Karl Deeter: ‘Intergenerational inequality gap cuts both ways’

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Karl Deeter: ‘Intergenerational inequality gap cuts both ways’

The older generation are deluded if they think their lot is worse than it was for those of the same age 50 years ago, says Karl Deeter


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There is an idea I often write about called ‘intergenerational inequality’. You can see it as a problem, or a natural phenomenon. The basic concept is that certain generations have huge advantages over others in terms of wealth, access to resources and then also in the way they rely on other generations.

Take the generation who are aged 65 and above now. They have plenty of young workers to keep them paid in state pensions and health services which they use more intensely than other age groups. On personal pensions, they usually still have defined benefit schemes, too, which are the best of all.

They got good jobs, permanent jobs, without having to spend years in college, and, by starting work early, they reached life landmarks quicker – like having kids and buying homes. They were able to buy houses at a reasonable price, most were debt-free by their 40s. Their kids are grown up, and, despite the usual callers to Joe Duffy, they have it good; they are the nation’s richest people as a group.

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