Home > Comment, Current Affairs, Education, Politics, Rants > The lost generation: why Britain’s young people have no hope of a bright future

The lost generation: why Britain’s young people have no hope of a bright future

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It is a frustrating time to be a young Brit today. But the mounting frustration I feel, being lucky enough to have a job and working towards a career, must be exponentially worse for those without work, without money and losing hope.

It wasn’t always like this, or so I’m told. But the halcyon days of old are no longer. The youth of today are screwed.

The first problem is education. Degrees have become a penny a dozen, not in financial terms, but in aspirational terms. If every job needs a degree then the majority of young people have to go into debt simply to have any hope of getting a job.

A huge number of young people now have degrees, but if everyone has a degree then it isn’t an advantage, it is simply a debt. If no one had a degree then the job market would be exactly the same. We have massively devalued our education system. This is because of market forces in the education system.

The next problem is the housing market. My mum bought her first house for £15,000 back in the 80s. She tells me that although her salary has trebled, her flat is now worth almost £300,000.

How on earth are young people meant to get a mortgage? When my mum was earning 10k a year her mortgage was a year-and-halfs wages. If you wanted a mortgage on her house while earning £20,000 it would pan out at 20 years wages. Young people are being denied mortgages, their right to property trodden on by market forces.

The people being given mortgages are the property owners. This means that as they expend their property empires, they force myriad young people into permanently renting, costing them hundreds of thousands of pounds, yet leaving them nothing to show for it.

Another problem employment. Where are the jobs that school children were so earnestly promised by schoolteachers when they graduated? Neither here nor there. This is of course, due to market forces.

There are now over a million young people unemployed, with no hope of owning property because they can’t get a career in order to get the money to invest in a house.

The economic situation has instilled such fears in employers that even if there was a 99% chance that taking on more staff would be profitable, they won’t. The big business owners have gone for damage limitation, which in real English, means reducing their costs to keep their profits.

But, young people of Britain, don’t dispair, because it is not your fault. In fact it isn’t your government’s fault, nor your parent’s fault. It’s the economy stupid.

It is in fact the wool being pulled over our eyes. Austerity has failed this country, it has put us into another recession, left millions unemployed, ruined the moral of millions more, destroyed the hopes and aspirations of the next generation of this country.

We are told that market forces i.e. the recession, is responsible for this. But the market was created by us, and why would the chancellor pronounce an annual budget if we couldn’t have effect it?

We do have an impact on it, but that is directed away from the young people, the needy and the disabled.

Yet we do nothing. We barely even vote anymore. This has led to some of the disparity that exists in our country because politics is all about voters. The majority of home owners vote, whereas a majority of renters don’t. Work it out, political parties hoping to be in government preach to the home owners and the business owners, the people who vote. It may have started as a trickle, but as politicians started to care less about young people, they stopped voting, so the government cared less, and fewer young people voted. And on it went ad infinitum until we get what we have today, a government that protects the vested interests of the rich because the young poor don’t vote.

It is not just the economy, it is our fault too. Pensioners still receive their free bus passes and tv licences because they are the highest voting demographic. Big businesses receive better deals and billionaire CEOs get lower tax rates, because they not only vote, but fund political campaigns.

Our politicians see young people as hoodies, rioters and lazy. Until now we have been too scared to be or do anything different. If we have jobs we want to keep them, and if we don’t we still have this hope, drilled into us at a young age, that our lives will be like our parent’s.

This is a myth. We won’t have state pensions, many of us won’t have jobs. As pensionable ages get higher this will stop new, younger workers entering the system and it will get worse and worse. There is no growth strategy (except if you count helping businesses and millionaires grow their own profits), no safety net and as I see it the only hope is to make our voices heard.

We have been institutionalised to believe that the system will look after us. It worked for our parents, our parent’s parents and their parents before them. It won’t work for us. If we go on hoping that getting our grades will get us a job which will get us a mortgage we are letting ourselves be cheated by a system representing the few.

I am not saying that young are the only demographic to suffer, god knows what’s being inflicted on the old, disabled and public sector is inhumane to say the least. But it is the young people who have to stand up for themselves, ourselves, if anything is going to change.

We must make our jobs, we must make our money and we must make our hope.

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  1. L
    September 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

    So true… it’s like you read mind mind.
    But what are we to do about it? All the parties are the same… we might as well live in a dictatorship.

  2. L
    September 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

    *my mind

  3. SS
    September 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    There is no hope for the younger generation, of this country or any other, whilst we continue to live under a pyramid system that benefits a few right at the top at the expense of everyone beneath. The whole thing is a con, a scam. Voting won’t change anything.. we’ll end up with the same corruption.

    In the UK we’re still living with 19th century work ethic, education, economics, and purpose. We all work so those at the top don’t have to. Nothing has changed. We have a few more freedoms and gizmo’s, but things haven’t really changed much at all.

    The elite run things and don’t give a shit about the public. That is just the truth.

  4. L
    September 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    We need to do something about it then! If a large enough group of young people were to (peacefully) protest or AT LEAST write a letter to David Cameron and their MP sharing their experiences, people would have more of an understanding of what is really going on.
    I’m a Newly Qualified Teacher struggling to find an induction post. I kid you not there were people in my last school, where I worked as a supply teacher, who don’t realise how difficult it is for young people today. They can’t understand why I haven’t got a post. You have GOT to make a song and dance about this!!! If we go quietly we’ll be forgotten generation. Get writing, get protesting (I say again peacefully)!

  5. SS
    September 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    My parents don’t understand it either, they’re both teachers and they both only ever had one job. I’ve tried talking to them about it but they don’t understand.. obviously because they’re out of the loop. I hate to be a cynical bastard (at 25 that’s something! lol) but I don’t think a letter to Cameron or an MP is going to be effective.. the politicians live in a completely different world to us peasants, they don’t know what it means to do a hard honest days work or to scrimp by. They all have million pound assets, country homes, connections etc. Why should they care about the people? They never have done, least not in our time. Protest needs to happen, but again the cynic in me says it won’t achieve much unless we bring London to a standstill, or start lynching some politicians! ^_^

    You’re right in that we have to make a noise about this. I don’t advocate violence but this may be the one exception when it’s needed. The government has gotten comfy and complacent because the public hasn’t really demanded major change in a long time, peacefull protest doesn’t have the same impact any more because of that (i can think of numerous recent protests that failed).

    As a consolation though, you’re a teacher.. if things get worse you could always pack up ship and set sail for any foreign nation. English teachers will always be in demand around the world! You might want to get in there quick though because I and many others may be on your tail very soon lol.

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