Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Gray-ve Warning

The latest Statscan Census release on Age and Sex seems to have created a few waves of concern. Well, actually the Sun's Licia Corbella refers to it as a "grey tsunami" - (Cut taxes to avoid Boomer Bust).

Corbella and others understandably foresee major problems when all these boomers retire and start draining the public health care system en masse.

She recommends that taxes be lowered as a way to encourage young families to have more children. Statscan reports that "the proportion of the under-15 population fell to 17.7%, its lowest level ever."

Andrew Coyne has put his own Orwellian-esque skew on the story with today's op-ed, "From 2037, a cautionary tale". His predicted economic crisis could be averted by various measures, including the following:

The solution: increase the supply of domestic savings, notably by reducing taxes on incomes, and lower the barriers to capital inflows from abroad. Instead, the era was marked by cuts in sales taxes and hysteria over foreign takeovers.


Again, reduce taxes.


The Globe agrees that Canadians need to be encouraged to have children and also that Boomers must be encouraged to stay in the work force as long as possible.

Are there any more solutions?

And what about other implications?

I foresee seniors having a tremendous amount of political clout. Witness the Pension-splitting already in the works. Seniors also tend to be more conscientious about voting than young people. - They see it as a civic duty; a hard-won right of fighting many wars.

So this is a warning to the Twenty-somethings: If you want to even up the odds, you'd better start having more kids.


* * * *

Thursday Update: Greyte column here by Margaret Wente - "Geezers in Paradise".

Dion Softens opposition to income-splitting - Wake up CPC!!!

35 comments:

Kingston said...

Sorry Joanne, This doesn't effect me. I am refusing to age past 35, as a matter of fact I am this year celebrating my 8th thirty fifth birthday.LOL

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Me too, Kingston. I'll just keep on living, but no more birthdays. ;)

BTW, Jeff Allan will be covering this topic next. You can listen online.

Anonymous said...

Inheritance and transfer taxes need to be sharply increased in order to pay for Senior's costs.

The baby boomers have saddled future generations with massive amounts of public debt because they wanted a free ride and low taxes, meanwhile they have hoarded their personal wealth religiously.

Boomers will transfer enormous amounts of wealth to their kids since they never paid for anything themselves - so it's time for boomers to pay some tax, there simply won't be enough working taxpayers to cover their expenses this time, there is no other choice.

rob said...

I think that you may have missed Coyne's point to some extent. It isn't just lower taxes; it's smarter taxes. He's taking a run at Harper's useless GST and targetted tax cuts, saying that the tax relief should've been used for income taxes instead. Somewhat ironically (since Coyne is a conservative), that has been the Liberal Party's argument as well.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know what all the fuss is about.
Muslims are having babies like crazy even if we are not. Even if we are not replacing ourselves the Muslims are and when I look into the future, I see Muslims as the ruling class because they will be in the majority by sheer numbers of population. So when the boomers get to retirement age they will be beholden to the tolerance of the working class Muslim who will be paying for our benefits. So be kind to the next Muslim you see as he may have your future well being in his hands

Lord Omar said...

I see Muslims as the ruling class because they will be in the majority by sheer numbers of population.

If this indeed came to pass, would it not be at the pleasure of God's will? And if God's will, would it not be incumbent on the religious of the non-Muslim communities to accept such a reality?

Lord Omar said...

Hel-lo, Joanne.

liberal supporter said...

anon 2:19

It wasn't so long ago your exact comment would be made using the word "Catholics" instead of "Muslims"

Muslims are 2% of the population. At the highest birth rate possible, they could double in 15 years, to 4%. Then another 15 years to 8% etc. All assuming "our" growth rate remains low and "theirs" remains high.

But they won't. Like the Catholics, the discrimination gradually lessened over time, and education levels improved. Education, especially of girls, is the major determiner of low population growth.

PGP said...

The Boomers are by and large the most self absorbed and smug generation ever!
I'm one of the few who actually takes things like responsibility seriously.
It is the boomers who have largley had the world handed to them on a platter. Yes we have political clout .... but the apathy and sense of entitlement that is at the heart of the Rot in our society began with my peers!

It has been inculcated into subsequent generations as well ...... so don't look to the boomers or their kids to suddenly become responsible and conscientious all of a sudden.

This is the generation that elected PET and handed the future of our nation to a bunch of thieves.

The time window for intelligent tax rules regarding the age bubble has come and gone!

Anonymous said...

BAHHAAA HAAA HAAAAAAAA!!! Oh noes!! Muslims are taking over the world!!

Neocons are all alike. Welcome to the Ship of Fools - how neocons talk when they're among 'friends'.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2766040.ece

Anonymous said...

Updated Ship of Fools link:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world
/americas/article2766040.ece

Joanne (True Blue) said...

He's taking a run at Harper's useless GST and targetted tax cuts, saying that the tax relief should've been used for income taxes instead. Somewhat ironically (since Coyne is a conservative), that has been the Liberal Party's argument as well.

Yes, I was waiting for someone to mention that. I personally think a broadbase tax-cut would have been better than the GST cut. However, I'm not an economist, so I'll leave that one up to the experts.

I only recall the Liberals discussing tax cuts at the last minute just before the election when they were ready to do anything to stay in power.

Brian S. said...

At this point I would sooner see the debt payed down than taxes cut. Cutting taxes now before they have retired would allow the boomers to once again escape paying for their legacy of Canada's national debt.

Contraception and 100000 abortions a year have caused the current population decline, not tax rates, and children born now would not reach their peak earning years until after the last boomer is dead anyway.

There are many benefits to an aging society with a declining population such as, less crime, slower and less congested traffic, less money needed for education and daycare, more affordable housing, higher wages etc.

I'm sure the country will manage somehow.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hel-lo, Joanne.

Hel-lo, Om-ar. ;)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

. but the apathy and sense of entitlement that is at the heart of the Rot in our society began with my peers!

Yes, we are a spoiled bunch.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

There are many benefits to an aging society with a declining population such as, less crime, slower and less congested traffic, less money needed for education and daycare, more affordable housing, higher wages etc.

Yup, and fewer disposable diapers in the landfills, although that could be replaced by Depends...

Brian S. said...

One important benefit of an aging society is that the older people get, the more likely they are to vote conservative. All those boomers who voted for PET have had more than enough time to grow up and smell the coffee.

Lord Omar said...

so it's not God's will if the Muslims take over?

come on all you believers, throw the atheist a fricken bone here.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

so it's not God's will if the Muslims take over?

It may be Allah's will.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

All those boomers who voted for PET have had more than enough time to grow up and smell the coffee.


This boomer sure has grown up! I have voted Liberal in the past, and even (don't tell anyone) NDP.

Then I saw the light.

Brian S. said...

Don't feel too bad Joanne, it takes some time for the Liberal indoctrination programming that we undergo in public schools, to wear off.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Don't feel too bad Joanne

Thanks, Brian. It takes a while to learn that 'responsibility' goes with all those 'rights'.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Since we're talking about demographic trends and such, what will likely occur in Canada is the mass importation of people from other nations. People from developing nations like China, India and to a lesser extent Middle Eastern nations will have an easier time gaining entry to Canada so long as they are of a desirable age (young).

For that reason, I don't believe that Canada is going to be as 'doomed' as Coyne says.

What will be interesting is the changes in voting patterns and political arguments that may likely result.

For example, aboriginal demands will receive less and less sympathy since new immigrants will feel that they owe less allegiance to treaties signed by people from Britain 200 years ago. It is already happening to a certain extent, about 10 years ago a land claim ran into fierce resistance from a group of recent immigrants who didn't want to sell their land.

As well, since immigrants from developing nations tend to be socially conservative and tend to have more children than liberals we may see a shift to the right on many issues. This is similar to what has been happening in Israel where Orthodox Jews are progressively gaining more power as their percentage of the population increases.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

S.O. - Fascinating topic. Yes, I agree that Canada will tend to go more conservative as immigration increases.

Regarding natives, their birth rates are higher than the general population too, as I recall. However, yes, the rants against the "white man" will begin to lose traction after a while.

And speaking of property, what's holding up those property rights?

RGM said...

After reading this post I immediately thought of Mark Steyn's America Alone. Have you read that one yet J(TB)?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

RGM - Yes, I have read Steyn's book. What did you think of it?

Moebius said...

You're right about the last minute Lib tax cuts. They were saying we didn't need or want them when PM PMartin took over, and only changed their tune when the "Hair on Fire" adscam tour started, as his popularity fell into the toilet.

If only the new PM could act like a conservative and do the right thing.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If only the new PM could act like a conservative and do the right thing.

Moebius, how can he do that with this minority government? You sound like the National Post now.

Moebius said...

The right thing is to do the fair thing for taxpayers.

Don't fall into the politician's trap of worrying about re-election. Do you recall Harris doing all the unpopular things he promised he would do, and the protests and whining, then getting a bigger majority? What happened to Eves, with his centrist policies?

Following the election, SH was improving in the polls with principled stands (support for Israel, for one) until he fell into the trap of trying to make Liberal voters happy. Hard-core libs will never vote for him, but some conservatives will protest vote against him, if he doesn't starting acting like a conservative.

He's way better than the alternatives, but would do better to remember how he got where he is today.

Moebius said...

To distil this down to a few words: this is what is right for the country, and not for the PM's re-election campaign.

Martin is another good example of this.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Moebius, I agree with you in theory. But in practice, you have to woo the ones on the fence.

Moebius said...

I'm arguing that, in practice, the ones on the fence are wooed by real, sensible, fiscal conservative actions, not Kyoto, Quebec nations, etc.

Those are political strategies, not governing.

SH has betrayed folks like me. If not for Dion, he would be in big trouble, and the Libs know it, and will likely do something about it after the next CPC minority in a year or so.

Sorry if I sound a bit strident today, but I'm completely disgusted with politicians these days.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I hear ya, Moebius. Their halos are all a bit tarnished to me too.

SouthernOntarioan said...

The CPC is still more in favour of income splitting than opposing it. But Dion points out the important problem, the price tag.

Dion (and Harper) can't afford for increases in environmental funding, military funding, etc.. if they push forward with income splitting.

Moebius said...

Government spending has increased far in excess of inflation for the last 6 or more years, throwing money this way and that. We can't find enough savings in spending to tax people fairly?

Gosh, all it might do is encourage people to raise their own children rather than farming them out for 2 incomes.