The Fifth Estate: Intergenerational Warfare
The divide between generations is becoming an increasingly apparent faultline in our society.
Baby Boomers came of age during an era of unprecedented economic prosperity, but their children have become adults in a set of drastically different circumstances. Over recent decades, we’ve seen a widening gap between rich and poor, with access to the property market tipped largely in favour of older generations. The workforce has changed drastically, too, with younger people competing in a more fragmented, casualised market – one that discriminates against older workers.
Perhaps it’s time for us all to reconsider our expectations. Can we continue with an economic model that’s predicated on the idea of endless growth? And can we do it while addressing younger generations’ environmental concerns and coping with the economic challenges of an ageing population? Do younger Australians even want what the Baby Boomers have had anyway?
Host Sally Warhaft, Grattan Institute CEO and policy expert John Daley and influential banker and author Satyajit Das explore these questions and more, in a conversation about change, market forces and aspirations.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
Satyajit Das is a globally respected former banker and consultant with over 35 years’ experience in financial markets. He presciently anticipated the Global Financial Crisis as early as 2006, and the subsequent sovereign debt problems, the unsustainable nature of China’s economic success, and the ineffectiveness of the policy actions being taken by authorities in restoring growth. In 2012, he identified the dangers of Australia's excessive reliance on an unsustainable commodity boom. In 2014, Bloomberg nominated him as one of the fifty most influential financial thinkers in the world.
Das is the author of two international bestsellers, Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives (2006) and Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk (2011). He was featured in Charles Ferguson’s 2010 Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, the 2012 PBS Frontline series Money, Power & Wall Street, the 2009 BBC TV documentary Tricks with Risk, and the 2015 German film Who’s Saving Whom. His most recent book is A Banquet of Consequences (2015).
John Daley is the inaugural chief executive of Grattan Institute, which provides independent, rigorous and practical solutions to Australia’s most pressing public policy issues. The current programs of Grattan Institute focus on productivity growth, cities, school education, tertiary education, energy and health.