So here’s one I’ve heard a bunch recently. Regarding the deficit and national debt of our Country people have told me that we can’t “pass the buck” onto the next generation. They use this rhetoric to justify austerity policies, which as I’ve talked about before – cause more problems than they solve. Yet this isn’t a post about why austerity is a bad thing, its specifically about that rhetoric and why its simply ludicrous.
I was born in the very early 90s, which yes, makes me… a 90s kid. Woo Polly Pockets, Tamagotchis and those weird rubber aliens in goo that you could totally make reproduce if you kept them in the freezer long enough. My friend James swears it happened to his. Being born in the 90s means I was still in College when the 2008 recession hit. I didn’t have a job at the time and relied on something called EMA – education maintenance allowance – to pay for fuel as the only college nearby that had the courses I wanted was a 9 mile journey. I didn’t even have a car, the fuel was for a motorbike I owned. It had great MPG, but still cost quite a lot to keep my self on the road and able to attend college.
The college did offer a coach, but the coach would take up to two hours to pick everyone up and arrive at the college, and it also didn’t fit in with a lot of my college schedule. As there was only one coach in the morning, and one in the afternoon.
One of my first experiences with a crashing economy was the price of fuel rising. I think I remember it getting as high as £1.5o/litre towards the end of my college courses – when it had previously been at £1/litre when I started riding. This rise meant I attended college less and had less of an outgoing social life too, purely out of being unable to afford either.
All of this is to say that I’ve already once inherited the debts created by people before me. By people who can afford to take those hits and still keep on truckin’ as if nothing really happened. I’m living in the reality of a debt ridden country that I had no power or chance to change – and this is the standard for how economics works. Things are bought and they need to be paid for. Often this will mean younger generations with the most active work force will pay off a lot of this debt – even if its debt that comes from giving old people heating in the winter. You can’t escape paying tax, and you shouldn’t look to try either.
The people and generation of adults alive at the time are still contributing to paying off our debts. Everyone is in it together and its not for this reason we should be concerned about how the “buck has been passed”. The real buck-passing comes from austerity policies in my opinion. Where the debts and deficit were created by the wealthy and rich – yet now for some reason, they are cutting services, jobs etc that deeply affect the poor to try and pay it off. Which is downright unfair.
You can’t use the idea of passing the buck to defend and support austerity measures – as it isn’t the poor and less well of members of our society which caused the economic crash which has lead to these measures of austerity. If you’re truly concerned with this idea of the buck being passed, look no further than your corporations, your bankers, your affluent and wealthy investors… oh and of course, your politicians. They are the ones who have passed the buck and now we’re in a society where people demonise people for being poor and disadvantaged as if it was their fault all along. Nice one Britain – you don’t deserve your “Great” any more.