The Western World has a severe structural problem, and it’s getting worse. We have a great millstone around our necks in the form of the Baby Boomers. This economic burden has grown much heavier in recent years, and it promises to keep growing heavier, perhaps until the rest of us are crushed. This essay discusses how we can solve the Boomer problem.
In New Zealand alone, it is believed that pensions will cost the taxpayer over $16,000,000,000 this year. It’s impossible to say how much they cost “every year” because the cost keeps sharply rising. By 2023, a mere four years away, Government pension spending is expected to rise by another $4,800,000,000. This total figure would represent almost a quarter of total Government spending.
The Supported Living Payment, by contrast, which is the welfare given to all the disabled people in the entire country, was a little over $1,500,000,000 in 2016. In fact, all of the other benefits put together are less than a third of what the Government pension costs. Many people find this fact astonishing, as we are constantly being fed stories about lazy bludgers on the unemployment benefit. The truth is that the vast majority of lazy bludgers are on the pension.
The younger generations are being sucked dry by the Boomers. Many Boomers are retiring at age 65 in full health and with 20-30 years left to live, and usually with a freehold house to their name, but are still claiming their $370 per week. It’s an obscene theft of resources.
Boomers claim that they’re merely getting what they’re due, that they were promised a pension and by Christ they’re going to get one, even if it means the impoverishment of every generation to follow. But there was never, ever any agreement on the part of the young that they would get sucked dry to provide an extravagant retirement for Boomers.
Moreover, this fifteen-billion dollar redistribution of wealth in favour of the Boomers doesn’t take into account how much extra health spending they absorb. In Britain, the over-65s take up two-fifths of all health spending. Crown spending on health in New Zealand is currently running at about $16,000,000,000 per year, and two-fifths of that would represent about another $6,500,000,000. What’s more, this figure, like overall pension expenses, is also rising sharply.
This means that the over-65s already impose a twenty billion-dollar burden on the rest of us Kiwis. The yearly cost for the entire West runs to multiple trillions. For the average taxpayer, this represents an individual burden on the order of $8,000 yearly. That every working adult gets taxed several thousands of dollars yearly to pay for pensions is one of the reasons why birthrates are so low among Westerners in their 20s.
It isn’t just that Boomers are old. They’re also morally defective. Never in the history of the West has there been a generation that was happy to sacrifice the wellbeing of their children for their own comfort. Never before has there been a generation that willingly left their offspring worse off. The self-centred and egotistic nature of the Boomers is simply unparalleled. They are not anything like the generations that won World War II.
However, there is historical precedent for dealing with situations like this.
Sometimes, when an old person is hanging on to life well beyond the point where life can be meaningfully lived, they become subject to a “mercy killing”. In American Indian culture, people who got to this point were left for the wolves. In Old Norse culture, people who got to this point were put on an ice floe and pushed into the sea. In Anglo culture, people who get to this point are often smothered in their sleep by pillows.
This essay suggests that the time may be approaching when we need to do this on a generational level. It’s time for the Day of the Pillow.
Involuntary euthanasia might sound harsh. However, the Boomers brought this upon themselves. You can’t enslave an entire population and expect them to work themselves to death to finance an extended, luxury retirement for you. If you do, you have to hope that you can keep getting away from it, because if that population ever manages to throw the shackles off they will come looking for revenge.
This is not to suggest that Boomers need to be euthanised en masse. There could be a law that says, for example, that once you accept an old-age pension, you have 5 or 10 years before you get euthanised. This would discourage intergenerational theft by ensuring that only the people who had genuinely come to the end of their working lives would claim the pension.
A more civil way of ending the stranglehold that Boomers have on the West would be stripping the right to vote from anyone who took a Government pension (this newspaper has argued this point at length elsewhere). Retirement should mean retirement. If a person is too infirm to work, then they’re too infirm to be making decisions about the future of the nation.
Yet another solution is to introduce a universal basic income for all at a rate similar to the unemployment benefit, and to lower the pension to this new figure. This would ensure that the younger generations were no longer subjected to indignities for the benefit of the old. Everyone would then be on an even playing field.
The Day of the Pillow is not something that needs to happen. There are much less brutal ways to free the young from the unreasonable burden that the Boomers have placed on them. However, if the Boomer generation continues to exploit the rest of us unnecessarily, we will need to take measures to defend ourselves and our ability to pay for our own needs.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.