Our parents fucked us. For life.

13 Jan

This is the first time I’ve published a guest post. It flows from a conversation we had on Facebook. The pressure of high tuition fees, high student debt, high personal debt and high youth unemployment has made this story, sadly, entirely common.

Malindima Sampa

Our grandparents understood the value of the whole. With a bottom heavy population they managed to create a growing and stable society for the whole. They covered the country in grand infrastructure, built up our industries, our resource harvesting capability, our burgeoning sense of tolerance and acceptance.

In stark contrast, our parents are cold and callous punters that, through a whole life of boundless selfishness have left our generation a legacy of financial ruin and broken infrastructure. While they still pose, posture, posit and politick about whodunit and who should pay for it, they continue to inflate markets by buying things with money they don’t have and encourage us to do the same.

To add a good kick in the teeth, those university degrees that cost us $60,000 apiece, aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Not to mention that they convinced us to pursue the damned things at a time when the biggest purchase of our lives to that point was a pair of obnoxious sneakers.  Well, because we just love our Ma’s and Pa’s we drank the Kool-Aid and now that lovely couple that met in 2nd year is going to be paying off their debts until they’re 65.

But that still isn’t enough for these fuckers. They expect their full take of a pension-pie that is losing contributors by the tens of thousands a day. And just to make sure they really put the screws to us little whelps they’re going to hold onto big-paying, stable jobs as long as their overweight, healthcare-system-sapping fingers can, while stingily metering out undervalued part-time gristle and contract scraps to overqualified young people just looking to stay afloat, let alone get ahead.

Half of my heritage is from a place where there are no baby boomers. They’re all dead, killed by AIDS and the taboos associated therewith. That has truly set that once proud and prosperous society back over 100 years. If that is what happens to a society when a generation is culled, what will happen to our workforce, trade knowledge, capacity, capability, flexibility and agility if my whole generation is locked out until we’re 40? What will happen when we’re old, skill-less, and left in a world of literally crumbling infrastructure without the knowhow to fix it because we’ve been chasing internships, flipping burgers, working security and pumping gas to get by and keep up our student loan repayments while the overweight, overwrought ancients continue to suck in ever increasing numbers at the tit of our shrivelling healthcare budget?

Our parents fucked us.

For the record, I am not a granola-eating, bead-wearing, kumbaya-singing hippie.  I am not a radical leftist.  I don’t feel entitled to have access to wealth. I am a centrist; left-leaning certainly, but a centrist. I am a professional in the wrong profession, but after four years, 350 resumes, countless career fairs and networking functions with only four interviews and one job to show for it, you kind of just give the fuck up. On the bright side, I’m one of the ‘lucky’ ones that is, after all, working. But I’m nowhere near getting my head above water or being free of my education and I know it to be many, many times worse for many other young people who entered the workforce in the last 10 years, and more specifically, in the last five.

I believe that Canadians take care of one another, but to do that, we all have to pitch in. Our parents were given great opportunity through the sacrifice of their own parents. Our parents have neglected to care for their own children through sacrifice and have wholeheartedly abandoned stewardship of the grand legacy left to them by their own parents. Is it too late to right the ship? Certainly. Could it be made easier, regardless? Of course, but our parents have shown time and again that they have no appetite for grand vision, monumental social sacrifice or anything that doesn’t sustain or augment their access to social programs as they age-out.

Fuck ‘em, I’m moving to Germany.

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5 Responses to “Our parents fucked us. For life.”

  1. Mike Laverty January 14, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Maybe I’m in the minority on this one, but I’d like to offer a counter-point. My parents were the first in both their respective families to attend college and become professionals. They both were raised in dysfunctional environments and managed to be pretty level headed parents that sacrificed a lot to make sure their sons could achieve their dreams. I know it’s just one story. I think part of the problem is over population. I mean, we’ve basically doubled the amount of people living in the same amount of space in only a few decades. The value of a degree goes down when more people get them. I had to get three (and a college diploma to boot) to finally find a full time job.

    • Nora Loreto January 14, 2013 at 3:33 am #

      Mike, the system is set up to allow a few people through. That way, when you point to the systemic barriers that Mal pointed out, someone can always offer an example of someone who worked hard enough to overcome challenges etc.

      Overpopulation has nothing to do with it. A progressive tax system would simply grow as more people had more income and paid more taxes. The erosion of the welfare state, the current austerity agenda and the unraveling of everything that placed the baby boomer generation into the spots they are today are an example of an intergenerational attack: (example) who cares if the state paid for our university education, you have to suck it up and find a way to pay it.

      Youth unemployment is at record highs and the availability of good jobs are declining. You even admit that you had to go through extra efforts to be able to find a full time job. I think it’s interesting that Mal didn’t name his industry or his degree. I’ll respect that he did that on purpose, but I’ll say that it’s a professional, highly skilled science/tech degree that is supposed to be one of the ones that you need to get a good job.

  2. lagatta à montréal January 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    This “guest post” is reactionary crap. I’m a boomer, and have nothing in common with the portrait that person paints. Many of us (some at rabble) have remained committed to the causes we committed ourselves to in our teens or twenties.

    • Nora Loreto January 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      I’m not sure it’s fair to characterize this as reactionary. It lacks a certain depth of political analysis, sure, though the points it raises are legitimate. If people like you were running government, there’d be no reason to post such an argument…the problem is that the baby boomer generation is circling their wagons around my generation through neoliberal policies like high tuition fees, debt, no relief from this high unemployment etc. The result is the one that Mal describes: few to no stable, full-time jobs and widespread underemployment. This has certainly been the experience of many of my friends who are unfortunately happy enough when they can cobble together three or four part-time or short-term contacts and call it a living.

  3. Robb March 3, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Get a skill. Get a life.

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