Why do older generations dislike younger generations
The poor pensioner is an image that is burned into the public perception. The memory of centuries in which old people found it difficult to make a living after working life certainly plays a role. People's own fears of being needy even as senior citizens should also contribute to this. The good news is: The current generation of pensioners is doing better than the Germans think.
Hardly anyone has to take advantage of social benefits because their old-age benefits are insufficient to live on. A new study even shows that the incomes of the vast majority of older people have increased twice as much as that of people under 45 in the past few decades. This shows that something is going wrong in Germany. The federal government is currently pursuing the wrong policy. She is always working on new benefits for the current generation of senior citizens, even though they are already well looked after. In return, it neglects younger people - both now as employees and later, as retirees of tomorrow.
Anyone who says that is therefore not playing old against young. It is unreservedly positive that most seniors today are prosperous. This social and political achievement could not be taken for granted. For decades, fewer and fewer employees have been retired because Germans are living longer and having fewer children at the same time. And yet, thanks to various reforms, adequate pensions are being paid.
Most seniors today are even better off than their predecessors, who thirty years ago lived in a time when the aging society had less of an impact. Today's retirees benefit more from their own assets, inheritances, and private and company pension schemes. In addition, more and more women are employed. They create a pension for themselves, whereas in the past they were more dependent on their husbands.
If you put all of this together, you can be happy for today's seniors. But he also notes that the prospects for younger people are often worse. In the past 20 years real wages have stagnated for many Germans up to the middle class. Nowadays jobs are often limited and poorly paid, especially in the first few years of employment. Almost half of young singles between 25 and 35 are at risk of poverty according to the official definition - a dramatic diagnosis for such a rich country.
Many young to middle-aged workers face another problem. As soon as the baby boomers who were born in the 1960s are about to retire, the old age system will face the next burden. A large number of today's employees probably have to pay high contributions to the pension fund and receive comparatively little retirement benefits in return. It gets particularly tight for those who earn little or - as is often the case with mothers - sit out for a long time because of their children and then no longer really gain a foothold in their job.
The calculation behind this is clear: older people are the largest group of voters
Meager income, insecure pensions: This double predicament of numerous employees is a huge task for politics. A suitable program would have to consist of several parts. For example: Relieving low-wage earners and the middle class from duties and taxes so that they have more money available. And: Let fewer young people stumble into professional life without a degree. Make work easier for parents. Create financial reserves for the time when there are even more retirees for even fewer employees.
But instead of such a program, politics is concerned with equipping today's generation of senior citizens even better. Early retirement at 63 and maternity allowances cost billions that the younger generation is sorely lacking. In view of the imminent choice, the next calls for further services for today's seniors can be heard.
The political calculation behind this is easy to understand. In the 2013 federal election, the over-50s already made up the majority of the voters. For seniors, the subject of pensions is extremely important, which is why they must be balanced by taking appropriate measures. An active employee, who affects more issues from work conditions to taxes, family support and children's schools, is not so easy to politically capture. It is for this reason that the big popular parties in particular like to make politics for today's pensioners - and in the process betray all the other citizens who they would have to worry much more about.
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