Monday, December 19, 2011

Boomers living good life while kids hit blockade

An excellent article by Sheila Pratt about Professor Paul Kershaw, who talks about what everyone else seems afraid to discuss--and something I've been discussing lately regarding not a divide between rich and poor, but a divide of wealth, benefits, and debt betweeen generations.

Baby boomers have not improved the lives of the next generation, in fact, for their own benefit, have actually created income/working hours/stress/health problems for their children only to have the government they lead believe they need to solve.  To do that, gov't has gone into deficit and debt, only to beg to raise taxes, further burdening lower and middle income families without knowing it.

I get the feeling that the current federal Conservative gov't is fully aware of this reality, but balancing it somehow by incrementally reducing the tax burden, providing small tax credits to young families, while continuing to provide social benefits to retirees and hoping the economy recovers to inject more tax revenue into its coffers.  Thing is, that only happens over years after taxes have been lowered. 

On the benefits side, today the federal gov't will continue to increase the provincial health transfers by 6% but over the next 5 years, not 10.  That action is obviously to cover the increase in health need by the surge of baby boomer retirees, but unload that burden to the provinces.

Unfortunately, the Alberta Redford government is toying with returning to health care taxes (+$1200 tax burden/year on individuals in families and businesses), a PST, and now more useless sin taxes.  She then thinks she can have the gov't sweep in and save you from the problems it creates.

The feds have been transferring legal, tax and social burdens to the provinces for a while and my guess is that will only increase.  What that does is create more competition between provinces to attract business and people.  Time and time again, it's been shown that low-tax, lower-cost, high income, job availability areas are where people migrate to.  And Saskatchewan and Alberta lead the pack.  My guess is that Saskatchewan will continue to outpace Alberta, primarily due to gov't policy.


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