Fehlt Ihnen im Englischen häufiger das treffende Wort? Kommen Sie trotz guter Vorsätze nicht dazu, ein Magazin oder Buch im Original zu lesen? Dann finden Sie hier interessante und vielfältige Lektüre aus der Financial Times - mit einem Glossar, das Ihnen auf die Sprünge hilft.
Call us the gilded generation. We have strolled through a life of effortlessly rising prosperity, abundant welfare and soaring house prices. Now we are stealing the bread from our children's mouths to fund our indulgences in retirement. While the young scour the streets for non-existent jobs, we fret about the choice between a safari and a cruise.
Enough. Someone has to speak up for the baby boomers. To listen to Britain's present debate about equity between the generations is to be swept up in half-truths and distortions. Even the FT has joined the emotional bandwagon, calling today's young people the "jinxed generation". These epithets catch the mood of the moment. They also obscure a serious unfairness.
One of the more obvious nonsenses suggests that the generation now reaching adulthood will be poorer than those of us born during the 1950s and early 1960s. It is theoretically possible, I suppose, that George Osborne's hair-shirt fiscal strategy will flatten the economy for many decades to come. But any reasonable projection would see a return to growth. Even on quite pessimistic assumptions, Britain is likely to be twice as rich in 2050 as it is today.
Another favourite grievance says that while the boomers sailed through university without paying a penny for their tuition, today's students are being loaded with debt. This is somewhat less than half-true. Sure, those who went to university during the 1960s and early 1970s did not pay. But this was a privileged 10 per cent. The rest were excluded, many pushed out of sink schools into unskilled work. This compares with the 45 per cent or so who now receive a university education. To my mind, this is progress.
Next on the list is the charge that today's young people face a later retirement age. True enough. But the reason is that they can expect to live seven or eight years longer than their parents. Would they be content to trade those extra years of life for a freeze in the pension age?
Most of today's young people will struggle to get on to the housing ladder during their 20s. Their parents have indeed benefited from huge windfalls generated by house price inflation. But what is going to happen to this accumulated wealth?
Some of it, I suppose, may be splurged on late-life gap years in exotic climes; for a minority, it will be needed to pay for end-of-life care. But the vast bulk will be passed on to the children of the boomers. The big change in the housing market will be in the age profile of ownership. The young will have to wait longer to own a property. On the other hand, inheritance will offer many of them a rather more comfortable route than scrimping and scraping for a mortgage deposit.
None of this is to deny there are unfairnesses in the tax and welfare systems. One imagines that even Bob Diamond will be embarrassed once he becomes eligible for a free bus pass and winter fuel allowance alongside a GBP25m pay packet from Barclays. Beyond the misrepresented - and entirely sensible - "granny tax" announced in the Budget, the affluent elderly have been shielded from austerity, largely because they tend to vote.
Nor should anyone imagine that the lost decade of economic growth that seems likely to be the price of the financial crash will make life anything more than miserable for those about to enter the workforce. The missing piece in the Budget was anything resembling a strategy to offer the young decent employment, education and training opportunities.
The big problem with this present debate, however, is that it is a diversion from a much bigger challenge. When it comes to equity, or its absence, the real tension is intra- rather than intergenerational. The inequalities that stand out are those within the rising generation.
The benefits of postwar prosperity were unevenly distributed - think of the workers whose jobs were wiped out by the deindustrialisation of the 1980s. The stereotype boomer is a homeowner with a fat pension. In reality, many millions face a retirement in poverty. For these the winter fuel allowance is the only way they can afford to keep warm.
These inequalities are becoming deeply entrenched. The luckier boomers can ease their children's path through austerity, university fees and the rest. The fortunate among the new generation will pick up house deposits and, ultimately, property, from their parents.
The rest will be locked out of a globalised labour market ever less tolerant of a lack of skills, and from a welfare state facing a fierce financial squeeze. The gap that matters is not between fee-paying students and their parents, but between undergraduates and the undereducated young jobless.
So yes, Mr Osborne should take up the cudgels against tax and welfare privileges for well-heeled pensioners. But the real energy should go into lifting the life chances of the young underprivileged. The best part of being a baby boomer was the social mobility. We should pass it on.