No. You can’t have that money back. I consider education – like health care – a basic human right. I can’t speak for your country, but in mine subsidized education and health care are available to individuals of all ages. You will note that I did not in any way imply that we should suspend health care for the aged.
Regardless of their crimes, they are still human beings and they do deserve at least the bare minimum rights that all human beings should have. A concept, by the way, that I don’t remotely expect most of my parents’ generation to comprehend. Let alone agree with. A generation of people raised only to believe in “me, me, me” just wouldn’t get it.
No, what I think is that things like Old Age Security and the Canadian Pension Plan should be eliminated. Instead there should be a fund that provides the absolute bare minimum food/shelter/clothing required for those who were too short-sighed to save for retirement on their own. Pack ‘em high and pack ‘em deep – but keep ‘em alive.
I want my parents’ generation to have long lives. I want them to see the environment fail. I want them to see that because of the social policies they supported the country they no rely on to keep a roof over their heads is bankrupt. I want that entire generation to fully and truly understand what they have wrought.
When these people retire, the high-paying jobs they occupy aren’t “freed up” for younger members of society to move into. The position is terminated upon retirement of the employee and shipped overseas. Thanks to shortsighted and greedy social policy for the past thirty or so years, our society is having to dramatically lower its wages. With it go our standard and quality of living. I want my parents’ generation to experience the effects of this as very deeply and directly as my generation will have to.
This while we are still using up non-renewable resources at non-sustainable rates. (Oil, underground water reserves etc.) Where will we get the plastics we need if all the Oil is gone? How will we feed our people if we must rely only on the amount of water provided by precipitation? We are a hundred years from viable renewable energy technology. We haven’t managed to develop sustainable farming technologies. Still, my parents’ generation demands the god-given right to drive one block in a bloody Canyonero to get a bag of groceries, half of which they will throw out anyways.
We’ve deforested entire nations without replanting those trees; from where then will come the trees future generations need? We’ve pulled out huge amounts of rare elements for use in electronics and other equipment without any care as to enforcing recycling of this gear. These rare elements then are largely left unrecovered; decreasing the total available amount of this material available to future generations to make better equipment. To say nothing of the trend that my parents’ generation pioneered of no longer making equipment of any variety that actually lasts longer than a three-year warrantee!
You can say that noone is entirely blameless and you would be right. The difference here is that my generation (I am not yet thirty) has been TRYING to do well by each other and those who come after us. There simply aren’t ENOUGH of us. There are less than a third of us compared to the number of individuals that make up our parents’ generation.
We don’t have the raw numbers to effect change in political processes. We don’t have the economic might to change the behavior of governments or corporations. When our parents’ generation finally starts dying off and we do rise to power there won’t be anything left with which to enact the change we have fought so long for. The jobs will be gone, the resources depleted and we won’t have any infrastructure – or really much of anything else – to show for it.
Our legacy will be piles of toxic rubbish (shipped to third world countries) crumbling infrastructure, a largely undereducated public and TRILLIONS of dollars in foreign debt. We will be taking power at a point when our nations will have no influence left in the world; it was all bartered away so that our parents could have a “fun time” and a few extra luxuries.
So I may not be perfect – and my generation not entirely blameless – but I still believe wholeheartedly that my generation is largely consists of individuals who are far less self-focused, greedy and shortsighted than our parents.
We have to be. After the mess our parents’ generation left for us, our society wouldn’t survive another like it.