for getting pulled up for a contradiction)
                There is nothing wrong with generalisations, your predictable individualised post-modern anti-essentialist position has gone too far…don’t be afraid of using a structuralist/historical/marxist perspective…you need some balance.

                “watching gen X and Y vote to sell the assets we paid taxes and worked for years to build up.”

                Haha…check your history. That’s amusing. Gen X & Y generally don’t vote and we only paid taxes for those assets for about 15 years (they were sold in the 80s before being bought back). The reasons assets are getting sold now is because the younger people don’t vote…not cause they do vote…there’s a massive difference there.
                Maybe this would be more correct:
                “watching gen X and Y ‘NOT BOTHER TO’ vote to sell the assets we paid taxes and worked for ’15’ years to build up.”

                “You. Did not start your working life paying 60 cents on the dollar taxes!”

                That’s what I want …that’s my whole point. I want high taxes. That’s what I vote for. That’s what I complain about. If we are going to continue with capitalism, then I want high taxes.

                “See. Saying it is generational thing is stupid. The same class warfare has been occurring for centuries.”

                No and no. Generational generalisations are very useful…And class warfare had been controlled from the 1950s-1970s…right before a greedy generation started voting

                “Note that Brash, Richardson, Douglas were all children of WW2, not boomers!”

                Another inapplicable point…I agree with you again, well done, politicians then were not boomers, but what’s your point? I never blame politicians (it would be stupid and short sighted to do that), I blame the voters.

                “In fact Gen X’s earnings over their life are likely to be much more than boomers, simply because there are less of them.”

                *some boomers are nice

                • KJT

                  You obviously havn’t been here long.

                  And generational generalisations are not always entirely wrong .

                  But you can keep going “poor me”, I was born after 1960″ as much as you like, but you still have a lot more than I, and most boomers, did as a child and young adult, thanks to your “greedy boomer” parents. And if we are going to generalise! Why is it the boomers fault that both gen, pre-boomer, and X and Y are selfish bastards.

                  Muldoon even changed around electoral seats so he could get the elderly rural vote. A great help also to the first ACT Government in 1984.

                  Making it an intergenerational/anti-beni/anti whatever war just distracts energy from the real one.
                  Class warfare, as it has been since the first farmers built cities.

                  AND. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have been paying taxes for assets and our society since 1974. AND it gives me the shits that people cannot be bothered to vote to keep them.

                  • Carol

                    You obviously havn’t been here long.

                    http://www.tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/baby-boomer-intergenerational-theft.html

                    Well, he’s been beating the anti-boomer drum for a while. He argues quite well, but I don’t think he really has a very good idea of the goings on when us boomers were younger. Also, when presented with more of the facts, he tends to slide off to a bit of a different position…. so it’s still the boomers that are at fault, while genxers are always the victims of what boomers (never the victims of historical circumstances themselves/ourselves), are always at fault….. ie creating the circumstances for neoliberalism to thrive. There’s also slippage in that kind of argument between personalising boomers as greedy,individualistic at fault etc, and saying they are just referring to the generation in general and not individuals.

                    Back to Harvey as at the above link….. I tend to see it more in Gramscian terms. The right, produced the neoliberal narrative to regain the hegemony – i.e cultural, political and economic dominance.

                    And fatty, I disagree with your reading of Harvey, because he pretty much shows how this was done. (never got back on that one because other thingsin my life needed my urgent attention).

                    It wouldn’t have mattered so much what the boomers cultural/political/economic values were, the right would have appropriated as much of it as was necessary to regain dominance.

                    But I agree with the arguments above that it’s more important to focus on the class struggle – the power and exploitation of the many by the few.

                    The lesson Harvey (like Gramsci before him) provides, is how the right will manoeuvre to regain power – strategic, tricky, and they will appropriate and use whatever they can find to sell their project to a new generation or in order to adapt to changing circumstances.

                    • fatty

                      carol:
                      ….nice to hear from you again, at least you have an argument that extends beyond “I pay my taxes” and “i tricked you by generalising”

                      “anti-boomer drum”…come on, I’m just trying to highlight an ignored privilege.

                      “so it’s still the boomers that are at fault, while genxers are always the victims of what boomers (never the victims of historical circumstances themselves/ourselves)”

                      That’s bollocks, don’t put words in my mouth.
                      I have never said the boomers were victimless. Boomers were victims of social conservatism in an increasingly global world (check your link) I mention NZ’s right wing conservatism post WWII. Hippy movement was a needed response, just like voter apathy in Gen X & Y is. Almost all actions are reactions… and every social movement is always a reaction. That is so obvious I should not have to say it. Of course the hippies didn’t just appear.

                      “Also, when presented with more of the facts, he tends to slide off to a bit of a different position…”
                      No, sorry, same position I’ve had for a while, I just was surprised that your ‘facts’ showed boomers are not the dominant block purely by their voting numbers.
                      Now its just hegemonic power. Shit, the worst kind.

                      “There’s also slippage in that kind of argument between personalising boomers as greedy,individualistic at fault etc”
                      FFS, again with the personalising rehash? wake up… check you link again …my first post “Finally, many babyboomers have suffered economically…surely that goes without saying…that is how neoliberism works!”

                      “The lesson Harvey (like Gramsci before him) provides, is how the right will manoeuvre to regain power”

                      Marxism/structuralism is useful for highlighting inequalities…but not processes. Harvey highlights the power inequalities that the right possess, I agree with that, but then I ask – does the left vs right divide still exist (I’m not sure). Everybody except ACT is now culturally left…only in economics is there a divide (even that’s questionable). Again, I’ll copy me from your link – “The hippy years moved towards socially left and economically right. During the hippy years there was a move to economic liberalisation…surely this is right wing economic theory?”
                      I don’t agree that the right dominated the hippies. I think there was a trade of liberal economics for a liberal society…so I can’t agree with this statement “It wouldn’t have mattered so much what the boomers cultural/political/economic values were, the right would have appropriated as much of it as was necessary to regain dominance.”

                      And I’m pretty sure Harvey considers capitalism as the problem. I don’t think neoliberialism is a ‘thing’ that was ‘invented’. If you look at the central tenets of capitalism, neoliberalism is just capitalism in a more globalised, individualised and liberalised world. The hippies actions ment that ‘neoliberialism’ was inevitable, it was agreed (inadvertently), it was not ‘installed’ by the ‘right’…The hippies ceded their political and economic values just as the right ceded their cultural values.

                      Question for Carol, KJT, redlogix (or whoever)…do you see any intergenerational inequality existing, or is there non at all, please elaborate (please don’t say class is more important AGAIN…we all agreed to that a long time ago)
                      And, how does this compare in relation to Maori/Pakeah inequality and gender inequality

                • rosy

                  john key – born 1961. Not a Boomer. I agree it’s about class.

                  • rosy

                    and… if anti-capitalists think that defining their objections to financial power in marketing labels, like boomer, gen x, gen y, is the way to go I really think they need to rethink the basis for their arguments.

                    Talk about buying into the language of the oppressors!

                  • Carol

                    That’s the problem in defining a generation – it covers changing historical, social, political and economic circumstances. I think some people put the boomer end as 1964.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomer

                    Although I think the boomer lasted a different length of time in different countries, with NZ defined by some as ending in 1961:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post%E2%80%93World_War_II_baby_boom#European_and_South-Pacific_trends

                    and some put it as ending in 1965:

                    http://www.kiwiboomers.co.nz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=87&Itemid=71

                    But circumstances in NZ changed a lot in NZ between 1946 & 1964/5

                    It was pretty austere times for kiwis in the late 40s and early 50s. We were brought up to make do with as little as possible, to recycle clothes etc, make a lot of our own toys, or play games with a small amount of props. Consumerism didn’t really start to take off in NZ til late in the 60s, but more so in the 70s. The 50s and early 60s were socially very conservative, but we were brought up valuing the welfare state, and a co-operative approach to our endeavours.

                    • rosy

                      True Carol, I though the Boomer years ended 1960, so there you go…The differences in the end dates of the baby-boomers mark the end of a demographic event (a sharp increase in birth-rates), but even labelling that is a sort of pop-demography. As you point out what was going on socially 1950s and 1960s had markedly different social concerns. The wide acceptance of a Boomers label is, I guess, what led the marketers to co-opt the terminology and invent marketing ‘generations’, based on age segmentation and marking social and technological trends, rather than demographic trends (demographically there has only been a blip in trend of declining birth rates in the ‘western’ world since the 1960-odd).

                      From http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/10575.pdf

                      Marketers need to respond to the trend of multigenerational
                      marketing and branding by adjusting their marketing mixes and strategies
                      accordingly. This means that marketers must understand the six U.S. generations: Pre-Depression Generation, Depression Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z. Each of these generations is defined and described in terms of the times in which the generation grew up and the characteristics, lifestyles, and attitudes of each generation.

                      I know someone who thinks it’s great that she and her child are both Gen-X – By definition, in a family, it simply cannot be that a parent and child are of the same generation. Except that she’s bought into marketing labels and has forgotten what a generation is.

                    • Carol

                      rosy @7.59pm – interesting. Yes, and it would make sense that marketers would start that generational labeling in the US. Consumerism really took of immediately after WWII in the US. But Britain, Europe and NZ were pretty austere places for a fair while after the war. US had the production capacity to promote a range of household and leisure goods earlier than elsewhere.

                      Consumerism didn’t really take off til the mid to late 60s.

                      And on top of the homogenisation and reduction of such marketing categories to a small number of stereotypical features, people in NZ have a tendency to get their info about “boomers” from US sources.

              • Slap Shot

                Oh come on. You are being disingenuous here.

                The average boomer (esp. those born from 1946-55) had a much easier run at employment and establishing a family than the average boomer child. But it’s the university educated boomers who did the best and pulled the ladder up behind them the most. Now they’re running the shop with predictable results.

                Aside from their economic crimes, they destroyed what culture we had with their individualist pop fauxhemian nonsense (Jerry Rubin died a stockbroker!). I can’t be the only person fed up of hearing John Lennon – a man who could barely play any musical instrument – being talked of as if he was the equivalent of Mozart or Miles Davis.

                • Well if you were my daughter I would certainly rue the money I spent on your education, boomer boy child.

                  • Carol

                    Indeed. Such an inaccurate knowledge and understanding of history! If this is the way it goes, from one generation to the next, it’ll be interesting to see in 20-30 years time, the perception the younger generations have of genxers.

                • Carol

                  By the way, SS,

                  How about some Kiwi examples, instead of using ones from the home of contemporary individualism, the US, or Brit US wannabees/

                  here’s some born between 1946 & 1955:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Bradford

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hone_Harawira

                  And many of that vintage of boomers were at the forefront of the highly co-operatively organised, non-individualistic opposition to the 1981 Springbok tour.

                  And people that fall out that time period:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Key – born 1961

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_English – born 1961

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Collins – born 1959

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Joyce – born 1963

                  And as the class born 1946-1960 that went to Uni made up only 1-3% of the NZ population back then, and were largely white males, how do you account for the rest of the NZ boomer population?

                  Yes it was easier to get jobs. But who or what is responsible for the changes since then?

                  • rosy

                    “Yes it was easier to get jobs. But who or what is responsible for the changes since then?”

                    Paula Bennett? 1969 😉

                • rosy

                  It just shows the irrelevancy of the concept of a ‘boomer generation’ when you have to split it into age cohorts in order to support an argument.

                  And yeah – I for one had an easier run at employment. I started full-time work in a factory and left home the day after my 15th birthday, even though I was capable of completing school and university (proven later). Why? you ask? No money, of course.

                  But I don’t underestimate the destructive impact of casualised labour and demise of manufacturing, apprenticeships and other opportunities for young people, but my gen X/Y kids and their friends don’t see the problem are all into personal responsibility and admiring the wealthy for their nous in taking what they can – social equality is so old-fashioned. As for establishing a family people are a bit more materialistic these days, blame the ‘boomer’ marketers if you wish.

                  It is a different world, for sure, but if you think there are no ‘gen Xers’ who exhibit the same attitudes and behaviours you abhor in the ‘boomers’ you’re badly mistaken. And they’re lining up to run the world. Act on Campus and the Young Nats are pretty good examples.

                  Oh, and Kurt Cobain surely WAS Mozart, yeah?

                  • fatty

                    Rosy:

                    “It just shows the irrelevancy of the concept of a ‘boomer generation’ when you have to split it into age cohorts in order to support an argument.”

                    So our impending retirement boom is irrelevant? (am I allowed to use the word boom?). Is a statistical age bulge not an issue? Especially when combined with Gen X & Y skipping the country in search of a fairer deal?

                    “It is a different world, for sure, but if you think there are no ‘gen Xers’ who exhibit the same attitudes and behaviours you abhor in the ‘boomers’ you’re badly mistaken. ”

                    Who said that? I think everyone agrees here that boomers ideals have become hegemonic and are now ingrained in Gen X & Y.

                    are you all still personalising the issue? FFS

                    “Paula Bennett? 1969”
                    “And people that fall out that time period:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Key – born 1961

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_English – born 1961

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Collins – born 1959

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Joyce – born 1963″

                    …nobody gives a shit when a good/bad MP was born, you are missing the point completely. There were bad people and good people in every generation.
                    The issue is around generational privilege.
                    …is anyone going to answer these questions?
                    “Question for Carol, KJT, redlogix (or whoever)…do you see any intergenerational inequality existing, or is there non at all, please elaborate (please don’t say class is more important AGAIN…we all agreed to that a long time ago)
                    And, how does this compare in relation to Maori/Pakeah inequality and gender inequality”

                    • rosy

                      Hi Fatty

                      I think you got the wrong end of the stick there… If you read back a bit you’ll see I’m fully aware of the postwar demographic bulge – the so-called babyboomers. What I’m against is using marketing terms instead of demographics to define generations and then ascribe attitudes and behaviours to those marketing descriptions, which were only created to exploit purchasing patterns based on the favoured age cohort (18-49) in conjunction with social and technological change.

                      I was being sarcastic in mentioning Paula Bennett – clearly exhibiting attitudes associated with boomers.

                      You state the issue is around generational privilege. I’m inclined to agree that this needs to be debated within the debate of class privilege – not outside it or alongside it. But first we need to define whether generational privilege exists or if it’s just the same old class privilege. I don’t believe the children of the wealthy boomers have any problem providing for the retirement of boomer roadworkers or welders, for example. Using terms like intergenerational theft is unhelpful and inaccurate – the aforementioned welders are not stealing of Michael Fay’s children, for example. It’s value-laden and reinforces describing age cohorts with attitudes and behaviours that are not universally held – a bit like racism and all the other isms, really.

                      We do need to talk about retirement ages and working rights, but first of all we need to talk about means-testing super, and to debate what is acceptable poverty, because there surely are people in power (no matter when they were born) who think certain levels of poverty are acceptable – are right, even. We also probably need to talk about immigration, if the economic growth is the preferred method of sorting this stuff out. Otherwise were back to the really big issues of how do we organise our society, or do we wait for peak oil, environmental degradation and the like to organise us?

  7. With what I thought George understood about humans long term survival (50 years at best), the man has become an utter fuckwit in my eyes, and then to start crying over what ‘we’ have left the kid FFS the situation was the same before he created the unfortunate thing. 6 of every 7 people you know have to leave the planet for this kid to have half a chance, any volunteers George?

  8. fatty 8

    Its time for a real anti-capitalist movement, one that is well organised and focused.
    I now consider the Green Party to be part of the problem, it is their responsibility to highlight the destruction the capitalism leaves in its wake. The Greens solve a lot of our issues, but they perpetuate ecological issues
    Green capitalism is a crazy concept…its like having AIDS suffers fuck each other and hope it cures them.

    • Campbell Larsen 8.1

      Fatty: “its like having AIDS suffers fuck each other and hope it cures them.”

      Totally unnecessary – a very poor way illustrating your rather vague point. No one needs to read shit like that on a Saturday morning.

      • fatty 8.1.1

        sorry…poor illustration, but my point is that you can’t solve ecological challenges based on capitalism.
        Capitalism is causing our problems, it shouldn’t be seen as part of a solution.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          Capitalism is fine so long as it is democratically regulated so thieves cannot game the system, externalities are paid for, progressive taxation prevents excessive wealth accumulation and everyone has a social wage.

          Mixed socialist democracies in Europe have been the most successful and stable societies, ever!

          The main thing required is real democracy.
          Not our pretend one, which is really a rotating dictatorship, of two very similar parties.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            Capitalism is fine so long as …

            No good. The neolibs are too good and too fast at stripping away all those protections that you mention.

            And, it falls well short of democratic socialism – where workers own and control the structures of the economy in a democratic way.

  9. Johnm 9

    When I lived in the UK back in the 60s House Sparrows and Starlings were everywhere. I am amazed that now they’re endangered! I remember the Cuckoo also endangered. Suffice to say we have impacted the natural World hugely over the intervening years. Heard James Lovelock on a youtube clip that prior WW11 England was almost idyllic in its natural beauty.
    George Monbiot’s daughter is certainly inheriting a natural World sadly diminished compared to 60 years ago.

    Refer link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/3304685/House-sparrow-cuckoo-and-starling-now-threatened-species.html

  10. Georgecom 10

    Two processes in play:

    We are busy consuming the earth to the extent there will be (perhaps much) less for the next generation, the one after that and the one after that.

    A minority (both within nations and between nations) are consuming wealth to the extent that there is already less for the present majority, and there will be less for the majority of the next generation and the one after that.

    • Jenny 10.1

      Mexico becomes only the second nation to take legal measures to combat climate change

      Mexico Approves Landmark Climate Law

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mexico-approves-landmark-climate-law

      Mexico’s Senate unanimously approved landmark climate change legislation yesterday that sets the country on a pioneering path to drastically reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

      The measure calls for Mexico to cut carbon 30 percent below business-as-usual growth by 2030 and 50 percent by midcentury. It now goes to President Felipe Calderón, who has championed action to control climate change and is expected to sign it……

      A surprise vote

      “No longer in the future will the business community, or even a large number of members from Pemex [Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company] or local governments be able to say, ‘I’m not obliged to do anything.’ We’ve heard that so often,” said Adrian Fernandez, environmental and climate adviser to the dean of Metropolitan University in Mexico City…..

      …..The bill’s passage comes on the heels of Mexico’s worst drought in more than 70 years, which advocates said played no small part in the debate. The bill focuses heavily on the likely impacts of climate change in Mexico and points to concerns over the increase in extreme weather events.

  11. Jenny 11

    Even the Herald knows

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10800314

    Coal Kills Towns

    Coal Kills Planets

    Coal Kills

    Ban it

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