The IF European Intergenerational Fairness Index 2016
June 20, 2016 7:15 AM   Subscribe

"Has Europe let down its young? That is the question the Intergenerational Foundation (IF) strives to answer with the IF European Fairness Index 2016. The IF EU Index 2016 is an attempt to measure how the position of young people changed across Europe over the ten years between 2005 and 2014 by analysing movements in a set of 13 social and economic indicators." [Warning: report is a pdf but is downloadable]
posted by marienbad (27 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
The interactive tool linked from this is pretty good.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:30 AM on June 20, 2016


Everyone has let down their vulnerable, almost to a rule, this century.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 7:32 AM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


this century.

As opposed to every other one?
posted by zabuni at 7:41 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


There was a period in the mid to late twentieth century when the young at least weren't so badly screwed. You know, when the current crop of old people screwing us over now were young.
posted by Dysk at 7:48 AM on June 20, 2016 [13 favorites]


On the plus side, the yoof of today don't need to carry around 10p emergency telephone money.
posted by veedubya at 8:11 AM on June 20, 2016


Why should the young maintain a social contract based on promises they did not make and may not benefit from themselves?

That's the core "philosophical question" posed by this report.

P.S. This is not a yes or no question.
posted by kozad at 8:15 AM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Perhaps the title should be "Have Europe's countries let down their young".

The IF appears to be a somewhat neutral organization, the report is germane, and the young have been continually shafted.

However, the way that this report's title is phrased, it smears by implication the EU for the decisions made by the member states, and given its timing can only be thought of as an attempt to link Brexit to Justice for the Young.

Which is BULLSHIT.

a counter to this propaganda:

Brexit is a fake revolt – working-class culture is being hijacked to help the elite
posted by lalochezia at 8:48 AM on June 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


Why should the young maintain a social contract based on promises they did not make and may not benefit from themselves?

This sort of logic veers dangerously into the sorts of arguments sovereign-citizens make for not following any law they disagree with. "I didn't approve this law, so it doesn't apply to me."
posted by Thorzdad at 8:48 AM on June 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


e.g. one of IF's board wrote the following: (emphasis mine)

Shiv Malik an investigative journalist who writes for The Guardian. He is also the co-author, with Ed Howker, of the seminal intergenerational book Jilted Generation: how Britain has bankrupted its youth.
posted by lalochezia at 8:50 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the title should be "Have Europe's countries let down their young".

Shiv Malik an investigative journalist who writes for The Guardian. He is also the co-author, with Ed Howker, of the seminal intergenerational book Jilted Generation: how Britain has bankrupted its youth.


Isn't that what his book is doing? saying how Europe's countries have let down their young? You seem to be saying this guy is blaming the EU. But he wrote a book which appears to be blaming Britain.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:53 AM on June 20, 2016


His book, yes, but The title of the report that Marienbad linked to mentions "Europe", but not the countries.

Given the febrility of EU discourse at the moment, it's important to differentiate between them.
posted by lalochezia at 9:00 AM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there an open Brexit thread?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:02 AM on June 20, 2016


One of the reasons to stick to the bad old social contract where people, uh, get the pensions their unions bargained for and that they paid into for their whole working lives is that old people are young people's parents.

If granny's pension gets gutted, are you really going to leave her out on the street? Are you really going to be content to let her eat catfood? No, you're probably going to take her into your household or supplement her income yourself, personally.

Social policies that pay for old people are (or ought to be) supported by sliding scale taxes. They are beneficial to low income, vulnerable groups. This organization seems to be stanning for pension cuts and getting rid of defined-benefit pensions even though defined benefit retirement payments are one of the very few things that actually work to keep the old out of poverty.

One might usefully wonder just who will benefit from pension cuts and from the idea that the state can just go back on its financial promises willy-nilly. Is it really likely to be "young people" or are these benefits likely to be captured by the same social class who has benefited from the privatization of other social services?
posted by Frowner at 9:13 AM on June 20, 2016 [8 favorites]


Is there an open Brexit thread?

Yes.
posted by cjelli at 9:18 AM on June 20, 2016


Brexit is a fake revolt – working-class culture is being hijacked to help the elite

That explains Goldman Sachs' fearless championing of social justice, and their indefatigable defence of the little people. I mean, if Goldman Sachs are for it, it must be good for all, right?
posted by veedubya at 9:19 AM on June 20, 2016


So I suppose if Goldman Sachs told you that eating a whole raw onion was less unpleasant than a kick in the teeth you would kneel down and grin, right?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:56 AM on June 20, 2016


One of the reasons to stick to the bad old social contract where people, uh, get the pensions their unions bargained for and that they paid into for their whole working lives is that old people are young people's parents.

If granny's pension gets gutted, are you really going to leave her out on the street? Are you really going to be content to let her eat catfood? No, you're probably going to take her into your household or supplement her income yourself, personally.


Considering my working class, union-negotiated-defined-pension-having, housing-equity-lottery-winning, retired-before-60 father just told me this morning that he's cutting all his children out of his will because we are all feminized cultural marxists who don't respect his male authoritah, personally, I don't want to look after my parent's generation. I want to see the bankers their votes enabled steal all their money and them to freeze to death in their stupid empty mcmansions while Canada is still cold enough for that to happen. I'm done being condescended to by destructive bigots who fell ass backwards into financial security and think they are the only smart, hardworking people who ever existed.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:09 AM on June 20, 2016 [16 favorites]


Well, I mean, people with terrible parents can leave their parents out in the street.

But I think that assuming that the vast majority of people are going to be happy to either choose to cut their parents off or support them when their pensions are gutted is a bit of a stretch.

I mean, really? Really? Most young people are actually going to cut their parents off because "their generation" is so terrible? And therefore the solution is to gut the pension programs and teach our terrible parents what for by making them live in poverty?

I just get so tired of the whole "older people are bad" thing, not least because I know plenty of bigots my own age and younger. And partly, of course, because my parents are pretty left wing and have been my entire life, as are all my retirement age friends and acquaintances. Fantasizing about punishing "their generation" isn't as fun for me as for some.
posted by Frowner at 10:17 AM on June 20, 2016 [17 favorites]


I know this is about Europe, but when my 40-something peers start whining about how they're never going to benefit from social security, I always say "You already HAVE benefited. Your parents don't live with you."

Shuts it down right quick.
posted by elizilla at 10:41 AM on June 20, 2016 [12 favorites]


This being in the context of Europe and Britain more specifically, scrapping pensions seems daft when you could just start means-testing OAP benefits (currently damn near the only direct benefits not means-tested). Mick Jagger does not need to be eligible for any kind of state pension, bus pass, or winter fuel allowance, at least not while we're means-testing and rationing things like housing benefit and child benefits.
posted by Dysk at 10:43 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sorry, that was a little glib, and probably a bit of a hot take. I'm pretty angry right now.

I don't actually endorse punishing the boomers. As selfish as their collective choices have been in aggregate, it makes no sense to take away the safety net of the least among them for the perceived sins of their cohort, and I don't think it serves any useful purpose.

But part of me does feel this frustration, and I can see why powerful interests can get away with exploiting the resentment my generation feels towards parents who lecture us about our irresponsibility and laziness and entitlement while they enjoy the benefits their parents fought to give them, which they then refused to extend to us.

Part of it probably comes from being exiled from the town I grew up in so it can safely remain a sepulchre of ossified middle-class boomer wealth, while being constantly reminded that if I wasn't such a feckless loser, I could just move home.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:44 AM on June 20, 2016 [9 favorites]


Like, pensions are great, they are. But that they're apparently sacrosanct when they're both far more generous than any benefits available to younger people who are out of work, a full time career, disabled, etc., and make up a far larger part of the total benefits bill (though often excluded from it in political discourse) than the much much leaner areas of that budget that have been cut and cut and cut in the name of balancing austerity budgets... It's not that we want to shaft those older than us, it's that we're tired of getting shafted while a much wealthier demographic (#notallOAPs, yeah, but there is a demographic which is "rich old people") get handed cheques on a silver platter.
posted by Dysk at 10:49 AM on June 20, 2016 [8 favorites]


Means testing is a good way to undermine political support for something, and unless you are willing to actually cut the benefits of people who really need them, the savings are minuscule. There just aren't enough Mick Jaggers out there to realize any real savings. And once you've established that these programs are only for those that "really need it", you've driven the wedge in and can now start splitting. Much better to means test on the front end by making sure the wealthy are paying enough into the public coffers.

Also, cutting pensions to bring them in line with the eviscerated remains of other social supports is still just moving in entirely the wrong direction, and is preserving the momentum of the people who desire a meaner society and harsher life for most people.

Finally, there is one good reason why pensions are indeed "sacrosanct": pensioners are creditors just as much as bondholders, and if they are told to go hang, this is basically an acknowledgement that your promises are only as good as a creditor's power over you. Even if you are only concerned with creditworthiness, this should give you pause.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:12 AM on June 20, 2016 [12 favorites]


I happened across this big report from the Economic Policy Institute. It describes what has happened in the US since the move away from defined benefits pension systems to 401ks as well as the outcome of the Reagan administration "phase them in gradually so the current old people won't vote against the Republicans" Social Security cuts.

It is exactly what you would expect - retirees are less secure and the wealth gap in retirement has grown, with people who are more privileged in the rest of life being much better off in retirement. Basically, rich white people are richer and poor people, particularly poor people of color, are poorer. So at least in the US, the idea that cutting state obligations to the elderly and gutting pension programs is a way to stick it to rich white conservatives doesn't really hold up.

I feel like this is of relevance to any nation which still has a fairly robust defined-benefit retirement system because it illustrates the likely outcome of a significant change in retirement planning. While the US is certainly about as cutthroat as any rich nation, it certainly seems like there's a push elsewhere to become more US-like.
posted by Frowner at 11:28 AM on June 20, 2016 [9 favorites]


Means testing is a good way to undermine political support for something, and unless you are willing to actually cut the benefits of people who really need them, the savings are minuscule.

Yeah, and the fact that that argument only carries any weight politically when it comes to pensions and not, say, any out of work benefits at all, or education maintenance grants, etc etc... that's completely telling. Not of you, but of the current political attitude to young people.
posted by Dysk at 2:46 PM on June 20, 2016


not, say, any out of work benefits at all, or education maintenance grants,

Yeah, we killed maintenance grants 2 decades ago in the UK, and at the beginning they were means tested......so in that we have some history to do with young people......
posted by lalochezia at 3:09 PM on June 20, 2016


I was referring to Education Maintenance Allowance more than the old maintenance grants (didn't know they were called that specifically - were they?), but really, I mean student financial support in general, not specific named programs.

Maybe we have some current events to go with older people.
posted by Dysk at 2:19 AM on June 21, 2016


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