Well, I’m alright Jack. I’ve reached the declared retirement age and am about to receive a cool $20,000 per annum from the state. Thanks.
But I remember discussing with ‘me mates’ many years ago the proposition that this ‘gift from the state’ occurred at the wrong end of life.
Why not grant the money at the age of 18?
At that age it may have provided the financial security to allow me to take on the world without the risk of falling flat on my face.
To be a writer, a painter, a traveller, a business founder ………
How many young people had their ambitions curtailed because of the need to find the wherewithal for food and shelter?
“I could have been / I wanted to be, but …..” finances did not allow.
Or, maybe that’s the wrong approach.
It’s not to do with providing the wherewithal to achieve personal ambitions, it’s more basic than that.
It’s to provide sufficient means so everyone can live with dignity. Full stop. No moralising, no justification, no explaining.
It’s just a basic human right.
I suppose an analogy might be that it is now accepted as a basic human right to receive free education from the age of five.
There is no moralising about that these days, but it’s only been universal in the U.K. since the Education Act was introduced in 1870.
Similarly there’s little discussion now about the granting of pensions. I do not expect to be called a ‘dole bludger’ because I am about to receive money off the state.
But again, this universal entitlement has only been around since the 1938 Social Security Act (in New Zealand).
So, if the state can provide – without question or fuss – for the young and the old, why not for the rest of society?
Is the problem lack of political will?
Is the problem one of lack of money?
Is the problem one of ethics?
Is the problem one of principle?
Or is it all of the above?