If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.
George Orwell – 1984
Yeah, well think again, Matt, because we Baby Boomers are way ahead of you.
The moment you try that stunt, we’ll rediscover our socialist roots, reach out to the poor and marginalised members of Gen X and Gen Y, and join together in a festival of redistribution. The BBs will preserve their National Super, the majority of Gen X and Y will improve their standard of living, and well-paid capitalist apologists like yourself will be squeezed by the IRD until the pips squeak.
Like “Dragonfly” said, it’s who’s got the votes that counts, and for the foreseeable future we, the old and the poor, will remain the many, and you and your kind, Matt, will remain the few.
Ain’t democracy grand!
LOLOLOL “capitalist apologists”, good fun.
So you are saying baby boomers are happy with free enterprise and choice for themselves, but are willing to subject future generations to a world of limited opportunities and enterprise. You seem to make baby boomers sound like even more selfish and evil individuals than I have ever imagined! I guess I’ve been lucky to meet generally well meaning and good natured baby boomers in my time
Unfortunately my advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism - noting the crony capitalism we have is to capitalism what sea horses are to horses - has never been about money; it's only ever been about that wonderful, evolutionary thing that capitalism, and only capitalism, is based on - the voluntary transaction. I'm a freedom freak: peace baby, the true sixties legacy, not those suited communists in the Greens Party whose every policy is the advocacy of force. Only on the voluntary transaction can there be a voluntary, free society. I said unfortunately because this has meant that while I'm comfortable, I'm not rich enough to build a space station. That's what I would do if I had money in real quantity. I'd build a space station and remove myself from the ugly, brute society we've created for ourselves, yet again. As generation text say, 'I'd be outa here'.
I'd just finished this piece and US analyst, John Mauldin's, weekly investment eletter has hit my in-tray, and it might have been a taylor made response to Chris (The Fist) Trotter's tantrum to Matt Nolan, expanding on the point made by Matt – again, it’s worth a longer quotation:
What I am bearish on, however, is governments gone wild with ever-increasing taxes and spending, and especially governments that take on too much debt. When governments decide to spend today more than they can collect in taxes; when they borrow ever-greater amounts to live a national lifestyle that is beyond their means, obliging our children to pay in the future for our spending today to maintain that lifestyle; we know that there will eventually be a day of reckoning.
That day comes when the debt is growing faster than the economy. The final Bang! moment happens when the total interest on the debt overwhelms the nominal growth of the economy.
When that happens, whether to a family, a company, or a nation, either spending must be slashed or taxes raised (which will hurt overall growth), or there will be a default. There comes a moment when investors start to worry more about the return of their capital than the return on their capital. Rates begin to creep upward and the process turns into an ever-tightening spiral of rising taxes and falling spending (which we currently call austerity), which hampers the growth of the nation and makes it ever more difficult to escape the debt trap.
In the course of human experience we have watched this process unfold literally hundreds of times, yet we never seem to learn. Somehow, we always manage to tell ourselves that this time is different. Someone else can pay more taxes. We can grow our way out of the problem, just like we did the last time. Or we settle for the desperate, cynical belief that future generations will sacrifice their lifestyles so that we can get paid our unfunded pensions and health care.
The most surprising fact to me was that the effective tax rate is negative for the middle quintile. According to the CBO data, this number was +14 percent in 1979 (when the data begin) and remained positive through 2007. It was negative 0.5 percent in 2008, and negative 5 percent in 2009. That is, the middle class, having long been a net contributor to the funding of government, is now a net recipient of government largess.
I recognize that part of this change is attributable to temporary measures to deal with the deep recession. But it is noteworthy nonetheless, as other deep recessions, such as that in 1982, did not produce a similar policy response.
You may not be aware, since you are too young to remember, that the expression "squeeze them till the pips squeak" goes back to Harold Wilson's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey. I remember him saying it. At that time top tax rates were already in excess of 90p in the pound.
We began gently with an attempt, at my suggestion, to establish once and for all that Healey never came out with the quote that the Conservatives are still fond of digging up, namely that he wished 'to squeeze the rich until the pips squeak'.
'I never used it. I quoted something from the 1920s. That can happen. Jim Callaghan never said "crisis, what crisis?".' What the then shadow chancellor in fact said, at Labour's 1973 conference, was 'there are going to be howls of anguish from the 80,000 people who are rich enough to pay over 75 per cent on the last slice of their income'. The 'pips squeak' was originally used by First World War leader Lloyd George; Healey did quote fellow Labour Cabinet minister Tony Crosland, requoting it 'in reference to property speculators, not to the rich in general'.