MARK SAINSBURY: Talking about my 'selfish' generation

24/02/2017
So people like me - Baby Boomers - are selfish and the enemy, according to New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom.

His Worship (who's aged 44...) reckons my generation is the most selfish he's ever known - the first generation to be richer than our children, thanks largely to housing inflation.

He stopped short of calling me and my generation greedy, but he certainly thinks we're selfish - and let's be frank, he's not the first one to have a crack at us in our increasing dotage.

Is the criticism fair? Do we really owe the Millennials something? Have we hoovered up all the country's resources - forcing our children to work all their lives to fund our pensions? (While we spend our ill-gotten gains).

Here's a classic example, a story from earlier this month: 'Baby Boomers spend their kids' inheritance travelling the world.' It was based on a statistic that one-fifth of Aussie Baby Boomers were blowing their cash on holidays.

Now hang on a minute: Dipping into their kids' inheritance???

It's not their money - it's ours. I reckon the plan should be to spend it all before we go - after all, we worked really hard for that nest egg.

However, funding superannuation is a different kettle of fish altogether.

As we get older, the boomers will cost a fortune and yes, the Millennials will be picking up the tab (just as every generation has done before).

Do we owe them a living because of that? Yes, we may have had it easier - we were pretty much paid to go to university, there was plenty of employment and houses were cheaper - but hang on. I remember when mortgage interest rates were 18-20 percent. And university entrance was a hell of a lot harder than today.

I've discussed this with fellow Baby Boomers (we meet secretly of course to plot the demise of the Millennials), but seriously, friends of mine have been hit up by their kids who argued 'you had it lucky, you had it sweet, you owe us!'

Really? Have the battle lines been drawn and do we the Baby Boomers owe Generation X? Baby Boomers were born from 1946-1965, then Gen X is mid-1960s to early 1980s, then the Millennials (the complainers), they go from say 1981 to the early 2000s - when the Post-Millennials or Generation Z appear.

So why is it the Millennials resent us so much? Why isn't Generation Y cutting up rough? Or is it history repeating itself?

Today's youngsters love luxury, have bad manners, contempt for authority and lack respect for their elders.

Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their parents enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter in front of company… and tyrannise their teachers.

And they call us Baby Boomers selfish?

Mark Sainsbury hosts Morning Talk from 9am-midday on RadioLIVE.