Blame the baby boomers: We're the most selfish generation in history and we've been given a free ride

Yep, forget about us raising our family on next to nothing, or even how we lived through wars – we’re selfish.

Blame the world’s problems on us, because it’s our fault!

Let’s explain. Australian’s former Human Rights Commission Chris Sidoti said that the country’s social problems were caused by baby boomers, back in 1999. And now he’s reiterating his point and saying he still believes it to this day.

Strangely, Mr Sidoti has said this about his own generation, but nevertheless he strongly believes that we “refused to pay [our] share of tax”, have been given a “free ride” through tertiary education and are guilty of imposing enormous debt burdens on those who came after us.

“I don’t think there’s been a generation like this that has been so unwilling to pay a fair share of taxation to ensure everyone in the community the support that’s required and the services that are needed,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 1999, acknowledging that he himself was a baby boomer.

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“We are now the people who are in positions of influence with the media, government, business and most walks of life, and it we are to say there are people in Australia who aren’t doing well, I think we have to look at ourselves as the people who are responsible for that.

“Young people are entering the workforce debt-ridden”.

Fast forward 16 years and he says, while things have changed in that time, “I stand by my views about the stinginess of my generation”, he told News Corp.

But if we were given a free ride many years ago, we are definitely suffering now. We’re living longer and the government can hardly handle it. We have our kids staying at home longer than ever before, and to top it all off, our pension barely covers our daily costs, and is below the bread line. We’d love to be self-sufficient but so many Australian seniors didn’t have superannuation saved to fund their retirement – and if they did, it may not have been enough.

“Baby boomers are caring for their parents who are living longer. At the same time, childcare needs are greater so we’re being called upon to look after the grandkids, too. Meanwhile, we’re also having to work longer.

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“This generation that didn’t pay its way is now being squeezed by longer (working) responsibilities, increased responsibilities for frail parents and increased responsibilities for grandchildren”.

“They’re hard done by. As I said 15 years ago, the generations after us are graduating with enormous debt burdens and prospects are bleak. Couple that with increasing housing prices and you’ve got a real problem.

“The pressures on (generation X), and even more on the one after that, are even greater than they were 15 years ago.

“I see among the GenY and the Millennials enormous levels of idealism and community engagement but they’re under high pressure and it’s difficult if not almost impossible for them to come near to the expectations placed upon them.”

And social researcher Mark McCrindle defended us, saying we were lucky to be raised in good economic times, when an average house was three times less expensive than today.

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“They inherited the times and they benefited from the times. It wasn’t their fault,” he said.

“If we look at what they’re doing now, they’re not selling off empty homes and living in luxury, they’re letting kids stay at home longer, lending their cars. In a sense, they’re taking on the cost of living for their children. The baby boomers have been more supportive of their children’s generation than their parents were of them”.

 

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