Friday, May 16, 2003

Newsflash – Baby Boomer has bad case of work ethic, misses out on free uni education

Reminiscent of those stories of Japanese soldiers emerging form the Philippine jungle in the 1980s, thinking that World War II was still on, is this piece of shite from today’s Age (scroll down to letter from David Arelett). The guy claims to have “paid upfront in cash”* for his first degree even as Whitlam abolished uni fees (1973) and for the following year (1974), as well. One wonders if the “fees” he paid came as part of a package that included freehold title to the Sydney harbour Bridge. Alternatively, were they paid to the same kid-turned-grown-up who used to steal David’s play-lunch money at primary school?

In any case, the poor wretch had even worse luck after missing out on the Whitlam-era gravy train. He did another three degrees, but had the bad-timing to wait until 1989 (or later) to start even the first of these, thus ensuring he had to pay for each of these (although probably not “upfront in cash”). My heart bleeds for his run of bad luck.

Seriously, though I hope against hope that the whingeing fucker applied his “upfront in cash” mantra to buying a house in leafy Yarrambat. If he was a few dollars short of the $40,000 this would have cost in the early 1980s, so letting things go for a bit longer, he would still be sweating in May 2003, after two decades of renting, this time having to whack $500,000 (and counting) on the table for the same house. Hah! (and welcome to the real world). But judging by the guy’s smug tone, I accept that there’s zero chance of this having happened in reality – however dulce et decorum it may be.

More baby boomer shite in today’s Age is this piece of drivel by Bettina Arndt. Now normally, I would regard Betts as just too soft a target – I would much prefer to attack her feminist nemeses, not because I take Betts’s side (like hell!), but as a matter of sporting ethics. Challenging Betts is like running over road-kill once again – you’ll get a squish, sure, but you’d have to be sad to want to do it.

So she thinks it is a Solomon’s dilemma of house or children:

It's a worrying thought that many couples may end up with an empty nest after struggling so hard to provide it.

Betts, I have no doubt that there is a fair bit of truth in this dilemma. But guess what – there is someone who can 100% be blamed for this, and it has nothing to do with working mothers, or anything like that. Have you possibly noticed that this dilemma has really only come to a crux in the last decade or so, and wondered why? “No?”, well let me tell you why – IT’S BECAUSE GREEDY BABY BOOMER SCUM – JUST LIKE YOU – HAVE TAKEN A WINDFALL THAT MUST BE PAID FOR BY SOMEONE ELSE.

There you go, Betts – it’s all actually quite simple, with nothing being that much different from when you were young, other than today’s <40 adults having a class of oppressive parasites to feed before they can feed their own offspring. The only thing I’d add, Betts, is that the dilemma it not just house or children; throw in “or higher education”, and stir the slurry around with the big wooden spoon of unemployment and your sad little vignette of the all-paid-off-but-empty “nest” could more accurately be painted as a rental bedsit – more dogbox than nest, methinks.

* Note that his five degrees haven’t cured him of double-strength tautology-itis – of course he paid “upfront” at course commencement, and there were no plenary-accepted credit card payment alternatives to cash in 1970.

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