A ‘Thank You’ note, from Generation Y to the UK government

Those of us born after 1980 wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to the United Kingdom’s governments of recent years. We truly appreciate the various ways in which you have buried our generation under an avalanche of debt and unfunded liabilities. After all, it was your responsibility to ensure that you leave the United Kingdom in a better state than you found it.

To that end, thank you for leaving our households with a typical debt of £221,000 each; households that we may never own as a consequence of your reluctance to liberalise planning laws. Not only have you contributed to this figure through unsustainable levels of government spending, you have also taken it upon yourselves to rack up an unfunded State Pension liability of around four trillion pounds. Even a cursory glance at the true extent of intergenerational injustice is enough to prove to us that you consider our future standard of living to be of grave importance.

Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge your unwavering commitment to ensuring that this situation will not be rectified. You have done little to accelerate the rise in retirement age and ignored the potential of a compulsory private pension scheme. Public debt continues to increase. Policies aimed at reaping the substantial fiscal benefits of immigration – such as excluding international students from government targets – have not been adopted.

It’s hardly surprising to find that our generation is “more liberal than any previous generation”. Nor is it surprising to learn that we are less likely to feel engaged with political parties. Why put faith in Westminster when we are faced with successive governments who all seem content to burden us with ever-greater amounts of debt?

We are Generation Screwed. And we have you to thank for it.

Taxing and regulating e-cigarettes like tobacco is bad public policy

The argument that e-cigs are a gateway to tobacco is flawed. A recent study found that out of more than 9,000 11-16 year-olds surveyed, less than 2 percent had ever vaped, and almost all that had vaped had already smoked tobacco before. This year’s National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that tobacco smoking continues to decline among American high school students, even though vaping has increased. It seems odd that lawmakers want to tax and regulate an activity that is weaning people off of tobacco, and to do so more stringently than tobacco itself in many cases.

There is scant scientific evidence on the long-term health effects of vaping. But studies have already proven that e-cig vapor contains significantly lower levels of toxins compared to cigarette smoke. The Food and Drug Administration is funding $275 million in research into e-cigs, but in the meantime they’ve said that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Similarly, the American Heart Association has stated that e-cigs “present an opportunity for harm reduction if smokers use them as substitutes for cigarettes.” And there are countless stories of people who have gone from being heavy smokers to just vapers by using e-cigs.

Read the rest at the Washington Examiner.