The Baby Boomers
Baby boomers -- those born post WWII (i.e, 1946 - 64) -- have become the unprincipled aristocrats at the public trough. I fully expect that the next generation of Canadians will be left a huge debt from their parents and grandparents; overall, I think that they might end worse off than the previous generation. I don't predict this with any assurance -- it is complicated -- but they certainly are the luckiest if not the most selfish generation when compared to their parents. I know the entire fault can't be placed on their doorstep, but I'm feeling rather righteous about it; as one of them, I take it personal. In my whole adult life, my incessant urging about minimal debt-free government was looked on by my follow boomers as crazy and uncaring. It's their incessant tepid mediocre views on politics that are so infuriating. They talk – to use my new mnemonic expression – polspeak, super-sensitive political language to stroke the poor, to verbalize their love for the First Peoples, single mothers, minorities and the chronically ‘underemployed mismanagers of life’. However, it’s actually a middle-class insurance scheme paid for by the poor, the productive, the law abiding, and mostly, by immigrant labor imported from all over the world. Of course, it is also paid by their children and grandchildren in the form of inherited debt, but likely government's will attempt to inflate much of this away.
The boomers planned it so that their endless vacation would never end until they were gone. In fact, many are on vacation even as we speak, permanent indexed retirement at tax payers’ expense, traveling the world; the ultimate sponges, as so many of them were in the sixties. And I just don't get it and never have. You can't legislate yourselves free medical care, pension plans, education, unemployment insurance, and bill your children and grand children for the cost (or imported immigrant labor). It's indecent just on the face of it. You can't run a long-term middle-class financed ponzi-insurance-scheme run by the state and pat yourself on the back because you got out before the house of cards collapsed. That kind of intergenerational wealth transfer is immoral.
Most boomers are creatures of the handmaiden state, and so oblivious to reality that they don’t even know the size of the accumulated Canadian debt - well over a trillion dollars. It has been significant and stubborn since the first Trudeau regime, for almost three decades. Of course, as frightening as this is, it's a delusional figure for political hacks to argue over; almost every single province is also in hock, many municipalities as well, and personal consumer debt in Canada is at an outrageously high level; average Canadian's non-mortgage debt was $26,000 per capita, 2011. "A new analysis by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on consumer debt shows that families that already are borrowers are driving virtually all of the increase in the country's debt load. Much of the rise is being driven by the baby boom generation, raising concerns that a demographic group that should be focusing on saving for retirement is instead digging itself faster into a financial hole." (Source: The Globe and Mail.)
The boomers hold over one third of the non-mortgage personal debt in Canada; I won't speak to the Americans, but you can imagine the figures are similar even if their debt crisis is far more severe, see Obama's New Mandate. Many boomers are now financing their party with the outright immoral reverse home mortgages; they are not only going to leave a nationally accumulated debt, a provincial one, a municipal one, a personal one, but they're going to make sure no form of savings is left behind for the next generation after they are gone: that's how selfish they are! Their parents not only left them their homes but often generous cash assets to share among themselves. Instead the boomers fought over the inheritances and were beggarly in their personal charity afterwards. All the while, they preached public brotherly love in the form of state owned schemes which would look after them without cost until the day they died, which can't happen soon enough, but unfortunately won't. Their state licensed subsidized doctors and free medical insurance scheme will keep them in better health than their children can expect when they grow old. The boomers also flocked to their anaemic churches which couldn’t incite a mouse to flee a burning building let alone make better people. Their religions are self-serving and tax-subsidized societies, the very definition of hypocrisy: if you are a religion and are justifying the handmaiden state, then agree at least that churches should pay taxes like everyone else!
There are thousands of young people without work, those who find it will never see the pensions their parents have, nor the vacation packages at work nor the opportunities at education in youth. When I went to university it cost me four or five hundred dollars a year, now it costs seven or eight thousand. The boomers give nothing back, just take and take. If they could get away with it, they would have government mandate and subsidize their vacation, vet-care, flat-screen televisions and cars. They're the soft headed generation for the nanny-state with a sense of entitlement that reaches to the level of the pornographic. Austerity occurs only in their nightmares. When they get depressed they go shopping. Their political elixir was a lazy French millionaire who rescued them from austere fifties into a ‘go all night 24/7 Keynesian 7/11’ with two hardy crooks who followed him still collecting their lucrative government pensions rather than being in prison where they belong. All hand-selected by the boomers. Trudeau left us 125 billion dollars in debt, Mulroney and Chrétien, 500 billion. Paul Martin paid off nearly 90 billion of it and was quickly thrown out of office before he could reduce the size of government. Now luckless Canadians have Harper. If he pays down a penny of the debt before his term is up I’ll be surprised. Remember, Liberals are big spenders, but Conservatives are even bigger spenders. Before Trudeau, we were solvent. Now? Perhaps never again until the roof caves in, at any rate, his son seems to be made of his father's ideology.
What kind of legacy is that?
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Great, we have better sex; they fought for the right of everyone to enjoy sex, wonderful! But they also fought for subsidized money, housing, health, education, insurance, child care and public charity, now their children have to clean up after their ‘Let's Rock & Roll, Peace-Love- and-Understanding’ party; not often do you witness children having to suffer the hangover of their parents.
Here's how things work in Canada thanks to the baby boomers’ political mismanagement: I had a neighbor some years ago in a townhouse complex where we lived who drove a bus for York Regional Transit, Viva Bus Lines; he was originally from the Ottawa Valley, but had come to Toronto to live with his grandmother after her husband had died. He had a working wage of $22 an hour plus some benefits. He paid no rent to his grandmother. At one point he started an action in the complex to stop a number of Asian condo owners from doing a ‘Bed and Breakfast’ business for traveling Chinese students from mainland China for one or two night stopovers while in Toronto. To do this, they partitioned their townhomes; he called it ‘immigrants abusing the system’. To his mind, there was nothing worse than an ambitious self-employed immigrant. Anyway, at the time, he also received several interviews to drive a bus for the TTC, Toronto's monopoly bus service. In anticipation of a future job there, he quit at Viva and started to collect EI (Employment Insurance). While he was on the dole, he worked in the complex for cash.
This is also how things work in Canada: My 18 year old daughter going through the public school system from JK to York University, experienced six labor strikes. Six!
This is as well how things work in Canada: I know a single mother with three children, all from the same father, who collects $600 a month for her children from the Federal Government. She also gets a rent subsidy from the city, a welfare check monthly from Ontario and pays no income tax. Her boyfriend - the father of the three daughters - lives with them and has steady employment as a truck driver, i.e., his mailing address differs from theirs, i.e, he uses his mother's address.
Here's another example of how things work in Canada: I knew a retail manager, a fine, fine man who died sometime back. This is how he died. He complained to his wife one morning that he wasn't feeling well. She took him to the hospital in Pickering. They waited for hours and when a doctor finally saw him, he was told that there was nothing wrong and was sent home to rest. Unimpressed, they went to the North York Hospital to get a second opinion without going home. They waited the whole afternoon, and a doctor wrote him a prescription for Valium and sent him home. Exhausted, they indeed returned home. That night after supper, the manager complained to his wife that he still wasn't feeling well. She drove him all the way downtown to St Michael's Hospital. He had a fatal heart attack waiting to see a doctor; they had been in line for two hours. He was 54 years old, and like many Canadians who have an undefined medical complaint, often as a result of Metabolic Syndrome, he died waiting in line in one of the worst health medical systems in the industrial world. But it's free, see Medical Mercantilism and Licensed to Kill.
In Canada there are many illustrations on how things work: The First Peoples represent four percent of the population and receive annual subsidies in the billions of dollars, pay no sales tax and receive many economic incentives, yet their homicide rate is higher by a factor of five, they make up 20 percent of the prison population, 35 percent of their numbers on reserves are on welfare and they have three times the suicide rate of non-aboriginal youth. The public welfare programs for First Peoples are a complete failure, but for regular middle class boomers who can win themselves or their children Native Indian Status and get the ‘Card’ it’s a total windfall: for government jobs, you get moved up in line, you pay no sales tax and receive the coveted ‘Minority Status’ which helps in school, university and with the country’s main employer, the state. Who pays? Who cares. You’re a fascist or racist if you object.
If you’ve read Shakedown, Erza Levant, you will realized what a colossal waste of money the Human Rights Commissions are in our dominion. I beg you to read it. It’s funny, well-written and informative. Also please read, The Elimination of the Canadian Senate. There are so many boondoggles in our nation that nothing but a grassroots democratic revolution will change our course and make us the greatest nation on the planet. We can manage this commonwealth better; we can lead the world to a brighter future. It will be difficult, but we can do it. Canadians are the best, the most tolerant and we should have high hopes despite the boomers. They haven't just built huge government programs that don't work. They stayed on course to be sanctimonious about the ones that will lead to an outright crisis in the West: public retirement pensions and free health care. The boomers were supposed to be dead in their seventies, and thanks to science are going to kicking and whining well into their eighties, sucking up every hospital space possible. I can barely stand the thought of it! I bet you nothing can shut them up. And of course, they'll organize just like they did in the sixties; the majority milking the minority and calling it democracy and human rights. I've heard it my whole life; they have no shame.
Here's another dirty little secret about the baby boomers: they practice racism with a smile; well, it's not exactly racism: it's a haughty smugness that immigrants have gotten too good a bargain in coming to Canada; that they are hoity-toity and should be working four part-time jobs instead of just the three they're currently working. It's a belief that they are abusing the system that was only meant to be abused by third generation Caucasians.
The boomers are of course just a big dumb annoying crowd: that is, keeping in mind, it's easy to love your neighbor, (as they profess) when he's tethered and paying his taxes to keep you in the luxury you demand as a tyrant-majority. Oh well, that's life in the soft cuddly democratic, yet surprisingly, autocratic state which the baby boomers built. But don't despair; their Keynesian fiat paper money policy - which they don't really understand anyways - is the guarantee that it won't last. It's all going to be liquidated the long painful way through inflation or the short hard way through an economic reckoning worse than 2008. At any rate, by the time it happens, they'll all be on fixed incomes, so they'll finally understand the reason their parents practice the frugality that they did. They might actually learn then what their parents went through in The Great Depression. And as I said, the sex is better, although I suppose, still not as good as being raised a willfully ignorant religionist whose moral conscience and naiveté brings about a certain, je ne sais quoi? guilty or autoerotic pleasure.
ENDNOTE: Source, Other People's Money, J Kay: "We reduced the debt we owed to our predecessors by rapid inflation. We promised ourselves generous state and occupational pensions, and then argued that the burden of providing them for subsequent generations could not be afforded. We sold assets that had been accumulated in the past, and would yield prospective benefits in the future, for our own current benefit, privatising state industries and monetising the goodwill in Goldman Sachs and Halifax Building Society. We let house prices and share prices rise to new highs in real terms, forcing our children to buy the nation’s assets from us at prices much higher than those we had ourselves paid. To add insult to injury, we seem to have been inadequately mindful of the national infrastructure: enjoying shopping malls, to be sure, but building few houses and allowing the transport system to decay."