Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Wealth For The Old

People may say that it’s only just and fair for people to be rewarded after working for decades. Indeed. But the fact of the matter is that people need safe homes and a secure income when they are raising kids, not when those kids have flown the nest. People cannot wait to have children when they retire. And the needs of children and families are, unfortunately, above the desire for a second home or a fancy holiday.

In most places of the world, it is the young who have to support the old. In exchange for this, the eldest have status and the right to push their weight around. Their contribution to society comes in the form of “accumulated years of life”. In more traditional communities this means “wisdom”. In our culture, however, it means “wealth”. The greatest thing you can do to accrue wealth is to live for many years. Specifically, the oldest have an advantage because house prices increase in time, which means that nearly everyone is guaranteed a nice return for their investment.

The status and the right to push their weight around belongs to the young, while the wealth belongs to the eldest. Not only that, but our culture makes it almost impossible for the eldest to pass down what they have accumulated through years of living experience: wisdom and wealth. You don’t need me to tell you that in this society, it is the young who preach to the old, not the other way around. Wisdom that comes from years of living experience is disregarded entirely. There is a reason for this: one way increases investment in needless junk, while the other halts it.

I saw this couple on the telly today. They were easily in their 60s and looking for a "property". Big, gorgeous house with an extra room "for when the kids come to visit". Very simple example, I know, I've seen worse. One woman alone in a five bedroom house, her children all grown up, one of them spending a fortune to rent a flat in London with someone else.

On the other end of the scale, we have "journalists" asking some 14 year old kid named Justin, who happens to be a famous popstar, what he thinks about abortion. If you believe this to be irrelevant keep in mind that the words of this kid have more value to other kids his age than the words of "grown ups".

This culture has it all backwards.

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