Friday, July 27, 2007

Generation Y

More young people aged between 18-34 voted in Big Brother than in the last General Election.

An appalling indictment on the state of British politics and politicians? Make it more relevant to 'yoof' suggests the Guardian by introducing online voting and Presidential style debates. But whatever you do, 'curb your inclination to condemn the new generation of voters as lazy'.

Well my inclinations are not so easily curbed. Criticising 'young people' is one of the last taboos but the only conclusion one can draw from this fact is how badly it reflects on Generation Y (roughly those born between 1976 and 2000).

There is an old Chinese saying of 'rice paddy to rice paddy in three generations' i.e the first generation of poor workers (Baby Boomers) takes risk and with little to lose succeeds in creating wealth. The second generation (Generation X), brought up by parents who experienced poverty are constantly reminded of the need to work hard and save, succeed only in maintaining the family fortune but not in expanding it (as this would require risk). Then, the third generation (Generation Y), raised indulgently by helicopter parents who never knew hardship, reject the work ethic, place their hedonistic lifestyles first and fritter it all away.

Are we at the third stage of a natural cycle of prosperity that began after World War II? I think we are but thanks to globalisation and immigration, help is at hand.

In science, there is a deadly process known innocently as a 'positive feedback loop'. The vast majority of interactions in nature are 'negative feedback loops'. For example, your brain sends signals to your hypothalamus when the body is low on carbohydrate and you eat. During the eating process, your hypothalamus relays signals back to the brain, indicating that enough calories have been ingested, you feel full and you stop eating. A positive feedback loop feeds on itself to increase the action as opposed to reducing it, for example in a nuclear reactor.

One of the consequences of the State's malign involvement in education has been the failure of its schools to educate children. As a result, children are leaving school knowing less about the world. Politicians then appear who can appeal to this dumbed-down audience and play on their ignorant concerns. Television also dumbs itself down to ensure viewers and news programs become news-lite, celeb-focused or get shifted to unsocial hours. This in turn produces an even more ignorant generation. This positive feedback loop can reduce educational standards in our schools incredibly quickly.

What can be done to reverse this dumbing trend?

i) Get the State out of the business of managing education. Its role should be one of funding only.
ii) Open immigration. Whilst our Anglo kids are exploring their inner selves by shovelling elephant shit in Kenya, hordes of Indian, Eastern European and Chinese kids, whose parents knew only hardship, are taking their place on the prosperity pecking order.

Once the Trust Fund runs dry, the cycle will begin again. But for now, it sure is painful to watch this indulgent, pampered, Prozac-dependent generation.