Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Andrei Are Labour MPS really this clueless

The "greatest generation" fought World War 2. A significant number of them sacrificed their youth to that great struggle facing great hardship and deprivation as they did so. Of course there were many who gave more then their youth, the ones who didn't return.

And when the battles were over those who had come through it began their lives, started their families and raised their children. They had lots of children and were encouraged to do so by the Governments of the day who saw the value of Children and the merits of creating the next generation to perpetuate the species.

It was a period of great prosperity and the children of the greatest generation grew up in a world of privilege and opportunity beyond the wildest imaginations of their ancestors.

And here is what the Greatest Generation produced. The baby boomers. A selfish and self absorbed hedonistic bunch.

And for many of the boomers having families raising children was not a high priority. So they didn't.

Now of course this idolent generation is approaching retirement, the summer has gone and like Aesop's grasshopper who spent it fiddling instead of storing grain for the winter, they have not stored anything for their old age which would be the next generation to support them in their dotage and to carry on after they have gone.

Which brings me to this post from Labour MP Darrien Fenton: Will we need migrants to care for the baby boomers?

In which he muses
Caring for older people is considered a low-end job. Yes, increase training and career paths, but bottom line, increase the wages and the respect for the job. I think a good model is Early Childhood Education, where former “childcare workers” have been transformed into early childhood education teachers through degree programmes and decent wages.


Which is all fine and dandy but who exactly is going to pay those wages? If the population is top heavy with the elderly, which it is already and this is going to get steadily worse, who is going to do the real work that keeps society functioning? Things like producing food, generating electricity, maintaining roads and so forth.

And how are they going to feel about having a significant part of their income diverted into paying for transforming immigrants into "highly payed carers of the elderly".

And if you think about it resources diverted from the working age population in the near future will limit their opportunities for them to raise the next generation to carry on from them.

There is one certain thing, whoever inherits New Zealand will not share the values of the Boomer Generation.

Footnote

I am a boomer, I saw this coming many years ago. I raised four kids.

One has already left New Zealand for greener pastures and now earns more money than her mother, who is, somewhat ironically, one of Mr Fenton's vaunted early childhood education teachers, complete with degree.

Another is completing her nursing degree and supports herself by working in the high needs unit of a rest home. When she graduates maybe she will stay, maybe not, only time will tell.

7 comment(s):

ZenTiger said...

Are Labour MPs really this clueless?

Based on the last 9 months, I'm not sure you need to qualify that sentence with "Labour"

homepaddock said...

Requiring ECE staff to get academic qualifications has shut some experienced staff out of jobs.

But has it improved the standard of care the chidlren get?

People who look after other people of any age should be paid well, but as you point out someone has to do the paying.

ZenTiger said...

Indeed homepaddock. And how do you turn genuine compassion into a training course? I would argue that many of the people in this industry without the academic qualifications can still be exceptional providing they have an abundance of compassion. Many do, and therefore are.

Andrei said...

But has it improved the standard of care the chidlren get?

For all these caring professions you need compassion and empathy and that's something that comes to you with your mother's milk or not at all.

There is no degree course that can teach it.

Have you noticed how many MPs have a teaching background? Particularly Labour ones - which explains in part why a certificate you can hang on the wall trumps life experience.

MK said...

Those who do not understand the value of previous generations sacrifice will learn it the hard way, either that or they'll serve as an example to others.

homepaddock said...

You're right, you can't teach compassion.

And many of the skills required for good carers are best taught on the job rather than in a classroom.

Cactus Kate said...

Darien Fenton is a female.

Lets start from that grown up position that we can get the gender and spelling correct of the person we are abusing.

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