Home truths

2006

Thought-provoking stuff from Stephen King, managing director of economics at HSBC, writing in the Independent.

As more countries compete for scarce resources, and as populations in the West age, someone's "rights" are going to take a bit of a beating.

Society will not be able to simultaneously support the pension rights of the elderly, the employment rights of workers and the education rights of children, at least not on the basis of people's current expectations.

So when you see headlines bemoaning the quality of health provision for the elderly, the size of the tax burden on the workers or the tuition fees for undergraduates, recognise that we're engaged in an economic battle.

Some of our privileges will have to go but, in the process, the anger on the streets of Paris could easily spread to other parts of the rich industrialised world.

The Independent | As more countries compete for resources, someone's 'rights' are going to take a beating