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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read on how parents are stealing their children's future, 17 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future - And How They Can Give it Back (Hardcover)
David Willetts has been talking about the generation war for a while, and now has put down his thoughts in this highly engaging book. He might be a politician, but his book is both well written and very non-party political. It is full of enticing, and illuminating insights - for example, that Britain has had small nuclear families rather than large extended ones for the past millennium; that sex was discovered before the 1963 and the pill - but as a result an astonishingly high proportion (one quarter from memory) of young brides were pregnant. The central thesis - that the whole economic and social system is geared to the interests of baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965, and those who come afterwards are disadvantaged as a result - is not just convincing, but politically salient. The baby boomers have won the tug of war with their children, with the result that they had free university education, while their children didn't; lower taxes; lower government debt; lower house prices. The post-baby boomers will struggle as they pay off the debts of their parents living beyond their means as though there would be no tomorrow (at least for them). The problem is the solution - although the grey generation need to pay their way more to lessen the burdens on the young, which government is going to risk the wrath of precisely the generation which is the most diligent about going to the polling booths? I think the generations may be warring for some time to come.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Sep 2010 16:36:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Nov 2010 01:30:56 GMT
Although your review is accurate in everything it says, you omit one crucial element. Due to the long-term effects of abortion, in the UK alone the younger generation is approximately 4,000,000 less that it would naturally have been. The baby-boomer generation benefited massively from this modernday 'massacre of the innocents' IE:- reduced medical costs, child-rearing costs, housing costs, educational costs etc... The following generation, much reduced in size however; is still faced with the expense of supporting the baby-boomers in their old age.

Posted on 23 Jul 2011 18:02:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jul 2011 14:47:54 BDT
Response to A. H. Browne:

Comment on "The baby boomers have won the tug of war with their children, with the result that they had free university education, while their children didn't" in this review.

When I went to university in 1965, I didn't pay tuition fees. But ... only about 5% of school leavers went to university in those days. Now it about 45%.

For today's "top 5%" of school leavers, (whatever that means), there is a valid criticism of the fact that they would have got to university in 1965 free. But for today's remaining 40% who are not the "top 5%", the comparison is between 1965: "not going to university"; 2011: "going to university and paying tuition fees".

Presumably the greater the number who go to university, the greater the strain on the budget, and perhaps this higher number wouldn't be affordable in the current climate.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2011 16:01:53 BDT
Response to C. W. Bradbury:

It is misleading to say "the younger generation is approximately 4,000,000 less ...". Which generation are you talking about? How long do you assume a generation is? I would have thought that this is normally about 25 years or so.

Search for the official statistics document "The UK population: past, present and future", file-name 01_fopm_population.pdf, and look at figure 1.13 on page 11. (Enlarge it to have a closer look). Then look at the dips, first after the baby-spike cohort of about 1946 to 1950, then after the baby-peak cohort of about 1951 to 1976. The future birth-rate up to 2004 hasn't been consistently less than these dips, and in places is greater. (The population got larger after this figure, which only applies to 2004).

So, although there may indeed have been that many abortions, it doesn't mean that the population is "much reduced" by that amount. Perhaps it is simply that the abortions reduced what would have been another boom (by birth or immigration) to a more normal level, rather than causing the population to decline. By "more normal level", I suppose I am implying that booms are not good, and the level after the booms is better. I don't think the answer to "how do we support a boom?" is "let's have another boom"!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2011 15:27:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Jul 2011 09:38:51 BDT
You are quite right Mr Pearson, my 4,000,000 figure is simply the number of babies 'terminated' since the 1960's legalization of abortion. Had those babies survived however, many would by now have produced children themselves. These secondary losses can only be estimated but could easily raise to 8,000,000 the actual British 'birth deficit', attributable to the 'abortion on demand' programme. The reason the statistics you quote do not illustrate these losses more clearly is because they are masked by immigration, which like abortion, also began during the 1960's in a small way, but by steadily increasing in volume, has largely replaced abortion's victims in Britain's streets and workplaces.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2012 03:26:04 BDT
The day Willets gives everything back will be a great day for the UK.
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