The stench of rubbish piling up in Paris shows the power of older workers
The streets of Paris are piled with rubbish as older workers attempt to fight a bill raising the retirement age to 64. Could it be a lesson in how the older people in the shadows can wreak havoc?
The streets of Paris and other French cities have been piling high with more than eight days of rubbish as older workers take to the streets to fight a bill raising the retirement age to 64. Media reports have described the stench as "rabid," and fear of rats and disease is growing. It's a little amusing to think that older generations fighting for a cause can create so much havoc in Paris and other cities. However, their plight is not expected to succeed, with the bill due to be passed by the end of the week, but it shines a light on the people power of older generations.
This situation may seem far away, but it could be a valid lesson for us here in Australia. We could find ourselves facing our own retirement-related uprisings if any issue were to permeate the masses. Would dignified older Australians band together to protest for better wages in aged services, or to stop a reduction in franking credits?
It's exciting to recognise the power of older citizens, and better still, older workers. They're a significant part of our economy, and they're only going to become more so as our population ages. As we've seen in Paris, this generation is terrific at protesting, even if they haven't had to use those skills for a few decades. And they're not afraid to take to the streets to fight for their rights. And why should they be? They've spent decades contributing to society and building our economy, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
The retirement age is not a hot issue in Australia, with the government taking a slow but careful approach back in 2017 to raise the age progressively from 65 to 67. However, if we were to see the government push on mass-retiree-effecting issues like franking credits, would we see this generation properly activate?
Over-55s, many of whom are generating income from the stock market, make up more than 28% of the Australian population. Franking credits are a tax credit given to Australian investors who receive dividends from Australian companies. They're a contentious issue, with many older Australians relying on them for income.
If older Australians were to mobilise around the franking credits issue, it could cause havoc in the debate. Politicians would have to sit up and take notice, surely. The stench of uncollected rubbish in Paris may be a faraway issue, but the power of older generations and older workers is not to be underestimated, as Macron is finding.
Good reads this week:
Frankly we should give a damn: What the franking credit proposal means John Collett, The Sydney Morning Herald
Retirement living faced with ‘Monstrous Undersupply’ The Urban Developer
Aged care design needs a rethink and these experts say working with older Australians will help, Sam Nichols and Paul Barclay, ABC
How humanity and AI will beat ageing issues: Kerima Greene, CNBC