LETTER:Remember the South Sea Bubble

Share
From Professor Chris Adams

Sir: Reading today's coverage of the plight of the small minority "caught in the negative equity trap" ("Homeowners, you've never it so bad", 2 June), I am almost sorry that I never had enough cash in the Eighties to treat housing as an investment.

Everyone has a hard luck story. Growing up in the Sixties, my partner and I believed Harold Wilson - we followed science careers, stoking the white heat of the technological revolution; we begat children, believing that the state education system would give them the riches we enjoyed in the Fifties and Sixties, and we grew older fully expecting that dignity in old age was a universal right.

By our reckoning, we are currently a million pounds down on college contemporaries who went into marketing or the City, and we have also shelled out pounds 100,000 on providing privately the standards of education for our children which the state was unwilling to provide; everything else is saved for an uncertain old age. Not that we are complaining; life has been rich and full. We would just like someone to pick up the tab for the decisions we made which did not work out as planned, since the current paradigm clearly insists that it was not our fault.

Every individual makes decisions on the basis of the information which she or he chooses to have available at the time of the decision; sometimes one listens to and accepts bad advice, sometimes one gets swept along by the mood of the times, sometimes the unforeseen happens. But good planning involves thinking through adverse circumstances as well as rosy circumstances, and taking decisions accordingly. Sometimes people get it wrong.

Life cannot be made risk-free. Society cannot be founded on reimbursing individuals for taking unwise risks. Even today, after countless years of a Government whose relationship to the finance industry compares with pimp to whore, society cannot be so founded. Universal suffrage requires universal responsibility. The only sure way forward is the education of future generations - in the street, in the home and in school - to acquire the judgement and skills needed to be responsible adults in a complex and potentially dangerous world.

I look forward to Gillian Shephard including the lessons of the South Sea Bubble in the National Curriculum.

Yours sincerely

CHRIS ADAMS

Birkenhead, Merseyside

2 June

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Qualified Primary Teaching Assistant

£64 - £73 per day + Competitive rates based on experience : Randstad Education...

Primary KS2 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh  

i Editor's Letter: Britain survives, but change is afoot

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum  

Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?

Mark Steel
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam