J’Accuse! Is it reasonable to hold an entire generation at fault for the actions of some? As a (relatively) young person in the West today, I face decades of living with the consequences of policies enacted and supported by the baby boomer post-war generation. Talking about my native country Norway, they did create a robust economy and took Norway from being a poor agrarian society to the wealthy country we have today. They also set up a fund with actual money in it (as opposed to the I.O.U.s of the American Social Security system) to pay for pensions and the like.
That being said, these people opened the floodgates for non-Western immigration, just like their contemporaries all over Europe. They also created such a massive welfare state system, that it is highly doubtful that we can pay for it all, even with the famous oil fund. Especially when we import thousands of dirt poor migrants in poor health. Thankfully, we haven’t gone “full Sweden” (yet) in that the opinion corridor is somewhat wider in Norway compared to Sweden. We also haven’t totally opened our borders to Merkel’s flood. There are some things we didn’t fuck up as royally as other European nations, *cough cough Germany*.
On principle, I oppose the concept of collective punishment. Punishment should follow the crime, and a just punishment is only inflicted on the perpetrator him/herself. I remember how unfair it was in school to be held back for 10-15 minutes thanks to the disruption of a handful of students. This opposition doesn’t automatically disqualify the concept of generational guilt in the context of politics. The governmental situation we are living in is a violation of my beloved non-aggression principle. We are not living in a neutral condition. The older generation has incurred actual monetary debt, but also other forms of debt. They have limited the political manoeuvring room of the youngsters through the necessity of taking care of migrants and dealing with the aftermath of massive immigration.
Now we begin to see that generational guilt could be a valid and useful concept. The older generation has limited our political freedom to act and has placed significant financial burdens on us the younger generation. We must spend resources to take care of the pension/medicine/welfare bills of the pensioners and immigrants. Is this fair and just? Is it totally unreasonable to hold them responsible for the consequences of the policies they supported and implemented? As a young member of society, I resent being forced to support people I didn’t want here through higher taxes. Another example is the nutty prices in the housing market. You don’t need a Ph.D in economics to understand what the importation of migrants (demand) does to the prices of houses (supply). I’m thus forced to deal with a housing market with much higher prices than the pensioners had to deal with in their time.
Wouldn’t it be just and perfectly reasonable to limit the pensions, welfare payments and so on of the pensioners? After all they incurred all these costly policies and unfunded/insufficiently funded liabilities. As the famous saying goes, “You reap what you sow”. I certainly believe that it is a much lesser “moral crime” to significantly limit the spending on the irresponsible old guard in favor of lessening the unjust burden on the young. If you’re sympathetic to the old, remember that they broke the “social contract” by letting in needy people that couldn’t possibly contribute more than they take out. To the old I say, “you should have considered the consequences”.