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Generational Un-generosity: a damn bitter pill to swallow

3 May

Honestly, I do desperately try to take a positive outlook of the world, and we’re much more likely to be able to think creatively and solve problems if we’re happy. So a warning to you – this post may not help your problem solving ability. Because it’s an angry rant.

I am the offspring of baby boomers (BB), that generation born between 1946-64ish. As we all know, the world I live in looks very different to the world they grew up in. I’m not going to claim fifty years ago everything was peachy, but when it comes to tertiary education, my parents and their peers (hopefully) unwittingly have put a knife to my generation’s throat. Let me explain.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Aotearoa New Zealand was subject to perhaps one of the most intense early regimes of neoliberal reform. These reforms, brought in by a Labour government with no voter mandate for their actions, were swift and severe. As well as dismantling the social welfare scheme, free university education was revoked, breaking a long standing social contract of higher taxes for guaranteed free access. Continue reading

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