A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of generational inequality. In fact, this ghost has intercontinental reach, haunting North America, East Asia, Australasia, South America and even, to an extent, South Asia. It disturbs the very idea of progress between parent and child, a fundamental tenet of modern life. Whether or not the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle, all societies might henceforth expect a future of generational strife.
This might sound alarmist. But then again, when you consider that in so many corners of the world, young people are expected to earn less, own less, have fewer children and, in some cases, have shorter lives than their parents, it might not sound alarmist enough. The last, gravest regression is especially bad in the US where, as Anne Case and the Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton have identified, “deaths of despair” (those from suicide…
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