Prime Minister Rudd puts the blame on seniors

Having just heard our Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, speak about the latest intergenerational report I sensed that Rudd has decided that seniors will be the next target after his failed scare campaign over climate change. Following the disaster of the Copenhagen Conference on climate change blah blah, Rudd has decided to focus on the problem of the ageing population in Australia.

While it is a reality that through “improvements” in health care, nutrition and sanitation the older generation is growing in numbers, this has always been the case. People lived longer in the last century than they did during the preceding one. This was inevitable since that’s what progress is all about- survival of the species.

The ageing demographic will be requiring more care, says the Treasurer. I agree that some of them will need help while others will be able to look after themselves very well. But those in need should not be made to feel guilty about it.

The majority of seniors and baby boomers want nothing to do with nursing homes and would do everything to avoid them. So much so that some of them would rather be dead than have to depend on others in those hell holes. It’s ironic, therefore, that a government which regards the elderly as a problem should make it illegal for seniors to end their lives with dignity.

It is ironic also that the government doesn’t recognise that the most useless members of society are the very young, the babies, toddlers and children who need to be cared for in public institutions and by families which are subsidised financially for producing them. Creches, schools and all sorts of facilities have to be provided for members of society who are as yet totally unproductive. Have I shocked anyone? I hope so, because when you think about it, it will be 20 years before any of these young children will be in any position to benefit the country.

In my opinion, it would be fiscally more sensible to import a ready-made and trained work force, if a shortage of workers is the problem.

Nevertheless, we accept that drain on society because they are children and we even pay people to have them. All I ask is that the same respect be afforded to the seniors, because if it isn’t and if Rudd keeps on scapegoating seniors a generational war will erupt. It happened a few years ago when generation whatever found it hard to get a job and demanded that seniors resign so that the young ones could take their jobs.

So it would be fascinating to observe what will happen when Rudd encourages seniors to work longer while, at the same time, the young ones resent the presence of oldies in the work force.

By all means the government should plan ahead as it should for every demographic in society. That is the government’s duty. It should encourage people to save for their own retirement. It should plan for an increase in services for those who are too old to care for themselves. But it should do so with respect. The elderly are not a problem. They are not a challenge, as the Treasurer called them today. They are the result of human progress. Longevity should not be regarded as an inevitable curse. Nobody should have to apologise for being alive and the government should watch its language very carefully or there will be a battle of the ages.


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