Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Coming debate on New Zealand Superannuation

Michaels paper contains interesting points and his bullet points on page 6 covers the spectrum of issues relating to this topic . Michael is always easy to read!

Posted by Alec Waugh

Comment Integenerational Transfer of Wisdom, Not Wealth, is the Problem

Name: swlthll

Contribution: Intergenerational Transfer of Wisdom, Not Wealth, is the Problem

Rational debate is always obscured by trying to blame what at the time, were historical normalities, for situations we now look at differently. Blaming the ‘Baby-Boomers’ (of whom I am not one) for political actions and economic situations which were almost historically inevitable, is an easy way to avoid confronting the problems we face now. Every generation has tried to do the best it could, with the information available, to cope with its’ economic and social situations, and it is no good wringing our hands in Greek Chorus of doom to ascribe blame.

We need to look forward, not backwards, and be doing positive education to show that greed and jealousy do not provide a basis for a better, happier and more equal society. Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth is a catchy phrase to to head up academic and media articles, but it really has no meaning or content, when it comes to formulating an approach to help our children and grandchildren have a happier, more predictable life and eventual retirement.

We should be concentrating on an Intergenerational Transfer of Wisdom, so that our successors do not fall into the trap of rabid, superficial consumerism, that is the real cause of the deteriorating lifestyle and happiness, not the fact that social conditions two or three generations ago, produced an advantaged group. We should learn from the past, but not endlessly dissect it to excuse our present, self-made problems.

Intergenerational debate-The Facts !


Ms Becky Prebble, a Senior Analyst at the Treasury, for the motion

Dr Simon Chapple, a Senior Research Fellow in the Dunedin Multi-disciplinary Health and Development Research Unit, University of Otago, against the motion

The intergenerational debate from the Government Economics Network hosted by the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at Auckland University on Friday July 10 was a success, deserving a larger audience. I always look around the room at these and similar functions looking for people like Fran Sullivan, Matthew Hooton, Brian Fallow, Peter Lyons and Bernard Hickey, who grab the spotlight as media commentators and writers on topics like NZ Superannuation etc. , but rarely front such gatherings. I wonder why? Perhaps I missed them in the audience. Mary Holm and Rob Stock were present, and deserve a pat on the back.

Both Becky and Simon did sterling work, though I scored more substance to the arguments of Geoff but Becky was quick and presented with style. Vicky looked at the impacts of Housing, Resource Management Act, and Superannuation, the size of the Baby Boomer cohort, Taxation, and a lack of Capital gains to justify the proposition. Simon said the argument could not be substantiated, mentioned David Thompsons 1991 work on a similar theme, emphasizing in his view social inequality occurs within generations and not between. He produced a lot of material on Human Capital, Human Rights, Income@ employment issues, all benchmarked against John Rawls Political Theory “Veil of Ignorance ” , concluding the younger generations overall were benefiting from the accumulation of many society changes, not just an economic context.

The seminar was well managed by Susan St John, run to time, and appeared to hold the audience interest.

Kaspanz only direct input was to make the point at question time, that Sharon Buckland’s MA Thesis on the topic “Not the Retiring Sort” favored the Geoff viewpoint, that projections based on past behavior completely ignore the “adjustment factor” every generation makes and this is a key element which needs more recognition. When considering the Housing issue, the Auckland factor is skewing and distorting the discussion. Care needs to be taken when considering statement’s like “younger people are being priced out of the market”. What markets are we talking about the stand alone house, the apartment market; condominiums@ terrace style housing, inner city living or fringe suburbs, the pricing average differs remarkably and the demand/supply elements differ markedly both within Auckland, and regionally.

Posted by Alec Waugh