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This election is about intergenerational warfare. It’s the young hating the old!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

In politics, fear/hatred/loathing/jealously of something motivates more than the love of something. Political parties tweak this mass psychological reality to attract voters.

Demographer Bernard Salt (The Australian) has provided an insightful analysis of how this ‘identify evil’ political game is playing in this federal election campaign.

Salt reasons that Labor’s taxing policies are raiding the wealth accumulation of the Baby Boomers and Pre-Baby Boomers to fund services wanted by Millennial voters. The political motivation is sound, argues Salt. The 18–37 year olds are allegedly angry (or can be made to be angry) about the Baby Boomers ‘ripping off’ the tax system and living the high life. The ‘oldies’ deserve to be taxed no matter what the rules of the past were! Salt says this political pitch is inevitable because of the large numbers of Millennials now voting.

It’s sad, but Salt is probably right. Low-life political psychology will drive the chase for votes no matter the harm done! Expect all political parties to get into this pitch.

Perhaps we at Self-Employed Australia are politically naïve or wishful in our thinking. As Australians we should not be fighting or hating each other. We’re all in the same economic and social boat.

What we see that unites us across generations are aspirations for a better life for us, our loved ones and our communities. Economic growth and broad distribution of wealth are keys to fulfilling those aspirations. It’s not just about money or accumulating things! People aspire to have life experiences. It may be travel, communicating with pristine nature, being active in sport, or yoga perhaps! People aspire to connect with community, be it through their religious faith, political activity or by helping others.

These things are not generationally dependent. But they are dependent on sufficient income and wealth generation because this ‘buys’ us time to pursue our aspirations.

In the realm of self-employment one important aim is to have your aspirations become your income. What a wonder to achieve this! Being a business is an aspiration in itself. It’s about controlling your own working life, setting and achieving goals. And although money is essential, there’s more to business than just money.

How sad is Salt’s analysis! Crass political motivation will probably create and then exploit intergenerational jealously.

Election comment authorised by Ken Phillips, Melbourne.

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