With Medicare set to be privatised, Jordan King-Lacroix points the finger, not at the Turnbull government, but the reformers who caused it: the Baby Boomers.
Here we go again. It keeps happening. Again and again and again. Those who changed History are twisting the future. First, education and health. And then they come for the pensioners. The Baby Boomers like to think they’re the greatest generation since Jesus. “We were the Civil Rights Movement!” they cry.
“We helped reform the world!”
And they’ve been helping tear it down since then.
Sure, there are some isolated pockets of old hippies who are trying their darndest to stay true to the noble idealism of their youth, but those numbers are dwindling. In fact, a lot of that generation on the wrong end of the Same Sex Marriage fight; which could be easily viewed as this generation’s Civil Rights battle (which honestly, the original one hasn’t been won yet)
It’s folks from their generation who populated Wall Street and all their ilk across the globe who fed at the trough and got fat on other people’s money.
Every generation is responsible for some heinous crimes, but it seems that the Boomers don’t want to hear about their faults. Well, I’m here to tell you, you’ve got 99 problems and culpability is one.
The Boomers are getting to the point where they’ll need aged care and seniors’ help and all sorts of important health and social benefits, but the Turnbull government – who inherited their ogreness from the Abbott Clan before them – can do nothing but rip and tear until there’s nothing left to chew on. Guess what generation they’re all from?
They’ve also decided that the pensioner education supplement isn’t worth having. “You’re too old to learn,” they’ve said. Subtext: “Be useful and die.”
In their infinite wisdom, they have decided that a person’s pension should be weighed up against not just what they have earned and how many years they have spent toiling for the nation, but how long they spend away from the country. If a pensioner spends 26 weeks out of the country visiting friends and relatives or just retiring to another nation? Too. Goddamn. Bad.
Too. Goddamn. Bad. It gets cut.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: they’ve moved away, they don’t deserve the Australian pension anymore. And to that I say this: nonsense. You worked for a nation that promises a pension? You get it. Some people are lucky to get more than one if they’re, say, from different countries or from different jobs. Some aren’t. Some just want to live off their pension closer to their kids.
And now they can’t.
The Baby Boomers built a lot of the greatest things about modern society, so it seems odd to see them wielding the hammer. Was it a phase that they’re ashamed of? Or did they collectively get swept up in the tidal wave of possibilities and earnest activism, where things needed to be done, so they did it, because it was the right thing to do? Is that spirit buried in the realities of this century and/or the fatigue of life?
I’ve heard so often that we Millennials (or Generation Y folk, depending on when you were born and how specific you are) are lazy, that we don’t want jobs, that we want it all given to us, we’re soft, we’ll never own a home. “Why, when I was your age…”
When you were my age, university was free. Or at least cheap.
And then you changed that.
When you were my age, you could afford a house or apartment at twenty-five.
You sure changed that.
When you were my age, it was the norm to work from the bottom of a company and work your way up. To have company loyalty.
You guys at the top changed that quick smart.
When you were my age, pensions were expected and health care for the old was an obvious choice.
You’re changing that so fast, you won’t even have a moment to realise how bad you’ve hurt yourselves. Because you’re time is coming, and fast.
I can’t buy a house, afford a car, get a prolonged education – not for cheap – because you guys decided all of that was too easy, and that money was better.
Well, congratulations. You sold the world.
And now we all have to rent it.