Our workshop „A new treaty between young and old“ is a first attempt to gain a wide public for one of the really pressing problems of all generations.
In a decade in which the destruction of our earth proceeds continuously, a decade in which social justice definitely collapses, we do not want to idly stand by.
We that is the generation of the so called Golden Age, the generation of the new grandparents, of the still wild 68s, want to prevent what still can be prevented. With a new generation contract which follows the guiding principles of human relations: To be around for each other in good as well as in bad days.
A new generation contract has to ensure the future of all generations. Because the neo-liberal economic approaches and the overall social conditions have dramatically changed the world around us. But there have been considerations long before how people of all generations can come to an equitable distribution of resources. To save the world for future generations – and not to have to spend our old age in poverty and senselessness.
There was already in the 1950s when Wilfrid Schreiber wrote his proposal for a generation contract the important question: how should wealth be distributed fairly across the generations and how can the lives of those who cannot care for themselves be assured. Konrad Adenauer then exactly shortened the part of Wilfrid Schreiber`s proposal that was dedicated to the young generation, the children and young people. In this model they were also given an “income” which should secure their living.
Today we are again in the same position and have to fight for the acquired rights. Because the obligation of the state to step in where the self-accrued, paid for pension is not sufficient is slowly being dissolved.
The admonitory finger, you kindly take care of it yourselves and who is strong enough to save something from his young adulthood will survive – the old age.
In a neo-liberal, capitalist economy and social system it is deliberately forgotten, wiped away and not recognized that neither investments mean security nor is there room for such provisions among young people who have just started to build up their future.
Profiteers of these considerations are the financial markets worldwide. Whoever has the opportunity to invest his savings is at the mercy exposed to a capital market that can destroy his savings already the next day. The banks can win, the capital can win. But not the human being.
Our approach as older generation is therefore to secure our existence with a legally enforceable generation contract and to prevent the compulsion into private provision. Our eminent issue is to give the responsibility to the state rather than to allow the state to financially support private provision and thereby promote the capital market.
But it also very essential for us to protect future generations with the new generation contract as a basis for intergenerational equity, because they will really be facing a bleak future in old age. A future, in which one has to fight for each tree, in which energy is approaching its end, in which the labor market has become the plaything of the capital, in which the loss of solidarity has become a razor-sharp tool, to make clear to all generations: whoever is not fighting for his survival and will not push others away from the food bowl of life, will be overrun.
“The goal of intergenerational equity is to create opportunities for future generations to meet their own needs, in the same way as the generations before them were able to do. Integrative, sustainable justice is the foundation.”
We are jointly committed here and now to work on a new generation contract which will give us all the courage and strength to stand up for each other and to demand what we deserve. Social justice for all generations!