Kill the old, redux?

There’s a lot of this going around following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, aka The Bad Thing:

As well as some of this:

At FT Alphaville we’re certainly not averse to putting up a few guillotines here and there, divying up the population by age and, well, letting the wisdom of the crowd take its course.

But — and I write this as a 27-year-old with a stable salary masquerading as a member of the great, unsalaried millennial masses — c’mon.

Yes, old people voted for Brexit and young people voted against Brexit.

And, yes, young people will live longer than old people.

But, no, wealthy boomers did not steal the dreams of impoverished millennials. If anything, young, educated people voted to stay in the European Union and older, less wealthy people — who have not enjoyed the fruits of our prosperity — voted to leave.

And, thankfully, we don’t weight votes on the basis of number of years left in the tank, if such a thing could be measured (notwithstanding the benefits of Killing Everyone When They Retire Instead Of Offering Them Pensions).

Almost everyone who voted in this election will deal with the immediate, near-term and probably medium-term consequences, all of which are uncertain despite being predictable. The long-term consequences are impossible to know with any certainty or predict sensibly — some olds won’t be around in 30 years to see what happens, nor will some youngs, or some middle-aged people who are destined to have a heart-attack at the age of 60.

The underlying and obviously weak assumption underlying all of this is that Bad Old People sabotaged the country because… they don’t like their grandchildren? They’re so close to death they’ve ceased to care about anything?

In reality, here’s what seems to have happened, via our FT colleagues:

As the votes were counted on Thursday night and Friday morning, the piles of ballot papers told their own story about those parts of Britain that felt comfortable in a modern, connected world, and those which felt cut off from the fruits of globalisation.

Voters in London and Scotland, the two most prosperous parts of the UK, turned out in large numbers to deliver a clear message that they wanted to remain in the EU and its huge single market.

But elsewhere — in the old industrial centres of the north, the small towns of the Midlands and the faded seaside resorts — the ballot papers were stacked high in favour of Leave, rejection of an establishment that had let them down.

So, kill the olds, but do it for good reason (see some of those good reasons below).

Related Links:
Kill the old — FTAV
Kill the old, jobs edition – FTAV
Kill the old, AAA-rated edition – FTAV
More reasons to kill the old – FTAV
Charts du jour, labour force participation kill the old edition – FTAV
Short class warfare, long age warfare – Long or Short Capital

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