Monday, 27 February 2012

Divided Nation

As the recession continues some worrying divisions in our communities seem to be getting bigger. It isn't just the gap between rich and poor, clashes of religion or race, I have now heard several well educated and informed people talk about the way older people are “Taking away resources” from the young. I can only be amazed at supposedly intelligent people who want mandatory retirement at 65 to enable unemployed youth to have jobs – don't even think about skill levels and experience – whilst begrudging retirement pensions to the selfish elderly who won't work.
I can't tell you how depressed and worried this makes me. If this is the standard of thinking that prevails then New Zealand is in dire straits indeed.
We are all part of our country and we must remember that the true judge of any nation is how it provides for its most vulnerable – the very young, the ill and the elderly amongst others.
All of the current infrastructure was paid for by by the taxes of the older generation as part of a long term view of building this country. Each generation makes its own contribution. If we descend into having the old compete with the young it is not only a specious, shallow and vicious piece of thinking, it also reflects a complete lack of any commitment to the future of this country and the in ability to think past the next moment.
Each group has its own real and pressing needs. It is the job of the government – any government – to lead the goal setting and work out the resourcing, not to set groups against each other by implying that to fund one detracts fron the other.
If ever we needed cohesion, it is now.
So please do not by into this baseless, shameful view. It is only one step from talking about the “deserving poor” and even the Victorians rejected this eventually.
Let's join the 21st century, together.