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The uphill path for Generation Y

By Emily Morris 21 May 2014 59

On Monday night’s Q&A I watched as a fairly gutsy young graduate from Tasmania questioned Mr Hockey on the new rules around unemployment benefits for those under 30.  I was pretty impressed.  Obviously a well-educated fellow, although the Treasurer came back more than once with ‘Under 30s will earn or learn’, this man pressed, citing figures of (something like) 18,000 job seekers to approximately 500 job ads (in Tasmania).  This guy wants to work, but understands the reality that finding a job in the current market is tough.  So, under these new rules he asked how he would survive.  The previous answer was repeated, with explanation that if he couldn’t find a job the Government would assist him in enrolling in a TAFE course or diploma.  By the look on this guy’s face, I imagine he probably had a fairly detailed and lengthy degree behind him.  Does he really need to learn any more at this point in time?  Another young woman said she was currently in a public sector role and likely to lose it.  If she was denied benefits (although Joe did mention a sliding scale of the 6 month wait, losing 1 month for every year worked which was the first I had heard on this), how would she pay her mortgage?  The Treasurer seemed surprised that someone under 30 would have a mortgage. 

My point is less about the budget and more about the impressive face I saw of Generation Y (those born in the 80s and 90s). 

Myself, I’m a Generation X-er.  We’re a whole different kettle of fish.  I have however come across work places that have really battled to take on Generation Y employees with any great success.  It has felt a bit like trying to put a round peg in a square hole.  I have wondered if maybe it’s the hole that needs some level of change and adaption rather than putting the entire onus on the peg.

The ABS puts the ACT’s unemployment rate for 15-24 year-olds at 10.4 per cent.  As benefits shift, along with increasing university fees – I can’t help but wonder if this generation will be made to carry a heavier load than most during this transition period.

I was happy to hear about a Forum run in Canberra today, working with employers on how to better manage their Gen Y workforce.  Was anyone part of it who would care to share their experience?

What’s Your opinion?


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The uphill path for Generation Y
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dungfungus 8:21 am 26 May 14

NoImRight said :

Re #36 (sorry wont let me quote for some reason) To be fair Dungfungus’ post starts with an incredibly pompous statement. How many people would really focus on someone who starts a speech with “Im really smart and heres why”. Especially when the author has a long history of statements that prove just the opposite.

You cant complain that the world wont listen if youve never given them any reason why they should.

For someone who calls themselves No I’m Right, it’s a big call to refer to me as pompous.

dungfungus 8:03 am 26 May 14

drfelonious said :

dungfungus post #33

University education may not have been free when you left school, but you are showing your age and your ignorance by stating an obvious error that it was never free. I’m guessing you left school in the 1960s and started work and then subsequently didnt pay any attention to the free university policy of the Whitlam government.
As a Gen X, I can assure you that it was more or less free (nominal fees only) between the mid 70s and 1987 when John Dawkins introduced HECS. This was a couple of years before I started uni (sucks to be me).

Your other arguments are similarly lacking in any evidentiary foundation – unfortunately this is a common trait of baby boomers asserting that they had it tougher than Gen X or Y. It is an indisputable fact that Australia now has close to the least affordable housing in the world, and the increases started between the late 80s and late 90s (depending on the city). Baby boomers commonly take offence at this suggestion by saying it was always hard, and they didn’t have Ipads or flat screen TVs etc etc. This is rubbish anecdotal reasoning. Very simple (not university) maths tells you that the ratio of average income to housing prices has more than doubled between Baby boomers and Gen Y.

My reference to there never being free university education stands. At the end of the day someone has to pay and while Whitlam may have conned a lot into believing he was delivering something “free” the cost was transferred to the taxpayer. I am totally aware of the history of HECS (now HELP).
I also stand by my statement that financial support from family was necessary to attend university – I know this from personal experience.
Thanks for again attacking the status of babyboomers by naming me old and ignorant.
The rest of your rant is just elitist-centric dogma that universities see as important to repeat often. I can see that Gen X’ers are little different to GenY’ers (apart from being older and more ignorant).
For the record, I don’t have an iPad, an MP3 or a smart phone.
I do congratulate you though for referring to my comments as “lacking in any evidentiary foundation” when other people would simply call me a liar.

bikhet 7:09 am 26 May 14

drfelonious said :

dungfungus post #33

University education may not have been free when you left school, but you are showing your age and your ignorance by stating an obvious error that it was never free. I’m guessing you left school in the 1960s and started work and then subsequently didnt pay any attention to the free university policy of the Whitlam government.

OK, I’ll bite. University education in Australia has never been free. Someone has always paid for it, whether that be the receiver of that education, their parents, the taxpayer, whoever.

Where you stand on who pays depends more on your political views, and your level of wealth, than on your age – though I can understand students and potential students preferring that someone else pays.

milkman 8:26 pm 25 May 14

drfelonious said :

OK, I’ll bite Milkman – show me the hard data that establishes that the ratio of disposable income to house prices means that Baby Boomers had it harder…bet you can’t.

Instead what you will want to tell me is that taxes were so much higher back in the day and blah blah blah. But what you won’t want to do is point to any actual evidence.

Anecdotal reasoning – I’m so sick of it.

I’m not suggesting the baby boomers had it harder. Overall they had somethings easier, and some things harder. Just as each generation did.

People who can’t read (or want to draw their own twisted conclusions) – I’m so sick of it!

drfelonious 7:17 pm 25 May 14

OK, I’ll bite Milkman – show me the hard data that establishes that the ratio of disposable income to house prices means that Baby Boomers had it harder…bet you can’t.

Instead what you will want to tell me is that taxes were so much higher back in the day and blah blah blah. But what you won’t want to do is point to any actual evidence.

Anecdotal reasoning – I’m so sick of it.

milkman 6:50 pm 25 May 14

drfelonious said :

dungfungus post #33

University education may not have been free when you left school, but you are showing your age and your ignorance by stating an obvious error that it was never free. I’m guessing you left school in the 1960s and started work and then subsequently didnt pay any attention to the free university policy of the Whitlam government.
As a Gen X, I can assure you that it was more or less free (nominal fees only) between the mid 70s and 1987 when John Dawkins introduced HECS. This was a couple of years before I started uni (sucks to be me).

Your other arguments are similarly lacking in any evidentiary foundation – unfortunately this is a common trait of baby boomers asserting that they had it tougher than Gen X or Y. It is an indisputable fact that Australia now has close to the least affordable housing in the world, and the increases started between the late 80s and late 90s (depending on the city). Baby boomers commonly take offence at this suggestion by saying it was always hard, and they didn’t have Ipads or flat screen TVs etc etc. This is rubbish anecdotal reasoning. Very simple (not university) maths tells you that the ratio of average income to housing prices has more than doubled between Baby boomers and Gen Y.

Incomes to house prices are irrelevant. Household disposable income to house price is much more useful.

drfelonious 5:52 pm 25 May 14

dungfungus post #33

University education may not have been free when you left school, but you are showing your age and your ignorance by stating an obvious error that it was never free. I’m guessing you left school in the 1960s and started work and then subsequently didnt pay any attention to the free university policy of the Whitlam government.
As a Gen X, I can assure you that it was more or less free (nominal fees only) between the mid 70s and 1987 when John Dawkins introduced HECS. This was a couple of years before I started uni (sucks to be me).

Your other arguments are similarly lacking in any evidentiary foundation – unfortunately this is a common trait of baby boomers asserting that they had it tougher than Gen X or Y. It is an indisputable fact that Australia now has close to the least affordable housing in the world, and the increases started between the late 80s and late 90s (depending on the city). Baby boomers commonly take offence at this suggestion by saying it was always hard, and they didn’t have Ipads or flat screen TVs etc etc. This is rubbish anecdotal reasoning. Very simple (not university) maths tells you that the ratio of average income to housing prices has more than doubled between Baby boomers and Gen Y.

bundah 10:55 pm 24 May 14

Az said :

bundah said :

Spoken like a true GenY….

Irony.

But refute the premise … Babyboomers ARE the most entitled generation of all time. Easy jobs, free uni, a demographic bubble that has every political party kissing their arse. (negative gearing etc.)

As Boomers get more and more conservative, so does the entire Australian political landscape. It sux 🙁

And don’t be so down on Gen Y – who do think is going to be changing the bedpans and chasing down dementia walkabouts? Gen X? Those b@#$%#ds are too busy scheming how to get hold of the family assets before they’re all blown on Winnebagos and cookie-cutter holidays to Europe.

Amiright?

Comparing different generations without having a comprehensive awareness of both the glaring and subtle differences between them will invariably result in sweeping generalisations and bias stemming from ignorance.

That being said your arrogant comment deserved a sarcastic response….

Maya123 10:28 pm 24 May 14

Az,
I want to add a few more comments.

Re loans, in the past, not only did you need to save a percentage of the money before a loan was given, but if you were female you couldn’t get a loan at all without a male guarantor. If you were a couple buying a house, the female’s wage was irrelevant.

And as for your comments about Gen Y handing out bedpans to baby boomers, it happens with all generations. We all get old. And let me break this news to you, so will YOU one day. The old are looked after by the younger. Those before me have been looked after by my generation, my generation will be looked after by the next and one day YOU will have a bedpan shoved under you – if needed – by the generation following you and possibly, to quote you, “chasing down dementia walkabouts” of your generation. By the way, bedpans are not just for the old, but for any age as needed.
But not all ‘old’ people are a burden; many can be productive until quite old, if given the opportunity. It is the last few months of a person’s life when they are the biggest burden, regardless of what age that happens at; even if they are young.

HiddenDragon 11:16 am 24 May 14

davo101 said :

HiddenDragon said :

There may be a moral to this story for Canberra – wishes, and hopes and idealised views of the world don’t create real jobs.

What? You mean kicking the poor until money comes flying out is not going to work.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Nor does it save the environment.

But, but, Direct Action(TM) is going to fix everything.

I hope you enjoyed letting of that bit of righteous steam, but that’s not what I said – and no, I don’t think that’s a solution, any more than it’s a solution to have tax and spend governments (of either persuasion) which squeeze the productive and self-reliant elements of the economy and then waste too much of the proceeds on nice ideas, hobby horses and sugar-coated vote buying.

The broader problem we have is that the Australian economy has been opened to competition – particularly of the international variety – unevenly and unfairly, and with patchy and inadequate policies to support the transition. Some people (including many in this town) are still doing relatively well because they get much of the benefits of selective protection and competition, while others (including, probably, in Tasmania) are on the other side of that coin. I have yet to hear any prominent politican speak honestly about these issues in public – all we ever seem to get is (to repeat my earlier words) wishes, and hopes and idealised views of the world – from all parties.

dungfungus 9:03 am 24 May 14

Az said :

bundah said :

Spoken like a true GenY….

Irony.

But refute the premise … Babyboomers ARE the most entitled generation of all time. Easy jobs, free uni, a demographic bubble that has every political party kissing their arse. (negative gearing etc.)

As Boomers get more and more conservative, so does the entire Australian political landscape. It sux 🙁

And don’t be so down on Gen Y – who do think is going to be changing the bedpans and chasing down dementia walkabouts? Gen X? Those b@#$%#ds are too busy scheming how to get hold of the family assets before they’re all blown on Winnebagos and cookie-cutter holidays to Europe.

Amiright?

You are fortunate that the Human Rights Commission does not have include “age” as a right or you would be cited for calling babyboomers en masse as “b@#$%#ds” in a non-endearing sense.
Just as the Nazis blamed the Jews for the problems of Germany, people like you are repeating claims made in some media outlets that baby boomers are all that you have said without any proof or foundation.
To set the record straight about the babbyboomer generation being the most entitled etc. let’s look at the points you raise in the order you have listed.
Easy Jobs: There were no “easy jobs” when I left school and if one thought the job was meant to be “easy” (meaning little application was required) then they wouldn’t have that job anymore and no correspondence would be entered into (no “nanny” agencies to hand you a Kleenex and money).
In fact, at that time, “easy” and “job” did not appear in the same sentence such were the community values.
Without family support life was tough as the only alternative accommodation was at boarding houses which took about 80% of net take home pay. Very few people could afford a car. Most students finished their final exams on a Friday in November and commenced work full time the following Monday. No “gap year” in those days.
Free University: There is no such thing – never has been – never will be. In the 1960’s one could apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship (note the operative phrase is “scholar”) which was awarded to selected final year secondary students on their abilties, not rights. There were also Teachers’ College Scholarships. Both had strings attached which meant that if the accepting student did not finish the course they were bonded to pay the State the cost of the education. Also, on successful completion of the course the graduate had to work exclusively for a Government Department best suited to their studies at any location nominated by the State, for at least 3 years. Again, without family support (especially for those living in rural areas) it was impossible to take up these offers (no such thing as “youth allowance” to assist).
Negative Gearing: It was hard enough for most of us to acquire our first home let alone buy an investment one. Home loans were regulated and one had to have one third deposit (which had to be saved first) before any consideration would be given to a loan. The deposit money was usually generated by a second job. Negative gearing came much later in life and only for a few. Canberra is overwieghted with negative gearing because it is entirely different to the rest of Australia. If we were to believe what you were saying every babyboomer would have negatively geared properties and there would be no emerging aged pensioners as some in the media claim.
Politics: There are no degrees of conservatism. One cannot be more conservative or less conservative (unlike some of the chardonnay socialists I know). A lot of conservatives don’t look to politicians to solve their problems either – we have learned through experience that success and security comes from personal effort.
Gen Y: You mention bed pans in a derogatory way. You wouldn’t if you had to use one. Also, you talk of “chasing down” dementia patients. I’ll forgive you for that because you have probably never had a close relative with the terrible condition. If you did you would not apply such repugnant terminolgy to victims of dementia. I am glad the moderator did not edit your comments out because people with attitudes like yours need to be exposed.
I have been visiting a high care facility for the aged most of the past week and note the dedicated and caring staff are mainly babyboomers (only a few of the residents are). The only Gen Y workers appear to be from outside Australia so you and your Australian Gen Y peers should never have to handle a bed pan in your working life.
I think you have answered you own questions as to why we are “so down on Gen Y”.

Maya123 12:27 am 24 May 14

Az said :

bundah said :

Spoken like a true GenY….

Irony.

But refute the premise … Babyboomers ARE the most entitled generation of all time. Easy jobs, free uni, a demographic bubble that has every political party kissing their arse. (negative gearing etc.)

As Boomers get more and more conservative, so does the entire Australian political landscape. It sux 🙁

And don’t be so down on Gen Y – who do think is going to be changing the bedpans and chasing down dementia walkabouts? Gen X? Those b@#$%#ds are too busy scheming how to get hold of the family assets before they’re all blown on Winnebagos and cookie-cutter holidays to Europe.

Amiright?

Sounds as though you like to file people into certain slots, and don’t like anyone but those you associate as being like yourself and a similar age. These generations have always seemed so blurry and arbitrary to me, so I would be interested why these classifications are so important to you.
As you like to label people, you would call me a baby boomer (although on the younger side if you want to be precise), and like many of my generation I never got the opportunity to go to university. So, it was free! To most of us that was irrelevant. It wasn’t considered a ‘right’, but a privilege. A few in my class went. I can think of two, but there might have been others. Instead most of us went out and got (first) jobs that possibly you would consider beneath you. I apologise if I am presuming wrong here. I don’t want to come across as presumptuous as you. University was only for the few; not as now when it seems that the masses expect to attend. I imagine it would be hard these days to get a good job in the public service without a degree. I have never been a public servant, but I knew others who started work at about the same time as me, who joined the public service. They didn’t have degrees. You didn’t need one as much then, because most people never went to university. These days I imagine they would have gone to university.
I just had a thought. When less people went to university it was easier for it to be free, as there were not so many people to pay for. Free, and suddenly ‘everyone’ wants to go and expects it as a right, even if perhaps some of them would be more suited to doing a trade or similar. Then costs go up (because of the number of people claiming a university education is their right) and suddenly university is no longer free. No need to argue with me. I’m not claiming this is why university is no longer free. Just a thought.
So, why are labels so important to you? Why do you come across as bitter, and dare I say, spoilt? It might cost money, but at least these days you have a much better chance to go to university than most people of my age had. Free means nothing to people who never had the chance to partake of this.

Az 10:55 pm 23 May 14

bundah said :

Spoken like a true GenY….

Irony.

But refute the premise … Babyboomers ARE the most entitled generation of all time. Easy jobs, free uni, a demographic bubble that has every political party kissing their arse. (negative gearing etc.)

As Boomers get more and more conservative, so does the entire Australian political landscape. It sux 🙁

And don’t be so down on Gen Y – who do think is going to be changing the bedpans and chasing down dementia walkabouts? Gen X? Those b@#$%#ds are too busy scheming how to get hold of the family assets before they’re all blown on Winnebagos and cookie-cutter holidays to Europe.

Amiright?

watto23 3:33 pm 23 May 14

JessP said :

Hmm, yes yes. All the budget changes are bad and should be stopped.

Lets just keep them all and put up the tax rates for everyone (including the GST rate) to pay for the billions it costs every year to keep all this stuff. Oh and to pay all the debt the country already has.

Lets not worry about the number of people on the pension, the dole or DSP because we know no one who ever dud the system. On the people getting family payments. Or child care rebate or whatever. Lets give everyone access but just increase the tax rates.

And close all the tax loopholes.

And just keep putting the rates up a bit more over time, to pay for them in the future when more and more people retire and want the pension or DSP or whatever.

Yeah fine.

I’m not sure what point you are really trying to make here…. I don’t think anyone truly believes all the budget changes are bad, or that something needs to done to bring the budget back to surplus. However when you read the facts of the budget, the coalition say one thing and do another.

They are spending more in this budget than Labors last budget.
They want to end the entitlement etc, but want to give people a fairly excessive Paid parental leave scheme.
They want to stop the poor from rorting the dole, but are happy for the rich to rort the tax system.

There are many, many things that could be done and won’t be done, because politicians are only about being reelected. Don’t think thats the case with this budget? Well they are just helping out the people who funded their campaign and who will do their best to get them reelected, just like Labor does with the unions.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:47 pm 23 May 14

arescarti42 said :

It’s not just about changing whether claims are made now or in the future. A major problem with the current negative gearing regime is that it can be used as a tax avoidance vehicle, by essentially allowing individuals to transform wage income taxable at their full marginal rate, into capital gains taxable at half that rate. Quarantining losses removes that loophole.

Not so sure about this. When the NG strategy was really effective was back in the late 80’s through the 90’s when the top marginal rate was close to 50% and you only had to earn $60k per year to get there. Also, inflation was higher, which pushed asset prices up more consistently. Back then, NG was a no brainer.

Fast forward to today, though, and you need to be a high income earner for it to be reasonably effective. Not much point buying an asset growing at an average of 5% p.a. in nominal terms when you’re only getting back 30% of the loss (although some of that loss is not actual cash).

As I said previously, quarantining the loss just means that the loss would be carried forward, not that it would disappear. There would also need to be some careful thought given to how this would work, to stop people forming companies or using trusts to avoid the new rules. Indeed, thought would need to be given as to what the new rules would really result in.

And don’t forget why the CGT 50% rule was brought in. A lot of anti-NG argument conveniently forget this, leading to some people believing that you really only have to declare half the gain in real terms, which is demonstrably false.

arescarti42 said :

Perhaps, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. What the Government needs to do is figure out what it’s actually trying to achieve, and then figure out the most economically efficient and cost effective way to do that.

If the goal is actually to increase housing supply and rental affordability, then there’s lots of ways to do that, but I think it’s pretty clear that current negative gearing system completely fails to do that, and on that basis, is a terrible use of Government funds.

Agree with this. So we need to think about what we really want. I’d suggest it would be a situation with a number of characteristics, including:
1) Encourages new builds
2) Provides for adequate supply
3) Rewards investment risk sensibly

Personally I think changing the depreciation regimen would achieve some of these things, but others are more a product of government behaviour. Making drastic changes too quickly almost always causes unforeseen problems.

We would also need to be careful that the government didn’t end up worse off. The government makes billions a year from stamp duty, many billions from GST, many billions from CGT, not to mention land tax, rates, etc. If people suddenly decided not to invest in property then that revenue stream from CGT alone would dry up overnight, costing far more than the cost of NG concessions.

Trouble is, no matter what we do with the tax rules, we can’t overcome the issues of governments drip feeding land for sale and failing to build adequate infrastructure in outlying areas. Until these problems are genuinely fixed, inner city property will be worth a lot more than would otherwise be the case.

arescarti42 1:40 pm 23 May 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

One issue with NG concession (which, as I’m sure you know, is neither actual law nor property specific), is whether quarantining of losses to offset future gains would actually achieve the desired result. The real outcome here would be to change when tax claims were made, rather than how much, because quarantining would presumably result in a ‘carrying forward’ of the taxable loss into years when cashflow was sufficient to support the loss.

It’s not just about changing whether claims are made now or in the future. A major problem with the current negative gearing regime is that it can be used as a tax avoidance vehicle, by essentially allowing individuals to transform wage income taxable at their full marginal rate, into capital gains taxable at half that rate. Quarantining losses removes that loophole.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Rather than limiting the concession to new builds, perhaps a better solution would be to increase the rate at which building depreciation could be claimed, but balance this by reducing the time across which the deduction can occur. For example, if you changed from being able to deduct 2.5% of the initial building value each year for 40 years to deducting 5% of the initial building value for 20 years, then new builds would suddenly become WAY more attractive, while existing stock over perhaps 5 years old would have a lot less demand.

Perhaps, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. What the Government needs to do is figure out what it’s actually trying to achieve, and then figure out the most economically efficient and cost effective way to do that.

If the goal is actually to increase housing supply and rental affordability, then there’s lots of ways to do that, but I think it’s pretty clear that current negative gearing system completely fails to do that, and on that basis, is a terrible use of Government funds.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:35 pm 23 May 14

NoImRight said :

You cant complain that the world wont listen if youve never given them any reason why they should.

The same could well be said for much of Gen Y, and especially for the uni students currently protesting at campuses around the country.

NoImRight 12:47 pm 23 May 14

Re #36 (sorry wont let me quote for some reason) To be fair Dungfungus’ post starts with an incredibly pompous statement. How many people would really focus on someone who starts a speech with “Im really smart and heres why”. Especially when the author has a long history of statements that prove just the opposite.

You cant complain that the world wont listen if youve never given them any reason why they should.

davo101 11:41 am 23 May 14

HiddenDragon said :

There may be a moral to this story for Canberra – wishes, and hopes and idealised views of the world don’t create real jobs.

What? You mean kicking the poor until money comes flying out is not going to work.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Nor does it save the environment.

But, but, Direct Action(TM) is going to fix everything.

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