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Telegraph: The Old And Young Don't Talk Anymore Because House Prices Are Disfiguring Our Society

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It was depressing to watch. Three generations of one family were sitting in a garden in South Wales in June, talking to a Newsnight reporter. The family was at odds.

The matriarch would vote for Brexit, she said: Were being told what to do by people we havent elected!

Her granddaughter called her stubborn. Its my generation that has to deal with the fallout if we go, so please, think of me, she declared.

It wasnt the subject matter that was depressing. It was the lack of respect each generation had for one another. The granddaughter showed little interest in the years of experience guiding her grannys instincts. In turn, her grandmother showed no understanding of how, for a young woman, the chance to live and work elsewhere in Europe had come to feel like a birthright. They were talking across a divide of decades, but it might as well have been centuries.

As well as voting and thinking differently, it seems that the older and younger generations are increasingly living in different places. A new report by the Intergenerational Foundation, a think tank, suggests that old and young are becoming segregated communities. The middle-aged and pensioners live in more rural settings; the young in cities.

The average child now lives in a neighbourhood where only 5.5 per cent of residents are aged over 65. Back in 1991, that figure was 15 per cent. The pattern is similar for the elderly: with each year that passes, they are less and less likely to lay eyes on any children playing in their local area.

Why is this happening? One major reason is that familiar cancer at the heart of the British economic and social system: spiralling housing costs. It used to be the norm that young people would start their careers in the city and, as they married and had children, theyd buy in the suburbs and move out, joining a large mix of families outside the city centre.

Nowadays, fewer and fewer people can afford to make that transition to a suburban adulthood within a reasonable distance of work. Instead, they keep renting in town centres, with little hope of ever trading up into a house with a garden and a car. So rural and commuter belt communities dont get refreshed by a constant influx of new families, and the young are kept tethered to a brand of extended adolescence spent sharing flats in the city.

At the root of this problem are our inflexible planning system and building regulations, which make it a nightmare to build new houses or alter exiting ones. Developers who want to build new homes have to jump through an endless number of social and environmental hoops, rather than being able to supply what people want.

And home-owners are tied up in the same knots: for example, elderly residents who want to rent out part of their houses have to apply for planning permission first. At a time of chronic housing shortages, that is simply crazy.

Before the referendum, it was common to hear wildly different predictions about what Britain would choose. In the shires, I heard the same refrain several times: I dont know anyone voting Remain. And each time I came back to the youthful city, I heard the opposite. These two spheres simply werent in contact with each other anymore.

The segregation fuels resentment on each side. The pro-EU young joke that the old ought to be disenfranchised. And many of the rural elderly dismiss support for the EU as a sign of debauched and corrupt urban attitudes. This mutual disgust isnt healthy.

Housing costs are a malign force disfiguring our society. Until the government shows some courage with housing policy, the problem is only going to get worse.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/20/the-old-and-young-dont-talk-anymore-because-house-prices-are-dis/

Vote at the link for what you think will happen to London house prices!

Edited by rantnrave

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A tiny number of a tiny % of yoof have any chance of a career in Europe beyond fruit picking or some other casual work whilst 'travelling'.

I went to Uni and l don't know anyone who ended up working in the EU outside of the UK. All those l am aware of who work overseas ended up in English speaking commonwealth countries and even Israel. None in Europe.

It really isn't a loss and regardless you can still get horror of horrors.. a work permit if you find yourself at the age of 20 somehow possessing skills that Germany can't do without.

Mind you, l always liked the ERASMUS thingy. Will that still take place without having to gobble Eurocrat knob?

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A tiny number of a tiny % of yoof have any chance of a career in Europe beyond fruit picking or some other casual work whilst 'travelling'.

I went to Uni and l don't know anyone who ended up working in the EU outside of the UK. All those l am aware of who work overseas ended up in English speaking commonwealth countries and even Israel. None in Europe.

It really isn't a loss and regardless you can still get horror of horrors.. a work permit if you find yourself at the age of 20 somehow possessing skills that Germany can't do without.

Mind you, l always liked the ERASMUS thingy. Will that still take place without having to gobble Eurocrat knob?

Id agree with that.

After Uni there was only one mainland European country that generated any private jobs - Germany.

When I started work in the mid 90s, there were 5 French people who come over as there were no jobs.

Fast forward 20 years and those French have been joined by Spanish and Portuguese.

Sure there's public sector jobs but if you think any non-national is goign to get them then you are smoking crack.

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Generation Gap? Surely, it's just a Boomer thing? The Boomers spent their adolescence/early adulthood loafing around idly in blue jeans listening to Fleetwood Mac (on Radio One)and sneering ignorantly at the values and aspirations of the Greatest Generation. Today, they're still loafing around idly in blue jeans listening to Fleetwood Mac (on Radio Two now) while sneering ignorantly instead at the values and aspirations of their kids.

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Why is this happening? One major reason is that familiar cancer at the heart of the British economic and social system: spiralling housing costs

I thought the Telegraph was in favour of rising house prices? At least they used to be.

I have some sypathy with the idea of young people being able to live and work in Europe- but thanks to the EU and the Euro that's becoming increasingly impossible which is why so many young people from the continent are over here in the UK working in coffee shops ect. The idea that the EU is a source of employment opportunites for the young is comical given the levels of youth unemployment they have in places like Greece or Spain, or even France.

In the EU the crushed aspirations of the young are collatoral damage in the ongoing attempt to save the common currency from it's own inherent flaws. 'Internal devaluation'= mass youth unemployment- and internal devaluation is not some accident of history- it's a policy choice of the EU establishment.

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Jobs in Europe are certainly not an edge case. Lots of people I know work in Europe. I wouldn't like to go back to the bad old days, I remember we needed a guy from Finland to fix something urgent for a customer, he never showed up then next day we finally tracked him down still in Helsinki. We were about to ask wtf he was playing at when he said he had been here but not allowed in and got flight back to Finland.

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A tiny number of a tiny % of yoof have any chance of a career in Europe beyond fruit picking or some other casual work whilst 'travelling'.

I went to Uni and l don't know anyone who ended up working in the EU outside of the UK. All those l am aware of who work overseas ended up in English speaking commonwealth countries and even Israel. None in Europe.

It really isn't a loss and regardless you can still get horror of horrors.. a work permit if you find yourself at the age of 20 somehow possessing skills that Germany can't do without.

Mind you, l always liked the ERASMUS thingy. Will that still take place without having to gobble Eurocrat knob?

Spot on.

Good luck getting a job in southern or eastern Europe. Where else is left? France with 10% unemployment? Germany that imported 1.1M immigrants last year? Sweden that's overflowing with immigrants too? Seriously, Remainers - name one country in the EU that's "hot" now for the indigenous young British.

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It was my European relatives who swayed my mind to vote out. If their youngsters struggle to find meaningful employment because the EU has failed to keep in touch with global trade it needs to be abandoned. I often suggested that we should reform it but their opinions and experiences always led them to deny it would be possible. The only great success of the EU is its ability promote itself, something we all agree on. Every other area it's a failure at.

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Generation Gap? Surely, it's just a Boomer thing? The Boomers spent their adolescence/early adulthood loafing around idly in blue jeans listening to Fleetwood Mac (on Radio One)and sneering ignorantly at the values and aspirations of the Greatest Generation. Today, they're still loafing around idly in blue jeans listening to Fleetwood Mac (on Radio Two now) while sneering ignorantly instead at the values and aspirations of their kids.

Strange thing is, Im a borderline so called boomer but dont see any sneering about the younger generation in my cohort, however I do see it amongst my dads generation, now 80, where life was always straight forward, black and white, with simple easy to unerstand instructions for getting on in life. Nearly every one I know of my age has been through the job/career/redundancy routine so many times and with a few lucky exceptions have all been tossed out of their real jobs by age 50 and are now struggling with zero hour contracts etc. And most very concerned about future re younger generations. They also see the real reasons for all this and not just a simple, easy to point out scapegoat.

Did they not mention iPads ? The comments surely...

No, because they dont actually think quite like that, however there is a grain of truth in it for other reasons ie, it all adds to the bread and circuses routine which is now at an endemic level. No time for collectivism and real politics when you have non stop entertainment on tap. Edited by steve99

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Young people are screwed everywhere in the developed world for the same reasons: high house prices and low/insecure wages. Capital is taking a bigger share and labour is getting less. Has little or nothing to do with the EU/Brexit.

Edited by Dorkins

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I agree, steve99. Plenty of late boomers I know were utterly screwed by a spell of unemployment in the 80s, and often then again in the early 90s. Fairly common if you lived outside of the south east. Regularly chat to a guy on the train who used to be an engineer in a factory up in Preston. Now in his 50s, he's collecting the rubbish on the train. I doubt that's the life he imagined for himself. He also talks about the ridiculous house prices and poor work opportunities for his grown up kids.

Somehow I don't think that's got anything to do with the green belt in the south east as the Telegraph suggests.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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Young people are screwed everywhere in the developed world for the same reasons: high house prices and low/insecure wages. Capital is taking a bigger share and labour is getting less. Has little or nothing to do with the EU/Brexit.

Time for the masses to get political again. The swing to capital has been enormous and there has been no political wiil from any party to change it over the last 35 years. Corbyn? People dont see him as having enough personality, ie they prefer slick, manicured, loud speaking TV type personality to his type, no matter that they are fornicating with the bankers rather than putting them in jail

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A tiny number of a tiny % of yoof have any chance of a career in Europe beyond fruit picking or some other casual work whilst 'travelling'.

I went to Uni and l don't know anyone who ended up working in the EU outside of the UK. All those l am aware of who work overseas ended up in English speaking commonwealth countries and even Israel. None in Europe.

It really isn't a loss and regardless you can still get horror of horrors.. a work permit if you find yourself at the age of 20 somehow possessing skills that Germany can't do without.

Mind you, l always liked the ERASMUS thingy. Will that still take place without having to gobble Eurocrat knob?

My first job out of university was in the Netherlands, funnily enough, at a time when there wasn't that much work about in the UK. Recruited by a company doing a tour of the UK looking for grads. I ended up meeting a plenty of UK/Irish expats living and working out there, and mostly in "career" type jobs as well - there's plenty over there.

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Spot on.

Good luck getting a job in southern or eastern Europe. Where else is left? France with 10% unemployment? Germany that imported 1.1M immigrants last year? Sweden that's overflowing with immigrants too? Seriously, Remainers - name one country in the EU that's "hot" now for the indigenous young British.

Shamelessly bumping my comment because it's not been answered yet. I am genuinely interested in this - where would a young British indigenous with no specific skills go in Europe? I say "no specific skills" because once you talk about skills, we're already in the realms of work permits and visas.

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Jobs in Europe are certainly not an edge case. Lots of people I know work in Europe. I wouldn't like to go back to the bad old days, I remember we needed a guy from Finland to fix something urgent for a customer, he never showed up then next day we finally tracked him down still in Helsinki. We were about to ask wtf he was playing at when he said he had been here but not allowed in and got flight back to Finland.

Why can't we let workers in but not give people housing? The Spanish don't give us housing but a Spanish woman can come here and say "I am a single mum and we have to house her for ever".

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I've had a few boomers say at work how they bought their houses at £30-40k.

I don't know if they realise how much house prices are now and how inflated their wages are compared to my generations wages.

I'm sure if their pension was cut they'd wake up.

It's so easy to blame others such as immigrants, tax credit mums and the like.

However it's the debt based financial system itself at the root of the problems mostly.

With the stoke of a pen we can raise rates, abolish HTB and let the banks collapse.

The solutions aren't difficult; just unprofitable.

A financial system reset is the only way forward IMO.

Edited by Assume The Opposite

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I've had a few boomers say at work how they bought their houses at £30-40k.

I don't know if they realise how much house prices are now and how inflated their wages are compared to my generations wages.

I'm sure if their pension was cut they'd wake up.

It's so easy to blame others such as immigrants, tax credit mums and the like.

However it's the debt based financial system itself at the root of the problems mostly.

With the stoke of a pen we can raise rates, abolish HTB and let the banks collapse.

The solutions aren't difficult; just unprofitable.

A financial system reset is the only way forward IMO.

+100. Absolutely.

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