THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Social Science blog

22 August 2013

When did we ever have it so good? Part 2 of the iPod generation

Abiola Olanipekun is an intern at the British Library. This latest blog post is number two in a series of four which reflects on reports about the ‘iPod generation’ which appear on the Management and Business Studies portal and were published by Reform in 2006. 

This second blog post about the ‘iPod generation’ continues to follow the envisaged bleak turn of events for this generation. Before I start, you may want to read part one of this series here.

After my first posting, I re-read ‘Class of 2006: A lifebelt for the iPod generation’ and it confirmed that in 2006 there was no supposed ‘happy ever after’ or even a semi-decent outcome in sight, just a doomed financial future for this generation. Will there ever be any ‘Green Shoots’ at this miserable point? Knowing what happened to the economy in the years that follow suggest not.

Should you, as a member of our erudite audience, wish to see this report then feel free (once more) to click here. It’s free to download from our MBS Portal.

As I read the second report in the series by Reform, I wondered about the relationship between how the evidence is researched and presented, and how it is received. In my first post I received the information as an inquisitive person but certainly felt miserable by the end of the report. This time around it I feel more miserable than I ever did! Knowing that many of the bleak predictions came true in one way or another make the warning produced by Reform even more depressing.

Below are just a few of the points and observations made at the time of this report. Whether this may or may not be the case for today is another debate…

  • Young people’s earnings were rising by less than any other age group
  • Young people were most likely to be in debt
  • House prices had continued to rise beyond the range of young people’s earning
  • Older people will gain from a rising state pension linked to earnings. 
  • Young people funding the increase in the state pension at the same time as facing automatic contributions of 3 per cent of their salary. 

This report generally confirms that is predicting bad news like the first report.

When the baby boomers are referred to as ‘winning’ the generation game it sets the generations against one another in an insulting way as it reminds of how the older generations have benefited from the welfare state. Or maybe my sense of humour has left because I (like a lot of my age group) am so poor and frustrated feel the reality of these generational differences.

I must stress now though that I am in no way carrying out a ‘Debbie Downer’ type approach to these pieces because that would negate the areas where progress has been made for the young. I also am grateful that the situation for the young people here is not as bad as it is in some other European countries, but recent news stories have also shown that there is economy uncertainty and poor employment conditions for many. Fixed-term contracts, or worse, zero hour contracts do not have a place in my heart. I am hoping for something other than more economic instability.

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.