Kevin Loane sees inter-generational strife swelling from some important imbalances, but most millennials seem strangely uninterested in wresting the levers to make change

Kevin Loane sees inter-generational strife swelling from some important imbalances, but most millennials seem strangely uninterested in wresting the levers to make change

This article is a re-post from Fathom Consulting's Thank Fathom its Friday: "A sideways look at economics". It is here with permission


Young people in Europe and the US are showing signs of turning against the generation born after World War II .

This move can be seen in the meme ‘OK boomer’, which has become a popular online retort to those who are on the wrong side of 50, or who don’t know what a meme is. It’s typically used to dismiss what are perceived to be outdated views on issues such as climate and gender.

And while this intergenerational strife has a strong cultural dimension, economics is important too.

It would not surprise me if some of today’s students whisper ‘OK boomer’ under their breath during lessons about the strong link between a country’s unemployment rate and its rate of inflation. More fundamentally, economic outcomes seem to be a decisive factor behind this generational split.

In many advanced economies, public polling suggests that people believe life will be more difficult for the generation to come. This view is not without foundation. In the US, the percentage of children earning more than their parents has dropped from 90% to 50% in the past 50 years — a trend labelled the ‘Fading American Dream’.

On a range of metrics, the cohort born after WWII in the UK received unique economic tailwinds. Education was free or relatively cheap, and the entry requirements for many professions were often less stringent — so I’ve been told.

My dad reports being the sole candidate for his first job.

It’s not just income, the returns to assets have also been tremendous. House prices have increased much more rapidly than earnings, aiding those who were on the property ladder earlier, resulting in a large transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.

With the future returns on a range of assets expected to be historically low due to current stretched valuations, something similar may be true of bonds and equities.

At the same time, many older people think low interest rates are an unfair penalty that artificially reduces the return on their savings, not recognising that having substantial cash savings at all means they’re doing better than most.

To top it all off, the annual growth rate in per capita GDP has been drifting down, meaning a reduced rate of improvement in living standards for younger people. Indeed, according to the Resolution Foundation, those born in the late 1980s had lower real earnings in their mid-20s than those born a decade earlier.

It would take a generational radical to blame baby boomers entirely for the current economic woes, but it would be similarly extreme to say that they didn’t benefit disproportionately from the strong conditions that preceded it. It doesn’t seem outlandish to think that they should be leaned on more heavily when governments have to make tough economic choices.

However, things seem to have gone the other way.

The age at which future generations will be able to retire seems set to go in only one direction: up. Meanwhile, pension benefits for existing retirees are ring-fenced, and wealth is taxed lightly, increasing the burden on the young and those in work. There is a sense that older voters have used their position to secure and solidify their existing economic advantages, a subject discussed in a previous TFiF, and yet still blame the young for perceived failures anyway.

It would be remiss of me not to at least attempt to offer a defence of the current situation. For one, not all baby boomers are rich.

There is variation within generations. Moreover, most rich baby boomers will leave something to their kids, calling into question the sustainability of today’s generational solidarity.

Some might even question the idea that each generation should expect to enjoy a big increase in living standards over the previous one. From a historical perspective, such progress was rare. It’s fair to assume that living conditions were broadly flat (and bad) for most of human existence. According to the Bank of England, in the four hundred years to 1670, GDP per capita in England increased by 62%. In the less than four hundred years since then, it has increased by more than 2000%. That increase over the past few centuries has been tremendous but is the exception not the norm.

All generations born since then, including millennials, benefit as a result.

That’s all true, and it’s important to maintain perspective in life. However, when the best thing you can say to a twenty-something warehouse worker is that they should count themselves lucky not to be a medieval serf, all’s not well.

ok boomer

All told, it’s easy to see why many young people would feel hard done by. From an economics perspective, things look bleak.

Meanwhile, the generational gap in culture and politics appears to have increased. The ingredients for intergenerational tension are already clear and environmental concerns could make them worse.

With that in mind, it seems reasonable to forgive the young for inventing ‘OK boomer’ even though it‘s an unfair characterisation.

It has been amusing to see people who previously belittled today’s youth for being too easily offended react angrily to what is, all things considered, a fairly minor put down.

More importantly, as far as protests go, a two-word social media post is not exactly Gandhi-like in its ambition. It seems, then, that the bigger question is not why this meme has gained such popularity but why hasn’t there been a more serious and powerful response from the young? It could be that economics is not everything.

Life has improved in lots of ways that are not measured in dollars and cents, including, but by no means limited to, entertainment options. Funny Tik-Tok videos, a cynic might say, are the opium of the youth. If that’s true, and nothing much in the way of policy change comes from this, it may be the boomers that end up having the last laugh.

OK millennial?


Kevin Loane is an economist at Fathom Consulting in London, England. This article is a re-post from Fathom Consulting's Thank Fathom its Friday: "A sideways look at economics". It is here with permission

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... lest we let the facts get in the way of a good meme , the boorish Gnat who Chloe Swarbrick dismissed with her " OK , boomer " snap was Todd Muller ... a Gen X'er . .. not a BB at all ...

But does he "identify" as a boomer?

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.. does anyone identify as a " boomer " ... it's a weird construct to pigeon hole people into a box ... then harangue them for their supposed shortcomings as a member of that group ...

Still waiting for my invitation to the BB meetings ....

... where are the BB's at ? . .. I want a BB cap and badge .. . C'mon youse guys ... gimme the BB goodies ....

Does Jack Tame identify as a millenial? He certainly acts like that, naively pretending he knows what he is talking about. Kevin Milne gave him 'what for' about it this morning. Well done Kevin

Mr Tame (or is it Fame) has always seemed to present as a sort of cardboard cut out of a journalist that Cary Grant would have played. Whilst in the USA his reporting was shallow, at times inept, but boy, at tax payers expense, did he get around. Safire, Cooke, or Gill he ain’t. Compared, he is still in short pants. So to answer your question. Yes he is a millineal.

Tame and Hayley Holt are cringeworthy and should be taken off air, John Campbell is brilliant and Scotty Morrison from Te Karere is on the money too...

Yep, if you haven’t exactly a forelock to tug, a widow’s peak is the next best thing.

I recall a cartoon in the good old Punch magazine, 1980s sometime. One senior banker is saying to another
“in our day our ambition was to pay off a mortgage, nowadays the ambition is to get one.” When looking at the difference(s) between generations, don’t forget about spending power and whether or not that spending is one’s own funds. There is a very real and disturbing feature in today’s lifestyle whereby persons are unable to distinguish any difference between money earned and money borrowed. The early so called boomers grew up into a pretty suppressed world. There were virtually no personal loans by banks, credit cards didn’t exist. Things had to be saved for, HP & lay by. A pair of gum boots, for instance, was a fairly big item for the average family. In the mid 1960s first up cars were 12 year old Austin Devon’s, Morris Minors some of us got around in Model A’s. So a question that needs to be considered is what impact has the very ready access to debt on generations had. A recent article here revealed personal debt at around $97000.00 per every NZr. What was it for that much smaller population, say 1984, before Rogernomics lifted the lid, and allowed the ability to borrow to be strapped to a rocket.

Times have changed alright, my parents were not well off. I wouldn't say they were in poverty because it didnt feel like that, we still had clothes, roof (sometimes rented), food. It was one hell of a struggle for them. Now there is 'relative' poverty if you dont own the latest iPhone. What a joke we have become with such a weak mentality. There has been a call to ban Secret Santa, it causes the millenials anxiety, how ridiculous

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Who defines not having an iPhone as “relative” poverty?. Sounds like something you’ve made up for the purposes of pompous pontification.

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What a load of complete rubbish. Relative poverty for not owning the latest iphone? Complete crap

It is complete crap, as in bullship. No one is concerned about relative poverty of not having an iPhone. People are concerned because the things that matter are expensive and the things that don't matter are cheap.

If you vote Jacinda, will that help

Voting John Key made it worse.

JK walked the talk. Jacinda is a blowhard

Haha, good joke.

There's a big difference. Consumer items like electronics are relatively very cheap now.
The essentials, on the other hand - notably housing - are more expensive. And there's very little job security.

So it's easy to live on the brink of homelessness while also having some nice toys. It's still stressful. I think this anxiety is a big part of what the 'boomers' don't understand; their generation got into stable housing much sooner, had more job security, and I don't think it was normal to kick your tenants out each year back then.

Brisket, I think you have hit on an important point - the essentials are more expensive. Could this be the free market? Because they are the 'essentials' there is more demand. Thus the need for firm regulation?

No! I don't know how people come to this conclusion, especially as you were on the right track. Non-essentials such as iPhones certainly live in the free market, and hence they are very cheap. The essentials such as housing have never been free from regulation (RMA, urban land limits) and look what has happened.

On the other hand, NZ's housing was only affordable because of significant efforts of previous governments in the past to increase supply, up to and including direct build activity. That's even how companies the likes of Fletchers and Keith Hay Homes (IIRC) got their leg up.

But yes, freeing up things significantly would certainly aid affordability. Problem is, we can't have free market housing while asking the council to pay for shoddy builds, either.

So did we stop developing land for residential properties (i can't recall any debate on this) or did our immigration policies drive this? what I am asking is what is the true root cause of expensive properties today. Note i am a boomer and I only own the house I'm living in now, so don't tell me the boomers bought up all the properties.

Regulation to choke supply, and massive cheap labour immigration (for baby boomers' businesses) to flood demand, plus the centralisation of jobs, meaning that people more and more are forced into the main centres to find work that in previous generations were available in small towns (thinks of banks now as but one example).
And no it isn't because young people just really love living in Auckland and flatting with other people in their 30's.

We stopped the deliberate central efforts to make housing affordable through working on supply. At the same time as increasing regulation, immigration, among other things.

Points by B-R and RS are spot on, but we have been hit with the double whammy of limited supply of truly affordable housing (not this redefined definition of affordability) and poor quality.

The quality issue is one of what is legislatively allowed and the fact that when you limit supply of any essential good, then faced with the choice of having it or not, then any is better than none. And analogy would be if bread was the only food available and it was in short supply, then a stale slice would be just as sellable and just as expensive if no fresh bread was available.

The debate on this has been covered many times overthe years, the solutions are well known, as is the resistance by those that benefit from keeping the present dysfunctional system in place.

The definition of poverty is a made up thing. It becomes a defacto measure of wants rather than needs and depends on which country and average standard of living therein. By the way it is not a measure of happiness, generally those in wealthy countries are far less happy and cohesive than those in truly poor countries.

Relative poverty is a real thing.
Ie if schools need students to look topics up on the internet and type them up ( a computer) and you cannot afford these things, then you are disadvantaged relative to those that can, and this can define your future earning potential.
Although you will worry less about your future earnings (and other things like retirement, the environment etc.) if your present concern is how are you going to feed yourself today.

Show some empathy man. There are parents who are on minimum wage single incomes whose kids have never had an ice cream because 60% of their income goes to rent, 30% to food, and the other 10% is scraped together for doctor/dental appointments, clothes etc.
I'm a millennial and I earn far more than the minimum wage & I am happy to pay more tax because I earn well more than I need to live even with a mortgage.
As for secret santa it does give me anxiety, because the stuff you get for secret santa is plastic crap that is destined for the landfill. Secret Santa is wasted resources contributing to climate change that makes me fear for the world my kids will have to live in.

What we need is a new reality show.
Throwing millenials into a situation like 'boomers' grew up and raised their family in.
One car families, $20 was a lot of money, save for an item before you buy it, one income families.... Yes they would handle it eventually but there would be tears.

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Sure, but make it apples for apples.. You'd have raise that one income high enough to be able to raise 2 kids and pay a typical mortgage... So either you wind the prices of everything back to what they were 20 yearss ago, or double wages.

Not exactly. Consumer prices were highback then. NZ was part of the Commonwealth Trading Preference meaning UK goods at retail were dominant. Nothing came from China, electronics from Japan were not cheap unless duty free.There was tight import licensing, outfits like the Warehouse didn’t exist. That is why the governments of the day had to resort to so called price freezes. For instance the Kirk government’s MRPs.

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While that is true, the privilege of being able to buy a cheap t-shirt made in poor conditions in Bangladesh somehow doesn't compensate for the fact that two people on middle class incomes now struggle to buy a home in Auckland . In my opinion.

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Exactly. I'm sure if you asked most millenials the following question;

Would you prefer a society with:
1) Affordable homes and expensive consumer trinkets? OR
2) Expensive homes and cheap consumer trinkets?

I would say the vast majority would pick affordable homes.

I disagree totally and completely. People are sucked in to consumer society so easily with a bit of marketing and gimmikery. The desire to have something new and shiny gets them everytime. Business people know how to CREATE demand, so if the new model iPhone was one million dollars the demand would still be there from WANNABEs, they would sell their grandmother and their future for the thrill of today

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I think you're letting your own preconceptions get in the way. In contrast, I would happily wager that the vast majority would pick affordable homes in a heart beat.

You are one-eyed and cant bear to admit your narrative is WRONG

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Nah, I just don't delude myself. You seem to be downplaying their generations current struggle.

In many ways they have it easier, easier to search for and buy the thing you want, easier to value what you want, easier to communicate, all these are as the result of technology and all have an effect on prices. Serious question, how much effect has technology played in making homes more expensive by facilitating competition? You seem to want to make it a generational focus

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Surely now is the time to bring it out?

OK boomer...

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As one of those pesky millenials, absolutely.
Me and my wife (both working) will hand over our (cheap) smartphones, stop buying our monthly takeaway, and promise never to touch an avocado again -- in exchange, one of us will get paid enough to put a deposit on an Auckland house and eventually pay it off. So... maybe $150,000 p/a? We'd be able to have a kid then, too.

Where is your imagined house located and how many bedrooms? Nice homes in waterview dont require $150k incomes. I suppose you would not consider waterview as a "suitable" area .... a home HAS to be in eastern suburbs....

I'm a pesky millenial as well. I'd gladly give my company Iphone and Laptop back to my boss in exchange for a house at 3 - 4 times my salary within the same city as my workplace. The reason why I was provided these was because my employer saw them as enabling a bit of work/life balance while I try raise a family outside my lengthy commute times. Fortunately I own (the bank owns) a house 3 - 4 times my salary.

I'm Gen X but your view parallels the feedback I've had from millenials I know. Don't let the narrative some of the older folk push about your generation get to you. I think people find it easier to try and lay blame on the millenials rather then accept their own generation (mine included) have stuffed things up so badly.

My point is and has been about choices of the individual. I did not blame or harangue the generation before me. I simply got in and did what I wanted to do and chose to do with what options I had. Anything else is a mistake. The google search says that you're between 58 and 38 (born 1961 to 1981) so perhaps you you should get off that soap box of yours.

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No doubt individual choices play a part in someone's success but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize their generation is up against significantly more hardship compared to older generations. Just look at the housing and education costs they're up against, meanwhile 'poor us' for not having iphones and electronic toys available like they do. The struggles of the generations eh...

Your description is what my parents did and I'm a boomer. My parents could not afford to buy a home so dad had to build his own. They didn't have a car. Dad push biked to work. At some stage he managed to buy and rebuild an old Vespa moped. He eventually managed to get an old Model A ford truck which he rebuilt and then used it to go hunting because we couldn't afford to buy our meat. But we didn't consider ourselves as poor. By the time he was in his forties, and his career in the Post Office was starting to show some results we started to get somewhere, but we were still the last house in our street to get a TV. And then he was killed in an accident.......

I don't like consumerism and would prefer to have affordable housing. Most millennial's I know feel similarly. Consumerism feels wasteful and bad for the environment.

I know that they say that MW, human nature wants what it cant have. If housing was cheap young people would go for the immediate thrill of consumer toys and holidays

HW, if housing was cheap, young people would NOT go for the immediate thrill of consumer toys and holidays. We would buy a home, put down roots, have families and invest in our homes, communities and children. We want the same things as every other human, safety, security, being close to family and friends. Owning homes helps to facilitate these things. We can't have that because we have to move house every year as we rent and we travel to find better opportunities, working on a lifelong treadmill that won't even get us the basics of home ownership and a secure place to raise a family. All while paying for the retirement and healthcare of our aging population.

That's a talkback parody of real life.

True enough. And there in lies part of the problem. That sort of T shirt of today is a disposable item. Worn a few times before the image of it is old hat. So it’s good it’s cheap. It needs to be. Back in the past T shirts were not branded, not a fashion statement, and were worn to the death. But they were paid for in cash. They were owned by the wearer.Today that cheap shirt, more than likely, goes on the Credit Card and along with a whole lot of other bits and pieces, and all of that compounds into debt, and very quickly that debt can become hard core. So that T shirt probably is notactually paid for by the time it is disposed of. Agree that the dilemma of housing affordability is in a different dimension altogether, but I am aware of lot of twenty & thirty year olds who have racked up such personal debt, that they will never have a credit rating let alone a deposit.

Really, are you are personal finance advisor, lending officer or budget advisor? How do get to know the intimate details of these peoples financial situation? I certainly do not know the true financial situation of most of my friends, was recently surprised to find out that a friend of mine had $100k in savings despite a low paid job and some hobbies that I thought were likely a good cash sink.

Bravo. The last person in the world who was said to know all that could be known, was Da Vinci. And here we are now, he has finally been eclipsed. But seriously, if the extent of personal debt in NZ was of little concern, the government would hardly have see it as necessary recently, to introduce The Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill.

I note your avoidance of the question.

Pragmatist pot kettle black there. Mostly that's what you do. You split hairs and use red herrings etc etc instead of address the comment. I could have done the same once before (accidentally)

Oh for heavens sake get off your backside and learn the information yourself. That is, you obviously think personal debt in NZ does not exist to any great number or concern because YOU don’t know of it. Try for example, Tradingeconomics.com re RBNZ figures 1991 - 2019. There are a multitude of other articles available painting the same picture. With a moniker like that, would have thought, one would try to be a bit more pragmatic.

Oh, o know theres debt, but somehow you've come to the conclusion its all millenials, as I said earlier today, there are always wastrels, there always will be. where your evidence they are more of a factor now than ever before?

Apologies I could have been more definitive. Certainly heavy indebtedness is not limited to the age group of my example. The point I have been trying to express is that the high abundance, indeed the almost obscene marketing of it, of the temptation to borrow has affected adversely, much more those born after the freeing up of say Rogernomics. 1984 gives you a 35 yr old today, a 35yr old then would not have been able to incur large personal debt because, quite simply, personal borrowing was very difficult to obtain.That likely saved those generations from themselves as much as the later ones got caught in the spinning sticky web of credit cards and such like. Have enjoyed the dialogue. Tks.

Fair enough, and I agree entirely that the opportunities that exist now make it much easier for younger generations to get themselves into debt. And to a certain extent some is almost forced on them by the govt, (student loans being the prime example). However I'm not sure I agree that it really has much of an effect on how many of them are wastrels, its just a different mechanism for them to spend their disposable income.

Housing is becoming so expensive that someone with a million in cash at the bank HAS to live in a Hamilton rental property .... or he CHOSE the lifestyle, the same as he chose to commit fraud
Police seize $6.7m cryptocurrency from alleged movie pirate
http://nzh.tw/12286896

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It must have been a horrible time if even 'blue collar' families could afford to buy a house and service a mortgage on a single wage. The hardship.

you forgot to add the new car and no weekend work

@Kezza R. Currency debasement is one of the reasons for the divide. In order for "boomer" assets (mostly houses) to increase in value out of the reach of future generations banks have had to continually lower interest rates to bail out unproductive lending/ debt creation from the past and to encourage it in the future. You say "$20 was a lot of money" as though it is a negative. The irony is that if $20 was still a lot of money then housing would be affordable because it would indicate currency hadn't been debased, and we would live in less divided society.

Also, if saving is viewed as a celebrated "boomer" trait, why then do "boomer" central bankers desperately try to encourage spending and unproductive debt creation therefore discouraging saving by continually lowering interest rates. Answer is above.

Odd, that sounds like my kids, they've been doing it quite happily.

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" In the US, the percentage of children earning more than their parents has dropped from 90% to 50% in the past 50 years"
That is the key factor - it is not about age.
OK I am a boomer, but before one's heckles rise - hold on.
Home ownership was the norm for both my, my parents and my grandparent generations. In the seventies home ownership was common; recent immigrant Polynesian blue-collar working families be able to afford to buy the Kiwi aspiration of a home albeit it a Keith Hay in South Auckland.
So what has changed?
The social and economic change (think Rogernomics as a reflection of that) in the 1980s which has today - 30 years later - is still having significant consequences. This change saw change in our underlying values. No longer were we a relatively homogeneous society, it is now about accepting rich and poor.
Salaries and wages are one aspect of this. In the 1970's my father held a very senior position in a large government related entity; just as he retired in the mid-1980s, all of a sudden salaries for such positions escalated from a very good wage to exceptionally high wage with considerable perks. Today CEO salaries are in the millions and those in management also receive disproportionately high salaries to those of the average worker in the same organisation.
This soci-economic and values changes of the 1980s impacted on the average worker - the Employment Contracts Act in the late 1990s reflected this - the average working person lost out. The zero hour contracts, and the wages of fast-food and large retailers - are not living wages let alone wages on which to look to buy a house as those formerly in such positions would aspire to. Home ownership for the blue collar worker in Auckland is no longer a realistic aspiration as it was in the 1970s.
This underlying value - accepting of a privileged part of society - still continues and is embedded in much of our political decisions. The CGT is one such example - those who claim they don't invest in property and businesses for capital gain are liars. Gareth Morgan is a classic example; when investing in Trade Me and his KiwiSaver fund he would be expecting income from capital gain but his millions of income are not taxed. Joe Bloggs, an average worker, who does over time to get ahead is taxed at his/her maximum marginal tax rate, while the capital gains of the privileged is tax free.
The boomers were fortunate only in that they experienced a relatively egalitarian society in which all could expect to own their own home, have reasonable wages, and be comfortable.
The young today - unless they are the privileged elite - are going to struggle to obtain what was a norm of previous generations. The reality is that we are going to have a "renting middle class poor". They have every right to be angry - but don't blame it on an older generation as that achieves nothing, rather there is need look to the societal change that has occurred and how this should be addressed.
I am not advocating a revolution. Rather lets look at the causes and start addressing the growing inequality and other issues in our society rather than just throwing money at problems such as the homeless and the multitude of other issues the current government is simply doing.
Have a good weekend.

Funny how once we're all in it together when it comes to solving problems but there hasn't been any such notion shown as house prices rose and more and more people were stuffed in than the country could handle (without lifting taxes to pay infrastructure). A cynic might say now that the boomers have had their fill, they're suddenly insisting we all work together to solve these problems. I didn't see many millenials buying up investment property 1999 - 2008 to take advantage of an ever-obvious future supply shortage. But that's my fault for being in intermediate, I guess, and not in a coal mine or pounding the pavement with a printed copy of my CV or whatever other cliche people my age get thrown at them when we point out middle class wages can't buy you a lifestyle anymore, let alone a middle class one - just the ability to rent one.

As a millennial, thank you for such a well thought out and fair comment. I too believe many issues need to be addressed and trying to demonize a whole generation is not really helping anyone.

I hope that when my 3 year grows up she will be able to buy a house without outrageous amounts of debt that she will carry into retirement. Reforms need to be made and I can't say how disappointed I was that Labour took the CGT off the table.

Anyway, have a good weekend.

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... that was an OK post , Boomer ... as a " BB " myself I'm appalled at how badly successive governments and local councils have let us down ...

Houses ought not have become speculative assets , nor have risen to such obscene prices .... shelter is a basic human need and right ...

... we have been completely let down by our elected leaders , and by the boof head central bwankers who're attempting to repair a burst debt bubble with even greater levels of debt ...

Not sure if you'll read this GBH, but did you vote for TOP last election?

They were the only ones offering to bring in CGT which would address the elephant in the room...

... no ... without a leg up into an electorate seat , votes for TOP were wasted... except as a protest against the others...

TOP had a tax on capital ... quite a different beast from a CGT ... it'd be easier to get a group of vegans to eat a cat burger than to understand TOPs convoluted policies...

... but ... they were on the right track ... chucking up innovative ideas quicker than those vegans chucking up their pussy cat burgers ...

There are thousands and thousands of 'Boomers' who DO NOT own a home, who HAVE NOT got cash in the bank. Some are 55 to 65 and they live from paycheck to paycheck others are over 65 and their only income is the nz super. During their lifetimes the economy was 'perfect' with jobs aplenty and houses so cheap you could pay the off in three years .... right?. So how did they end up like they are. Well, they failed to put any money aside and when they were young and aspirational they lived beyond their means and not restricted. They sang 'better to burn out than to fade away', with a here today gone tomorrow thought.. If todays young people work at doing well they will prosper in fuiture. Otherwise no.

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There will always be wastrels, but that's doesn't alter the fact that in the 60s and 70s a low skilled employee like a truck driver or factory worker could support a family and pay off a mortgage without significant hardship. Does a typical production line worker these days have any chance of raising a family and buying a home?

How many truck drivers then bought a house? Probably none unless they had a smart wife who would manage the family finances. Most families the money was managed by the male who would decide how much to give the stay at home female and if that was not enough money to live on and feed the family it was too bad!!! And there was no AS or DPB you could apply for. When you see photos of the six oclock swill who do you think was having a grand time, I will give you a clue, not accountants and office staff. Truckies today can earn 35 per hour that is 74k per annum on a 40 hour week with no overtime so they can afford a mortgage if that's what they want. I have a couple of truckies and a digger operator that rent off us and they all make good tenants. It's very good of them to go to work for the week. Ps there is no shame in being a truckie in case you want to confirm it

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Truck driver, mechanic, factory worker.. they all could do it if they wanted to. That's the point. your denial is getting tiresome.

74k per annum on a 40 hour week with no overtime so they can afford a mortgage if that's what they want.

Don't think so - not at today's prices.

Think of an example kate, and let's see. I saw two good homes sold today both would be superb first homes and at a rough guess affordable, in auckland. The people buying were young couples. I can only assume they were not all medical doctors earning 150k each partner from wealthy families that gifted them the deposit :)

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Lots of truckies are on a lot less than 35$ an hour. When I was young it was a 40 hour week and double time sometimes triple on weekends. We had a farm with two shepherds on low wages but free house ,meat, electricity, all owned a house in town by 50. I worked ob Station when I left school, manager owned house in town plus investment section, he was 35 with no inheritance.
Country went broke in 80's Douglas had a fire sale, we privatised, gave away our wealth built up over generations. For example we sold central north forest cheap, took 3 years production for new owners to get their money back.
On top of this many foreign companies don't pay tax in NZ, giving them unfair advantage.

... and Dodgie Rogie was ... ( drum roll ... tah da da da da da .... ) the Labour minister of finance ... so , next time someone harangues the Gnats about selling the family silver , remember that Douglas sold 100 % many of the states assets for pennies in the dollar to mates and to foreigners ...

Key sold 49 % of a few electric companies onto the NZX ... the crown retains 51 % , a controlling stake ..

... just saying !

Yes that is interesting comment. Should we have kept State & Govt Life Insurance. Would they now be servicing our citizens independent of the overseas ownership priorities. The BNZ had to be bailed out, should we though have hung onto what was left and rebuilt it? That was done subsequently for Air NZ. Should New Zealand governments have safeguarded our sovereignty, our independence, our people, by keeping more vital institutions and services under local governance. Probably I would think.

The only thing that stays constant is change.

A reasonably fair article. Millennials, that is the ones not born to wealthy parents, are just facing the same hurdles every generation has had to since year dot. Making your way in the world from modest beginnings.
House prices are high thanks to low interest rates, excessive regulation around land use and building codes and a cultural predisposition to invest in property, the origin of which predated the boomers by decades. University education was free because something like 5% of the population attended rather than the 50% odd now. In every other respect; income, entertainment, health, longevity, quality and price of products and services, things are better for young people now.
Large numbers of older generations are not keen on high taxing, socialistic governments because we've been there before and know how damaging can be. NZ almost went broke in 1984 at the end of Muldoon's statist government. Our current prosperity rests on the free market reforms undertaken by the 1980s LABOUR government. Sure inequality has increased but a much larger pie benefits everyone.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets - B. Marley (1980)

Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
Oh my gosh, look at her butt
(Look at her butt)
Look at, look at, look at
Look, at her butt - N. Minaj (2014)

No wonder todays young people are crazy... but are they dopey enough to vote YES in the reeferendum? Sadly yes

You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, yeah you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, you a you a stupid hoe
You a stupid hoe, yeah you a you a stupid hoe
- N. Minaj (2012)

Dont tell me that it is a hit or anything... the audience intellect must be of such high IQ to understand such exquisite songwriting. Fritz says that property investors are too dumb for anything else, that must be why I dont fall for this shit.

115 million views on YouTube. Must be all the daughters of property investors, haven't been raised properly because their fathers are too busy puffing up their chests on financial websites.

What about sons of PI ... or dont they watch this shit either
168 hours per week, after sleep and work that still leaves quite a few to spend time here doesn't it. Even the most busy person in the world (Winston peters) has the same amount of time as you and I Nzdan

Point taken. Even The Man 2 finds time to come on here while he's "on holiday" overseas with his "family".

Did I miss that you have bought an investment property already nzdan. Owning an investment property is the kiwi dream according to one website..

Of course I take note of what is happening on Interest,co.
The Man is on here to to advise people and to give a balance viewpoint about property investing.
If everyone was negative then geez it would be so boring.

We'll drink a drink a drink
To lily the pink the pink the pink
The saviour of our human race
For she invented, medicinal compound
Most efficasious in every case
Mr freers, had sticky out ears
And it made him awful shy
And so they gave him medicinal compound
And now he's learning how to fly
Robert tony, was known to be bony
He would never eat his meals
And so they gave him medicinal compound
Now they move him round on wheels
We'll drink a drink a drink
To lily the pink the pink the pink
The saviour of the human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficasious in every case
Old ebineezer thought he was julius caeser
And so they put him in a home
Where they gave him medicnal compound
And now he's emperor of Rome
Jonny hammer, had a terrible st st st st stammer
He could hardly sssay a word
And so they gave him medicinal compound
Now's he's seen, but never heard
Aunty milly, ran willy nilly
When her legs they did recede
So they looked on medicnal compound
Now they call her milly bee
Jennifer eccles, had terrible freckles
And the boys all called her names
But they gave her medicinal compound
Now she joins in all the games
Lily the pink she turned to drink
She filled up with parafin inside
And despite her medicinal compound
Sadly picklilly died
Up to heaven her soul ascended
All the church bells they did ring
She took with her medicinal compound
Hark the herald angels sing

The Scaffold (1968)

World wide Number 1, keeping the Beatles Strawberry Fields from number one in the U.K.

I think the point most of us miss is that the 1% have been steadily disinvesting from western economies since the insane inflation of the 1970s made running factories and having employees a highly unprofitable thing ergo our current finserv economies and the preference of creating wealth out of asset inflation instead of earning wages and salaries so much anymore.

We don't necessarily miss the point... just not sure what to do about it.

The issue is Western Society is becoming more and more (or has become) incredibly lazy. It's become/becoming a race to make as much money/income streams via as little effort as possible.
Maybe that's why wages are stagnant and why inflation is so low. You have more and more people being counter-productive, extracting as much as they can (either by rent seeking, profiteering or screwing wages down) from those who actually lift a finger. And they think they're god's gift for doing so.

Clay Christensen's videos on the effect of financialisation on growth are very interesting watches in this regard. On YouTube.

Simple: world went wrong way in 1975. Before that the prev 30 years inequality reduced. Since then entirely opposite. If want demand back, give money back

BBs wont define the rest of the younger generations relatively longer lives as most of them will be dead or senile in the next decade or two. Any concentration of wealth will be redistibuted by probate. So lets all stop worrying and pretending nothing changes.

On a lighter note, an article from the same consulting firm that authored the above discussion is of the view that:

Fathom’s underlying measure of economic activity in China, the CMI 2.0, slowed to 4.1% in the twelve months to September, nearly a third less than the official measure of 6% growth in Q3…
https://www.fathom-consulting.com/research-notes/china-down-and-fighting...

Perhaps one might exclaim "OK! China..."

Of course the boomers have the last laugh. They had the best our country had to offer at their feet. If you're a boomer and you can't make ends meet, you've squandered the best conditions to create wealth anyone has ever had in NZ

Thing is, if you're a Boomer and can't make ends meet then you should also ask your asset owning peers why your term deposit rates are so low. I've heard countless times owning multiple leveraged rental properties is the result of hard work, but whose hard work is the real question? It's an upside down world we live in where people are rewarded for taking out loans to buy property, sorry, "dibs" property before the next generation have a chance to buy themselves and then expect them to pay off these loans in exchange for the privilege of a roof over their heads.

Sorry to contradict nzdan, there are thousands of residential properties that are investment class only. A block of flats for example. Due to the title they can only be owned by investors and occupied by tenants. So tenants are not missing out on any potential ownership, but the govt should look at changing the rules imo. Just quietly there is actually quite a lot of work and responsibility in owning and managing them. A property we checked out a few years ago the wife and kids refused to get out of the car and locked the doors hahaha. Good rewards too if you get it right.

Yeah there is some truth in that. Opportunities are there for the taking but you have to grab them with both hands. I have no doubt there is plenty to still be discovered, developed or improved. I am looking forward to drone travel/commuting, do you think its possible

Scarcity of resources the dictates price of living and therefore everything. Considering previous generations has an abundance of resources plus no environmental regulations, strong unions and wages that tracked inflation evenly, they all should be living comfy now. Hell, if I was blessed to have been born in the 60s, I'd be sitting pretty right now no doubt

More importantly, as far as protests go, a two-word social media post is not exactly Gandhi-like in its ambition. It seems, then, that the bigger question is not why this meme has gained such popularity but why hasn’t there been a more serious and powerful response from the young?

This actually misses the fact that "Ok Boomer" was by origin a last resort, a sigh of exasperation that "Eh, it's proven no use arguing facts till I'm blue in the face". A "Yes, dear".

That said, action is required not just talk, in that sense the author is correct.

Some great discussion in these comments though.

Er, are you sure it's not all just Death by China? The collapse in GDP per capita growth is quite recent. Is the problem simply the result of increased indebtedness after the West moved its manufacturing to China? Was letting China join the WTO an act of collective Western economic suicide that benefited a protected few in the West, but impoverised many?

It does seem that the pendulum has begun to swing back politically. Questioning whether current immigration policy is reasonable is no longer utterly verboten. "Free trade", ie job exporting, as advocated by the dark wizards of banking and finance, is no longer a sacred calf to all. High house prices are now seen as something of a problem, a few years ago everyone thought it was because we were all so very clever. House building is increasing, although, astonishingly, still at levels below the 1970s. Maybe sanity is slowly returning?

NZDan, people should be rewarded for providing accommodation to people that require it.
Being a property investor/landlord is not just about buying and sitting on it.
It does require effort and if you think it is as easy as you think then you should give it a go!

You can’t change the mindset of a Boomer. The vast majority are lowly educated parochial types that have never lived and worked outside of NZ. Rode the best times this country has ever seen on 1 modest family income and hoovered up dirt cheap property before collecting their gold cards and pensions. It’s an absolute rort.

I hope you dont work in a customer service role.

No I fly muppets like you around

Too right. They pulled the ladder up once they'd gorged on property

Tell me when you drive your car you drive backwards and use the rear vision mirror

Tell me how property speculation leads to a more equitable and sustainable economy? I'll wait

Communism is MEANT to be equitable and sustainable but isn't. This is the best there is. If you dont like this economy go somewhere else.

“If you dont like this economy go somewhere else.” That’s it right there folks the perfect boomer statement if ever there was one. Ignorant af.

You dont know that I am a boomer. You are just ignorant yourself. You dont f off because you know this is the best place on earth. Others are discovering it too so I suggest you get a house other than in PN. Instead of playing let's blame boomers you could blame peter jackson and anyone else who has promoted and showcased this country. Long ago it was a case of last one to leave turn out the lights. Not anymore.

Definitely a boomer. If you can't see the damage that an over inflated housing market is doing, youre either senile or arrogant.

No you dont know what you're talking about, consumer confidence is the highest for years.
Enjoy your evening.

Wait a second, they're lowly educated but smart enough to buy houses and become wealthy - which is it? I'm neither but I'd have a beer with a boomer before a millennial every day of the week.

What a deluded statement that one is. Buying houses to become wealthy has nothing to do with being smart. It’s everything to do with having the opportunity and ability from a period of economic conditions and a concerted effort by the government to provided affordable housing and financing for the average kiwi during this time. That’s why boomer truck drivers, tradies, and teachers all own multiple properties and millennial doctors, lawyers and pilots can barely afford 1 house for their young families even on a dual income. Smart...please.

Stop buying avo on toast and complaining then.

A tale of two brothers.
One left school age 15, later had a good hihh earning business and bought a 3 series BMW for 80k when houses cost that much for a middle auckland suburb bungalow on full site. He rented a house.
The other didnt leave school early and saved his money by living cheap. When the time came that brother bought a house and then an investment property and can now afford many beamers.
The first brother meanwhile kept renting and today still rents. The beamer has long ago worn out.

Was this the one set in imagination land?

Cool story bro.

"Every generation blames the one before" Mike & The mechanics - Living Years.

Personally I blame the boomers for stuffing up the next generation, they made it too easy for their kids growing up and built their expectations up higher than Everest. Its a natural parent thing, "I'm going to give my kids what I never had". The result being a bunch of lazy brats that were driven to school instead of riding a bike or walking and it just got worse from there. I'm personally witnessing a few coming down to earth and having to go "Cold Turkey" when reality finally sets in......they are not taking it well.

Love your work Carlos, Mike and the Mechanics!!

I think todays kids are really being screwed. I see that as an effect of globalisation, in New Zealand that exhibits in our daft immigration policy.
But there are boomers screwed as well. Note the large dollars paid out by WINZ for funeral benefits - people who die in poverty. Mostly boomers

Some of them to be honest being screwed by dodgy operators, exploit the elderly, some like you said die in poverty. But mostly that in slow painful death under our care? - no words can describe it, we can only attend as our job/duties - our humanity can only shed tears of sadness.

Talked to an Auckland fringe land owner. Along with his 3 neighbours they'd carved off 1 Hectare apiece in a small lifestyle subdivision. Council charged them $250k each. No new roads, no water no sewerage or rubbish, just $250k added to cost of houses by council cos they have a monopoly. Seeing the 40%+ increase in the cost per m² over last 7 years for house building that must be mostly regulatory compliance burdens (inflation has been low) it is pretty clear where blame for over-priced housing rests. Local and Central govt.
Politicians can fix it if we force them to.

Auckland fringe... No new roads, no water no sewerage.

Really, No roads, or sewerage or water infrastructure has been built out to these sections?
Yes, its already there, and the zoning change that allowed the land owners to peel off those sections was made with the expectation that the land would be sold off, and built upon, and that infrastructure was either overbuilt to allow for the future growth, or it will require upgrading as those three sections and the next 200 in the area eventually get built on, and occupied. There will be no shortage of poop in the pipes to use up that $250k in the next 20 years..

But yes, councils need to start looking more towards existing properties to raise the funds from.

Well? just to ponder, at the rate of 2-3 deaths/wk. Some renters generations are in a heartfelt attending those generation in agony/painful terminal conditions in our limited number of cancer wards nationwide. Keep/attend your health folks - the comfort wealthy living of forever RE scheme, it's not such a really final destination.

That’s true but these senile parochial morons think it’s their duty to preach to the younger generations about what they should be doing even as they lose time and health and gain wealth without any awareness what they done to this country. Worst generation there’s ever been hands down. Btw avocados are a $1 each now you imbeciles.