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You And Yours: Are You Worse Off Than Your Parents? Today 12:15

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I'm worst off, my parents practised the art of not working and did very well. I look back on the past 15 years and wonder why I even bothered to get a degree. I could've just became a painter & decorator and flipped houses.

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The usual boomer response is 'when I was a boy we still had rationing and there was a bomb site down the road'

What they fail to understand is that is more indicative of THEIR parents reality. By the time they hit 20 their parents had already rebuilt most of the country for them. Nuclear power, motorways, poly campuses, mass council house building...most of that was done between 1955-65. Boomers were only really beginning to hit the workforce by 1965.

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Rothbard argued this was the case since the 70's.

But now the reality is quite the opposite. People know they are worse off than their parents, and therefore they rationally expect their children to be in still worse shape. Everywhere you turn you get a similar answer: “Why couldn’t you construct a new building with the same sturdy qualities as this (50-year old) house? . . . Oh, we couldn’t afford to build it that way today.”

Even official statistics bear out this point, if you know where to look. For example, the median real income in dollars, (that is, corrected for inflation) of American families is lower than it was in 1973. Then, if we disaggregate households, we get a far gloomier picture. Family income has not only been slightly reduced; it has collapsed in the last 20 years because of the phenomenal increase of the proportion of married women in the workforce.

This massive shift from motherhood and the domestic arts to the tedium of offices and time clocks has been interpreted by our dominant liberal culture as a glorious triumph of feminism in liberating women from the drudgery of being housewives so that they can develop their personalities in a fulfilling career. While this may be true for some occupations, one still hears on every side, once again, that the “reason I went to work is because we could no longer afford to live on one salary.”

p6 Making Economic Sense.

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Rothbard argued this was the case since the 70's.

p6 Making Economic Sense.

That's the thing that concerns me with wealth supposedly increasing with immigration.

We had, if you like, a dry run, by the mass introduction of women into the workforce, just as with immigrants.

Did everything get more affordable.

Nope, house prices doubled though. University started charging. Cars now have to be paid for monthly they cost so much.

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The current peculair obsession with inter-generational financial advantage.

Just build a couple of million houses on greenbelt and be done with it.

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Incredible to think of the productivity gains since the mid 70s yet none has gone to the workers.Capital (and government) has taken it all and more.A factory i worked at one production line (pharma) of 18 people had turnover of £80k a day in 91, wages cost £1800 a day.Last year the same production line with new ways of working.machinery etc produced £480k a day with 9 people.Wages £1200 a day.In real terms the workers are about 8% better off than in 91 on their wages.Dividends from that company up 300% in the same period.A couple of those workers even get tax credits.The chief exec of that firm gets £14 million a year+

Why?.Well it didnt help the unions and the members voting through cuts in pensions and conditions that protected people already on said pay and conditions.Just another case of pulling up the drawbridge.

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It depends what you use as a comparison.

We are materially far richer than my parents at a similar age - apart from in two key respects - housing and pensions.

Housing is the obvious one, by my age (35) my parents owned a large 4 bedroom detached house which they were able to afford on one teachers salary.

Both my parents were in a final salary pension schemes that means they have a household income of roughly £4k a month between them in retirement. More than we do for working!

Some of their friends are much better off - one who worked in insurance is on 66% of substantial final salary and his wife on 50% of a headteachers salary.

Meanwhile my grandparents were "poor" in retirement in that they relied entirely on the state pension and a holiday was a coach trip to Wales rather than 3 weeks in India.

So yes they are the lucky generation.

Edited by Timak

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It depends what you use as a comparison.

We are materially far richer than my parents at a similar age - apart from in two key respects - housing and pensions.

Housing is the obvious one, by my age (35) my parents owned a large 4 bedroom detached house which they were able to afford on one teachers salary.

Both my parents were in a final salary pension schemes that means they have a household income of roughly £4k a month between them in retirement. More than we do for working!

Some of their friends are much better off - one who worked in insurance is on 66% of substantial final salary and his wife on 50% of a headteachers salary.

Meanwhile my grandparents were "poor" in retirement in that they relied entirely on the state pension and a holiday was a coach trip to Wales rather than 3 weeks in India.

So yes they are the lucky generation.

Yes but in return you have ipads, laptops, flat screen TV's but no home to put them in.....

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Seems to be a lot about housing.

''In my day we just bought a three bedroom bungalow...there was no such thing as a ladder.''

(Backing up Timak's point)

Edited by crashmonitor

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Seems to be a lot about housing.

''In my day we just bought a three bedroom bungalow...there was no such thing as a ladder.''

(Backing up Timak's point)

Indeed my parents bought a 3 bedroom semi as newlyweds after only 2 years of full time work after graduation.

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Incredible to think of the productivity gains since the mid 70s yet none has gone to the workers.Capital (and government) has taken it all and more.A factory i worked at one production line (pharma) of 18 people had turnover of £80k a day in 91, wages cost £1800 a day.Last year the same production line with new ways of working.machinery etc produced £480k a day with 9 people.Wages £1200 a day.In real terms the workers are about 8% better off than in 91 on their wages.Dividends from that company up 300% in the same period.A couple of those workers even get tax credits.The chief exec of that firm gets £14 million a year+

Why?.Well it didnt help the unions and the members voting through cuts in pensions and conditions that protected people already on said pay and conditions.Just another case of pulling up the drawbridge.

The problem as I see it is policymakers (deliberately) look at it from the wrong end.

They say why aren't wages higher...

Why should wages be higher? Much of the productivity is the result of mechanization. Which has investment, maintainence and running costs.

They never say why aren't prices lower...which should be the natural effect of higher productivity.

Higher wages and lower prices are of course the same thing to the consumer. But one (lower prices) is achieved naturally once credit reaches organic levels (as we saw in late 08/early 09), the other is difficult to achieve and usually entails messy government interventions.

Unfortunately, lower prices and debt-money do not go together...so until debt-money is abandoned, we will continue to see the middle class destroyed.

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Just listened to the nurse who was able to marry, have kids and buy a house. She considered them "poor" even though they had kids and could pay their mortgage.

I guess it is going to depends on area they live in if a nurse and husband would be able to buy a house with a mortgage now and survive on one pay(?) when having children.

A nurse in the pay scale I found is paid up to around £34,000 if she is a team leader. I have no idea what her husband did so just using her salary.

http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/working-in-the-nhs/pay-and-benefits/agenda-for-change-pay-rates/

If she buys a house at 3 x her salary that's £102,000 and I can't imagine that there are too many places that could be done now.

If she went back to NHS nursing then there should be a pension scheme.

Edited by Flopsy

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Caught a bit of this by chance, very interesting listening. The penny is beginning to drop amongst the "middle classes" where their potentially better educated children aren't in the same position at same time in life (nice 3-bed semi in the suburbs*). They are having to raid pension pots to help provide a deposit because high rents eat-up salaries. This is completely at odds with what they though their children's lives and their retirements would be like.

Also worthy of note is that many of the older callers would probably fall into the younger half of baby boomer age bracket with 20-30 something kids, so perhaps the penny is beginning to drop with them. Is it going to be the older baby boomers and Gen X (my generation) who will do whatever they can to prop-up house prices (Cameron and Osborne are Gen X)?

Mind you I can't help but wonder how many of the older callers very happy about HPI 10 years ago...

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Usual crock of crap.

Well it seemed to tow the HPC line that the parents did have it better...except for one email read right at the end that decided that a few thousand pounds worth of electric gear and a daily latte at costabucks were worth more than a job and a house.....not sure whether the email was meant to be ironic.

Edited by crashmonitor

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I believe things have reached a critical point in terms of how things develop from here. Either the UK will go down the route of ensuring Thatchers children and future generations have similar prospects to previous generations or it goes down the route of ensuring previous and future generations have similar prospects to Thatchers children. Obviously making life better for the Thatchers and for those who come after would be the sensible way to go for most people but the danger is that there are just too many who see a better future for themselves as a lose/lose scenario (I'm not ok > you're not ok) in some weird sort of world where it becomes ok as long as everyone is shafted (apart from the 1%).

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Well it seemed to tow the HPC line that the parents did have it better...except for one email read right at the end that decided that a few thousand pounds worth of electric gear and a daily latte at costabucks were worth more than a job and a house.....not sure whether the email was meant to be ironic.

Yeah, they can't seem to resist trotting that sort of line out at some point. It was a poor debate and the 'experts' they had were all about increasing wages and making excuses for why people don't just go and earn more. 'Confidence' apparently, among other things. I didn't catch it all but I didn't hear anyone talking at all about driving housing costs down by simply removing the astonishing levels of subsidy enjoyed by various special interest groups. Nope, got to get the politically acceptable solutions for Beeboids instead.

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I believe things have reached a critical point in terms of how things develop from here. Either the UK will go down the route of ensuring Thatchers children and future generations have similar prospects to previous generations or it goes down the route of ensuring previous and future generations have similar prospects to Thatchers children. Obviously making life better for the Thatchers and for those who come after would be the sensible way to go for most people but the danger is that there are just too many who see a better future for themselves as a lose/lose scenario (I'm not ok > you're not ok) in some weird sort of world where it becomes ok as long as everyone is shafted (apart from the 1%).

Nope. That issue was decided in about 1971 when Nixon decided rather than having a degree of restraint over banks via a gold standard they'd have none whatsoever.

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I believe things have reached a critical point in terms of how things develop from here. Either the UK will go down the route of ensuring Thatchers children and future generations have similar prospects to previous generations or it goes down the route of ensuring previous and future generations have similar prospects to Thatchers children. Obviously making life better for the Thatchers and for those who come after would be the sensible way to go for most people but the danger is that there are just too many who see a better future for themselves as a lose/lose scenario (I'm not ok > you're not ok) in some weird sort of world where it becomes ok as long as everyone is shafted (apart from the 1%).

I think you have you finger on a growing mindset, but it's not quite that there is a mass of people that actively wishes for a lose/lose scenario.

It's more that to someone with no (or very little) skin in the game in terms of either wealth or prospects, who views the system as so intrinsically weighted against them that it would require a monumental amount of change to correct, there is nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain by something akin to a complete systematic collapse.

The fact that what you see as the desire for a lose-lose situation exists is indicative of just how bent the system is seen and just how hopeless the future seems under it to those disenfranchised (and presumably predominantly young) people.

If those pensioners with mortgage-free houses stood up (as a group) and were scathing about the triple-lock on pensions where nothing else in life is triple-locked, if they were disgusted at the ever-increasing unearned value in their houses, if they voted en masse against these things, then the disenfranchised might see a glimmer of hope for a win/win future in which they can be somewhat happy. While that continues to look unlikely, the best future chance for those generationally disenfranchised looks to be under the collapse of as much as possible of the structure that disenfranchises them.

The vast majority of the young have very, very little to lose. There are few scenarios that can count as lose/lose to them. It amazes me that those in charge do not care how dangerous a situation they are creating.

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Just listened to the nurse who was able to marry, have kids and buy a house. She considered them "poor" even though they had kids and could pay their mortgage.

This is part of the problem of simply not seeing the others perspective I think. When it was so easy to get a simple home you don't consider it special, or lucky. "Of course I have a home! How could I not!?" At that time the kitchen gadgets and televisions were the luxury, keeping up with the joneses was all about the difference between having a dishwasher or not, or having a microwave or not. No gadgets, you were poor. Not affording a home was not on the radar.

Fast forward to today and these damn kids have all got gadgets they couldn't have imagined! "How can they complain!? What? Housing? Well everyone gets a house silly! It just kind of happens. How can they complain? Look at all the gadgets! Hey… more gadgets which I view as expensive luxury items due to not keeping up with the times… and complaints about not being able to afford something as easy to get as a house… equals.. they don't have houses because of iPads."

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