Friday, November 28, 2003

Talkin' 'bout ...

With Don Edgar joining the "Don't blame us" chorus on the coming intergenerational conflict, perhaps it's time to look at what Ian MacFarlane actually said about baby-boomers in that infamous speech:

If we are not careful, there is a potential for conflict between generations. The young may resent the tax burden imposed on them to pay for pension and health expenditure on the old. This will particularly be the case if they see the old as owning most of the community's assets. Housing is the most obvious example, where people of my generation have benefited from 30 years of asset price inflation, while new entrants to the workforce struggle to buy their first home.

At the same time, people – retirees in particular – are likely to be feeling less secure as they may be disappointed with the rates of return they are receiving on their savings. It seems to me that the community has not yet come to terms with the fact that nominal rates of return on financial and real assets are likely to be much lower over the coming decade or so than over the previous two decades.
[my emphasis]

Afterword: the following post has nothing to do with this one.

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