What do we need to do to help young people today(9 Posts)
This post was inspired by seeing this thread this morning and the article it links to;
I'm not interested in discussing whether the young are not catered for by current politics (so if you want to discuss that please go and do it on the other thread) but taking as a premise that they are what policies should the government prioritise to help young people. As I staring point I have;
Housing - as many young people can't afford to get on the property ladder without parental help (increasing not even getting a deposit together until they are in their 40s by which point you are too old to get a mortgage) there needs to be better protection for private sector renters (more like the systems in place in Europe) as well as massive house building to bring down prices.
Government spending - abolish the structural deficit (I.e. Excluding economic cycle and long term investment) because this is effectively debt built up by spending for the current generation that the next generation will have to pay interest on or pay off, but take more of this out of old age benefits (such as means testing pensioner benefits) rather than more cuts to working age welfare. Obviously this wouldn't be able to do everything but they have bee. Left untouched for too long.
I think this would start to bring back some fairness but what else do you think is needed to solve this intergenerational unfairness?
Agree with all of the above - particularly changes to the private rental sector. All so unfairly weighted in the hands of the property 'haves'.
Also strongly feel that a properly funded and impartial Careers Service is essential to support all young people into positive opportunities. This government has trashed the already piecemeal service and most young people have no access to guidance and support. Young people from less advantaged backgrounds are further trapped in a cycle of unemployment or underemployment.
Agree completely re careers advice. It's almost just the standard nowadays to do GCSE, A-levels, degree with any other option is viewed as just for people who can't manage that.
There is no consideration of what you want to do, what your personal strengths are and so on - proper careers advice is vital so kids can consider going into work and getting a degree or other professional qualification on the job, apprenticeships etc. but at the moment it's down to luck of the school/college you are at. Lots of kids could benefit from a chance to properly consider the options.
It's not just 'the young' any more is it? As you say there are people in 40's who can't get on the housing ladder. I'm one of them. That isn't 'the young' that's half the population!
How to help half the population?
Immediately wealth redistribution, with a view to wealth reconfiguration, so that wealth is never spread so unequally again.
That's a little vague, so... what I'd like to see is an immediate ban on buy to lets, tax what's there out of existence. We do need more houses built: or rather more dwellings. Obviously none of us want to see cities the size of Derby being built every year, apart from the visuals it cuts into our food production capability, so that also means we're going to have to look at numbers (and I don't mean blame te immigrants). Difficult but no one said this would be easy.
More jobs in the public sector. Schools are an obvious target. We haven't got enough school places and we need more jobs, so more schools. That was easy.
More jobs in the private sector. Here it gets more difficult again. My feeling is our economic model with it's emphasis on efficiencies of scale does local people much good. We don't want one multinational efficiently producing one good and employing 10000 people (plucking figures out of thin air here): we want 10 local, regional or national companies producing that good and employing 100 000 people. My feeling is that the private company is A. Bad. Thing. and we would all be much better off with only co-operative companies. There must be a balance somewhere: right now we're at the wrong end of one scale.
Food production similarly, there are far too few people involved in food production and far too many heavy machines damaging the soils.
A living wage for all jobs, so that you can do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay and get an honest day's living out of it, with no need for state handouts to go right back into private shareholder hands.
It is a mantra of our times that the state doesn't owe you a living. I begin to think that it does, or rather it owes you the opportunity to make a living. Those opportunities seem to be thin on the ground and reducing fast, or has no one else seen the increase in computers over people in supermarkets and banks. We need as a society to have a damned good think about our relationship with technology, or what on earth people are going to do to survive when technology takes all the jobs.
Well that should give some fuel for the flames!
I mean effociencies of scale does NOT do local people much good. .
It has been said that capitalism is self-defeating.
To not encourage intergenerational resentment would be a good start. People who are old/older have not necessarily had an easier life but a very different life, also with limited opportunities. They have made the best of what there was just as young people today should.
The national obsession with home ownership could be alleviated by more/better social housing and better security of tenure. Successive governments have created the buy to let phenomenon so it should purchase these homes and immediately create a huge and varied stock of social housing.
Consider a bloody and ruthless revolution - the real problem is the concentration on wealth in a privileged elite not an age group. They have all the money and power so they're not going to give it up without a fight.
I'd like to agree about not encouraging inter-generational resentment, but...
I recently was reading the economist, nov29th- dec 5th 2014, p. 14 "For the top fifth of pensioner households, who have an average private income of £65,000, the state pension pays for holidays and golf-club fees."
What?? 65k?? Top 20%?, not the top 2 or top 5 or top 10, but top 20%??
And we of working age have a median income of 20 k-odd and many of us in our 40's have no assets and no hope of obtaining any? And we're paying them a pension?
They certainly did have a different life -and now we're paying for it, again and again and again. Never mind Help the Aged anymore, we need help the workers.
I agree about social housing though, that should never have been abolished. Security of tenure will help to make renting more attractive, but it still doesn't make a private rented house a home. Nor does it help the resentment we justifiably feel paying rent to the ever-richer rich.
This is a huge issue, and one which has only just begun to be heard. Those young today have little to look forward to given demographic and world economic trends.
I agree on careers advice, with the caveat that current careers advice is nigh on pointless. The Australian's have abetter system where each town has a psychologist who can give each person an understanding of their aptitude for different jobs. My feeling is that many young people have unrealistic expectations and ideas of what is expected. I hesitate to add however that this is not their fault in any way.
Educate them properly. The moment you leave school you are in a tough and competitive environment. Selective education would help, though not purely for those who are gifted in maths and sciences. If you got an A grade, but also knew you were 17th in your local area then you might have some idea of your limitations. Allow the kids to pick a vocational qualification or industry recognized certification instead of the media studies / home economics type courses.
Repeal the Equalities act - one of the most ill named acts of parliament ever produced. An employer will always choose a middle aged candidate with kids to feed over a young gun because they are viewed as being more reliable. Immigration does not help in this regard at all.
Move some of the exquisitely trained but older public sector workers into private industry. I've seen it myself, too many people hanging on till (early) retirement.
Expand the armed forces and give the TA a useful role. Many a neer do well has been turned round by the army.
Most importantly however we have to bring private sector rents down. At the moment the floor in any area is set by the amount the local council will pay in benefit. Very few properties will be let for less than this. Reduce it and rents will drop, which aids mobility.
There are wider issues here. QE and the failure of the banks resulted in zero interest rates, which resulted in pathetic returns on annuities, which resulted in the buy to let boom as pensioners bought properties for income.
Ultimately though the national debt, poor employment prospects and huge international competition are only going to affect one group in the long run.The yound don't help themselves by not voting. Both the tories and labour plan to remove their entitlement to benefits until they are 25, which would never happen if they voted en masse.
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