Friday, August 15, 2008

Paying and Paying Again

This just typifies the plight of this current generation of workers! When I heard it reported that Winston Peters had told Grey Power
"And you have a right to this because of your contribution to society.
Let’s face it, New Zealand was a better place when you were running it!"
I was horrified.

The current generation of Superannuitants had an extremely 'cushy' time of it when they were in the workforce, while they were raising their families and while they were buying their homes. Let's reflect on what they had:
  • 3% interest rate home loans under the State Advances,
  • free doctors visits and no prescription surcharges - I never once remember my mother paying for a visit to the Doctor or for the medicines prescribed,
  • free education for their children - my parents paid a pittance for my Primary and Secondary education. By the time I reached University user pays was just starting to "kick in" and I had to fund quite a lot of my Tertiary education,
  • Family Benefit of $6 per child per week, which could be capitalised to provide a deposit on a home.
I could go on! But my point is that with all those advantages, if the current generation of retirees did not make provision for their own retirement years then that is not my generation's problem.

My generation is now in a situation where we are having to:
  • pay higher interest rates on our mortgages, or any borrowings for that matter
  • pay a significantly higher cost for our offspring's education
  • make do without receiving assistance from Government similar to the Family Benefit
  • make our own provisions for retirement, and
  • pay much higher tax by way of Income Tax, GST and other levies and rates that are hidden in the costs of many goods and services that we consume (most often the essentials we consume).
In addition to paying for the rearing of the offspring that I have fathered responsibly, I am also paying for numerous children who have been irresponsibly conceived or have been born into families who abuse or mistreat them. And Winston Peters wants me to "feather bed" Grey Power as well.

Let's look for a moment at what our society is like. 50 years ago there were two murders a year in New Zealand. This year we would hear of two murders a week. That increase in offending is not due to population increase. Population has doubled in those 50 years but murders have increased by 4000%. We hear daily of family violence and many other crimes. Some would want us to believe that it is a matter of better reporting or a change in society's attitudes to this kind of offending that is bringing it to light.

I say that the reason is that the current generation of Superannuitants did a pretty bad job of raising their children! (This is a blog and that is a gross generalisation). In the 1950's and 1960's New Zealand enjoyed a great deal of prosperity. However, there was a loosening of morals and the adoption of more liberal views. Although they didn't grow their hair, smoke dope and 'drop acid' many Kiwi's attitudes were affected by the hippie culture and the philosophies that spawn such a sub-culture. Most people of that era did not openly or knowingly adopt those views but they were influenced by them.

As a result we have now in New Zealand a generation who were raised in such a liberal environment, who are now the parents of children who are running amok.

New Zealand may have been a better place when the current retirees were running it, but they squandered the opportunities. They started the break down of the family unit. They sowed the seeds of the society we now live in where there is such an upsurge in lawlessness and an attitude that you don't need to raise your own kids, (leave that to the state) and you don't need to work (draw a benefit).

My generation is paying for the short sightedness of my parent's generation. [However, thanks Mum and Dad for instilling in me the values that enable me to raise my family with 2 parents, and to have had education that enables me to earn enough to help support numerous beneficiaries (and a few extra MPs and bureaucrats) in New Zealand.]

During the 1950's and 1960's those people with the attitudes I am decrying here were in the minority. Only a small percentage of the population were responsible for the break down that we are seeing now. It only goes to show though in what a short span of time a few people can take a country in such a disastrous and negative direction.