Michael, thank you again, and this is excellent timing for us here in Australia as our current neoliberal government under PM Tony Abbott last week released the latest Intergeneration Report. You might be surprised to know that one of the main messages that the report has been propagandised to promote is that the living standards of the older are denying future prosperity for the younger.
I am part of the lucky generation. I am a member of that cohort of people born between 1946 and 1965, the baby boomer generation. We are lucky because we came into the world in countries of advanced capitalism at a time when there was unprecedented economic growth, near ‘full employment’, relative low inequality of wealth and income and strongish labour movements able to extract concessions from Capital on labour rights, a welfare state, universal health and education, public housing.
Capital was able to concede these gains for Labour because it was experiencing high rates of profitability after the destruction of capital values during the war. It could draw on a huge reserve army of labour in Europe and Asia, along with new technology, to exploit. And global capitalism had one hegemonic power, the US, that could provide credit and investment in Europe and Asia within Pax Americana. In short…
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