A limited government will benefit Generation Y
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” Abraham Lincoln
Another General Election and another pasting for Generation Y, as the popular belief goes. A different Government yes, but more policies that appear to favour the older demographics of society.
When you stop to think about it, it’s hardly surprising. Young people don’t vote in anywhere near the numbers that the older generations do.
According to Ipsos Mori, in the General Election of 7 May 2015, 43% of 18–24 year olds voted, 54% of 25–34 year olds compared to 77% of 55–64 year olds and 78% of those aged 65+.
A clear difference.
Instead of complaining, disengaging and losing out from the political process, we as Generation Y have to make it work for us, while also being realistic. Otherwise, we are in trouble of spending election after election being looked over and used as a bottomless purse.
Parties have strategies to win votes and can’t promise everything to everyone. Furthermore, we don’t live in a utopia where all of a sudden a new type, party or form of Government will provide an equal batch of policies that benefit old and young alike (although many seem to think this fairy tale land exists).
Politics is a results business and parties’ financial and human resources (especially in the UK) are limited; memberships are dwindling and politics is not usually a magnet for big money like across the Atlantic. Therefore, if you know that close to 80% of over 65's vote while only 45% of under 25's do, you use your resources to target the people who will turn out and put an X by your party’s representative.
This is not a new phenomenon, but what I argue is that instead of waiting in vain for utopia, it is better to support policies and parties that limit Government’s ability to use us as a cash cow to pay for policies we don’t benefit from while consigning us to a future of debt servitude. It’s not like our record shows that we’re going to punish them at the ballot box any time soon…
This is where limited government will benefit Generation Y.
Limited government means stopping elected officials from taking the money people have paid in National Insurance Contributions (for example) and squandering it on other policies or limiting Government’s ability to run up enormous debts on behalf of the public.
I was shocked to learn that State Pensions are funded through current tax receipts. This means that ALL the contributions people have paid in throughout their lives are gone, the State Pension pot is bankrupt. All the result of unrestrained, unchecked Government.
Could you imagine if you had been putting money aside every month to pay for your child’s education (for example) and the money had been taken and spent? You would be livid, and you should be.
Now, I will clarify that many of the benefits like State Pensions have been earned through years and years of hard work and the Government or our generation has no right to cut these off; if you earned it, contributed, you should be entitled to it.
Currently, the United Kingdom’s national debt stands at £1.6 trillion, roughly £24,000 for every single man, woman and child in the UK. This national debt however, fails to mask the full extent of unfunded liabilities (which run into trillions more) that Generation Y is on the hook for. A Government that is not limited is simply able to pick winners and losers, no matter if you vote or are financially prudent yourself.
Yes, Governments have continuously overspent, mismanaged and squandered our money, knowing full well that they have the ability to use us as guarantors and reach into our pockets when the bills come due.
If we don’t register our views at the ballot box, or throughout a Parliament with continuous scrutiny, the present system will continue to work against us and we will continue being a cash cow to further party or vested interests.
The Conservative Party in the UK are committed to fiscal prudence, making sure that like any family or business has to, Government lives within its means. However, over the next few years, the Conservatives should go further and commit to removing Government’s ability to tax and spend as it pleases and remove the profligacy to which Government and power can too easily lead.
Generation Y already faces years of paying off debts and liabilities we didn’t ask for or had nothing to do with. Instead of giving parties and Government free reign to tax and spend as they please on our behalf, let’s champion a limited government, which lives within its means and doesn’t prioritise one generation while punishing another, simply because it can.