To all of the Gen Yers who think older generations are “screwing” them… 235



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This week it was brought to our attention that an article was doing the rounds on media popular with younger people called Five ways our parents’ generation are screwing us. We’ve been in somewhat of a war of the generations for years now. How it started, I’m not quite sure.

It is likely that we threw the first punch labelling them as “lazy” and generalising the age group when only it has turned out to be a rare few. If we think of our children and grandchildren now I’m sure that lazy is a term that doesn’t quickly come to mind. However, we’ve undergone some serious trash talking from you and the five points mentioned in this article is where I’d like to start addressing this.

I don’t think anyone wants intergenerational difficulties – the world, the workplace, the home and the community works much better when we accept other people’s differences and work together using our strengths in any regard. So it’s time for us to put the rubbish aside and get moving.

I’d like to clear up these five things so here we go…

Cost of education

The thing that needs to be understood is that it is not our fault that we received free tertiary education for the 15 years between 1974 and 1989. The Whitlam Government abolished university fees and what that did was increase participation rates, giving Australia a more educated population that helped to improve the country economically. This, however, became unsustainable and some people regard it as one of the worst financial decisions made. The entire university environment has changed. While younger generations can pick and choose, chop and switch university degrees, we couldn’t. We were taught the long and hard way and didn’t have technology available to us that you do today. And there’s no point in us complaining about it because it’s helping you to help Australia just like that short bout of free education helped us to help Australia too.


House prices

While housing and land ownership has become more expensive and younger people call it less affordable, there’s also been a change in consumer behaviour between the generations. The idea of running on credit was not a common thing for our generation with a mortgage often the first form of debt we ever entered into. But times have changed and now the average age for a first time credit card holder is 20. While yes, living can be expensive the diminishing ability of younger people to live within our means and always need the latest, greatest and best also has something to answer for. If perhaps they adopted the same financial views that we did growing up they could be in a much better position.


Our taxes fund their pension

Here’s the thing, we have also paid our taxes all of our lives and to have the idea that we will reap the rewards of paying taxes in real time is absurd. Yes, we have a problem with the social services and welfare structure of this country however to have the idea that we are somehow getting away with your money is just wrong. To say that we are greedy and want government money is as much of a generalisation of our generation as it is to say yours is lazy. There are many self-funded retirees who will never see a cent of government money too. The reality is that the taxes your children pay now will also fund your pension in real time however it will be the money you’re paying now that ultimately contributes to your own future. Pensions are given when working is not viable or not possible and we don’t have the finances to fund our own lives, not just because we want a handout.


Working longer

Yes, they are raising the pension age and your generation will be impacted whereas ours won’t, but the thing is that if we could work right now, so many of us would. There are thousands of over 60s who don’t want to go on a pension, who don’t want to retire and who want to work and use the skills they’ve spent decades developing but just like so many younger people, we can’t find jobs. This isn’t any doing of our own, it’s the economy and the fact that so many traditional jobs are being made redundant by technology. It’s a problem that we’re both facing and we need to work together to find an answer for everyone not fight about it.


Wealth distribution

Yes, a lot of us are better off financially than younger people but we’ve been working at our wealth for 40, 50 and even 60 years now. Wealth takes time, thought, smarts and strategy. It isn’t something that comes overnight. Like I mentioned before, we avoided living on credit, we chose to invest when we could and we valued housing and land. While it is becoming more expensive to own a home, it’s still an important piece of building wealth and although it may take years of hard work to buy it, pay off a mortgage and eventually own it, there seems to be a large number of younger people who don’t see that short term risk as a long term reward.


You see, we’ve faced our own challenges as you’ve faced your own. We aren’t trying to “screw” you and we definitely aren’t trying to make your life difficult. Each generation faces challenges and some are worse or better than other generations, but there’s no reason to point the finger.

If we want a smooth economy, we need to value each other and learn from one another – and that goes both ways.

Tell us, why do you think the younger generation has such distain towards ours? Why do they feel they are being “screwed” by us?

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  1. Well Tony Abbott and his gang of merry men have been promoting that propaganda. They have governed by the divide and conquer theory, by promoting hate. Many dictatorships before them were formed this way and this LNP are no different. Never before has australia been so divided, so filled with hate and contempt. Young against old, rich against poor, Christian against Muslim and vice versa. It’s astonishing it’s only taken them 18 months to destroy this nation. God help us by the end of his term.

    7 REPLY
    • I’m not the one using childish insults Ann. I just expressed my opinion on social media as everyone is allowed to. If you cannot stand other people’s opinions then maybe social media is not the place for you.

      Interesting how people who hate anyone speaking against ABBOTT and his appalling government can never come out with a positive comment about the government, it’s always personal attacks on the people who want a fairer government. Sorry you backed a loser Ann, better luck next time. But it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Being rude doesn’t do make you look good.

    • They get touchy Leanna don’t they. But even the governments supporters can never find one positive thing to,say about the government. Their responses are always in the form of personal insults and attacks. I nearly fell out of bf laughing at a response I had from a Kay Walsh this morning. It was priceless.

    • Totally agree that this government is destroying our society.

  2. Good story, worth the early morning read. But for the life of me, I can’t work out how you can blame “Tony Abbott and his gang” for the gap that exists between us and Gen Yers. Give the man a break. After all, he’s only been in government for 18 months. Generation gaps have been around since day one.

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    • True, but never before has their been such resentment about the aged. I blame abbot and his gang because they deliberately fired young people up. They called aged pensioners leaners, have recently suggested the economy is the way it is because of baby boomers, are taking too much in pensions. Hockey recently spewed out that young people can’t afford homes because the baby boomers have bought them all. That we were the wealthiest generation ever. That breeds resentment in younger people and it was meant to.

      The truth, we are better off than our parents. But this generation will be at our age better off than we are. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

      As a woman I worked full time from 13. Part time cleaning when I was raising the kids so I could supplement the income but still be home with the kids. I as s the case with every other woman was never entitled to super till the late nineties. By then I was getting towards the end of my working life. Now kids get super from the day they start even if it’s only part time at MacDonalds. My adult children have more sure now than I had in my entire life. And they have a fantastic opportunity to pay off their homes at such low interest. That’s what the young should be focussing on. Getting their own lives in order.

      If these young people feel they are working to pay our pensions as Hockey has lead them to believe. Then they need to thank us for working since we were kids to pay their grand parents and great parents pensions. Instead of feeling miffed.

    • The point is this government is only making things worse. Their relationship with big business clouds their response to just about everything. The worker and the pensioners are the worse off every time.

    • Fair enough Margaret Peluso, Alana Heuston Fowler, Veronica Dallas and Joan Savell. Let’s blame our politicians for every problem that exists between the young and old today. After all, we tend to blame everything that goes wrong on our government. But honestly, I’m not sure Gen Yers (I have 2) know who to blame themselves. From my experience they don’t listen or can’t be told anyway. And I don’t think that has anything to do with Abbott or Hockey.

    • Wendy Obrien, I think you just hit the nail on the head there. The young ones do have a tendency for the most part to blame everyone but themselves, so when you get men who are in power telling them the older generation are a drain on society, they are eating up pensions so you will have to work till your seventy, it’s right up their alley. The government is sending the message, your not to blame kids it’s the baby boomers. This government whether you support them or not, I think if we were all totally honest we would have to,admit they have been terribly divisive. I can’t ever remember their being such open resentment towards the aged as there is now and that is coming from the example of hockey and ABBOTT.

    • I totally agree with you Margaret. Tony Abbott is an extremely well educated idiot, who doesn’t think before he speaks. No matter who’s in power these days, it’s just blame, blame and more blame. It’s easy to pass the buck on the state of the economy on us Baby Boomers, but the fact we are living longer and are having more needs is no more our fault than Abbot’s government. Everyone, particularly the Gen Yers should just learn to live with it and go without and make a life for themselves, the hard way, as we did. Thanks for your comments.

  3. I can’t believe the waste of resources which is the way it is in our world today…many companies design their goods to be thrown away rather than repaired. eg most electronic gadgets. This is the world our younger generation live in. This is waste and something I find hard to accept. We live comfortably on our own savings, have worked hard and are still leading busy lives. We had to save hard and work hard to achieve our first home and to educate our children and provide opportunities for them. . there wasn’t baby bonuses, etc.etc Yes we have paid lots of taxes in our time but I believe people are better off planning for their own retirement rather than relying on government…too many people in Australia believe they deserve this but I don.t

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  4. As l sit here this morning l can’t but wonder how did this happen ? How is it that the younger generation think we are screwing them over. My husband and l have a combined work history of 60 yrs. While l was a stay at home Mum for 20 yrs l worked in our community doing voluntary work, before dare l say attending CQU where l worked my insides out to gain my BA, in Sociology and Welfare Studies. My plan to return to the workforce full time. I now find myself in the unenviable position of being a full time carer. My husband unable to work due to chronic ill health. Do my husband and l want to be dependent on the govt no we don’t. But we have no choice. We just were not able to save the money required to be self funded retirees. It should be noted we did not recieve the baby bonuses, maternity leave, or child care subsidiary . We did it on our own. Now lets see if you the younger generation, who think we are screwing you over can manage without your childcare perks and bonuses not yo mention single parent benefits. Makes aged and disability pensions look tame. Cheers.

    4 REPLY
    • I’ve been a full-time mum ( trying to work part-time) then family carer for the last 15 years or so – now in my mid 60’s and struggling on the pension with no savings, I am expected to somehow get a job again?

    • Jeanette Heaton lam sure that no one has taken into count the number of people in age group who fulfill the role of full time carer. As you would know being a carer can and in most cases is a stressful job. The money received from the government in no way covers the hours involved in being a full time carer. Like you l struggle to make ends meet and am always grateful when pay day rocks around. Surely we are not expected to go out and find a job. Perhaps the young people who think we have it so easy should swap places for 6 months and see what their view about our pampered lifestyle is all about.

  5. This current government and its cronies in the IPA seem to be pushing this idea that the young are all paying for the pensions of the old with no regard to the amount of tax we paid while working and many self funded retirees still do. We hear endlessly of the Intergenerational debt but, at the same time there seems to be an indecent haste to strip every resource from the ground sacrificing forest, farm lands and endangering our water supplies. We do so with no concern for the theft from our children of their resources by mainly foreign companies. There seems to be rhetoric of hate and disinformation from the government that is filtering down. Remember young ones when you drive to work us oldies probably paid for that road or brought the bus, ferry or train. Maybe we should identify all those things we parasitic oldies paid for and charge a usage fee for the young ones, hospitals, schools and the court systems are just a few.

    2 REPLY
    • I haven’t heard any rhetoric of hate and disinformation like you suggest. Apart from Gillard raping and pillaging superannuation and bank accounts and the lefty nutters on social media.
      Did you make all that up? The rest of your comment, I agree with.
      Have a good look at Gen Y or whatever they are, want want want. It’s the whole system that has gone out the window, beginning from advertising and celebrity lifestyles and magazines and ‘you can do whatever you want’ and ‘you can have whatever you want” and “i want it NOW” attitude.
      You can, but you have to work for it and learn to SAVE your money, and not use credit. Young ones will buy virtually everything on credit, they want the latest and the best, and have no qualms about updating constantly, and therein lies the problem.
      Don’t blame this government, that’s passing the buck …
      don’t blame baby boomers, that’s passing the buck.
      Take responsibility for your own actions.

    • The rhetoric of the government; we are leaners, the young unemployed are all at home sitting on the couch playing with their Xbox, Muslim leaders aren’t speaking out about terrorism, is designed to create division and disharmony. The talking up the terrorism threat to get people to agree to invasions of our right to privacy. Most of the so called left nutters as you call them seem to be able to work things out for themselves. Many on the right still carry on about some of the proven lies the LNP talked about in opposition and during their election campaign and still trot out if it suits them. Give me a few thinking left winger nutters any day over the right wing deniers trying to grasp something that actually might really be true or a promise not broken by the LNP.

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    1 REPLY
  7. That was well worth the read thanks, I get upset over the attitude the young have towards us, I am not at all rich, and they seem to feel all baby boomers are rich and greedy and what is worse, they feel that we have ruined Australia. Abbott has made it worse for all of us in that regard by calling us leaners. We are not responsible for the decisions current and past Governments made. As you can see with the current Government… with all that is happening with the pension and other issues like The Car Industry shutting down.

  8. I am gob smacked at this attitude. We raised our families, worked full time , educated them, paid taxes, paid Medicare levy, clothed them, feed them and did without so they could have a better life and education to get better jobs. I didn’t get to go to Uni because I worked with my husband to support my family and buy a modest home. I didn’t get to go on overseas holidays the best we could do was road trips with the kids to the Gold Coast. We had secondhand furniture and appliances until we finished paying school fees for our kids. We learnt 100 ways to make mince meat look and taste different. We indulged our kids at Christmas and Birthdays as well as during the year. We love our grandchildren but now have very little to give them because we have given all our lives. My husband and I have worked combined nearly 90 years often having to do a second job to ensure our kids didn’t go without. Do I regret it NO, but I also think the Gen Ys should stop and consider what was given up so they could have the opportunities to be able to complain.

    15 REPLY
    • My thoughts exactly !!!
      I can’t really improve or add to your comment as it is so true and spot on.
      I can remember working two jobs and doing without new clothes and SAVING !!! To get a deposit for our first home, saving to buy furniture as we could afford it and making do !!!, something unheard of today. We were happy with our lot also !!

    • As a single mother I could never take my son on holidays in fact the only one I remember was when we went to beautiful Merimbula when he was 6yrs old which was a big deal for us. We did go to Singapore but Mum paid for the family to go.
      The only time I did not work was when he was born as I left his father when he was 4mths old & couldn’t go back to work until he was in child care & that had to be once he was toilet trained at around 2 1/2yrs old, so I was on the single parent pension for 2yrs but in that time I took classes in Work Processing etc & educated myself as I could get 12 hrs child care free from council to be in a better position for going back to work.
      I was always able to clothe him nicely (mostly from Best & Less and Big W or make some clothes and he was very stylish too), always able to feed him well as I learnt how to get the cheapest cuts & make great nutritious tasty meals, for entertainment we would go down to Circular Quay & watch all the crazy interesting people down there. I did buy a monthly book and for his birthday was able to give him a reasonable game to play.
      We did finally get a place from Housing Commission after waiting 4yrs, then left & moved in with my mother again as it was difficult with no child support and paying nearly full price for Housing Commission flat as I was working full-time (and paying my taxes).
      Couldn’t afford to buy every new game, couldn’t afford to take him overseas for holidays, couldn’t afford to send him to private schools, had problems with affording the school excursions as I got no child support from his father, but we made do and he did not suffer for it. This last visit he actually said we did OK and did not miss out on much at all. (made my day really)
      Most of my furniture came from Mum as she upgraded her furniture or swapped with my brother depending on where we lived & what fitted. I worked for Furniture in the raw & could buy my furniture as I could afford it. I only bought my first NEW lounge when I was around 50 yrs old. The one I bought when we moved is my 2nd NEW lounge in my whole life.
      I have taken our kids to Salvation Army and showed them how to buy cheap, do it up & can furnish your first home quite well without beggaring yourself.

    • Very well put i started work at 15 so i know where u are coming from … Raised 3 boys on my own worked 2 jobs … But seriously mist young people i know have been overseas in their teens i didn’t travel until 60’s

    • And when I had my two little ones, the mortgage interest was 19%. We had one car and one telly and I made a lot of our clothes because we could not always afford shop bought. We didn’t have family payments (I remember Child Endowment of $22). We had very little in the way of material things or money but I was content with my lot and very committed to making a good home for my children.

    • I agree totally with you all having been there done it all and there is never any appreciation at the end, I have also gone through all again with one of my grandsons. Sonja Child endowment when my two girls were small was $6 a month. It was $2 for one child and the single mother pension was $52.50 per fortnight, pharmaceuticals yes but no utility allowance. We had no holidays, I had to go to work when they were old enough to go to school. I am still working, still renting, never had the money to buy a house, because all my money went to educating my children and making sure they didn’t go without. God forbid if I ever went out socially I was the worst person ever. They both now have their own homes and family. One has her own business, both have traveled overseas.

    • We need to speak out loud and clear. Many of you like me would have suffered the add indignation of being paid less than our male co workers, many of you possibly suffer at the hands of domestic violence, I can remember the two occasions that it became obvious that I was pregnant I was dismissed from employment. These are things that Gen Y don’t have to experience because We Spoke Up. I thought when I was younger that I could retire gracefully but here we are still fighting for Social Justice. The problem is if we don’t Who Will.? Many of us aren’t a educated as Gen Y but one thing we do know is when it’s WRONG it’s WRONG and I will continue to fight..

    • I can remember being turned down for a job because I had two small children. The interviewer said I wasn’t suitable as I would have time off every time they were sick and he wanted someone with no kids. Wouldn’t get away with saying that now.

    • I agree too and who agrees with me that we were a lot happier people in those days because we spent more time as a family not doing much but more conversing and happy to do the small things…cheap holidays kids playing with friends out in the street or at home. Guess I was very fortunate too as I got work part time between school hours until my kids grew up then went to full time work

    • OMG you hit the nail on the head. Well said and I think all our generation would agree. They want everything straight away, we went without till we could afford it. Credit cards are the worst thing that has happened. As most live on credit these days.

    • Leonie thanku for what u have said because u have said for all of us!! What I am afraid of is that we appreciated what our parents did for us and God only knows what they really did. I worry that something has been lost through the generations (and I am talking generally only) because we r lucky to have great kids x

    • Exactly your story is like ours Worked hard all our lives never had the opportunities the young ones have today A lot of them have no idea !!

    • I couldn’t agree more. Maybe if the houses they built were only 12-14 squares their mortgage payments would not be as high. Dining out and takeaway did not exist in a lot of places and was for special occasions only. Mostly furniture was second hand. A lot of clothes were home made. Holidays overseas?what holidays. etc etc

  9. This article addresses a problem. The trouble with our generation we are so focused and critical on whoever is in government especially if it not the person whom you voted for that we attack the person and not the a lot of spoilt kids…play the ball not the man

    10 REPLY
    • The more I see comments on Fb and the SAS website the more I am becoming aware that I am part of a generation that includes a lot of whingers and government bashing, one eyed, self centered hypocrits. I agree with what you say Jenny and it saddens me that this is so.

    • Yes it does seem that way. Grumpy old people but every post moves from the problem to each persons personal issue with the Govt. I would really like just the issue discussed with no blame and try and move to solutions. I feel sad also when I read a lot of comments

    • wake and smell the roses, when Abbott and Hockey get on tv and talk about what a drain Boomers are to the economy and make silly statements like.. the petrol tax is ok because the poor don’t drive cars and call pensioner “leaners” it has an effect on how people think of us. They are in authority..they are the current Government..but not for much longer

    • Playing the man again Leanna Stephenson. As usual an over 60 grumbling and not looking for solutions. Maybe we need to look in our own backyard first

    • I am responding your statement Jenny Collier calling Leanna a man . Your the one name calling and it is not appropriate

    • Libbi Elliot not calling her a man it is a saying. Playing the man and not the ball. I think you have misunderstood. I have not insulted her and never would. You are a bit off track

    • Jenny Anne Collier said.. Playing the man again Leanna Stephenson… just as much as you are Jenny Anne Collier.. name calling is so pathetic, have a good look at yourself

    • Leanna Stephenson. I play the ball. Get better results. Let’s just leave it. I have not called you any names. Enjoy the rest of your day

  10. I agree and am tied of being blamed by our Gov’mnt for breathing. I am self funded as are many I know and we are proud of it. The interest rate is a big worry and the Gov’mnt needs to realise we are many and vote

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