As someone who is passionately involved in changing workplace models, this article in The Guardian struck a chord. The real issue is we are leaving younger generations poorer than we (the Boomers) were at their age. How important are getting good paying jobs? Mega-important.
By John Quiggin, The Guardian
Younger generations of Australians (millennials and Gen Z) are doing worse than their boomer parents, according to Generation Gap, a study of wealth distribution in Australia from the Grattan Institute. As a result, we are failing to maintain the “generational bargain” in which each generation does better than the last.
Talk in terms of conflict between generations is familiar and fits easily into our standard framing of social issues. However, this framing misses the real story, buried in the body of the Grattan report – the (re)emergence of a “patrimonial” society in which wealth, particularly inherited wealth, is the crucial determinant of life chances.
The return of the patrimonial society was a central theme in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, the surprise bestseller of 2013. Piketty began his research career by looking at growing inequality in incomes in the US, Britain and France, with particular emphasis on the share going to the top 1%. In Capital, he shifted attention to the growing imbalance between labour and capital and to the rise of inherited wealth.
Looking at both the literature of the 19th century and statistical evidence from the 20th, Piketty pointed out the exceptional nature of the economy that emerged from the chaos of the Depression and world wars of the first half of the 20th century. This economy, in which the children of the baby boom grew up, was one of economic equality in terms of both outcomes and opportunity.