Sunday, February 07, 2010

Watson’s law

I have oft pointed out the sharpness of the inter-generational divide between boomers and Xers, meaning that someone born in 1964 (like me) is comprehensively shafted compared to someone born in 1961 or earlier. Yet still more bricks seem to be freshly appearing on top of this inter-generational Berlin wall, which I’ll coin “Watson’s law”.

The latest Watson’s law, anti-Xer palisading is conjectural, I grant you. But because it fits into a well-established pattern, I think it is still worth a mention:

“Treasury now projects a return to surplus by 2015 and the burden of an ageing population not taking the budget into deficit again until 2032-33, provided future governments manage Labor's spending growth target of 2 per cent a year after inflation”.

Yep, there’s a projected budget black hole from 2032 – just after I become eligible for the old-age pension at 67 (the currently mandated age). This makes no sense demographically – the youngest boomers will have already been on the pension (rorting it, in many cases, of course, because they are stinking rich) a few years by then, meaning that the budget black hole should be during or before the late 2020s, not later, when new old-age pensioner numbers are actually dropping steeply, thanks to the mid-60s baby bust.

OTOH, 2032’s projected black hole dovetails perfectly with a case to raise the pension age for Xers up from 67, in due course. I have previously speculated on this, which would fix a notable anomaly – currently the pension age for both those born in 1961 and 1964 is 67; an injustice so heinous to those born in 1961 I’m surprised that ex Labor leader Mark Latham (b. 1961) hasn’t come out of his obscenely early, obscenely well-funded retirement to protest it.

Retiring just in a nick of time, however, is ex-Treasurer Peter Costello, who appears to be waiting at one of those nursing-home “bus stops” for a bus that will never come:

All those babies born over the past few years will be in the prime of their working lives by 2050 and supporting the ageing baby boomers (same URL).”

So in 2050 boomers, aged between 89 and 104, will be merely “ageing”? Kerr-ist, GenY (b. 1977-1990) will be half past 67 in 2050.

nice post. thanks.
very useful post. I would love to follow you on twitter.
Thanks, but no plans to go on Twitter. I was lucky enough to start this blog before my 40th birthday, of course after which date, (new) technology seems identical to high-end, catwalk fashion: dubious novel confections wearable only by anorexics which then virally morph over a year or so into the opiate of the masses, a la chain-store schmocks for the physically or mentally obese.

(Disclaimer: I have never so much looked at Twitter).
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