Gen Y are Gen screwed

By Leith van Onselen

A new book by Dr Jennifer Rayner claims that Australia’s Generation Y (aka “Millennials”) are facing a bleak future when it comes to jobs, houses, skills and finances. From The New Daily:

“We’re going backwards in wealth, which means the way we plan for the rest of our life as we grow older is much different from our parents’ generation and older generations,” [Rayner] said…

It’s not just the property problem that has Gen Y banging their heads against the wall; it’s the deadly cocktail of an increasingly casualised workforce, increasing debt, disappearing manual labour work and a “grey ceiling” of older workers who refuse to budge from senior positions in the workforce that is shaping a bleak future for our second-youngest generation.

“When you look at the data, you’ll see that wages have grown twice as fast for people over 50 than under 30, and that one in six people are unemployed as compared to one in 30 back in the 1970s,” Dr Rayner said…

Unless politicians and businesses start introducing Gen Y-friendly policies, for the first time in its history, Australia will be left with a generation that is less wealthy than the one before it, the author said.

It’s hard to disagree with any of this.

The Grattan Institute’s Wealth of Generations report showed that older households have captured most of the growth in Australia’s wealth, whereas younger cohorts have gone backwards:

ScreenHunter_5347 Dec. 09 14.30

And the main cause of the wealth divide? You guessed it, escalating house values:

ScreenHunter_5351 Dec. 09 14.38

Which has crushed home ownership rates among the younger cohorts:

ScreenHunter_5349 Dec. 09 14.34
ScreenHunter_5350 Dec. 09 14.36

Older households have also benefited from strong income growth, which has outpaced their rising consumption spending, whereas the younger generation’s have enjoyed far less growth in both incomes and consumption:

ScreenHunter_5352 Dec. 09 14.45

And the older generations have enjoyed a massive increase in fiscal transfers (e.g. the Aged Pension), paid for by the younger generations:

ScreenHunter_5354 Dec. 09 14.49

Meanwhile, younger Generation Y’s – those aged 15 to 24 years old – are also experiencing labour underutilisation (unemployment plus underemployment) of 30%, which is close to the highest level in Australia’s modern history:

ScreenHunter_12393 Mar. 31 09.30

All of which highlights the egregiousness of the Turnbull Government’s support of higher house prices via the maintenance of negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount, along with its proposed cuts to education funding. These policies are designed to keep the foot on Gen Y’s collective head.

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  1. Unless and Until this mob find their version of The Donald, they are going to follow the path of the Moa.
    But wait, “is there an App for that”. “Surely someone must have done that hard work for us!”
    “Were can I recharge my life, I’ve spent 20 hours on the internet searching”

    • will be interesting to see if we do react that way. would personally prefer more cultural revolution like response

      • @Temijin

        That’s why it’s so easy to screw your generation. Just beyond meek. I’m embarrassed for your gen to be honest.

        Not sure if you’re M or F. I see GenY guys driving 10klm under the speed limit, so scared they might hit a something.

        Taught to be soft your entire lives so this exact thing can be done to you.

        Australia has the highest male youth suicide in the world. Testosterone with no release. Get angry and get protesting.

        If I were young and locked out of housing etc etc etc etc, I would have been rioting a decade ago.

      • @Richard
        Not biting – but if it helps my argument/ internet standing at all, I speed all the time and occasionally hit a B*tch (sarc*).

      • Name a time and place in Sydney and I’ll march /protest with anyone who will stand with me!
        The great fucked over renters march.
        Lets get the ball rolling!

      • @T – unfortunately I live north of the border. Nevertheless I would encourage participation on the political process, whichever color is your particular persuasion. Protests are perhaps emotionally relieving but I don’t find they achieve very much.

      • @Richard
        I would honestly implore any young person to stay away from protests. Protests are a symptom, and they change nothing by themselves. Camera tech, along with facial recognition and crowdsourcing means that any protest you participate in, will be remembered or discovered at any point for the rest of your life. Provocateurs and PR is so advanced at this point that standing near any group of people is an easy way to get your character assassinated. Combine this with the reach and influence of Government & corporation- only the proles can protest. Outer Party members should not be seen to be dissident lest a recruiter see that fact in 10 years while researching your resume.

      • @Fekname – There have been times in the past where I have no attended a protest partly for this reason.

      • You are telling me that if a million people marched/protested in the middle of Sydney city that it would not be taken seriously. Then do it again the following week etc. Every renter or person that has been fucked over turns up with their kids and wives , families.
        Its now or never to stand up. Or we can do nothing and keep commenting on the Internet , that will get us nowhere! Stand for something or die a renter wishing you took a stand. The other option is a Bank Run with the mainstream media notified it is happening. We the downtrodden can stand up. Or keep copping it in the arse! I’d prefer to stand up for my kids.

      • @T
        IF a million people – 5% of the population turned up to a protest sure…BUT
        5% of the population doesn’t just turn up. It involves 5% of the population understanding and agreeing with the situation. It involves 5% of the population being committed enough to actually take part. This means that a) things have to be sufficiently bad and b) that someone, actually organises and gets this to happen. I’m not saying we should be keyboard warriors – I am saying that 1m people are not just going to rock up one day in Martin Pl by accident.

        Edit: should be Martin Pl no Sq

      • @Richard: I see most drivers going well below the limit – it makes sense after you’ve had a few speeding fines for what would have previously been the margin of error.

    • Terror Australis

      I think you mean “The Bernie”.

      Trump doesn’t give a shit about poor peoples problems.

      • I would hazard to guess WileyWolf knows what WileyWolf means, more than what you know he means.

        Ford has already reversed its decision to build it’s new factory in Mexico, as has the air conditioning mob. Trump’s doing that from the primary process, let alone the white house, as of next year.

        Trump will be good for all Americans, because he will improve employment prospects.

        All Sanders is good for, like every Stalinist, is to send his thugs to disrupt other political opponents’ rallies. Nothing more than a mediocre poster boy for the intolerant, regressive left.

      • Rusty Penny,

        drunk at this time of the morning, well done!

        Sanders’ thugs, what a fcuking joke. The thugs are all Trumps, as has been overwhelmingly shown by the behaviour at Trump’s rallies. The man is a pig, behaves like a pig and treats others he disagrees with like pigs. And you say ALL Americans will be the better for him! Lololololololol.

        Edit: Just reread your comment to TA. Intolerant left?? You must be fcuking kidding or was that a typo, and you meant intolerant rw nutters?

        Sadly, Trump’s down and out supporters will get no help from him.

      • The violence hasn’t been shown to be “overwhelmingly” Trump fans at all.

        Only one instance has occurred, by a lone nutter striking a man in the face.

        Every other instance, every one, has shown to be Bernie’s brown shirt, ir other Dem aligned thugs like BLM, disrupting and intimidating people at Trump rallies. Being weak bullies, the left usually gets their arses handed to them in retaliation, and a disingenuous media reports this as “Trump violence”.

        But that’s identity politics for you, ala the Michelle Fields hoax.

        The Wisconsin rallies have been markedly different in terms of violence, or lack thereof, it was announced Bernie supporters would be targetted by security.

        The regressive left aren’t so active once they’re accountable.

      • sydboy007MEMBER

        Bernie certainly has some ideas that would be beneficial to the USA, and some loopy ones that are likly to be harmful, but then Daddy (milo yiannopoulos name for Trump) has his unfunded wall to build and a persona that will have to change if in power, which his voters will feel is a betrayal.

        The impacts from automation and progress in AI will have on employment, I view relatively negatively. Unless as a society we can work out ways to ensure everyone has a reasonable share of “prosperity” and we can somehow redefine ourselves in a way that doesn’t put work at the centre, then I think the dysopian view is likly to win.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        “Only one instance has occurred, by a lone nutter striking a man in the face.”


      • @ dennis, the far left are in fact intolerant, as much as if not more than Trump and the far right. Say the ” “wrong” thing in the media, at work, tweeting, insta, fb whatever and you are liable to be hounded and fired because the PC loons run the asylum.

      • Rusty, you have your head in the sand. Trump protestors have been manhandled every time, and Trump encourages that. You have to be blind not to see that.

        yeah, the L are intolerant and will shout down racist and sexist behaviour. You know, it isn’t the 70s anymore where the mob can mock or humiliate people at work. Sorry, but the tit posters do have to come down and mocking people based on their ethic origins, what they eat or their accent isn’t okay either.

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        “All Sanders is good for, like every Stalinist, is to send his thugs to disrupt other political opponents’ rallies. Nothing more than a mediocre poster boy for the intolerant, regressive left.”

        A Stalinist Rusty,…Really?

        Sanders is more a Eisenhower moderate Republican, calling him a Communist is just dumb dude.

        Do some research brother.

      • dennis, i am an ethnic, who does / is mocked at what they eat and where they are from. None the less my assertion stands. The slightest little infraction is all it takes for the loony left to effectively destroy someone life! If you think that is right….then fuck you too!

      • EP…

        Rusty is an Austrian where Stalin is everywhere when its not their agenda pushing things, plus taking credit for stuff, whilst putting all the failure on others.

        Skippy….. very religious in a Pat Robinson sort of way….

      • Terror Australis

        RP Mate,
        Labelling Bernie Sanders a “Stalinist” makes you sound like a doddering old fool.
        Might as well post “Get off my lawn”.

        If Bernie is a Stalinist then welcome to the Union of Soviet Socialist Australia because most of the things on his agenda (universal health care, $15 min wage, publicly funded political campaigns etc) are already accepted without question in this country.

        As for the “left” being PC police,
        well people who complain about Political Correctness are really saying “stop suppressing my God given right to be a complete asshole”. Sorry dudes, society has evolved. Stop being a knuckle dragger.

      • Rusty Penny

        If Trump doesn’t get in and we have another term of soft C%^* corporate driven politics, you’ll see violence that hasn’t been seen for many many decades. Mark my words.

      • -Dennis-,

        “Rusty, you have your head in the sand. Trump protesters have been manhandled every time, and Trump encourages that. You have to be blind not to see that.”

        They are ‘manhandled’ because people are retaliating to their violence. The only thing that corroborates “Trump instigated violence” are media reports.

        Virtually all lengthy footage, virtually every police statement, virtually every arrest record, shows Bernie supporters are unleashing wanton violence every time they come in contact with a Trump rally.

        Those are real facts, not media assertions. It does point to someone being blind, but it’s not me.

        -Plumber –

        “Sanders is more a Eisenhower moderate Republican, calling him a Communist is just dumb dude.

        Do some research brother.”

        I’m not calling him a communist. Stalinist describes something very different to communists like Castro or Kruschev.

        I call him a Stalinist because he is a power hungry demagogue, disguising himself as someone in pursuit of ‘progressive’ ideals as his Trojan horse, and is extremely prone to exciting his weak-minded devotees to instigate violence against his political rivals.

        It isn’t just Trump, it even extends to Hillary. “Where ever the is Bernie, there is violence”

        “As for the “left” being PC police,

        well people who complain about Political Correctness are really saying “stop suppressing my God given right to be a complete asshole”. Sorry dudes, society has evolved. Stop being a knuckle dragger.

        No, you stupid little child, they’re not saying that at all.

        They’re saying that the encroachment of political correctness has got so far, that we are living in a midst of Orwellian thought crime. The ascendancy of identity politics above reasoned thought.

        The Lewandowki-Michelle Fields incident is a pure example of this.

      • Richard,

        “If Trump doesn’t get in and we have another term of soft C%^* corporate driven politics, you’ll see violence that hasn’t been seen for many many decades. Mark my words”

        Agree. A rather moderate centrist like Trump is pushing for no more than hard work and order, particularly order when it come to assembly and entrance of immigrants.

        If the corrupt forces assembling to deny him (i.e pro-Hillary, pro-GOPe, Bernie’s brown shirts) do succeed, the next one will be a Hitler.

      • Terror Australis

        “Trump is pushing for no more than hard work and order, particularly order when it come to assembly and entrance of immigrants.”
        Do you have ANY idea how much like fascism that comment sounds?
        Because as we know, it’s not just about entrance of migrants, it’s expelling or keeping tabs on anyone who is brown or muslim.

        Trump has literally said at one of his rallies “I wish I could punch that guy in the face”
        He has even promised to pay the legal fees of his supporters charged with assaulting protesters.

        I challenge you to give ONE EXAMPLE of a direct quote from Bernie Sanders where he has advocated or condoned violence. JUST ONE. I’m waiting old man.

      • Rusty Penny

        Hitler. Yep. Most of the world has forgotten or refuses to acknowledge how that started.

        It’s coming. I’d be surprised if we don’t see something in Europe this decade.

        I so wish it didn’t have to come to this. It will destroy all our lives. Well done lefties.

      • “I’m going to make a guess and say none of the people involved in this argument are Gen Y.”

        I’m 29, so i qualify.

      • ” The extreme left are as mad and as ugly as the extreme right.”

        Glad someone noticed the point i was trying to make.

      • ““Trump is pushing for no more than hard work and order, particularly order when it come to assembly and entrance of immigrants.”

        Do you have ANY idea how much like fascism that comment sounds?”

        It may sound ‘fascist’ to a defective mind like yours, but it’s your type of thinking the electorate is revolting against.

        Your kind no longer knows what sexism is.
        Your kind no longer knows what racism is.
        Your kind no longer knows what any type of -ism is.

        Your a mindless drone, parroting trope for no other reason to virtue signal, to demonstrate you’re a “swell guy”.

        A sane mind does not digress at all, against the orderly entrance of migrants, with unsuitable candidates screened out.

        “Because as we know, it’s not just about entrance of migrants, it’s expelling or keeping tabs on anyone who is brown or muslim.”

        Sane people don’t think this… your kind think this.

        It’s the weak-minded doctors of Macrobusiness who extrapolate dissent, to the polar opposite view.

        This is about the people of America asserting their authority who enters their sovereign land. In the absence of vetting, then it’s the immigrants themselves who have authority via self-regulating.

        It’s compounds for the worse when reasoned minds conclude “this isn’t working, we should have a say in who enters”, then be accused of racism, as weak-minded fools are prone to accuse.

        There are reasoned conclusions that one can make to disagree with rampant immigrant entry without vetting, completely blind to race.

        Those arugments are being made.

        Your identity politics ignores the reason, and parrot’s tropes.

        And it’s your kind who are now losing all legitimacy.

        “Trump has literally said at one of his rallies “I wish I could punch that guy in the face”

        He has even promised to pay the legal fees of his supporters charged with assaulting protesters.”

        So someone responding to violence instigated by Bernie supporters then?

        “I challenge you to give ONE EXAMPLE of a direct quote from Bernie Sanders where he has advocated or condoned violence. JUST ONE. I’m waiting old man.”

        Stalinist methods are always tacit, not explicit.

        Bernie’s brownshirts building up into a violent frenzy is not spontaneous.

      • Terror Australis

        So a Fascist like Trump openly and repeatedly embraces thuggery.
        You can’t even give ONE SINGLE quote of Bernie advocating violence.

        And yet somehow Bernie’s supporters are the Brown Shirts?
        I think you are going senile, old man. Don’t wander far from home alone.

      • “And yet somehow Bernie’s supporters are the Brown Shirts?”

        When they start ALL the violence, yep. That’s the way it works.

      • Another one bites the dust.. Rusty, watching Fox News lately?? oh wait.. Drumpf is too much even for Faux News.

      • Me thinks Rusty’s account has been hacked. There is no way a smart, articulate, well adjusted Lady of her standing would fall for Trump’s nonsensical ramblings.

        Would the real RP please return and tell us that she was trying to do a Reusa ….?…..RP please leave the sarc to Reusa in future.

      • “Me thinks Rusty’s account has been hacked. There is no way a smart, articulate, well adjusted Lady”

        Well whenever I speak about women, I do have what’s best for them in mind.

        “of her standing would fall for Trump’s nonsensical ramblings.”

        If all I read was reporting from a captured and biased MSM, I would interpret it as nonsensical ramblings. I think there’s something in that.

        “Would the real RP please return and tell us that she was trying to do a Reusa ….?…..RP please leave the sarc to Reusa in future.”

        I promise, no more sarc when it comes to Trump

      • RP…

        It does not matter where the information comes from… MSM or a socialist site…. all that matters is if the information is accurate or not.

        As far as corruption and other acts of low ethical standers goes him and Hillary are on the same page…. only difference is scale due to Trump not having held a public office on a federal level e.g. there is absolutely zero evidence that Trump would not engage in the same socially destructive manner once in public office.

        Skippy…. the projections some are pinning on candidates makes Obama’s psyopt look pale in comparison.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The extreme left are as mad and as ugly as the extreme right.

        While true, a critical difference is that the extreme left have little presence or influence in the mainstream, whereas the extreme right have infested it for a decade or two.

        In the hysterical paranoid delusion of the “reds under the bed” school, a handful of opinion columnists writing about women going topless in public or systemic child abuse in refugee concentration camps carry as much power and influence as multiple Governments.

      • In the hysterical paranoid delusion of the “reds under the bed” school, a handful of opinion columnists writing about women going topless in public or systemic child abuse in refugee concentration camps carry as much power and influence as multiple Governments.”

        There is much more false hysteria about rape culture and gender pay gap than any of the uttterly fringe claims you assert.

    • Perhaps the right to vote should be revoked once you reach average life expectancy less 18 years..?

    • Absolutely! All that is required is encouragement for Gen-y to get politically active, and from what I see, they are getting active and savvy.

      • Gen Y Home Buyer

        As a member of Gen Y, I can tell you I am filled with rage at this country. It’s only a matter of time…

      • Anger is the wrong emotion:

        what is needed is indifference with humour (for self regulation)
        and then meaningful and thoughtful action

      • Young Ok – perhaps anger is the right answer. I have gone through a revolution in my life – and I can attest that is the only way to change things when they’re so entrenched nothing moves. The unfortunate thing is that there was no “second wave” after that to rebuild and take the country in the right direction. And *THAT* is what is missing here too – there is no second wave – there is nothing to then grab the reins (as it were) and say “right, these are the reforms we need”…

        So – in actuality – if you’re “lucky”, you’ll get a rebellion, which has 2 possible outcomes: the oldbies in power get thrown off and replaced with another set of oldbies waiting in the wings, or (much more likely) – they all get slaughtered, nothing changes, and new rules are passed it to prevent any such ‘terrist’ uprisings…

      • INO, which revolution was that? I was caught up in one as a 5yo, police were kicking tear gas gannisters everywhere and shooting people with rubber bullets. Avoid if possible.

    • It’s not going to happen, I think the median voting age is approaching 50 years of age and increasing….. while the median of the 18+ demographic in the population is significantly lower due to temps counted in the population, but they are neither Oz citizens nor eligible to vote.

      It’s worse elsewhere e.g. middle Europe and its illiberal populist leaders, countries have both emigration (through EU mobility) of working age and youth, while their populations decline and electorates (especially regional) have become dominated by older generations of monocultural, short term and high maintenance constituents (let’s not even start about politicians being held to ransom by oldies and related fiscal issues, e.g. in Oz negative gearing, assets excluded from pensions means testing etc.).

      One of the most troubling aspects is that although many younger citizens are eligible to vote, significant numbers are precluded by mobility and related voting issues, meanwhile the UK has been culling younger generations from electoral rolls and Australians are kicked off rolls within about 6 months, as although born bred and citizens, we’re deemed to be ’emigrants’ (partially due to the reverse NOM effect, i.e. say the word migrant enough and everyone belives it…).

      Beware of autocratic politics serving the ageing gerontocracy and their vested interests, enforcing a demographic gerrymander upon electorates…. and too many don’t give a toss about younger generations.

    • I’m gob-smacked! I didn’t realise that affluenza constituted total and permanent disability! Those poor kiddies need substantial balances and income streams to alleviate the difficulties they may experience in life such as whether to take Limo or the Yacht to the polo.

    • That article is exactly why this country has gone to the dogs. So many cheats. We make Greece look like a tax paying society…

  2. “These policies are designed to keep the foot on Gen Y’s collective head.”

    Given that the “policy” is 100 years old, that is some serious foresight.

    The biggest problem for Gen X and Y is that their parents are annoyingly living too long.

    • Not true. As recently as the 1980’s, Government policy favored owner-occupiers (by capping their interest rate at 10%) rather than investors (who were paying market rate of 14%). The capital gains tax cut has been in place for only 17 years, not 100.

      • “Given that the “policy” is 100 years old, that is some serious foresight.”

        “100 years ago there was no CGT.”

        Two completely contradictory posts from the same person, in the same thread in under 30 minutes. 3D would cry at this lack of subtlety.

        Edit: Jason, it should say “policies” by the way.

    • It’s people in their 80s and 90s who are really living amazingly longer than they or anyone else expected. So, people born in the 1920s and 30s.

      Hoping for a boomer generation to die, when they’re only in their 60s or 70s (and likely still working) is really, really a mug’s game.

    • Yes, previous generations had the benefit of:

      – Smoking. This lead to many people getting chronic diseases earlier and leaving the workplace.
      – Workplace Safety. A lack of safety led to more injuries, and therefore more opportunities for replacement workers.
      – Wars. Many came back injured, in wooden boxes, didn’t come back at all. In all cases, unable to work.
      – Fewer Vaccinations: This led to more deaths

      Generation BB and older Gen X are the first generation that have been able to avoid a lot of these factors – hence they are living longer.

      Younger generations have replaced Tobacco for Sugar/Poor Diet/Mobile Phone Radiation so will probably end up reversing the trend.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Jason is awesome! It’s great to have another realestate spruiker on this blog. I felt lonely until it turned up!!

    • I think a lot of people will find there won’t be too much left once aged care and medical costs eat into their inherentances. People probably need to reassess their exceptions.

    • Eugenics…. its a passion for some….

      Skippy…. you were born to late Jason…. the final solution party is a historical foot note now….

  3. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Rubbish! Gen Y are just whiney entitilists! They need to learn how to work hard and get better jobs like Boomers learnt the hard way!!

    • And look after their appearance. Wow are these Laser tatoo removal places doing a roaring trade as the now 30 plus realise the permanency of their idiotic personal engravings.
      But the effect of the drugs is in their faces for all to witness. No job for you sunshine.Ever.

    • Don’t forget gen Xers, who also took your advice Reus. Looking at all the data, Gen X are on the same path as the boomers. Give them ten years of your “hard work” and Gen X are on track to outdo the Boomers. Big Time.

      • The difference is the Gen X is a much smaller cohort than the Boomers and Gen Y so they could get swamped politically.

      • The last Parliament was hung. With over 60 Gen X MPs, you’d think that if Gen X thought any different from Boomers, there was a golden opportunity.

        At the very least you’d have heard some rumbling instead of. ..crickets…

      • My point was, by the time they get into power in their own right, Gen Y will be a larger voting block than them.

        At this stage, our first PM born in the 70s is likely to be Bowen – by 2019 at the earliest.

  4. The comments on that article are baby boomer gold! Obviously getting senile in their old age.

    • With ten more years of wealth accumulation ahead of them, Gen X look set to make Boomers look like rank amateurs.

  5. In my honest opinion, death taxes make an enormous amount of sense. Govt policy has enriched boomers and older at the expense of younger generations so some of that has to go back into the public purse. Tax avoidance aside, its good policy.

    • Death taxes come in too late. We need to stop the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others from occurring in the first place. Taxing economic rents, along with removing the taxes on income and capital, to switch behavior from speculative gambling to productive goods would seem to be the best bet.

      • Footsore

        I agree but we also need to take back from the mistakes that are already in place

    • And gen X.

      It’s really time to give up the pretense that Gen X are any different from Boomers.

      • Funny how through out history people generally gain wealth as they get older, so one age group becomes the very thing the older group is… given time… sans the historical outliers like war, revolution, or baked in boom bust periods…

        Skippy… I’ve referenced the actual events in Rhodesia wrt to this i.e. the fog of war provided a cover for lots of payback and patricide.

  6. Figure 8 is a real doozy. On first glance you think ‘yeh, house price growth has way exceeded real weekly earnings – surely it’ll come back?’. It’s a logical argument about a logical relationship between housing and income. The point is, that chart says ‘average weekly earnings for FT adults’ but what it really needs to show is ‘average household income’. Part of the reason for the disparity may be changes in how households work. More women are willing to put their kids into child/day care (rather than stay at home), so women work, and it is likely that this has lead to rising female income in an exponential factor.

    Would make for an interesting comparison.

    • Excellent point, Lama. The rise of women’s participation in the professional workforce in the 1980s onward should (possibly) show up as a marked divergence between the growth rates of individual and household incomes.

    • See the Two Income Trap by E. Warren…

      More than two decades ago, the women’s movement flung open the doors of the workplace. Although this social revolution created a firestorm of controversy, no one questioned the idea that women’s involvement in the workforce was certain to improve families’ financial lot. Until now.In this brilliantly argued book, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and business consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today’s middle-class parents are suffering from an unprecedented and totally unexpected economic meltdown. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable than ever before. Today’s two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but actually has less discretionary income once their fixed monthly bills are paid.How did this happen? Warren and Tyagi provide convincing evidence that the culprit is not “overconsumption,” as many critics have charged. Instead, they point to the ferocious bidding war for housing and education that has quietly engulfed America’s suburbs. Stay-at-home mothers once provided a financial safety net if disaster struck; their move into the workforce has left today’s families chillingly at risk. The authors show why the usual remedies–child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women–won’t solve the problem, and propose a set of innovative solutions, from rate caps on credit cards to open-access public schools, to restore security to the middle class.

      Skippy…. where I diverge on this outlook is the increased marketization and financialization of society as a whole with the proceeds flowing to the upper top quintile, not to mention wage stagnation.

    • The thing that matters most for house pricing is actually not income per se, it is borrowing capacity which is highly effected by IRs. Comparing wages to prices only makes sense in a fixed interest rate environment which OZ certainly doesn’t have.

      • DE… yet IR is not always indicative of actual lenders costs, loadable funds is a myth, and CB IR is more about reserves wrt to intrabank functions.

  7. I’m sick of the smug and tiresome generations about our youth. Like others have argued in the past, the best thing young Australians can do is leave. The whole world is a mess, but there has to be cheaper and saner places to live than here.

      • President Trump will be too busy having sex with his own daughter to have time to make America great again.

      • “President Trump will be too busy having sex with his own daughter to have time to make America great again.”

        …Ajostu everyone….

      • Wellie when the plutocracy can down load its conscious into a machine mars or one of the moons of Saturn will probably be the next Gaults Gulch….

        Skippy…. everyone else will not be needed as they can then program their lessor robots to do their bidding… unchallenged…

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Or they can organize to fux up the mess. Social media makes it very easy to get your message out now. Unfortunately, since they are brought up with baby boomers as their role model, they don’t want to change the system, they just want to replace the baby boomers as the beneficiary of the ‘system’.

      • “they just want to replace the baby boomers as the beneficiary of the system”.

        Has any other generation given the slightest inkling they’re as selfish, stupid, lazy of entitled as the baby boomers?

        The boomers are so depraved that their actions aren’t just indecent, or anti-human, they’re counter-evolutionary.

        Humanity is in trouble if we have another generation of boomers.

      • PR…

        Your hate is acknowledged… tho you might want to include your ideological priests some call economists imo… they have had the most agency in the direction of it all….

    • leaving and coming back is not the same as having never gone anywhere in the first place.

      Young gens need to look at their options on the New Colombo Plan to get funded to study and work overseas. They need to learn new languages, experience the world. It’s not like they have the excuse of Gen X who needed to be in a hurry to cobble together a house deposit so they could get in on the boom.

    • Ortega’s got it right. Leaving Oz was one of the best decisions I ever made. Australia has had it for the next couple of decades at least. It will probably end up being run (either directly or indirectly) by the Chinese; the current population will happily sell the whole nation to maintain their lifestyle.

      • Hi LD,
        If only my wife would agree to leave this soon-to-be shithole we call downunder.

        It’s a boomers paradise with their Chinese lovebirds, but kids dont count in Aus.

        We can thank the lazy, self-entitled, self-centred, gluttonous, all-about-me generation called Baby Boomers. Yes, the Baby Boomer phucks that think only of themselves, their interests, their stake, at the expense of everyone and everything else.
        They have never stopped thinking of themselves.
        They are a national disgrace, a curse, a poison on our future …. Aussie kids need to open their eyes that there is a generation now that are consuming your future.

        A wealthy cohort that uses the power for their own, but not in the interests of future Australian generations. What a wonderful legacy to leave.

        They are lower than scum.

        But all will be settled in your lavish residential aged-care facilities, courtesy of some cultural bias, monetised health, etc.


      • Steernorth…. move to Spain or one of the other periphery country’s…. stuff is cheap…

      • there’s no such thing as better in this financial structure, only elements of capitulation. Thing is, most countries are locked in to the death roll phase and don’t have any way of jettisoning.

        It’s not about self interest anymore, it’s about having your freedom by understanding, As a result of understanding, you will make the decision that works best. Everyone is different. We need to stop telling people there are right answers in life, that form of education doesn’t work.

  8. adelaide_economist

    On any consequential measure, Gen Y have most definitely been screwed. To the extent that many of them don’t realise it, it’s probably for the best because the mental health consequences of understanding just what you are up against aren’t good.

    Partly of course it’s simply that an understanding – even if shallow – of ‘how things work’ usually doesn’t come to people until their 30s or 40s – usually after many workplace conversations, experience of the cycles of politics, lots of advice from tax agents – and so forth. So young people by virtue of age are at a disadvantage even before you consider the ‘baby boomer’ demographics which have further neutered their political influence.

    What’s actually really sad though is that the absolute lack of self-restraint of the current generation in power have set in train a multi-generational disruption to family formation and stability that is having and will continue to have massive ramifications for decades to come.

    It’s sad that we’re caught up in a sideshow where ‘conservative’ politicians can get agitated about same sex marriage but won’t even touch things that would actually enable people to have stable housing and stable employment. The sickening pretence of supporting ‘family values’ by the very same politicians who refuse to try and alleviate this can be very hard to swallow.

    • Hey, many do understand. And many will leave.
      Then this dyspotia can stew in its fetid geriatricness.

    • If was often said that Ireland’s greatest export was its people. I feel that the same will be said of Australia soon enough. I know I am contemplating leaving again, sure family is here but I can only take so much…

  9. Yep. All of the above is true and as a member of Gen Y I’m living it. House prices in Sydney where I live have gone up by nearly 50% in the last few years. My wages have barely gone up 2% in the last 3 years. The purchasing power of my wages has been cruelled.

      • But, please god – don’t let it be MKR or The Voice or The Block material. Oh – and barista and personal training are right out too…

        Come to think of it – I dread the day when ‘My Bedpan Rules’ launches…

  10. Personally over the next 15 years I see absolutely enormous changes, resulting from Automation, sweeping through practically every industry in Australia. IF I’m right it’s the Gen Y’ers that’ll be driving this change and presumably profiting from the change…..hmmm does cause one to ponder….How can a generation that’ll instigate such sweeping reforms possibly be at a disadvantage to those that only understand the old ways?
    I suspect the answer lies in Australia’s ever increasing burden of government and regulatory regimes. Bottom line is Boomers will basically invent Taxes (labeled regulations) that guarantee they take a large slice of all profits, especially those profits resulting in diminished Boomer income.

    Sounds to me like GenY’ers need to get politically active outside the existing two party system…Look at the major changes that are occupying politically in Spain, Greece etc

    • CB you have to put all this on a timeline.
      All agree AI will replace 50% of the workforce in 10 to 15 years. At a compound rate, that is 4% of the workforce replaced, eg, 11 mill in the workforce, 450k replaced, compounding in the years to come.
      The situation for the youngsters is dire. People like Merkel, who flooded Europe with her CDU do gooder beliefs, and those who insist on humanitarian relocation of displaced persons here are making the issue worse to highly volatile. This should be first item on the Gen Youngster Agenda.
      Here is an applicable boomer saying “if you are in a hole >>stop digging”
      BUT, it will need someone with a thick skin like DT to enact those policies.

      • WW…

        Do you have a functional knowlage about Trumps past – ???? – its a close second to Hillary’s and Bills…

        Skippy…. His only hold back is he has not held public office….

      • So your answer is no then…. right…. let me help…

        Here are 21 Questions for Donald Trump:

        So, Mr. Trump…

        1. You call yourself an “ardent philanthropist,” but have not donated a dollar to The Donald J. Trump Foundation since 2006. You’re not even the biggest donor to the foundation, having given about $3.7 million in the previous two decades while businesses associated with Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment gave the Trump Foundation $5 million. All the money since 2006 has come from those doing business with you.

        How does giving away other people’s money, in what could be seen as a kickback scheme, make you a philanthropist?

        2. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman successfully sued you, alleging your Trump University was an “illegal educational institution” that charged up to $35,000 for “Trump Elite” mentorships promising personal advice from you, but you never showed up and your “special” list of lenders was photocopied from Scotsman Guide, a magazine found at any bookstore.

        Why did you not show up?

        3. You claimed The Learning Annex paid you a $1 million speaking fee, but on Larry King Live, you acknowledged the fee was $400,000 and the rest was the promotional value.

        Since you have testified under oath that your public statements inflate the value of your assets, can voters use this as a guide, so whenever you say $1, in reality it is only 40 cents?

        4. The one-page financial statement handed out at Trump Tower when you announced your candidacy says you’ve given away $102 million worth of land.

        Will you supply a list of each of these gifts, with the values you assigned to them?

        5. The biggest gift you have talked about appears to be an easement at the Palos Verdes, California, golf course bearing your name on land you wanted to build houses on, but that land is subject to landslides and is now the golf course driving range.

        Did you or one of your businesses take a tax deduction for this land that you could not build on and do you think anyone should get a $25 million tax deduction for a similar self-serving gift?

        6. Trump Tower is not a steel girder high rise, but 58 stories of concrete.

        Why did you use concrete instead of traditional steel girders?

        7. Trump Tower was built by S&A Concrete, whose owners were “Fat” Tony Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, head of the Gambinos, another well-known crime family.

        If you did not know of their ownership, what does that tell voters about your management skills?

        8. You later used S&A Concrete on other Manhattan buildings bearing your name.


        9. In demolishing the Bonwit Teller building to make way for Trump Tower, you had no labor troubles, even though only about 15 unionists worked at the site alongside 150 Polish men, most of whom entered the country illegally, lacked hard hats, and slept on the site.

        How did you manage to avoid labor troubles, like picketing and strikes, and job safety inspections while using mostly non-union labor at a union worksite — without hard hats for the Polish workers?

        10. A federal judge later found you conspired to cheat both the Polish workers, who were paid less than $5 an hour cash with no benefits, and the union health and welfare fund. You testified that you did not notice the Polish workers, whom the judge noted were easy to spot because they were the only ones on the work site without hard hats.

        What should voters make of your failure or inability to notice 150 men demolishing a multi-story building without hard hats?

        Skippy…. now don’t go off and sook…

  11. this is so naive.
    It assumes few things:
    Australian young will not want or be able to change the system (either via election system or by violence)
    geopolitical and global macro economic conditions will stay almost the same for decades
    neoliberal capitalism will still be dominant ideology
    energy and environmental issues will be negligible

    It’s hard to argue that any of these will happen, yet to say what is going to be if all happen.

    History is not dead and liberal democracy is not pinnacle of human development, like it wasn’t during Greek golden age, mid roman empire period, Hegelian early 19th century Prussia or early 20th century.

  12. A nation is not made up of generations…. its made up of citizens….

    Skippy…. seems some want to incite division via age like is done with class to keep everyone at each others necks and not focusing on the core issues….

    • Yep – the romans had it right when they said “Divide et impera”.

      Sad to say that I’ve experienced this first hand, and the signs that I see now are not much different from what I saw back then. It’s funny how a totally different culture can raise so many identical red-flags in such a short time. (I’ve been here for about 16 years now).

    • “Skippy…. seems some want to incite division via age like is done with class to keep everyone at each others necks and not focusing on the core issues….”

      Some want to incite division.

      Errr….. Yes.


      FYI the division is HERE, and it has been here for a very long time.

      Mr shitty, the division needs to be VISIBLE, not its STEALTHY division as is the case right now.

      The division is the stark leaning in favor of things all boomer-related.

      Very interesting how few a baby boomer will fess up to the ridiculous lack of advocacy for future gens, the lack of confessions of consumerism gone mad, and of self-indulgence that far surpasses anything previous nor anything that will follow.

      This has to incite division and be made visible.

      That’s of course if youre interested in the long term welfare and future prosperity of what matters – our children.

      But I think youre not one of those people that are.

      But I am. And I will fight all things boomer since this has led to what we see right now in this country.

      A growing divide with the acceptance via laziness of a boomer cohort that could have played its part in stifling the status quo.

      But consciously chose NOT TO. This is why many of us are so livid.

      You, as one of this pathetic self-centred mass of poison, fail to mention the greed and selfishness of your own generation.

      Instead, you choose to divert attention away from the bleeding obvious in favor of your unintelligible word games that have no relevance in Australia in 2016.

      Good day.

    • To paraphrase an old saying, the proof of the pudding is in the voting, skipster.

      Oldies like you keep voting to maintain the status quo even when there are credible alternatives (say Hillary vs Bernie) and keep all the oldtilements for the age cohort in their generation while cutting it off for the next (See retirement age increase)

      • I disagree on your term entitlements Mav, its a well known right wing dog whistle, so that puts you in the ALEC and Cato posse et al.

        Skippy…. Bernie is for so called entitlements so I don’t get your drift about status quo.

      • Oldtitlements! Australian oldies are the king of oldtitlements. Millionaire pensioners with tax shelters built just for their assets.

        The 2017 depression is going to be hilarious to watch. The government will hock everything in sight and rack government debt to over 100% of GDP before it even admits that there are oldtitlements to cut. Ha ha ha ha ha!

    • Steernorth and Mav…

      Voters don’t get to vote on economic policy formation, they vote for a brand identity supported by benefactors from the financial elites.

      Then the brand is notified what economic policy they have to sell to the consumers, this is why some call the political process over some decades Kabuki. Where in public the theater is portrayed in over done style, yet behind the curtain its basically the same troop of actors looking to get payed.

      Your need to classify this as a age cohort issue is indicative of an obsession with focusing on a secondary result of the aforementioned.

      Skippy…. no its not a monolith, there are divisions amongst the elites which can fracture under times of stress and not every nation is exactly the same i.e. American has a much more pronounced case where here in Oz there are still remnants of a functioning political process, whilst it lasts.

  13. ErmingtonPlumbing

    “Geopolitical and global macro economic conditions will stay almost the same for decades
    neoliberal capitalism will still be dominant ideology”

    Depressingly I think you are correct. The Global propaganda machine is just so entrenched.
    Even those here who clearly understand and object to neoliberalism, fall into the Solidarity destroying trap of blaming “Other” demographic groups for ills that are caused by structure, all Boomers are theives, the Young are Lazy, Men are all misogynist, Ethnics are stealing our jerbs etc etc.

    Simple divide and conquer stuff people.

    If you want change stop all the intergenerational, Gender and Racial bickering!

    • “fall into the Solidarity destroying trap of blaming “Other” demographic groups for ills that are caused by structure,..”

      Yeah, but from my experience Australians are not really taught to question or challenge our economic or political structures. Plus our political class and media almost universally back “neoliberalism”, so there are no real national debates on whether its actually working as advertised. To be honest I don’t think there will be a change until it’s forced on us by a horrific economic collapse.

      • Hi RobW,

        The sooner the collapse, the better off our children will be.real positive change might then just happen eg.think population control, farmland security, taking real estate rotting seriously…but I tend to think it’s when enough of the boomer elite are 6 feet under so we can turn our attention to a long lost forgotten critical mass – our kids.
        The boomers have treated our Australian youth like cannon fodder.

      • Collapse violates the first rule of capitalism…. preservation of capital….

        Not only that but you run into all the dramas like post the great depression where commies start making inroads in society… you might be better served by history than deductive rationalizations… aka thunkit in a vacuum…

        Skippy… using the youth as a moralizing proxy for your agenda is creepy….

  14. Don’t forget the compulsory super effect.

    A fire hose of money directed into assets caused by the onset of compulsory super that, naturally, raised prices as more money streamed in than streamed out. As the first wave exits, they realise the gains and new outflows guarantee limited future gains for later entrants. (Standard Ponzi dynamic here).

    Millennials are entering super just as the outflows have ramped up, meaning they’re unlikely to realise much in the way of future gains. Another enormous bias in favour of the earlier generations.

    Making it even worse, when faced with the prospect of outflows exceeding inflows, the government response has been to push for an increase to inflows via an increase to mandatory contributions. Again, more money subtracted from Millennial’s daily funds that was not subtracted from those who came earlier, money that’s intended to prop up the gains of those cashing out now with no guarantee that the same prop will exist for Millennials themselves. This increased contribution is absolutely not going to see a gain anything close to the gains enjoyed by those of earlier generations when assets were ramping up on Super inflows > outflows.

    Generation screwed alright.

    • Thanks, that’s an interesting take on the problem. My view of this problem focuses on the fact that earlier entrants seem to view their superannuation balances like they would annuities (rather than inflows vs. outflows). What we’re seeing is our large-cap companies being sucked dry by dividend beggars. Bolstered by franking credits, payout ratios are obscenly high in Australia.

      This laser-focus on dividends comes at the expense of capital growth/investment and the long-term viability of companies. This is why I have long avoided large-cap stocks – I dont want my capital to be sucked dry by mendicant baby boomers.

      A good +75% of my equity investments are in small/micro-caps, which have absolutely torn shreds off the large-caps for the past 5 years straight. They’re actually trying to do good business, for the long term, not just pandering the needs of some baby boomers income stream.

    • Mate the divergence of wages to productivity clearly show who made out like bandits with the – real – wealth… all this grousing about generations is a smoke screen… its all notional wealth that could go poof tomorrow.

      Skippy…. 34T in tax havens vs notional expectations….

  15. Do yourself a favour – Go out and buy the book $22 or download it for $11 – It’s well written and a great read!!!!!

    • This part:

      His foreign policy is in our national interest.

      “America can’t be the policeman of the world”, he says.

      “We have to rebuild our own country.”

      This is a return to the Republican tradition of opposing foreign adventurism — a belief that the US should spend more time minding its own business.

      Trump has been highly critical of Bush and the neo-con invasion of Iraq, which resulted in the death of 4500 American servicemen and the rise of Islamic State — a truly vulgar outcome.

      If he keeps his promise, a Trump presidency would mean no more fiascos like Vietnam and Iraq, sparing young Australian lives from the futile killing fields of US-led invasions.

      Far from being a dangerous warmonger, Trump has a clear-headed appreciation of his country’s best interests — and ours.

  16. Gen Y don’t have to get angry and protest to get even.

    We just need to disruptive technology (aka uberstyle) to come along and fully automate the government using computer technology. Imagine all those savings – no more elections! News outlets would have to focus on real issues and not the circus politics. Every person could vote online (in a secure fashion) to decide the outcome of issues instead of paying our elected representatives to do this for us.

    Edit: This is already starting with things like get-up etc.

  17. Boomers will be the last and only generation that will have the luxury of residential aged care, which costs a fortune. No later gens will be able to afford this luxury, and when the aged care facilities realise that they can no longer make a profit since there will be noone who can afford their ludicrous costs, they’ll up and leave.
    That will mean our kids will have shit healthcare, shit everything.
    Boomers….count yourself the fortunate ones, you have well and truly consumed your way to Australia’s demise.
    The same gen that could sit on their arses in the one job forever, get your defined benefits, ride a property wave with no effort whatsoever, make a killing, and be so much dumber yet so much more wealthier than subsequent gens, whod run rings around you in intelligence, yet beg more on the streets than you ever did, and have to live in the back of their cars courtesy of job casualisation, underemployment etc. Ah the boomer CEO sewerage.
    No idea how lucky a gen you have been. And now sit back and sigh at the state of the world. Defend the indefensible, and look even more stupid than you already do.

  18. Little do most people know how warped a system the United States is.
    Think SUPER DELEGATES. You wont hear mainstream media mention this term that often, if ever explain what it means. The Establishment. Even if Hilary doesnt win the vote of the people, she could still get up due to SUPER DELEGATES. Tell me how democratic is that?? The US is one if not the most undemocratic system on earth. The US need a viscious alternative that will disrupt the totally corrupt status quo that they have. Of which most Americans know is corrupt, yet powerless to change.

  19. Thanassis Veggos

    11 years in Oz I’ve met a lot of w*gs like me. The oldies came here 50 years ago, worked their asses off mostly on shit jobs, and in return they got a fully paid home, social security and a decent lifestyle to their old age. It was a good deal, and the smarter ones did even better. My generation? it was still ok for a while, we caught the tail end of the australian prosperity wave. The next generation? They will still work their asses off and they will get a shiny mobile phone, wifi, two minute noodles, financial instability, no job security, and a lifetime of servitude to their banker. Best case.

    First thing I did for my daughters when they were born? secured their european passport and booked them in an IB school.

      • And that is a good thing – ????

        Skippy…. I don’t think collapsenicks have no a clue…. its like the world has to burn until it conforms to their ridged beliefs and expectations… again so old testament…