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What we are witnessing is the opening of a profound generational breach, where policies in employment, education, childcare and the banking system are driving a wedge between younger and older generations. Unfortunately for the young, they find themselves on the wrong side of this artificial division, denied the opportunities to realise those essential aspects of a fulfilling life: well-remunerated work, housing and the supports needed to raise children.
While interests on both sides of public debate have argued about conflicts between the public and private sectors, the real conflict has been a generational one, which has passed to date almost without comment. Politicians, employers and unions have lazily sacrificed the young at the altar of political expediency, all the time mouthing the words “we’re doing it for the kids”.
The kids are here, alive, now. And their backs are breaking.
Dan Hayden and Andrew Byrne, “Young get lip service while policies cruelly betray them,” Irish Times, August 16th 2012
Leaving aside the fact that I don’t consider well-remunerated work or supports for raising children as “essential aspects of a fulfilling life,” this point needs to be made.