The changing relationship between the generations …

Document Sample
The changing relationship between the generations … Powered By Docstoc
					The changing
relationship between
the generations …
It could even be good news?
                Every year Australian newspapers run articles about the
                emerging conflict between the baby boomer generation
                and their now adult children. The stories then get fed
                out nationwide through talkback hosts. However, the
                discourse achieves little traction in the public imagination
                and Michael Pusey suggests that this is because today
                relations between the generations have something like a
                mirror-opposite appearance to those that so preoccupied
                social commentators 30 years ago.

by                        n a nutshell my argument is that today relations between the generations – by which I mean

Michael Pusey     I       the 50-plus baby boomers and their 20-plus adult children – are mirror images to some extent
                          of those that so preoccupied social commentators 30 years ago. From the end of the Second
                World War until the early 1970s, national income in Australia was shared more equally than in almost
                any other developed nation, and living standards seemed set to go on rising for ever. We were alarmed
                then not about economics but about the so-called generation gap. Our insecurities focused primarily on
                cultural conflicts. The concerns were challenges to established authority and morality: the fallout from
                the campus revolts, compulsory enlistment for an unpopular Vietnam War, the burn-your-bras feminist
                revolution, sexual promiscuity, and what conservatives of the day would see as systemic moral decline.
                With only a little exaggeration it seems that we were then economically united but culturally divided
                whereas, now, the generations look to be more economically divided but culturally united.
                    But first of all some context … The bad news is that the much-touted inequalities between the
                baby boomers and their children are very real. As a point of entry into this discussion I would like
                to remind you that the 25-year-long process that we variously call structural adjustment, neo-
                liberalism or, as I prefer, “economic rationalism” has indeed transformed Australian society. It
                has produced a seismic disjunction between the economic experience of the 50-plus baby boomer
                generation and their now-adult 20-plus children.

                                                                Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007      
                                     The starting point for my argument is            the price they pay for the labour of the new
                                 that economic reform has pulled the plug on          generation (the bad news).
                                 the younger generation and, in comparison                This picture is extremely complicated
                                 with their parents, greatly disadvantaged            because dependency ratios, and hence the load
                                 them. However, I describe this as a quasi-           that an ageing population sets on the younger
                                 redistribution because many, perhaps most of         generation of employed workers, are further
                                 the boomers in the broad middle-70% of the           complicated by the impact of the skills shortage,
                                 population have lost out as well, and certainly      changing ratios of young to older workers
                                 not because one generation has made a                and declining fertility rates in ways that even
                                 conscious decision to rob another. Generations       our excellent demographers do not yet fully
                                 can never be plausibly represented as collective     understand. Other factors, such as savings from
                                 actors. It is rather that the structural underpin-   the reduced costs of educating smaller youth
                                 nings for the life chances of the older boomer       cohorts, the skills shortage and changing ratios
                                 generation have been shot away and this              of younger to older people seeking jobs in the
                                 development has produced a very different and        future may mitigate the problem: but they
                                 much more difficult economic environment for         will also add more complexity and so increase
                                 their children.                                      the scope for political decisions to affect the
The structural                       Given that I am neither a demographer nor        outcomes in perhaps still more unfavourable
                                 an economist, more research will be needed to        ways.
underpinnings                    better understand how several specific aspects           With Canada and Singapore, we belong to a
for the life                     of economic restructuring have interacted to         diverse group of countries that have moderate
                                 drop the economic floor on which our new             fertility rates, high migration and low labour-
chances of the                   young adults will have to build their future.        market participation (McDonald & Kippen
older boomer                     Here, pending further investigation, are six         2000). Although no-one knows exactly how this
                                 guiding observations.                                will work out, we know that the population is
generation                                                                            ageing, but not at the high rates of countries
have been shot                   Bad economic news for the                            such as Italy, France and Japan. The bottom line
                                                                                      suggests that the secular effects of population
away and this                    young? Some impacts of                               ageing will ultimately impose proportionately
has produced                     economic reform                                      greater loads on the younger workers of today
                                                                                      than those carried by the boomer parents in
a very different                 1. Dependency ratios?
                                                                                      their own working years.
and much                         As the population ages, the younger generation
                                                                                      2. Incomes?
                                 of workers will have to support a proportion-
more difficult                   ately larger number of retirees. If retirement       Arguments about the distribution of income
economic                         incomes are not to fall, the younger generation      depend on inherently abstract calcula-
                                 will have to pay more taxation in order to           tions that focus, for the most part, on small
environment for                  provide both for their own retirement and to         movements in the short term. The longer
their children.                  maintain social security and other payments          term effects of economic restructuring, and
                                 for a swelling number of seniors. If increased       of labour market deregulation in particular,
                                 labour force participation delivers still more       show up more clearly in Professor Bob
                                 part-time jobs with intermittent periods of          Gregory’s illuminating figures on movements
                                 unemployment, then the capacity of the young         in male incomes over 20 years to 1996. They
                                 to foot the double retirement bill will be further   show, for example, that in 1996, young men
                                 reduced and the gap between the generations          between 25 and 34 years of age were already
                                 widened. If migration and increased female           bringing home, in real terms, $75 less per
                                 participation continue, the labour force will        week than their fathers were 20 years earlier.1
                                 get bigger (which is a good thing) but then, in      Since the mid-1990s, incomes have been rising,
                                 a deregulated labour market, this will increase      albeit very unevenly, but the point remains
                                 the supply of labour and, in combination with        that large gains would be necessary to fill in
                                 other factors, allow corporations to bid down        this 20-year loss.

0    Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007
    Comparable figures for women are                their working lives and having trouble finding
misleading because of the rising female             steady full-time work.
participation rate, but one point remains
clear – in young couple households where the        4. Deregulation of superannuation and finance
second breadwinner is the woman, a great            The deregulation of the superannuation and
deal of her income (dramatically so when            finance industries puts the red icing on the cake.
income is calculated after housing costs) will      The deregulation and privatisation of the superan-
have to be used to fill in the losses to male       nuation industry in Australia has allowed financial
incomes before real combined earnings break         institutions to charge fees of anything up to 3% per
even.                                               annum on retirement savings as compared with
                                                    a capped 0.5% that is common in America and
3. Lifetime incomes                                 most Scandinavian countries. On the half a million
Lifetime incomes are certainly decreasing both      dollars of retirement savings that the average
as a consequence of the deregulation of the         Australian male worker would have otherwise
labour market and, ironically, as a consequence     accumulated, we find him left in retirement with
of increased longevity. I ask my students           only about $285,000 (Stretton 2003). Moreover, this
whether they know how old their grandfa-            has happened, again at the behest of the big end of
thers were when they died. If the grandfather       town, at a time when the pension and superannua-
was born in say 1900 then, as I explain, his life   tion system has been tightened to shift the burden
expectancy (at birth) would have been about 55      of provision more onto the employee. Again this
and he would have been, by today’s standards,       constrains the family’s capacity to support the
only a small charge on his family and our then      younger generation.
very small tertiary education sector. Since he
would have been more likely to die before the       5. Deregulation of housing loans
retirement age of 65, there was less need to        The deregulation of housing loans has had
provide for the retirement years.2 And of course,   a parallel effect and resulted in a massive
for the same reason, the load on the pension        increase in the costs of home ownership and
system was, by today’s standard, minimal; ditto     rents. Until 1985, home loans were regulated
for the education system.                           to limit repayments to a sum not exceeding
    In contrast, today our young adults are         25% of the principal breadwinner’s earnings.
very often still struggling to get into the         Loosely speaking this means that the
full-time labour market in their late 20s.3         remaining 75% of the principal income was
They must be supported and educated for             available for other purposes, together with
something like 10 years longer than their           the whole of any second income. Today we
grandparents. The good news here is that the        know that the mortgage on an average home
men will live on average until about 80 and         in NSW consumes not 38.4% of the principal
the women about four years longer. The bad          breadwinner’s income, but 38.4% of the total
news is that the deregulated labour market          household combined income. Moreover, the
has been pushing them out to grass from             deregulation of the labour market means
age 55. The obvious consequence is that the         that both partners are far more likely than
earnings from a now hugely compressed span          they once were to hold part-time, casual or
of working years must be stretched to provide       otherwise insecure jobs that could see one of
for some 25 years of retirement. In proportion      them unemployed and thus unable to service
to the increased number of years over which         housing loans for which both partners must
an average income must be stretched, we see,        provide. Clearly the deregulation has, to the
in comparison with earlier generations, a huge      benefit mainly of the banks, fuelled a massive
fall in real lifetime incomes that is unlikely to   inflation of house prices and rents, massively
be mitigated in the near future by the current      increased the level of economic risk for the
push for later retirement. This also constrains     younger generation, produced unsustain-
the support that the boomers can give to their      able levels of indebtedness and put home
adult children who are still at the front end of    ownership beyond the reach of ever more

                                                                                   Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007   
                                young couples. Small wonder then that the           The good news …
                                rate of home ownership for younger first-time
                                buyers is falling precipitously (Yates 2003).
                                                                                    emerging solidarities
                                                                                    When we switch the focus from the economic
                                6. Privatisation of education and health            to the cultural side of our story on intergen-
                                The creeping privatisation of the education         erational relations we get a very different and
                                and health care systems places a new burden         much more heartening picture. Let me make five
                                on the younger generation and reduces their         observations to explain what I mean.
                                capacity to save and to smooth out fluctua-
                                tions in income. HECS debts, and now forced         1. We know what is happening …
                                private health insurance premiums, increase         Fortunately, in important matters, emotions
                                indebtedness in just those years when young         follow the promptings of our experience and
                                people are typically seeking to establish           perceptions. Despite a quarter of a century of
                                themselves in couple households. And, to make       saturating propaganda, the people know that
                                matters worse, they will find that the combined     economic reform has probably done them more
                                pressures of a deregulated labour market will,      harm than good. Our research has shown that
                                as we have seen, concentrate income and other       middle Australians understand how the costs
                                economic stresses in those years when they are      and benefits of economic reform have been
                                seeking to make and give time and resources         assigned and, further, that they also have a
                                to their children. Small wonder then that my        fairly clear idea of what has happened to their
                                middle Australia respondents, and especially        incomes over long periods of time. The new
                                the young mothers, complain so much about           big business-driven economic policy machine
                                stress.                                             assumes that people will not notice what is
                                    All gloomy stuff? Yes. But no-one should        happening to their incomes providing that you
                                deny the possibility of change. For example,        move resources away from them in small bites
                                it may be that house prices will fall as the        spread broadly across large groups over a long
                                bulge of ageing seniors eventually move             period of time. Providing that the floor rises,
                                elsewhere and the supply of houses increases.       huge relative losses can still be experienced
                                And, similarly, the short-sighted meanness          as small gains. But that is not the way it is
                                of labour market deregulation and of neo-           experienced. About 90% of middle Australians
                                liberal cuts to free education may already be       know that “people on high incomes”, “rich
                                producing a skills shortage that is, in turn,       people with lots of assets” and “big business”
                                bidding up the price of skilled labour. My          are the runaway winners from reform. They
                                argument here is that trends outcomes depend        have not been deceived by the ideology. In
                                on the interplay of demographic and economic        the last three years to the turn of the century,
                                forces and that both are, at every point,           as the economy settled into boom conditions,
                                “mediated” through our institutions.                the number of people saying that wage and
                                    We are living now in the wake of a forced       salary earners were the losers from reform grew
                                20-year-long, top-down, neo-liberal re-             by some 13 percentage points to 70%. Huge
                                engineering of a whole nation society (Pusey        majorities of them know that “people on low
                                1991). It has taken 20 years of extremely           incomes”, “small business” and “ordinary
                                vigorous economic “reform” to entrench this         people generally” are more likely to be losers
                                new free-market institutional order: one that is    than winners from economic reform. They know
                                at odds with our longer historical inheritance      too that “people in the middle” have missed out.
                                of moderate social democracy. On present            Moreover, they believe that our pre-reform post-
                                indications it will hold for at least 10 years or   war economic structures worked better than
                                so. Beyond that, the future remains unknown         those of the free market regime that we have
                                and, we hope, still open to nation-building         now after wholesale restructuring.
                                development of a friendlier kind.                       Still, more significantly, here we see that
                                                                                    the results of the brand new state-of-the-art
                                                                                    ANU 2004 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes

2   Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007
show that only 43% of the Australian population       “better and more equal relations between
believe that their children will be better off when   men and women”. I take these and other like
they reach the same age as their parents (Pusey       findings to mean, first, that a great many
& Turnbull 2005). These findings point, at the        middle-aged boomer-generation women with
level of experience, to a solidarity of under-        adult children now share with their daughters
standing between the generations. The two             a direct experience of these new difficulties of
generations are joined in some basic common           combining work and family life (Pocock 2003)
understanding of the consequences of economic         and, second, that men and women are broadly
reform and how it has affected households and         agreed about the core values of family life.
produced new generational inequalities. In that       My claim is not only that this is in itself great
way at least they are facing it together and in a     news but rather that this new found consensus
way that pre-empts too much envy, resentment          promotes solidarity and understanding between
and scapegoating. That is one important               generations and hence a favourable climate for
reason why the mischievous “debate” about             mutual adjustment and cooperation.
the “selfish” baby boomers achieves so little
traction.                                             3. Intergenerational transfers
                                                      Free market economies are at best asocial and
2. New gender contract                                at worst antisocial. For the free marketeers,                Parents who can
An emerging new gender contract may also              society appears only as a generic externality, a
be doing its bit to create more understand-           dump for the unpriced costs of production, and               afford to do so
ing and solidarity than division between the          as nothing more than a quarry for natural and                are everywhere
generations. In this notoriously male-oriented        human resources. Competitive individualism
society no-one should argue that women have           ultimately treats all social bonds as constraints            forsaking
achieved full equality with men. In terms of          on economic activity and hence as resistances                consumption
domestic labour, for example, the findings are        to be overcome in the name of greater
that women have less “quality time” and do            efficiency. In adjusting to this shocking truth              in order to
more of the household chores even though              about the modern economy we may fail to see                  meet private
both partners say that these should be equally        that the larger household economy functions
shared. Yet the “should” here is important and        in just the opposite way as an enabling force                school fees,
suggests, as our Middle Australia researches4         and even as a great generator for attachment,                boarding their
confirm, that across a whole range of issues,         reciprocity, cooperation, care and even love.
full equality is already broadly established as       If resentments between the generations do not                adult children
the consensual standard for how the family            take root it could well be that the great majority           (often with their
ought to function. The old single-breadwinner         of young people believe that their parents have
standard of 30 years ago is already a minority        worked hard and deserve whatever savings                     partners) in the
phenomenon given, for example, that the               and resources they have accumulated from                     parental home
proportion of young 25- to 34-year-old women          their working years. Yet the more important
in the labour force has increased by some three-      reason for an emerging solidarity between the                for increasingly
quarters in the space of only one generation          baby boomers and their adult children may be,                long periods.
(from 1970 to 1996). Some 65% of women in             as Joanna Wyn suggests, that the baby boomers
couple relationships with dependent children          are not spending their kids’ inheritance but are
are already in the work force. Moreover, the          engaged instead, in her words, in making an
Middle Australia research shows that about            “investment in the new generation with inter-
two-thirds of our respondents say that women          generational transfers on an unprecedented
have a right to equal participation in the work       scale”.
force and that they can combine mothering                 Parents who can afford to do so – I will come
with paid employment.                                 back in a moment to the gross inequalities here
    In answer to another question, asking our         – are everywhere forsaking consumption in
respondents to rank a number of positive and          order to meet private school fees, boarding their
negative changes to the family, we find that          adult children (often with their partners) in the
the most highly ranked positive factor was            parental home for increasingly long periods,

                                                                                       Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007   3
                                paying off HECS debts and, where they can,           have divided the generations with resentments
                                giving or lending their adult children a deposit     and mutual incomprehension for as long as we
                                to buy a unit or a home. Knowing that their kids     can remember.
                                are struggling to get economically established           Age, along with sex and race, simply
                                in much harder conditions, they are doing what       becomes a nominal rather than a normative
                                they can to make good the shortfall in resources     category in ordinary social affairs. My claim
                                and opportunities. Only further research will tell   here is not that we live in a new utopia but
                                us what magnitudes are involved here but it’s        rather that these new standards are already
                                likely to be a very big story. Even small gifts of   reasonably well established as guiding ideals
                                this kind create abiding gratitude and involve       for the negotiation of conflict and difference.
                                the generations together in shared futures.          Moreover, indications from the best studies
                                    Other kinds of hands-on practical help, with     suggest that it’s working! For example, Johanna
                                child care and weekend home improvement              Wyn and her colleagues show that in the year
                                projects, often generate very considerable           2000, some 10 years after leaving school, just
                                savings and still more moral, economic and           on half their sample of 2000 young 27-year-
                                emotional solidarity. And nor should we forget       olds rate family support as the most positive
                                here that reduced morbidity and increased            influence on their lives – it comes in miles
                                longevity mean that these relationships between      ahead of other factors such as self-discovery
                                the generations can be enjoyed actively for 10       (39%) and friends’ support (24%) (Dwyer et
                                and 15 years longer than we ever dared imagine       al. 2003). Look around you and you will see
                                30 and 40 years ago.                                 people of different ages supporting each other
                                                                                     and, along the way, often building beautiful
                                4. Better communication?                             friendships.
                                Who could have imagined, 30 or 40 years ago,
                                that we would today accept that young adult
                                children should sleep with their boy or girl
                                friends in the parental home, or that young          My starting point should now be reaffirmed.
                                unwed couples in a serious partnership could         For the broad middle 70% of people, economic
                                live together under the parental roof? My            reform is, for the most part, a bad news story.
                                argument here is not that this is a good or a bad    The central aim has been to re-assign power,
                                thing but rather that intergenerational relations    resources and income from households to corpo-
                                are now socially regulated in a different and        rations – and to download risk onto individuals
                                I think better way. Most people know in their        and families. In so doing, it is creating radical
                                bones that we live in a thoroughly modern and        new inequalities that have dropped the floor
                                plural society in which parents can no longer        from under the 20-year-olds who are struggling
                                impose traditional standards of behaviour            to establish new independent couple households
                                as a “one best way” of living the good life.         in the face of a hostile new labour market. On
                                Conventional moralities and fixed standards          the other, cultural, side of the story, relations
                                are yielding to what we sometimes call               between the generations may even be entering
                                “negotiation”. Instead of imposing the standards     a golden period? In conclusion I venture two
                                of one generation upon another, we instead           sobering cautions.
                                seek to reach a common understanding of what             First, we should note that intergenerational
                                is good for both and, as we say, to “work it         transfers now take place in a radically unequal
                                out”. In reaching for better communication we        context that will, on present trends, entrench
                                invoke other perhaps much more demanding             new class divisions in the future. New research
                                standards, such as respect for difference,           on the distribution of wealth confirms what
                                formal equality and the right of everyone to be      we already suspected, namely that wealth is
                                recognised. As my colleague Harry Blatterer          highly correlated with income, education and,
                                (2007) explains, this breaks down age-specific       of course, age. Figures from the longitudinal
                                identities and expectations and, as I would          Household, Income and Labour Dynamics
                                argue, allows people to reach across barriers that   (HILDA) surveys of some 15,000 households

4   Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007
show, among other things, that the average           potential for communication and friendship
wealth of Australian households in 2002 was          between the generations … You will have
about $404,000 (Marks, Headey & Wooden               noticed that my argument happily accepts the
2005). However, they also show that the median       breakdown of strictly conventional moralities
wealth of $218,000 was close to half that amount,    and of normative generational stereotypes. My
indicating of course that the distribution is        argument is that we live in a plural world and
hugely skewed to the top end at which we find        that under these conditions of high modernity,
the top 25% of households with an average            negotiation builds much stronger, more creative
wealth holding of $583,000 and the bottom            and dynamic relationships than we can ever
25% with assets of less than $83,000. Given the      achieve with even the most faithful observance
combined effects of increased longevity, the         of conventions.
virtual absence of death duties and the fact that        Communication becomes the motor for the
most housing and superannuation assets are           self-renewal of society, and the medium through
not easily realisable, for most people intergen-     which the modern principles of respect for
erational transfers will come ever later, usually    difference, mutuality and justice are harnessed
through inheritance, when the greatest stress of     to the improvement of everyday relationships
setting up new households and having children        – including those between the generations.
is already well passed. This, together with the      However “communicative competence”, if you                Without some
pressure of longevity and early retirement on        will suffer the jargon, is very evidently an active
retirement savings, means that an even greater       and demanding process. For a start it requires us         dramatic
“class” advantage is conferred on people in          to be critically reflective about our own expec-          corrections, these
the top decile who have both high incomes and        tations, especially where they make demands
the liquid assets (on average over one million       on others that reach across other gender and              trends are likely
dollars) to make earlier transfers possible. Given   generational differences. We have to learn how            to entrench
also that the bottom half of the population owns     to make our thoughts and feelings accessible to
only 2.1% of liquid assets, and the top 30% over     others.                                                   class envy and
90%, we can see that transfers in real money,            Obviously these are competencies that                 bitterness on a
before inheritance, are very much confined to an     have to be slowly matured, usually with much
upper middle class. What this means in practice      patience, discipline and care, over a whole               scale that could
is that these older couples in, say the top 20% of   lifetime. My concern is that a great many                 easily outweigh
the range, can both enjoy their own retirement       people experience what we call “modernity”
and, at minimum, make real transfers that will       as a deadly threat to their own existential               all our attempts
protect their adult children from the vagaries of    security. I am thinking now about the young               to mitigate
the labour market for something approaching          mother of two kids in one of my Middle
the whole of their working lives, while the other    Australia focus groups who complained that                intergenerational
half must look on helplessly as their kids incur     her own mother could not understand why                   inequalities
increasing health, employment and debt risks.        she wanted and needed to work. The mother
We can only mitigate these inequalities collec-      was judging her daughter’s behaviour on                   through private
tively and publicly, with better labour market       conventional standards that caused intractable            transfers.
regulation and progressive taxation. Free market     division between them. A realistic sociology
regimes do the vicious opposite by pulling           tells us, first, that lots of people will never be
up the ladders, subverting public policy and         very self-aware or critically reflective, second,
glorifying inequality as deserved advancement.       that they cling, even in the face of rejection and
My first sobering conclusion is that without         failure, to conventionally regulated standards
some dramatic corrections, these trends are          in their relations with children and elders and,
likely to entrench class envy and bitterness on a    third, that a typical response to the conflict
scale that could easily outweigh all our attempts    that arises in these conditions is reactive anger,
to mitigate intergenerational inequalities           resentment and authoritarianism. My worst-
through private transfers.                           case scenario is one in which these reactions
    Finally, a concluding caution to the cultural    are exploited to further entrench new class
side of our good news story on the new               divisions.

                                                                                    Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007   5
                                            How will these social, demographic and                     House, Canberra, June 20, viewed 2 February 2007,
            AUTHOR                                                                                     <
                                         economic forces play out? And how will inter-
                                         generational relations in Australia look in 20                lecture.htm>.

     Michael Pusey is a                  years time? We cannot be sure. But I return to
     professor of sociology              my argument: it could even be good news!                     References
     at the University of New                                                                         Blatterer, H. 2007, Coming of age in times of uncertainty:
     South Wales and a fellow            Endnotes                                                       Redefining contemporary adulthood, Bergahahn Books,
     of the Academy of Social            1 This difference is, for this cohort, not explained by        NY.
     Sciences in Australia.                the prolongation of higher education. Education            Dwyer, P., Smith, G., Tyler, D. & Wyn, J. 2003, Life
     He is the author of                   will, however, to some extent, be a factor in the            patterns, career outcomes and adult choices, Research
     Economic rationalism in               case of the 15- to 19-year-old cohort where the              report 23, Youth Research Centre, University of
     Canberra, Cambridge,                  comparable loss is -$79 and for 20- to 24-year-olds          Melbourne, p.14.
     , and The                         where it is -$121. See Gregory, R. 1998, ‘Competing        Marks, G., Headey, B. & Wooden, M. 2005, ‘Household
     experience of middle                  with Dad: Changes in intergenerational distribu-             wealth in Australia: Its components, distribution and
     Australia: The dark side              tion of male labour market income’, prepared for             correlates’, Journal of Sociology, v.41, n.1, pp.47-68.
     of economic reform,
                                           the conference ‘Income Support, Labour Markets             McDonald, P. & Kippen, R. 2000, ‘The implications of
     Cambridge, 2003.
                                           and Behaviour: A Research Agenda’, 24–25                     below replacement fertility for labour supply and
     With Paul Jones he                    November.                                                    international migration, 2000–2050’, paper presented
     is currently starting a             2 One of my reviewers has kindly pointed to a                  to the 2000 Annual Meeting of the Population As-
     study of the media and                distortion here. Given that longevity statistics do          sociation of America, Los Angeles, California, 23–25
     political communication               not reflect the fact of higher rates of infant and child     March.
     in Australia.
                                           mortality of early last century, a man born in 1900        Pocock, B. 2003, Work/life collision, The Federation
                                           who survived long enough to be a grandfather could           Press, NSW.
                                           expect to live beyond age 55. How much longer we           Pusey, M. 1991, Economic rationalism in Canberra: A
                                           do not know.                                                 nation building state changes its mind, Cambridge, UK.
                                         3 Johanna Wyn and her colleagues find that less              Pusey, M. & Turnbull, N. 2005, ‘Have Australians
                                           than half of their large longitudinal sample of              embraced economic reform?’, in Australian social
                                           young Victorian 1991 school leavers had “gained              attitudes: The first report, eds S. Wilson, G. Meagher,
                                           permanent full-time career jobs by age 26 in the year        R. Gibson, D. Denemark & M. Western, UNSW
                                           1999”. See Dwyer, P., Smith, G., Tyler, D. & Wyn, J.         Press, Sydney.
                                           2003 in references.                                        Stretton, H. 2003, ‘Inclusion’, plenary address, Social
                                         4 For references to the Middle Australia Project               Policy Conference, University of New South Wales,
                                           findings see, Pusey, M. 2003, The experience of              July.
                                           middle Australia: The dark side of economic reform,        Yates, J. 2003, ‘Is Australia’s home-ownership rate
                                           Cambridge Press, and Pusey, M. 2003, ‘An                     really stable? An examination of changes between
                                           Australian story: The troubling experience of                1975 and 1994’, Urban Studies, v.37, n.2, pp.319-42.
                                           economic reform’, lecture to the Senate, Parliament

6            Youth Studies Australia   VOLUME 26 NUMBER 1 2007