Talking ’bout my generation

Brian Rogers
Rogers Rabbits
www.sunlive.co.nz

This week we've been brainstorming ways to solve the superannuation problem.

Usually I don't dwell on such trivial matters, as I need my full concentration on the real issues such as how Boomers should spend their vast fortunes acquired at the expense of the Millennial Generation.

Let me explain all this, then I can retire.

Far from the myths perpetrated by a few young moaners, they are not suffering at all from the supposed excesses of their parents. In fact, many ‘Boomers' are still shelling out, one way or another, for their offspring, whether they're thankful and respectful; or ungrateful brats.

Time warp

I'm qualified to comment on this from a neutral perspective, as neither a Boomer nor a Millennial. There's a small but select group of us born in the sixties that are technically the Jones Generation. We are a special bunch in a small time warp of our own, arriving after the Boomers but before the next couple of batches; some who seem to have a problem with the number of Boomers their taxes are going to have to support.

And I've come with the answer to the problem: Every generation thinks it is hard done by, compared to the previous generation. When the truth is, every generation is progressively better off than those before them.

If you had the chance to go back in time, would you stick with your current generation; rewind to an earlier one, or fast-forward to a future generation?

Would the “hard done by” Millennials choose, if they could, to be Baby Boomers? If the Boomers have it so good, would a Millennial be satisfied with a life without flat screen colour TV with a gazillion channels, be happy spending hours washing their clothes in a wringer machine and hanging it on the line; having to walk or bicycle to get anywhere because the family only had one car if they were well off; put up with antiquated levels of healthcare; car-less days; caning in schools; extreme chauvinism; and Sonny and Cher?

I don't think so. In fact, I bet many people would opt to live in the future, even a future they don't know, than live in the past.

Avoid like the plague

Who in their right mind would prefer to have lived in an age when so many died so young from plague, wars, incurable disease, childbirth complications, genocide and dodgy transport? When women couldn't vote and no-one understood or cared that smoking was a shortcut to the grave.

Sure there were a few highlights in the past. Such as Woodstock, Jesus, maybe the Concorde... And, well I'm sure there are others…However the romance of the past is often rosier than reality.

Disco error

We will be trying this out in the Sun Media Time Machine, as soon as it's back in service. It went in last week for its grease and oil change, and won't be back till 1982.
The real clincher for me, however, is I'd give anything to get in the Time Machine and avoid the Disco Era. Or should that be Error. If ever a generation had cause for complaint, it's us Joneses having to grow up with that infliction.

The point is, every generation tends to think they've had it hard. But in fact, life keeps getting easier. Quality of life in the civilised world improves year on year. Technology and medical advances mean life is easier, longer, better, safer, and each generation has more potential to live longer and more fulfilled than the past…if, and it's a big if, they choose to make the best of it.

Sitting around bleating isn't making the best of it.

Time consuming

The Boomers have generally worked hard to get where they are now. They got home from a long day of often harder labour than the Millennials will ever know. They didn't have the sophisticated tools of the trade that we now take for granted. They got home and cooked dinner, often homegrown, on a pot on a stove. No convenient drive-through takeaways. No microwave slap-up pre-packaged meals. If it had rained during the day, the washing had to stay on the line for another day, because there wasn't the luxury of a dryer.

Boomers had to physically go to the bank to put money in and out. None of this fast and efficient electronic whizzbang timesaving stuff.

Today, homes are maintenance free. Cars are more plentiful, cheaper and more reliable. Every household chore has been simplified, sped up and is cheaper. Many day-to-day tasks are automated or completely irrelevant, compared to what previous generations painstakingly undertook by hand.

About the only positive is that Boomers were the first generation that didn't have to go to war.

But then, neither did the Millennials.

Grow your own?

Yesterday the news broke that food prices had risen sharply. Everyone interviewed bemoaned the price of fresh produce. Yet not once did anyone suggest the answer might be to grow your own! How few of the Millennials would even consider saving a few dollars by growing, catching, hunting or gathering their own tucker? Yet it was a way of life for many Boomers, a necessity.

And no doubt, the next generation after the Millennials will look upon their older generation with the same disdain, particularly when the Millennials get close to retirement age. In fact I expect someone 50 years from now will leap out of their flying car with a copy of this tattered and yellowing newspaper column, transmit it via Mind Control onto whatever new-fangled future communication machine is in vogue, and exclaim: “Check this out, they were having the same argument in 2017. LSMASDMR*.”
Therefore the advice to the angst of younger generations helping pay for older generations in retirement is: Suck it up, buttercup. Tell us what year to which you'd like to time travel, and why.

Send to brian@thesun.co.nz

The best ideas will be shared with readers and the winner treated to a free ride in the RR Inter-Generational Warping Machine to a decade of your choice.

*Laughed So Much And So Did My Robot.



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