Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Paul’s Perspective

Gen Y – please stand up!

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27 June 2016

What a month! Here at Mannkal we’ve had the excitement of lining up new scholars, with 85 going to internships and conferences in Australia and around the world over just the next two months. We are pleasantly surprised that Britain will now be unshackled from the EU – a tired, 1960s-model, tariff-protected customs union with a dead economy, migration crisis and an unaccountable and disdainful Brussels elite. The abrogation of sovereignty and democracy was the Achilles’ heel of the EU Project, and their restoration will not only leave Britain stronger, wealthier, happier and more peaceful, but will also encourage other EU member states to seek the same. For more, please read previous blogs from both Ron and myself.

Reactions in the losing Remain camp have been as concerning as comical. Blaming elder voters, Giles Coren of The Times (UK) wrote that “The Wrinklies Have Stitched us Up” and demanded the franchise be withdrawn from those over 60, while others blamed the poor, racism, sexism and climate-deniers. A petition to re-run the vote gained a million signatures (well, the EU itself has infamously done that before.) Refusing to accept the democratic decision is typical of the totalitarian Left; young people should not be fooled into seeing righteousness in overthrowing the rules to seek their desired outcome.

Australia faces many challenges, as indeed does the world. The best approach for young people is to remain dispassionate and pragmatic. Net Federal debt is forecast to reach $346b by 2018, while the WA State figure is forecast to be $38b. Given that less than half the population are taxpayers and less than half those chip in more tax than they receive in services, the burden is unacceptable. The young can fairly complain that the mantra of recent decades – “more funding” – is unsustainable; that means spending cuts and efficiency must be sought. From welfare to education to health, no less than the most efficient practices should be accepted in order to stretch the taxpayer dollar further – and leave more of those dollars with those who earned them. Economists are like designated drivers: a bit of a drag to have around when the party is kicking, but everyone’s friend when the lights come on. Generation Y may not like the fact that microeconomic reform is the only option left, but it must work with it. Now is not a time to repeat the student riots of 1968 but to put all options for reform on table in a manner our political leaders have failed to do. Ron and I are always impressed by the pragmatic and open-minded nature of the students who engage with Mannkal. Here’s hoping that the younger generation have the courage for the hard conversations our leaders have shirked.

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