Rags to Rags

Dave Rowntree

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A pal mentioned one thing the other day I hadn’t heard shortly – the thought of ‘Rags to Rags in Three Generations’.

The story happens more often than you might think. The ‘first era’ of a household begins with nothing, however via onerous work and ingenuity builds up a enterprise. Occasions are robust within the early days, especially when youngsters arrive, however they persevere, and are ultimately profitable.

They retire and move it on to their youngsters. This ‘second era’ keep in mind the robust occasions, and so value the comfort and lifestyle their enterprise brings them. They keep it up creating and rising it, and ultimately move it on to their youngsters.

Nevertheless, this ‘third era’ are born into prosperity. They’ve solely ever recognized the great occasions. They do not know of the worth of money and haven't any qualms about spending freely and playing it away on dangerous business and investment selections.

In far less time than it took to make the cash it is all gone, and they're astonished to seek out themselves again the place it began – confused, indignant and broke.

I feel this story also explains how my era voted in the EU referendum this yr.

Our grandparents knew that Europe was a troublesome and dangerous place to be born into. They grew up in an age when poverty and squalor have been normal. Staff’ rights have been non-existent, life was low cost, and discrimination all over the place. Mainland Europe had been at struggle for a thousand years, and it showed no indicators of letting up.

Nevertheless, the horror and slaughter of WW2 left them aghast.  How low might humanity sink? Certainly it must be attainable to build a Europe the place we co-operate slightly than battle, and value slightly than hate each other.

It was in that spirit that the EEC was born, and our grandparents handed this institution to our mother and father, the second era.

Our mother and father have been born through the Warfare or its aftermath. They could keep in mind the shock of uncovering the atrocities of each the onerous left and the exhausting proper. They keep in mind the post-Struggle chaos, rationing, rebuilding, and the painfully sluggish economic progress that followed. However by the point that they had their youngsters – the third era –  issues have been eventually beginning to turn round.

I’m a member of the third era. As it turned out we have been born initially of a growth. Fifty years of peace with our neighbours has given us economic, social and technological progress on an astonishing scale.

We have now never recognized something but peace and financial progress, so we naturally assume that this can be a regular, fairly than distinctive period in European historical past. So we’re not thankful for prosperity – we’re entitled to it! And we don’t see any hazard in gambling it away.

And so we gambled.  In the EU referendum, we put the longer term on a roll of the dice. We’d higher hope our quantity comes up.

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