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The curse of small families

Baby Boomers may soon find they have no one to look after them. Brian Bethune reports on the next generational crisis


 

Photograph by Arjen Born

We all know what’s coming. Everywhere in the developed world, populations are greying. The media are full of stories about the surge in the numbers of the elderly within the next 20 years, while governments have been pushing the age of retirement entitlements upward. Most of the spotlight has been on the new greybeards themselves—the Baby Boomers in North America and Australia, the somewhat smaller postwar “boomlets” elsewhere—and not on the other side of the approaching demographic flip. The elderly will almost double their current share of national populations—not just because they are so many, but because their descendants are so few.

More than half the world’s population—now lives in societies where the fertility rate has been dropping, like a stone in some places, for decades. Among demographers, the prevailing narrative for this sea change in human affairs talks of economic development finished off by cultural change. As countries grow wealthier and more urban, with higher levels of education for women, as well as men, women naturally wish to have fewer children; add in access to safe and effective means to that end—contraception and abortion—and that’s precisely what they do.

True enough, but not the whole truth, argues Harvard demographer Michael Teitelbaum, co-author (with Yale historian Jay Winter) of The Global Spread of Fertility Decline. At the core of the change, Teitelbaum believes, lies the rational belief of young adults—especially the highly educated, those most aware of the weak points in their society’s institutions—that they live in “risk societies.” The risks they see can reach to the apocalyptic (will there be another Chernobyl, another 9/11, how many more Lac-Mégantics?) to macroeconomic pessimism (can today’s social welfare entitlements last?) to individual concerns(will we ever be able to own a house?). Marriage- and child-aversion are among their risk-management strategies.

Photograph by Arjen Born

And they will be for the foreseeable future. “If governments wanted to have low fertility rates, what they would do—if they understood the phenomena—is what they have actually done without intending to lower fertility, which is to make life hard for young adults,” says Teitelbaum. “If you make things hard for young men and women, especially women between 20 and 35, by stretching out their educations, by raising the risk that they face of not being able to find a job or becoming unemployed soon after, stagnating wages, allowing housing prices to rise rapidly, they will have very few children. It’s not as if anybody has designed these phenomena to cause young adults to delay child-bearing—nobody planned it—but they happened, and they’ve happened with a vengeance, in some places.”

We worry about our declining birth rates or we celebrate them, fret over who will pay for our pensions and health care, or see a hopeful slowdown in the consumption of the planet’s finite resources. But we have not yet come to grips with what they will mean in our lives, as the largest generation in North American history moves into its final years.

The coming crisis in elder care won’t be just about the sheer number of aging Boomers. It will also be a story about lives lived longer but with chronic conditions, especially those that diminish cognitive capacity; of rapidly changing female roles—indeed, in some parts of the world, of missing women; of the burgeoning new world of commercial old-age-care services; of a globalized, in-demand yet ill-paid workforce; of a sometimes desperate search for technological solutions, including robot caregivers; and, above all, like Sherlock Holmes’s dog who didn’t bark in the night, it will be a tale coloured throughout by those not in it, the absent children.

The Baby Boom generation simply had fewer children than their parents did—far fewer in many countries—and those kids were encouraged to move out into the world in the way Boomers themselves did. Many of the consequences were positive, especially at first, but others, more problematic, are only beginning to work their way through the Boomers’ lifespans: as they age they are going to find themselves in many cases without adult children nearby to look after them. And that will matter. Some 80 per cent of all care—for children, the disabled and the elderly—in the U.S. is unpaid work provided by family members, says Jody Gastfriend, the vice-president of senior care at Care.com, a giant American care provider and online resource that opened operations in Canada last year. The value of that elder care, in dementia cases alone, a recent study by the RAND Corporation estimated, was at least $50 billion annually in the U.S., as measured by income foregone by family members, and as high as $106 billion when measured by what a family would have paid professional caregivers. The situation is much the same in Canada, where those over 65 now comprise 15 per cent of the population; most have several children. By 2030, the over-65s will become a quarter of the population, most with notably fewer children.

Elder care is already straining the budget and the lives of millions. Consider Janet Hillen, 69, of Georgetown, Ont., outside Toronto, and her care for her stubbornly independent 90-year-old mother, who still lives alone in her house in nearby Mississauga. “I’m the eldest daughter and a retired nurse; it falls to me. In fact, near the end of my career, I worked in geriatric nursing, which has proved helpful in navigating the health care system.” Hillen feels she is always battling the system on two fronts—“I fought with doctors over my father’s driving after he became an absolute menace on the roads” (he died with Alzheimer’s at age 96)—and with her mother, who sometimes sabotages what Hillen is trying to do for her. “I’ve lost track of how many visiting health care workers she’s fired.”

At one point, after finding her mother was essentially living on coffee and rye bread, Hillen arranged for Meals on Wheels. But her mother cancelled the service without telling her daughter. “I thought I’d pop an eye vein, I was so upset when I found out. ‘What are you eating?’ I yelled.” Compounding everything is Hillen’s loving understanding of her mother’s position. Of course, she doesn’t want to leave her house. “She loves her garden. She can take you through it. The whole thing is a story: This plant came from an uncle’s grave, this one was a gift from an aunt.” Recently, after a very bad winter—Hillen suspects her mother hurt her wrist shovelling snow off her steps—Hillen’s mother has agreed to move to a seniors apartment, although she occasionally denies agreeing to any such thing, and refuses to sell the house “in case she doesn’t like it, and wants to move back.”

Now consider how fortunate, relatively speaking, Hillen is. Her mother’s health, both physical and mental, is good, and she herself is a retired health care worker wise to the system’s quirks. Hillen does not have a conflict between work and family because she, too, is retired; her mother was only 21 when Janet was born. The Baby Boomers are known as the “sandwich generation” because they are squeezed between dependent children and needy parents; one reason the kids are still at home is that delayed child-bearing is a hallmark of the Boomer generation. Finances are not an issue for Hillen’s mother: She grew up on a Manitoba farm between the world wars, when thrifty self-reliance was more necessity than virtue. One reason she cancelled Meals on Wheels was that the cost—$6 a meal—scandalized her. Boomers, on the whole, have exhibited an entirely different attitude toward money than their Depression-era parents.

In any event, because of the wartime service of Hillen’s father, Veterans Affairs pays for his widow’s lawn mowing and snow clearance. In America, where a far higher proportion of the population has been militarily involved since the Second World War, and where the social safety net is flimsier, Pentagon support will prove crucial for many.

Care.com’s Gastfriend remarks how her family was paying for a secure seniors’ home for her father, who suffered from dementia for a decade before his death, before they realized the scale of his military benefits. Those cut the cost of his home from $9,000 a month to $900. But mass Canadian engagement with the armed forces ended a half-century ago. In short, Hillen’s situation will be statistically ever less likely as time goes by.

It’s not even the norm now. In 2007, Statistics Canada reported that more than half of those caring for elderly relatives confessed to feelings of exhaustion and depression from the stress of juggling children, parents and career. Gastfriend asks rhetorically, “What do you do if you get a phone call: Your mother, the primary caregiver for your father, who has dementia, has fallen and broken a bone and is in hospital, and they are two hours away and you have a crucial presentation the next day?” And, the demographic trends suggest, there is no other child any nearer?

You could call Care.com. Members, for a monthly fee, are entitled to an emergency response plan that would see appropriate health care workers immediately dispatched. They would still have to be paid, but clients are saved the stress of having to find them. And Care.com, where the child-care division remains the largest—although Gastfriend expects it to be soon eclipsed by her seniors’ department—is only one of numerous emerging elder-care services.

Right At Home, a 300-office American corporation, has just opened its first Canadian franchise, in the affluent Toronto-area city of Burlington, aiming for a profitable niche between public services and what well-off seniors might want. Mark Goliger, COO of Right At Home Canada, expects to open another dozen franchises by year’s end. “We’re between the rock of a demographic bubble and an economic hard place,” he says. “People are living longer with chronic issues, children are fewer, and can’t keep up with the unpaid labour. What government does well is in-home medical care. What it falls short on is non-medical daily living, like laundry and shopping help.” Right At Home offers across-the-board services, “whatever you need,” says Goliger, from driving to appointments to personal care—bathing, dispensing medication, even administering insulin—to nursing. Some 60 per cent of its clients are seniors themselves; the other 40 per cent are adult children, mostly looking for personal support workers. Parents are frequently in denial about those kinds of needs, Goliger says. “They hide incontinence, sores, lack of eating.”

Driving is one of the most practical and emotionally laden issues in elder care, the sharpest single line between independent seniors and needy aged. Hendrik Hartog, a 64-year-old Princeton historian drawn to the problem of family conflict over old-age care partly from personal experience, notes that cars are the key factor in the historical novelty of older generations living lives independent of their children. He’d be overjoyed, he adds, to see the Alberta-based seniors’ service Driving Miss Daisy open in New Jersey. His own parents are dead, but, “for my wife, with two parents in their 90s, finding drivers for them is a central part of her life.”

Jenny Viau, 31, who started up Miss Daisy’s sole Toronto franchise in January, echoes Hartog’s thoughts. “The loss of the ability to drive is crushing. Sometimes, after the adult children phone me—usually in relief, because hiring me is far cheaper than them constantly taking time off work—they call me back later to say mom or dad doesn’t think they need us.” Or, she says, the older generation is upset that the children have outsourced their family duty to strangers. Viau has had a couple of male clients, both who soon quit, unhappy at being driven by a woman. Now she has a few female regulars. She’s driven one to the family cottage, and another on visits to her husband’s grave. With one client, there is no actual driving—Viau sits and talks with her. “There are fewer and fewer young people to help them,” she says. Or even to visit.

And if there are fewer volunteers and no time, elder care is going to cost money—lots of it. Everyone in the seniors’ services business is upfront about costs. Goliger is particularly adamant that North America is not financially ready for what is to come. “I tell anybody who listens to start saving now, because the government won’t be able to pay. People need to know now what they will need, from savings to insurance, and start paying into plans.” Not all the costs will be paid from individuals’ pockets, Goliger and Gastfriend concur. “More and more insurance companies will offer elder-care plans,” Goliger says, while Gastfriend adds that Care.com’s plans “have a lot of traction, as a potential job benefit, with employers seeking solutions for distracted, depressed employees, many of them in senior positions.”

The people who are increasingly doing, for pay, what traditional family caregivers can no longer do, are several economic classes away from those who are their ultimate employers. “We charge clients $22 to $30 an hour, because we don’t do a huge amount of nursing,” says Goliger, noting that sort of medical care can rise to $60 an hour. “And we still get a lot of sticker shock in Canada, because Canadians think government should pay.” Those rates allow Right At Home to pay its employees from $11.50 to $15 an hour, “a competitive wage that provides ordinary margins.” The hours and the expenditures add up, says Gastfriend, making them “really significant for many families, so there’s strong resistance to paying caregivers more.”

Given the low pay and the high demand, elder care is becoming what child care has been for decades: an occupational niche where the actual physical labour is performed by what historian Hartog calls “a global migratory workforce, usually without labour entitlements or protection.” (The Philippines, which derives 10 per cent of its GDP from remittances sent back by citizens working abroad, is now the caregiver factory to the world, sending thousands of young women to Europe, North America, parts of east Asia and the rich Arab Gulf states to care for children and, increasingly, their grandparents.) For Hartog, the workforce is a morally troubling issue and one of the emerging system’s weak points. Here in North America, Gastfriend acknowledges, an in-demand field that offers little incentive for workers to commit to it is inherently unstable: “There’s been talk of unionization, and there’s already a shortage of workers in some rural areas.”

Elder care, like child care, has always been what academics now call a “gendered” duty, with the hands-on burden traditionally falling on daughters or daughters-in-law. That’s still true today, even if it now consists of navigating bureaucracies or supervising another woman from half the world away, whether women resist that duty or freely accept it—witness Janet Hillen’s matter-of-fact “I’m the eldest daughter.” Although the new scarcity of female offspring and in-laws will be important in low-fertility North America and Europe, it will be especially crucial in east Asia. Nowhere else will that aspect of the elder-care story play out more against the other factors involved: the dwindling family, the longer-living elderly, the associated costs and the uncertainty as to where the new workforce will come from.

In 1971, when the birth rate in Canada was already at the replacement rate of just over two children per woman, east Asia’s overall number was 5.6 and South Korea’s 4.5. Forty years later, while Canada has drifted downward to 1.7, South Korea has cratered to 1.4, and Hong Kong, seemingly seeking to become the world’s first childless state, is at a staggering 0.9. The falling birth rate is a bedrock part of what’s known as “compressed modernity” in east Asia: What North America had trouble enough digesting in more than a century has utterly transformed the region, especially South Korea, in a single generation.

Elderly populations are ballooning everywhere. In Japan, which entered low fertility decades before its neighbours, it is already a full quarter of the nation. Caring for them, traditionally a daughter-in-law’s task in Confucian societies, would have been difficult, even if the birth rate had dropped in a sexually neutral way. But there are millions more young men than women, especially in China and South Korea, because of the region’s strong preference for sons, often achieved, in recent decades, through the selective abortion of female fetuses.

“In all these societies, strong traditions of filial piety continue,” says University of Toronto sociologist Ito Peng, “but they fall on fewer children and they bump up against competing ideas of modern freedom. Women, in particular, don’t want to be tied down, especially not to be at their in-laws’ beck and call.” (Asian women, of course, are not alone in that reaction. The parent-child bond rarely runs as strongly from child to parent as it does the other way, says Hartog: “No one in the modern world thinks that caring for old parents is what their life’s work is. At best, it’s a distraction; at worst, a burden.”)

Japan spent most of the ’90s in denial, says Peng, but finally grasped the financial nettle in 1997. The country established a huge new tax, almost five per cent of income, to pay for elder care. In 2008, continues Peng, South Korea, knowing that it would be in Japan’s position in 20 years, “decided to be pre-emptive,” and did the same. The funding is crucial, especially in Korea, because the demand for care workers is matched by resistance to foreign help. “The Koreans established special visas for Chinese of Korean descent, even if they didn’t speak Korean well. There’s some 300,000 in the country now, many, especially the women, working in elder care,” Peng says. Even so, as in Japan—which tried much the same with Latin Americans of Japanese descent in the 1980s—foreigners, no matter what their bloodlines, are not seen in Japan and Korea as the first choice in elder care. “That’s why,” Peng says, “they’re working so hard on the robotics.”

The Japanese government is stepping up its support for robotics in the face of the worker shortage. (The official explanation for high turnover and vacancies is “back pain” brought on by helping the elderly from bed to wheelchair, although some officials allow that “low pay” is a factor.) In April, Tokyo handed out $25 million to 24 companies to develop “nursing-care robot equipment.” Carmaker Toyota’s project is designed to help the elderly move about, while Sekisui Hometechno Co. is working on a mobile flush toilet; other companies are tasked with tracking those who wander off. The 40-cm Paro therapy bot, which resembles a baby seal, now offers recreational therapy in one old-age home experiment: It plays games and quizzes, and sings and dances with the residents. “He knows everything very well. I learned a lot from him,” Tsugie Nakanishi, 88, told the Japan Times.

The Japanese are not alone in placing their faith (and hopes) in technology. Walter Greenleaf, a division head at the Stanford Center on Longevity, thinks technology offers the best grounds for optimistic thinking. “Robots, iPad apps that remind the elderly of important matters [such as their meds], the driverless cars that have been on the horizon for some years” will all help keep the aged independent. “Let’s hope,” adds Greenleaf, 56, “that, by the time we’re in our 90s, the car technology will be there.”

Greenleaf needs to keep his outlook on the sunny side, because the department he heads at the longevity centre—the mind division—has little good news to report. The number of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in North America is projected to double within 30 years, and strike perhaps a third of the elderly. “We’ve had a lot of breakthroughs—in cardiology, in cancer—but not in those diseases that affect our cognitive abilities.” With labour and money in short supply, even technology won’t solve the coming problems by itself. There will need to be cultural changes, too, notes Greenleaf, who cites time-banking plans in which healthy seniors can build “credit” by helping the older and more frail. An organizer keeps track of how many hours of help such volunteers provide, credit hours they can draw upon during their own time of need.

And then there are those siblings. Boomers may be short on kids but, by definition, they abound in sibs. Watching them reunite to care for an aging parent, sometimes after decades apart and often with unresolved childhood issues, experts find no middle ground in their relations. After financial worries, Gastfriend says, the greatest source of stress in elder care is sibling discord among adult children, something that has a deleterious effect on the health and longevity of everyone involved, parent and children alike. On the other hand, sibling accord brings nothing but health benefits to everyone. In short, Boomers should patch things up with their brothers and sisters. They’re going to need each other.


 

The curse of small families

  1. “If you make things hard for young men and women, especially women between 20 and 35, by stretching out their educations, by raising the risk that they face of not being able to find a job or becoming unemployed soon after, stagnating wages, allowing housing prices to rise rapidly, they will have very few children.”

    … all I keep thinking is how often I hear/heard “how easy kids have it these days.” I must apologize, as that mantra has been drilled into my skull for a couple of decades. I’ve always been under the impression that the above demographic is “choosing” not to have kids, and could if they wanted too (and wern’t afraid of a “little” hard work).

    • It’s a fundamentally outdated adage. Anybody from the generation that endured the depression and fought in WWII is welcome to lecture me about the bad old days. But if your biggest complaint is that you had to watch Bonanza in black-and-white, step to the back of the line.

  2. Important topic – thanks for reporting on it.

  3. “If you make things hard for young men and women, especially women between 20 and 35, …, they will have very few children.”

    Medicare in Canada and Obamacare in the US are both prime examples.

    In both, older people, who use far more medical services than they pay in taxes, are subsidized by the young, who pay far more into the system while requiring much less care. The result is less money in the pockets for young people, less money to buy a house, less money to tide them over during unemployment or while establishing careers, less money to pay for kids’ needs, and thus fewer kids.

    Another prime example is license/qualifications-creep – the constant and unending increase in requirements to get a job, to drive a car, to do anything.

    For instance, cars. For instance, now you need not only a license, but you need to get that license with graduated licensing that takes several years, you need to do drive clean appointments for your car that was never required before, you need to pay any and all parking tickets you may have accidentally acquired whenever you renew, and that was also never required before. Additionally, you need to pay through the nose for insurance, because rates for the young are very high, and the rates keep rising. All of these have made it more difficult to obtain or drive a car, when at the same time housing has become so expensive in cities that young people are forced to move to places where car ownership is absolutely necessary.

    Another example: Now you also need a university degree to become a nurse when previously a two-year college degree was enough. In fact, in some places you need a license to cut hair. You need a degree or a license to do anything at all these days. Even driving a taxi requires a license that is essentially unobtainable in some cities.

    Democratic societies such as Canada, while they have aged, have also made it more difficult to be young.

    I’m not even young myself anymore, so I’m not complaining for myself. But I do know that when young people complain about these things, not only are the complaints dismissed, but they are dismissed with derision, as if the young have all the time and resources in the world.

    Nothing is simple anymore, and because nothing is simple, it takes a very long time to get established to the point where you have the comfort and security to raise kids.

    • Yup. My mother became a school teacher with one year of teacher college. Ultimately she got her degree because Manitoba rejigged the wage scales in the 1970s to pay degree-holders much more than those who didn’t have one – those with only a year of teacher’s college ended up getting “red circled” (i.e. no raise for you, that money goes to the educated ones). Around that time they started requiring a four year degree in education for all teachers as an entrance requirement. Ontario has recently changed it so you need five years. With a commensurate increase in pay of course, covered by the taxpayers. And I’m sure the kids will benefit immensely from that extra year the teacher spent in school when she could have been in the classroom gaining actual teaching experience. No doubt this will get me labelled “anti-education” again by the usual suspects. I’m not, but I don’t see the purpose of adding more years long after you’ve reached the stage of diminishing marginal returns.

      • My understanding is that the increase in the length of teacher’s education programs in Ontario is primarily to try to slow the rate of graduation of new teachers. Ontario has a massive surplus of new young teachers who can’t find work, and has been graduating twice as many teachers are there are job vacancies for years.

        • Firstly, to reduce the numbers of graduates, you reduce the number of admissions.

          Secondly, if the intent were to reduce the number of graduates, then you would expect the length of education to be reduced again when the number of graduates declines. And we know that will never happen.

          • ABarlow is correct. This has happened in Alberta where at some universities teaching has become a five or even six year program. The same thing has happened to physio therapy and occupational therapy. You are correct as well because the admission standards do increase with competition. It is highly unlikely that the length of education will ever decrease because the number of graduates will likely never be fewer than the number of positions available in the workplace. In this day and age we have more and more young people who are able to attend university. We will never have a shortage of qualified applicants.

    • Older people have paid their share of taxes when they were young like you and working full time for all of their lives.

      • I’m not young. I’m also not dishonest like you.

  4. Japan spent most of the ’90s in denial, says Peng, but finally grasped
    the financial nettle in 1997. The country established a huge new tax,
    almost five per cent of income, to pay for elder care.

    This of course will make the problem worse, because this will drain more income from the young, and thus the young will have fewer kids, since as the article says…

    “If you make things hard for young men and women, especially women
    between 20 and 35, …, they will have very few children.”

  5. Wow … really enjoyed this article. Thank you!

    As a Gen Xer that “enjoyed” a seamless transition from being a provider of toddlercare to eldercare I can, unfortunately, identify with much of this article; frustration with siblings reluctant to help out & elders who are in denial about their reduced capabilities, as well as deferred (derailed) career and downsized family plans. The falling birthrate/demographic flip in much of the developed world is giving a new meaning to the term “first world problems”!

  6. Why frame it as a ‘small family’ issue when it’s truthfully a ‘kids moving away’ issue or a ‘kids not stepping up and taking responsibility’ issue? From what I’ve seen, the bulk of the responsibility for elder care falls on one or maybe two kids anyway.

    • I’ll grant that greater geographic mobility poses an issue, sure, but the changing age pyramid has a huge impact as well. At the level of individual families it means far fewer potential caregivers than before. At the country level it means far fewer taxpayers to subsidize old age. This isn’t a failure of kids to step up. It is an issue of each kid having to do far far more than in any previous generation.

      • You are of course right. There are going to be fewer potential caregivers and fewer taxpayers to subsidize old age. At the same time, L is right as well. Extended families are not remaining together. The responsibilities of caring for older family members are increasingly falling to fewer family members due to the ease of mobility of people in modern times. I have 8 siblings but when my 86 year old parents are no longer able to live in their own home, I fully expect that only one or two of those siblings will take on the bulk of their care simply due to the fact that the rest of us don’t live within a reasonable proximity to make caring for their needs achievable.

    • fewer kids is a societal issue in the big picture because fewer kids overall = fewer taxpayers = fewer workers to staff nursing homes and such (and less money for subsizied elder care and even pensions such as OAP and CPP).

  7. The very first boomers in Canada are now 67….not the 80 somethings that you’re showing. We are a generation away from that, and much will have changed again by then.

    And yes, many Boomers chose to be childfree….raised with the threat of nuclear war any minute, and then the fear of the ‘population bomb’….it seemed sensible to many to forego children, go out to work and enjoy the last years of Planet Earth.

    However, boomers have paid into the system all their lives, and yes they expect proper care….seniors, especially boomers, vote in droves.

    • The system has largely been built to cover current costs (not that this has prevented governments from going into the red). The result is that Boomers are going to cost the system a lot as they age, and they didn’t (due to whatever personal or moral reasons) invest in children to pay for it.

      So on top of the debt servicing, and trying to look after parents while raising their own kids because they couldn’t have them earlier, and dealing with a society of retirees that is woefully unprepared financially for retirement, they’ll get to pay higher taxes still.

      But, yes, those boomers will expect it, and yes, they’ll vote in droves, and yes, their kids and grandkids (those that had some) will pay for it (and for those that didn’t have some too).

      • That’s what the system is for, so if it doesn’t work properly politicians will pay with their jobs.

        The proportion of people using the system is the same however, and kids wouldn’t have been around anyway. People live thousands of miles apart now…..and no one could stay at home to nurse the elderly anyway.

        Most Boomers are currently looking after their own parents and kids

        • You mean, the boomers who will have the large voting numbers will retire, and insist their expectations are met. A Japanese style super tax will likely come into vogue just as the boomers retire from peak earning years (is that too cynical?).

          So sure ‘the system works’. Just like boomers have effectively planned their financial retirements is working? The system does not work effectively here, because constituents are not future focussed enough.

          The boomers have had a big stick for a long time. Expect Gen X, Y, Z to get whacked for a long time.

          • Boomers aren’t retiring, but since they’ve paid into the system for years …..yes, they expect some return.

            Are you referrring to a tax on the rich? Because if so, we’ve had that before.

            Boomers had a hard time getting started….Gen X and Y have had an easy time in comparison.

          • There’s no empirical evidence that can prove who had a harder time. So we can agree to disagree. I’ll leave with you that baristas are unionizing, 20-somethings live at home longer, and have pursued more education for a reason, and it’s not because they’re lazy.

            The article is about the FUTURE. About when boomers do retire. And they have started. Born in ’46 means you’re 67. We’ve got 15-18 years more to go of boomers retiring. Those are facts.

            And yes, they have paid in and will. Will they take out more than they paid in? Most likely. That is my view and it’s not without merit, it’s entirely possible and given the electoral weight you agree they have, a probability. Disagree all you like.

            And no, I wasn’t talking about a tax on the rich, the but tax to support the elderly as mentioned in the article that has been instituted in Japan and S. Korea.

          • Well….there’s history. Shows the tough time every generation has had getting started. Imagine coming of age for the Depression….or WWII.

            Boomers hitchhiked around the country, ate out of dumpsters and lived in communes.

            Yes, I know the numbers….I’m 67. No, I’m not retiring, and neither is anyone else beyond physical labourers.

            We will have more elderly…..and they will be healthier….and working till they die if they can.

            Retirement is boring….and leads to early death.

            If you’re a Gen X or Y….worry about yourself, not us.

          • I’m not worried about you. You’ve got it made. That’s the point.

            You can continue working and preventing younger workers from advancing, but eventually you will be unable or unwilling to work with many years ahead of you, most likely, and though hopefully healthily, the statistics show longer living will mean more cancer gotten and beaten, more dementia, more managed health care, prescriptions, appointments, hip replacements etc. etc. etc. More expense. Fewer working age people to pay for it. No government taxation/savings now for that future. But no, you won’t pay for it. I will. Enjoy.

            If you weren’t so smug about how much you’ve contributed and how you deserve it, by gosh, it wouldn’t be so aggravating. I mean, you even think I’m worried about you. I thought it was supposed to be all those younger generations the boomers keep telling us are so self centred? Not you! Nice.

          • LOL you’re funny. After 50 years….half a century….. of hard work…..I ‘have it made’.

            Well I did it by ignoring all the negative beliefs of my generation, that we’d be wiped out by nuclear war, that we’d starve because of the population bomb about to happen and that we’d never get jobs because the generation ahead of us was so tiny. Boomers were a huge generation….the one ahead of us was much smaller, and made even smaller by war…..so there’d never be enough jobs to go around.

            The govt was no help…..at one point I remember laughing because I was trying to move up from an apartment to a house…..and found I made too much money to qualify for help…..but not enough money to qualify for buying a house.

            I’ll give you some hints….no one ever said life was easy….it isn’t for anybody…..but no one is preventing you from doing anything…. It’s all up to you….and you have to think your way through it.

            So stop fantasizing about putting us all on ice floes…..that isn’t going to happen. And since we’ve paid into the system all our lives we have the right to expect decent health care.

            Of course you’ll chip in as well…..and you’ll also benefit from all the good things accomplished in the past…..healthcare, decent wages, vacations, pensions. Life is very different now than it was when I was a kid. None of you have ever seen real poverty in Canada. None of you have ever had to drop out of school ….primary school….to go out to work and contribute to the family. None of you have ever seen a 10- 20 kid family where nobody had a future beyond manual labour. I saw all those things.

            So don’t cry on MY shoulder, kid…..you’ve got it made. LOL

            Three more things….we have immigrants coming in that increase the number of ‘workers’ contributing…Canada is a very wealthy country, and 90% of it isn’t even lived in…..and finally there isn’t a limited amount of jobs. Jobs expand as society does….we won’t run out.

            So gird your loins, lead with your chin…all that stuff…..and get out there like everyone else.

          • For the record, I’ve done fine, worked hard, have a couple kids, a house, was able to leave my job to start my own thing, and am very lucky to have been born in Canada, and Canada was made by the people that came before.

            But, in fact, it’s a bit like being born in Canada vs. being born in Afghanistan. Or, to a much lesser extent, being born a Boomer vs. a Gen Y.

            Hard work always helps, sometimes you get lucky. It’s just so annoying when people won’t or can’t acknowledge the hand they’re dealt. Never before have fewer had to pay for more.

            It’s math and voting power. Really, it’s simple.

            http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-003-x/2007001/4129904-eng.htm

            Why don’t you go get on your Canadian high horse and tell an Afghani to saddle up.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Oh it is a problem I have. Unlike the threat of nuclear war, this one’s going to happen for sure, unless you all dispatch yourselves on icefloes.

            Yeah, I’m talking about my taxes. I believe we should collectively support each other. But I don’t think one generation should suffer the burden of paying extra to support the entitled attitude of another. You should be collectively planning and looking after yourselves.

            But you can’t even think about your own individual retirements, as a group, let alone the societal implications.

            http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/pay-day-/canada-baby-boomers-financing-retirement-debt-164733894.html

            You’ll just vote for yourselves and to heck with those after you.
            I’ll kvetch about that crappy entitled attitude and lack of foresight a whole pile.

            Because you all should be old enough to know better.

          • Well m’dear….what you are is the guy that never turns up when it’s his turn to buy lunch. Every office has one.

            Ireland is known for having been thrilled to get a fortune from the EU to get on it’s feet…..and then voting the next treaty down when it came their turn to kick in to help others.

            Guess what….it’s your turn now.

          • You’ve got it exactly backwards. You lot are at the smorgasbord, and you’re just about to hand us the bill.

          • So pay the bill.

          • … and while you’re wiping your face with your fancy napkin, you’ll accuse us of never buying lunch.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Let’s revisit the analogy one more time.

            My family goes out for dinner with your family. You have 6 people in your family. I have 2. Every second dinner, you say “it’s your turn.”

            Yeah, I’d stop going out for dinner with you, or if I really liked you, I’d say, “Hey, let’s each buy our own.”

            Except I can’t. I can’t say, buy your own, because our democracy doesn’t work like that and your family isn’t either smart enough or unselfish enough to realise how tilted it is and act fairly and responsibly.

            It’s not even worth asking – boomers aren’t even saving for their OWN retirements (that’s the stupid) or understanding they’ve had it good (the selfish part).

            Not that I mind buying dinner. Getting taken advantage of because you can, I mind.

            ps. resorting to “brighter people” is a bit sad. I’m plenty bright. You may not like my point of view, but that doesn’t make me stupid. There’s a difference. Yeah? yeah.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • classy. on topic. relevant. I don’t mind taxes.
            but if you want to make it personal, let’s.

            From previous posts, you appear to either work for the government or a company that contracts heavily to them. Maybe I’m wrong. My family employs people and export globally. I’ve worked privately or private companies exclusively. Our net contribution to building this country in terms of taxes paid vs. benefits sought, at my younger age, could well be greater than yours. Just consider it. We can’t all work for the government. It would fail.

            Now, your generation decided not to have kids. Fine. But you know the adage about consequences. You reap what you sow. Except you won’t. You’ll just pass it along. I guess a lot of you will be lonely in old age, and that’s kind of sad.

            But economically, it’s because you can and because you feel you’ve done your part. Dandy for you. The truth is there were more of you paying for fewer retirees. You created the situation where it’s reversed. We’re dealt our hand. But as you said, you decide what to do with it.

            You could say “due to our decisions we need to contribute more to our old age”. Or you could say, as you did “your turn”, turn your back, and suggest I move to Somalia.

          • Who paid for your birth? Who paid for your education? Who paid for your life-long healthcare? Who pays for your roads, your bridges, your traffic-lights? Your cops, firemen and military?

            Taxpayers.

            Now it’s your turn to kick in….we get whining.

            I’m guessing you’re a Libertarian. They’re moochers.

          • you really do think I’m dumb, don’t you. Of course my upbringing was paid for by my elders. I’ll feel really good contributing through taxes for my children’s education, and if they have children, their births, and the roads I drive on, etc.

            And no, you assume wrong again, I’m not Libertarian. Fully private roads would be totally ineffecient. What riles me up (you’ll notice I don’t post often and never this much) is when people get all righteous when they have no right. Like drivers who think cyclists shouldn’t be on the road because they don’t pay gas tax or pay for licenses. Because gas tax doesn’t cover road tax. It’s totally spurious and yet they’re so angry about it.

            And for me, it’s kind of like this here. There were a lot of Boomers to pay for a few retirees. There weren’t a lot of kids born by the Boomers they had to pay for. Really, compared to your parents or your children, the amount you have and will have to contribute to the individual social benefits of others, is less than all the generations around you. And yet here you are beating the drum that I don’t want to do my fair bit and don’t want to pay tax and I’m a Libertarian.

            Our social structure is built around having more come behind you to pay for the future. And yet our society is undergoing inversion, and our end of life expenses are skyrocketing due to technological advances and pure longer life.

            You know all I want. I want for the Boomer’s to look at the legacy they adopted, the legacy they’ll leave, and say, let’s pony up and do our fair bit, figure out a solution to this shift, we’ve had it pretty good, let’s not saddle our children and their children with a large burden. Because the Boomers hold both the actual levers of power to make the change, and the voting ability to demand it. But instead, you aren’t even saving for your own retirements. You’re quietly waiting to retire and demand exactly what those older than you got. The fact that there are far fewer of us to pay for it is just, what, Kvetching? Whining?

            My OAS start date got rolled back, not yours. And that’s just the beginning.

            At the end of day, I’m sitting here after our back and forth feeling like it’s actually me with the stronger sense of community morality.

          • So now you’re upset because Boomers used birth control?

            Would you have preferred 10-20 sibs? That would have definitely limited your life!

            There are 7 going on 8 billion human beings in the world….we aren’t running out of people, trust me.

            Canada, however, is 90% empty.

            The solution seems kind of obvious to me.

            Moral too. Community morality in fact.

          • So now you’re upset because Boomers used birth control?

            No, never was. Pay attention. It’s because you’re not being half as careful now.

            Would you have preferred 10-20 sibs? That would have definitely limited your life!

            That’s hyperbole.

            There are 7 going on 8 billion human beings in the world….we aren’t running out of people, trust me. Canada, however, is 90% empty. The solution seems kind of obvious to me. Moral too. Community morality in fact.

            Integration takes time, is generally rife with social costs for new immigrants, we haven’t had the immigration numbers so far to make up the difference. If the government can design and effectively implement a better, larger program, great. We’re really behind. If your peers don’t figure out that option (or demand it – are boomers demanding increased immigration? – haven’t read about it), are your peers going to effectively design an alternative plan to deal with Canada’s inversion? Or are you going to stick it to us?

            Time will tell. I’m not hopeful.

          • You don’t seem to know what you want….beyond feeling the need to complain about your taxes……something people have been doing for millennia. LOL

            I grew up in a world of large families, it’s not hyperbole. It’s also never going to return.

            I’m as careful as I’ve always been. So are most people.

            Canada is a country of immigrants….your family immigrated here.

            265 immigrants a day are coming into Toronto…..Kenney has been advised we need to shift to a million immigrants a year. I say we should let ’em all in….it’s not like we don’t have the room. We are redistributing the world’s population

            Hopeful about what? A tax reduction? LOL

          • I do know what I want. One last time, I’m going to post exactly (copy paste is beautiful) exactly I posted before. The rest of your most recent comments are not relevant to the core debate.

            You know all I want. I want for the Boomer’s to look at the legacy they adopted, the legacy they’ll leave, and say, let’s pony up and do our fair bit, figure out a solution to this shift, we’ve had it pretty good, let’s not saddle our children and their children with a large burden. Because the Boomers hold both the actual levers of power to make the change, and the voting ability to demand it.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Not vague. I said “figure out a solution to this shift”. If mass suicide is your best/preferred solution, go for it. There are enough of you that you should probably come up with a more creative soluition if only you wanted to. But it’s easier to just take from others, you’ve had it so good you don’t even know the difference.

            So while you do it, with incredulity, you’ll say “even more?” convinced you’re total contribution is going to be higher than the generations around you, when it’s just not, and our government builds webpages saying this:

            “The OAS is the single, largest federal program. It is financed from general government revenue and provides benefits to most Canadians 65 years of age and over. Canadians are living longer and healthier lives; there will be nearly twice as many seniors in 2030 as there were in 2011, growing from 5 million to 9.4 million. This will place significant pressures on the OAS program.”

            http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/oas/changes/index.shtml

            As it stands, your generation are the ‘moochers’. It’s time you stood down, Emily.

          • Now you expect boomers to solve your non-existent problems??

            I suggest you stop whining, and get to work instead of blaming your life on others.

          • Not my problems. Our problems. Our society’s already started demographic problems. The one Boomers don’t care about because they’re so entitled.

            I suggest you either get to work on it, or pass over the keys. But our societies problems aren’t your problems, right? And you like having the keys.

            So I’ll work on trying to convince you to get your collective heads out of your ass. Because apparently, you Emily, don’t even see a problem. It’s “non-existent”. We’ve got a long way to go.

            If you do wise up that this is not a threat like nuclear war, but an actual launched missile that could use defusing before it hits, you could start by not going into further debt at your collective age.

            If you don’t want to take collective responsibility, at least take some of the personal kind.

            But thanks for the advice, elder.

          • If you’re that concerned over getting $500 a month at 65, it isn’t MY problem sonny….it’s yours.

            Perhaps if you spent less time complaining on here, and more time working………?

          • You must learn to read more carefully. Our problems. Not my personal ones. I’ve repeated myself OVER AND OVER again.

            But it’s probably not that you don’t read, you’re just fixating on everything but the problem, because you don’t have a good argument against the problem.

            The problem is what Boomers will cost the system, in OAS, in health care costs, etc., in the coming decades, which will be much higher than today, with a much smaller workforce than today. Without foresight, the hard decisions will be harder.

            Maybe, you, Ms. 67, won’t be put on an ice floe. Maybe, metaphorically, you will be. Maybe health care will go private. Maybe expensive procedures won’t be undertaken at very end of life care. Who knows. Maybe you’ll do fine. Those without pensions and savings might not. There are lots of them. It’s the future, but without planning, it’ll suck hard.

            We’ll all get bit. Younger generations more than you. We should be working on it. Instead, the consensus view of those with the reins seems to be yours. Pass it along. I wish you were after saving us all pain. I’m not going to hope you get hurt too, but if I was rational I would. Read Generation WTFs post below. You personally don’t help.

            I will not be posting again.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • You are so clueless it’s painful. No wonder ComeAgain gave up.

            At least when it came to extra schools and extra houses, the economic boom post-war more than covered the costs. But things are not like that now.

            Elderly non-working fixed income people do not contribute as much as a person making, say, 60k a year. Particularly the ones who are riddled with holes in their brain of dementia or alzheimer’s, or who are paralyzed from strokes and some of whom can’t talk. The cost to take care of such is astronomical. Boomers contributed more because 1) there were more of them 2) the whole socialism thing started becoming popular and 3) they were WORKING. Making money, and for the most part plenty of it.

            But now, boomers are starting to not-work. Some retired at 62. Some are retiring at 65 because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. The minute they stop working, they start to become a slow drain on the system that gradually builds up.

            China is a perfect example of what happens if you’re retarded about birth rates (even if it was for the “best” intentions to fix a different alleged problem). Now they have 40 million men that will never ever be able to get married, and elderly people that have NO caregivers, related or otherwise, to care for them in their old age.

            You’ve heard of people dying in ER waiting rooms in hallways on stretchers? Prepare for that to be YOU.

          • Ah yes….you’ve met up with Con/Libertarian dogma…and now, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE.

            Sorry, not happenin’ guy

            There is income as well as outgo….chill.

          • More time working is futile, and if you had any ounce of economic sense you’d realize that.

          • Enough….go have a TGIF beer.

          • Oh it WILL be YOUR problem. Either as a taxpayer, or as a retiree. Either way, you’ll have to make do with less. It’s an economic reality.

          • Fraid not.

          • If you adequately prepared for your own retirement, that’s one thing. But if you’re counting on future taxpayers of invisible unborn aborted babies to fund your elder years, you’ve got another thing coming.

          • Ahhh religious crap again….you’re done. Off you go.

          • What you ask for is demographically impossible. There simply aren’t enough taxpayers to fully fund all the Boomers’ wants and desires.

            This isn’t about “making life easier”. This is about avoiding economic calamity. It’s a wonder you survived this long; do you even know how to budget? If you do, why do you expect the Government (or boomers) to not possess the same common sense?

          • The program is audited, and doing fine. It will continue to do so.

            Stop with the wild stories

          • Of course it’s audited. But the drop off in available money is coming. Fewer taxpayers is fewer taxpayers, and when all the Boomers are retired, the ratio of productivity to tax revenue will go crazy, and available money will thus decrease. The government would have to go into Greece-level debt to keep up if this kind of mentality continues.

            Greece is a reality NOW. Don’t pretend that can’t happen here. Those idiots let people retire at 50 and do hardly any work at all.

          • Canada is a very wealthy country, and we have a GDP of $1.7T.

            Now stop spamming the board…..I don’t need 10 posts saying the same thing.

          • Yeah, fortunately we’re not run by idiots at the current time. At least not federally. But that could change at any time. You’ve got 10 posts saying the same thing (or close to it) because you’re clueless and haven’t gotten the message yet. You’re in denial. It’s not just a river in Egypt anymore.

          • Yes, we are run by idiots…..but they’ll be gone soon.

            You too

          • Immigrants that come here to work are not a problem.

            Immigrants such as the Somali Warlord and his gazillion wives, ALL ON PUBLIC SOCIAL ASSISTANCE, IS a problem.

          • We have lots of immigrants coming in….occasionally we’re bound to get a dud. Plus, every group that’s ever come here….from the Irish on up….have had trouble, and caused trouble, while integrating.

            However, don’t believe all the stories you hear.

          • This isn’t about the Irish. This is about a slew of dubious refugees who come here specifically to take advantage of our generous social assistance. At least the Irish worked. This isn’t about integration either, though some immigrants have fundamentalist beliefs that will make integration difficult. However that is not the issue. The issue is the drain on available public money. This Somali Warlord thing happened on Jean Chretien’s watch; I remember the news stories about it very well. Similar things are happening right now in Britain.

          • The Irish were among our first immigrants…..we’ve had waves of immigrants from various places ever since.

            They all eventually adapt and integrate. Immigrants boost the country’s economy….we need more of them.

          • I never said we don’t need more immigrants. However, we can’t simply rely on them to solve our problems for us, and for one very specific reason that you seem to be forgetting:

            Once they integrate, they get the same attitudes as the people already here, and we’re back to square one.

          • They pay taxes, they have jobs, they start businesses….it’s the way we’ve always grown….for gawd’s sake relax.

          • The largest, most recent group of immigrants do not integrate and do not intend to, never have done so anywhere in the world.

          • The Fraser Institute recently stated that immigration costs Canada $23 billion a year. 300,000 immigrate here every year not counting the temporary workers taking jobs of qualified Canadians.

          • You obviously know nothing about how large families work.

          • Solve the problem. Use birth control.

          • I didn’t say it was a problem. Using birth control IS NOT a solution to the problem, either! You obviously have terrible reading comprehension skills. Large families can be a good thing (particularly on a farm, because in the Depression Era hiring farmhands was problematic, because duh, nobody had any money). In my family, one grandparent had 9 siblings. They all did quite well when the Boom years arrived. Of those, they had a variety of family sizes themselves, two of which had only two kids (but not from birth control but rather fertility issues). If all those 10 kids only had 2 kids, the tax base would be the worse off for it.

            I see mandatory Euthanasia in our future if people don’t stop being idiots about wanting everything and everybody else to pay for it.

          • What century are you living in?

            We don’t live on farms as a society anymore….so we don’t need ‘farmhands’….and nobody is going to start having big families again….so move on.

          • There are a great many people that insist on retiring at 65 whether they need to or not, because they believe they are “entitled” to.

            (If you can’t tell, I live in a VERY heavily union-workforce area)

          • Actually only a very few hippy boomers in Canada lived that way. It was an over-hyped American thing. WWII saved the Depression kids and the post-war industrial boom got them on their feet – the outlook was bright and hopeful – today there are not enough jobs for the young and the world has changed drastically due to over population and immigration. From experience I’d say the young people have it far tougher today.

          • There is no set number of jobs….this counry could handle millions more people.

            Young people just have more ways to kvetch….!

          • yes they are retiring. Retirement age is still 65 last I checked. At least, the ones in the early part of the boom are.

          • There is no mandatory retirement age anymore…..hasn’t been for years. Even early boomers….67 now….are still working.

            The only ones that retire anymore are people who do hard physical labout.

      • Those boomers will also have to pay for their care, and pay alot. When my grandmother moved into an assisted living facility, the means test that she took required her to pay $800 per month. (this was 20 years ago) As she divested herself of income, her rent went down. She said once “We worked very hard to save money and now I see the people who didn’t do that, didn’t save money, well, they are in the next room”
        The goverment will fund elder care by simply taking their money.

        • Exactly Ibee. Paying for your accomodation and food is pretty standard stuff. Those boomers that are currently increasing their debt loads rather than save for retirement, who aren’t saving money, are still going to be in the next room. Who’s going to pay? And remember, health costs are not user pay. And current taxpayers pay for retirement benefits.

          These are the numbers just for retirement benefits:
          Until 2015 we’ll need $2 bill. more per year to cover OAS and GIS. Then it will be $3 bill. more each year until 2020.

          Then add on health costs and it’s projected that in total we’ll have to find $56 billion more in today’s dollars. That’s 10% of total provincial and federal spending.

          + there’s the unfunded liability in the pension plan for federal public-service workers (not all boomers, but a good proportion) is actually $65-billion larger than what Ottawa has accounted for on its books.

          And guess what, we’ll have fewer taxpayers to pay for it. This issue has been talked about for years, nothing much gets done.

          Article stats came from, written back in 2011:
          http://www.financialpost.com/news/Canada+demographic+time+bomb/4544389/story.html

    • Boomers paid into the system yes, but I have bad news for them. That money they paid in is long gone. It was used to give their parents CPP and OAP.

      • The system is just fine. Relax.

    • Most seniors are still paying income tax and have done so all their lives so they are not getting a free ride. For many years their children were grown yet the now-seniors’ income tax paid for other people’s childrens’ educations and other people’s health care and welfare. Not fair to blame people for getting old and needing help – it is their turn at the table, they paid the bill in advance.

      • Yup, very true. Paid for schools when they had nobody in one too.

        Some Gen Y are cheapskates is all.

  8. On a seperate note, I find these “time banking” plans quite clever.

  9. Everything is a business, Government pats it’s own behind for all factors of life that are good and blame humans for anything that is bad. Plus maybe they need to understand that everyone’s standards of life are different. Educators have snowed the world that they created the world as it was. Instead it was good old American do and ingenuity. The government puts them in homes because they can(whose making a profit ?) and if living how they want to ends their life (like they aren’t on a banana peel with old age:)) why can’t they do as they please? You have to let water seeks it’s own level. Let people do the same.

  10. When a person over the age of 80 talks about how “easy” things are today i listen and respect them for winning WWII, building our health care system and overseeing the growth and maturation of Canada from a colony to a country.

    When a person between 55 and 70 talks about how “easy” kids have it today i throw up a bit in my mouth. Baby Boomers legalized, embraced and practised abortion more than any other generation in Canadian history. They used their demographic power to ensure cheap university and high quality public education for themselves only to raise its costs and lower its standards for those that came after them. Finally they liberalized the Canadian family through greatly relaxed and skewed divorce laws, that ruined the childhoods of the few kids they did have.

    All together that is leaving them hated, privileged and alone. Payback is a bitch.

    • Well other than dragging religion into it, confusing the generations, and threatening senior citizens….ya did fine, kid.

      • What religious comment did i make? None
        Confusing the generations? Oldest baby boomers are 67, i said 55 to 70
        Threatening seniors? Baby boomers – as the article points out- are being threatened by their own choices… that is the payback they are receiving… they aborted their children, ruined their families through divorce and have left the generations that follow them indebted and ill suited to pay the taxes necessary to support with tax dollars the needs that the Boomers feel entitled to?

        Go to work EmilyOne you post too much on here. Or perhaps you are a retired Boomer? Living off the avails of your overindulged, overspent, overbotoxed generation?

        Enjoy while you can still remember what you are supposed to be enjoying.

        • You claim both abortion and divorce as Boomer which is absurd….and Boomer university students weren’t guaranteeing the best education for themselves while watering it down for others….they were studying. Some after many years out of school.

          Baby boomers aren’t being threatened by anybody, and certainly not your lot.

          Canada has had debt since day one….so has the US. It’s nothing to do with boomers.

          You can’t blame blacks, women or gays anymore for your poor showing…..so suddenly it’s boomers that are the villains?

          I am working junior….right now. I run a business online. And I haven’t got anywhere near the highest post count here….so enough with attempted red herrings.

          Wadda bunch of wimps and whiners your gen turned out to be. How are you going to handle the very real problems facing the world…..not just your childish resentment of mom and dad?

          Shouldn’t you be over the teenage rebellion stage by now?

          Cuz in your gen’s case, you’re rebels without a cause

          • Baby boomers are being threatened by their OWN life choices… that is my whole point. READ THE ARTICLE EM before commenting on it.

            Abortion… Baby boomers aborted more babies than anyone else in Canadian history.

            During the time period between where the oldest boomers turned 25 (1971) and the youngest 33 (1997) the Boomers aborted 2,024,690 babies in Canada alone. On average over 75,000 of their own children were disposed of by Baby Boomers every year when they were out enjoying their “sexual revolution”.

            Well we are all seeing that the “sexual revolution” is leading to a decrepit lonely old age. That is what threatens the Boomers.

            Not my generation. We are too busy paying the highest taxes in North America supporting all the programs the Boomers demand in retirement.

          • It’s a comment article hon, by one person…. not carved in stone tablets. Of all the thousands of boomers I’ve known personally….only one couple didn’t have kids, and one other couple just had one child. And as always, boomers won’t depend on family anyway….it’ll be friends doing for themselves. Gen X and Y will be out of the home by then anyway….hopefully.

            On the whole we had smaller families than previous generations ….because we had a cholce.

            Abortion….when did it become legal? What LARGE generation was around by then? In the 50s you went to prison for using contraception or having an abortion. Had either been legal, there wouldn’t have been a baby boom. Think on that.

            LOL down to taxes again eh? Yu puir wee babes.

          • SO TYPICAL…

            Emily the point of this article is that old people of every generation are 80-90% cared for FOR FREE by family.

            If they don’t have family to care for them (either because they aborted their kids or as you say don’t value “family anyway” CLASSSIC BOOMER CHIC there) then either they starve in the dark or the government picks up the tab in one form or another.

            Either way it SUCKS to be a boomer or their offspring.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • My suggestion is that Canada institute a death tax to take back from all these soon-to-be-euthanized boomers the billions of dollars their hard working Builder parents saved up.

            Use those untold billions to pay off this giantic public sector debt rung up by Trudeau/Mulroney/Chretien et al over the last 30 years keeping Boomers voting for one tax-and-spend oligarchy or another.

            death and taxes… boomers have tried to cheat both but … do you hear it… the bell is tolling and its tolling for thee Emily. Ding Dong Ding Dong

          • This comment was deleted.

          • “We don’t have a gigantic debt, and we had no deficit either until Harper got in there.”

            With the exception of 1979 (Joe Clark)…we had a deficit every from 1963 to 1996….and our debt is ~33% of GDP.

          • We had years of surpluses under Chretien/Martin…..until Harper gave us the biggest deficit in our history

            And we were down to 28.6 per cent in 2008-09.on the debt….but now it’s gone up again.

            Cons are lousy at economics.

          • So are you….the conservative government has lots of problems and I never encourage anyone to vote for Harper, but you can’t revise history.

            Look at deficit compared to GDP
            – 2009 (the big one in your books) was 3.9% of GDP
            -1994 (Chrétien) 4.8% of GDP
            -1993 (Chrétien) 5.3% of GDP

            Historically deficits have been anywhere from 5~9% of GDP.

          • I think you are confused.

            We are talking about deficits here. Debt is the sum of all the deficits and surpluses. You can’t blame one party for the over spending by governments 37 out of the last 50 years. Canada’s current debt is ~$600 Billion

            You said “We had surpluses, not deficits, under Chretien/Martin”…don’t think so…

            Chrétien 1993 -38.5 Billion -5.3% of GDP
            Chrétien 1994 -36.6 Billion -4.8 of GDP
            Chrétien 1995 -30 Billion -3.7 of GDP
            Chrétien 1996 -8.7 Billion -1% of GDP

            The sum of all the Chrétien/Martin years was a deficit of -$32.7 Billion.

            The surpluses by the Liberal and Conservative government from 1997 to 2007 had little to do with them, that was more about the global economy (Ireland had a surplus from 1997 to 2008).

          • ‘The economy is not Harper’s strength. Canadians remember he inherited a handsome surplus of $ 22 billion from the Liberals when he came to power in 2006. He went through that in six months. Then followed his famous seven lean years of deficits, the worst record in Canadian history.

            This year his Finance Minister James Flaherty predicts another deficit again, somewhere between $ 18.7 billion and $ 20 billion. It will be added to the national debt, as it always does, year after year.

            The $ 481 billion Harper took over from the Liberals in 2006 has climbed to $ 612 billion as of yesterday.’

            http://www.cornwallseawaynews.com/Blog-Article/b/25005/Harper-off-to-Russia-to-lecture-Europeans

          • “Then followed his famous seven lean years of deficits, the worst record in Canadian history.”

            Sorry you are wrong.

            Harper 2006 $13.8 Billion surplus
            Harper 2007 $9.6 Billion surplus

            If adjust past deficits to today’s dollar:
            Trudeau 1982 $61.7 Billion deficit
            Trudeau 1983 $65.7 Billion deficit

            Those are both ahead of Harper’s deficit and without a global economic collapse.

            As for your comments about the debt. The debt was 64% of GDP in 1997, it is now less than half that.

          • Stop it Jim. Your’e just embarrassing yourself, and boring everyone else.

          • I am not the one who doesn’t want to debate facts. Your embarrassing yourself by continue putting out miss information in an attempt to confuse an issue.

          • Do your TGIF ritual somewhere else Jim….I’m not interested.

          • Not interested in the truth or facts

            You said:

            “we had no deficit either until Harper got in there.” – WRONG we have had deficits 37/50 years since 63.

            “Harper gave us the biggest deficit in our history” – WRONG that was Trudeau in today’s dollars – 1982 $61.7 Billion deficit, 1983 $65.7 Billion deficit

            “We had surpluses, not deficits, under Chretien/Martin” – WRONG under their leadership we have a total deficit of -$32.7 Billion.

            ” seven lean years of deficits, the worst record in Canadian history.” – WRONG Trudeau and Pearson collectively have the worst deficit record in Canadian history without the help of a global market crash.

          • Beer is not factual Jim….just wishful thinking.

            Now go drink, and leave numbers alone.

          • Wrong again…Your the only one with beer…but I guess that’s why you are having trouble with your numbers.

            Too bad you can’t simply accept your wrong and don’t have a clue about our economy.

          • I don’t drink beer Jim…and I don’t talk to people who do.

            Now off you go.

          • Well what ever drug or chemical imbalance that you suffer from that does not allow you to accept when you are wrong is unfortunate.

          • You have no source but your beer….off you go.

          • My sources are recorded facts…again you are the only one talking about beer and you are still wrong and have no understanding of economics.

            You said:
            “we had no deficit either until Harper got in there.” – WRONG we have had deficits 37/50 years since 63.

            “Harper gave us the biggest deficit in our history” – WRONG that was Trudeau in today’s dollars – 1982 $61.7 Billion deficit, 1983 $65.7 Billion deficit

            “We had surpluses, not deficits, under Chretien/Martin” -WRONG under their leadership we have a total deficit of -$32.7 Billion.

            “seven lean years of deficits, the worst record in Canadian
            history.” – WRONG Trudeau and Pearson collectively have the worst deficit record in Canadian history without the help of a global market crash.

          • You have no sources….just your opinion

            And that appears to be beer-soaked.

            I provided you with two legitimate sources

            PS….I’m IN economics Jim….I make a living in it.

          • Wow if you work in economics and you don’t even know the basic of the Canadian economy. Again you are the only one talking about beer…you really need to spend more time learning your industry if you want to claim to work in economics.

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/canada-deficit/index.html

            http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/03/21/graphic-50-years-of-canadian-debt/

            http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/public-debt

            http://www.tradingeconomics.com/canada/government-debt-to-gdp

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_public_debt

            http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/09/05/a-quick-look-at-canadas-federal-debt-to-gdp-ratio/

          • Nope, sorry….doesn’t work

            Don’t you think other Cons have tried this same gimmick? Give it a rest.

          • Still can’t form a reasoned argument or rational thought.

            Your comments make no sense. Just more proof you have no economics education at all.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Yes I realize all your posts have nothing to do with the issue at hand, I am glad you realize you are posting unrelated information with no basis in fact or reason. Your whole argument was invalid and you realize that, you are just too embarrassed to admit when you are wrong.

            You have provided zero evidence of you position that can’t be refuted by a high school economics student.

            As usual when you can’t prove your point…which is virtually every time you post…you resort to insults and name calling. That’s how we know you are unable to think for yourself or provide a reasoned argument for an idea, which you stole from someone else.

            Hopefully when you grow up you will understand how to form a reasoned and rational argument and then discuss it with others using dignity and respect.

          • Jim….I hope you’re not auditioning for the Con fall/winter temp position….because this is one of the worst attempts I’ve seen

            Logical fallacies are well-known, and don’t prove arguments.

            I realize you want to ‘win’….but you are simply advertising you are too ignorant to even realize you’re ignorant. That’s just sad.

            OTOH I suppose it’s a sign of progress that you guys are now questioning credentials instead of the earlier….time of the month or menopause…..lack of sex ….or possible fatness.

            You’re still being sexist….but you’ve upgraded a tad I guess. LOL

          • Beating up on your inferiors again, cyberbully EmilyOne?
            Like to go a few rounds with me?
            No one makes you dance like I do – now do they?

          • You’re silly enough that I doubt you even make sense to yourself.

          • to be inferior to EmilyOne you would have to be dead.

          • Since I am not a conservative supporter…no

            You have not been able to prove a single assertion. Every opinion you have about the economy was easily refuted with the evidence.

            I agree your arguments have no basis in logic, because the facts from the CBC, G&M, National Post, UN, mac leans and all others state you are wrong.

            I have provided creditable evidence, you have provided none.

            It is really too bad that you still are unable to put forth any evidence to support your thoughts. It is a sad example of our education system.

            Your the only one trying to use insults and bringing in useless nonsense about your views on how men think and trying to say someone is sexists because they don’t agree with you. I have not made that point at all. I don’t have any idea about your sex, culture, religion, political affiliation or anything else about you, nor do I care, this is about facts…which you don’t have.

            You are unable to support your arguments, so you result to childish behavior hoping other will simply give up.

          • It is a lovely day in my neighbourhood

            I went for a walk today.

            My neighbourhood has lots of birds

            My neighbourhood has lots of cats.

            There were no birds right in my back yard though.

            THEREFORE the neighbourhood cats ate all my birds.
            >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

            It’s a logical fallacy Jim. A series of ‘facts’ does not lead to a logical conclusion.

            Look it up. And go away

          • Yes I know, you have no logic, just a bunch of information that cannot be translated into facts. You are wrong..we agree on that.

          • For those of you joining us late….this is what Jim is being silly about….

            ‘The economy is not Harper’s strength. Canadians remember he inherited a handsome surplus of $ 22 billion from the Liberals when he came to power in 2006. He went through that in six months. Then followed his famous seven lean years of deficits, the worst record in Canadian history.

            This year his Finance Minister James Flaherty predicts another
            deficit again, somewhere between $ 18.7 billion and $ 20 billion. It will be added to the national deb, as it always does, year after year.

            The $ 481 billion Harper took over from the Liberals in 2006 has climbed to $ 612 billion as of yesterday.’

            http://www.cornwallseawaynews.com/Blog-Article/b/25005/Harper-off-to-Russia-to-lecture-Europeans

            and

            ‘The ratio peaked at 68.4 per cent in 1995-96 in an era where annual federal deficits were hitting $40 billion.

            — As deficits shrank and successive budgets paid down some debt, the ratio began to decline.

            — By 2004-05, it was down to 38.7 per cent and hit 28.6 per cent in 2008-09.

            — In 2008, the Harper government said its objective was to whittle the ratio down to 20 per cent by 2020.

            — The global recession reversed the progress, however. Deficits returned and by 2010-11 the ratio had climbed back to 33.9 per cent.

            — By the next year, though, it slipped slightly, to 33.8 per cent.

            — Although Harper is calling for a ratio of 25 per cent by 2021, his target may have some wiggle room, since a Finance Department report last year forecast a ratio of 23.8 per cent by 2020-21.’

            http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/09/05/a-quick-look-at-canadas-federal-debt-to-gdp-ratio/

          • So first off you changed your argument I see. I guess I was right.

            You still have not accepted is that 37/50 years we have had deficits. Although the current government has had to deal with a global economic crisis.

            The largest deficits were from liberal governments (you have to compare apples to apples and use today’s dollars and realize there is interest on the debt) and the years from 1997-2007 even Ireland had a surplus, so to claim that period as a victory is false.

            The debt and deficits were not created in one period or by one government. EmilyOne would have you think Harper is the reason for all our troubles, but his governments (who I do not support) worst year had a deficit of 3.6% of GDP, but Chretien worst deficit year was 5.3% of GDP.

            Her entire argument is based on you ignoring the present value of past deficits and the assumption that the global economic crisis had zero effect on Canada.

            Even the evidence she provides shows the liberal government had a worse record than the conservatives.

            This is about facts, not political parties, I will not vote conservative in the next election, but that does not mean I need to make up information about their record. There handling of the economy is not the best and not the worst compared to past past governments. $1=$1 only if they are in the same year.

          • Jeebuz….are Cons still using this lameO excuse? LOL

            If you look back among the posts m’dear….and they are all here….you’ll see those urls and quotes were posted to you at the beginning. Oh….and it was you that introduced the straw man.

            Ciao baby

          • Yes I can look back and see you have not provided a reasoned or rational argument. I realize you do not understand the concept of present value, even though you said your work in economics, but present value is not an excuse it is a measure.

            We have all seen your posts on here, we are still waiting for one that is more than trolling or cyber-bullying.

            The thread shows you are wrong and always resort to name calling and insults when you cannot prove your point. As I am sure you will do again.

            BTW….as stated I am not a conservative…I just don’t need to make up facts to convince people to vote left.

          • Yes I can look back and see you have not provided a reasoned or rational argument. I realize you donot understand the concept of present value, even though you said your work in economics, but present value is not an excuse it is a measure.

            We have all seen your posts on here, we are still waiting for one that is more than trolling or cyber-bullying.

            The thread shows you are wrong and always resort to name calling and insults when you cannot prove your point. As I am sure you will do again.

            BTW….as stated I am not a conservative…I just don’t need to make up facts to convince people to vote left.

          • I see you can make this Jim Vancouver person dance almost as well as fred can make you dance EmilyOne.
            You make the sheep dance(the 99%).
            She makes the sheep dogs dance(the 1%).

            Learn from her, girlfriend!

          • At 2 bucks an hour Axelrod is paying you too much.

          • No you make a living, 2 bucks an hour, trolling the internet for the social engineers.

            In 1984 that filthy fish face freak Pierre Trudeau left the country steeped in a national debt of 128 billion dollars, the highest that it had been in history

            128 billion dollars in 1984 is the equivalent today of 1.28 trillion dollars. This very morning the amount of debt owned to the public by the United States is 12.6 trillion dollars.

            On a per capita basis, a pimply Liberal donkey, Pierre Trudeau, left us worse off in 1984 than the United States is this very moment after 4 years of Obama Marxist idiocy.

          • During the time of that jackass Trudeau the national debt of Canada rose from 11.3 billion to 128 billion in 1984.

            Using an inflation factor of 10 that 1984 debt of 128billion is the equivalent today of 1.28 trillion dollars.

            This morning, the national debt of the United states, owed to the public, is 12.6 trillion.

            Therefore, since the United States population is 10 times greater than that of Canada, Trudeau, on a per capita basis left us worse off in 1984 than the United States is this very day after 6 years of Obama.

          • Everyone dies. As a fundie you should know that. It is not a divine punishment; it is biology.

          • I haven’t heard such misogynist barf in years. “disposed of their own children”. I’d sure like to force you to raise children you don’t want.

          • Same old threadbare rhetoric lagatta. Have another toke.

          • Seeing that the boomers can’t go back and change anything – deal with it.

          • Mr. WTF, thank you because you’ve made this a very good day.

            Guys like you give hope that maybe everything is alright after all.

            A hell of a mess has been handed to you by the generation you describe, the 55-70. Some of our cohort, the Emilys, contributed to the mess, others of us, the Malovskys let it happen on our watch and can’t tell you how it happened other than it wasn’t intentional because we hate the results of it as intensely as you do.

            I’ve often sat with my friends and we ask each other how the life of optimism we inherited turned into such a load of crap. Intelligent men like newspaper owner Robertson Davies noticed a change occurring in the 1940’s when he wrote a story declaring that the Ottawa skyline reminded him of Moscow. I noticed it in 1968 when we elected an ugly dysfunctional idiot as prime minister and the press was every day telling us how handsome and charismatic he was.

            But my father lived through the great economic depression went to war in the middle of it and came back to make a successful life for himself. His generation turned things around for themselves. They were Canada’s best generation. And so as long as there’s folks like you, your generation can do it too.

            I’m sorry we were busy and asleep at the same time while the wacko damned Emilys took the best country in the world and tore it apart.

          • Tell us about this online business of yours Emily.

            On second thought don’t bother we know what it is. It’s pretty well known that both the Justine Trudeau Party and the McGinty/ McWhinnie Party have hired Marxist oriented, David Axelrod Associates to help them control the political narrative.

            And what a delicious irony to find you slaving away in your Axelrod Associates online business at 2 bucks an hour and getting yourself picked off like a bot fly by Mr. Generation WTF.

            7,762 big ones flushed down the toilet in an instant. It’s a great day Emily, I’m marking it on my calendar.

        • One aborts embryos, or a foetus, not “babies”. You want to force women to give birth to children they don’t want? Are you some kind of religious fundamentalist, or just a woman-hater?

          • If they aren’t forced to care for children they don’t want why am i as a taxpayer forced to care for old people that I don’t want?

          • You need to return to your high school biology class…and nobody aborted YOU .

          • My point exactly… i am here and have to not only care for my aging boomer parents but through my taxes i have to care for a generation that chose to abort their future care givers… so why i am penalized for their selfishness? didn’t want to have kids so you keep your girlish figure or buy your 3rd snowmobile during the Reagan era? Fine… just don’t coming looking for me to fund your decrepit lonely senior years … i will have my parents to care for. Thankfully.

    • now they are working on euthanasia and all in the name of human rights

      • Some old people would welcome it rather than being forced into a nursing home where they will be treated like garbage and live in fear. Take a look at the video in the Toronto Sun where the elderly woman is being pulled and thumped around and trying to defend herself. Then think which path you would choose, remembering that we don’t know what condition we will be in at that age and if family really will look after you.

      • Being a disabled almost senior I pray that euthanasia is legal soon in canada, so I have a choice.
        To me it is simple if 3 doctors agree, then I get to die with dignity.

    • You really want women to be baby factories and unhappy couples to stick together for the sake of the children, who have to endure their miserable parents’ constant squabbling?

      What reactionary crap.

      • Yes because having bad parents is MUCH worse than being dead.

    • Try 90 year olds, an 80 year old was only a kid during the Depression and WWII. They came of age at the end of the war when the country boomed. They are already getting a taste of the limited health care that will be available for the boomers. They are not allowed euthanasia but they are treated as a burden and a nuisance when they become sick or frail and there is no help for them. They had no grandiose ideas about building a country, they just worked and lived their lives. Canada will never be an independent “country” until we are free of the foreign British monarchy.

  11. We need “nursing zones” (in our own homes) …. not more nursing homes! Home care with technology that provides both high-tech and high-touch. This aging crisis is like being run over by a glacier, embarrassing but wholly predictable. This slow moving demographic catastrophe is the by product of a lot of social tinkering with no overarching master plan, which is why when the Boomers finally hit the geriatric wall it will be in full messy flower. We do not have a shortage of money but a desperate shortage of imagination. Frail care consumes 4% of GDP mostly from seniors who are 1% of the population but consume 50% of health care resources. Without change medicare will be come Mediscarce… a systemic and chronic rationing of resources operated in triage. The solution as always is not in labor, taxes, or more regulations, but innovative technology. We need ‘gerihabs’, or geriatric rehabilitation devices in homes that function as extra mural auxiliary hospitals provisioning ADL’s which at the same time are tele-medically wired to the local hospital for case monitoring by allied participants who service and are responsible for the welfare of an at-risk oldster. The solutions are there but Canada encourage a risk-adverse world view and we are notoriously slow adopters of new innovations. There are three million Canadians doing unpaid stressful care for a million disabled. We Canadians are suffer because we failed to anticipate our futures.

    • Finally, a good solution to the problem. I would vote for that.

  12. I am a senior and have been for quite awhile.I am very healthy and self sufficient.However I do have a few senior friends who do seem to over burden the resources.They are always at their doctors,or being taken by ambulance to a hospital and staying there for a few days,they rely on home care to wash dishes,make beds and other mundane chores.I am starting to believe(when they visit me they manage very well)that they are more loney than unable to do what needs to be done or ill.On the other hand have other senior friends who a few years ago cycled across Canada in support of mental illness,play competive golf etc.I am somewhat between the 2 extremes,doctors appointments when absolutely neccessary,etc but other than that still look after myself, housework, gardening, and shopping.

    • If they lived in Ontario they couldn’t get home care unless they were on their deathbed. You hire your own for $25 an hour.

  13. Ah, to be a DINK (double income, no kids). You don’t have to spend your cash on raising children, or every spare moment guiding them to adulthood. Lots of money and free time. Then, when you’re in need of pensions and care, you’ll leech off tomorrow’s adult taxpayers – the children we raised and paid for. After all, you might consider your toy poodle your ‘child’, but Fluffy ain’t gonna empty your bedpan or contribute a third of his income to keep you in catheters and heart medication.

    • Neither your children living in Vancouver, when you live in Halifax.

      And I’d far sooner euthanasia than need a bedpan emptied, but the junior religious fundie posting above wouldn’t approve of that choice either.

    • Don’t worry about it. If I can punch out before being a feeble and needy coot , I will.
      Seriously, the pension systems, the health care system etc were all running as if the the future contributions would grow, not shrink!

      Don’t blame the population level off, question the managerial short sightedness that lead to this. Someones gonna pay the shortfall and it won’t be the retirees.

  14. One of the major problems here is the outcome of carcentric planning (sprawl). I’m a boomer, have worked all my life, and have deliberately never owned or driven a car. Walkable communities make independent life far easier for people of all ages. Sprawl was a monumental error.

  15. Meals on Wheels only works when there are volunteers. I found most of the volunteers were women and getting older and older. Most women now work and can’t spare much time fore volunteering.

  16. You raise important issues and we do need to get our heads out of the sand. A National Strategy is needed and the private sector should have a seat at the table. Families cannot do this alone. Canadians have a hard time planning ahead and sadly many seem to wait for a crisis to occur. One key resource is having an elder care manager- an expert in aging who can guide the caregiving journey and provide a plan of care outlining options, costs and resources to families who can then make an informed decision. Ask your employer…

  17. I am not surprised at your statistics I have been saying this for years and no one would listen maybe now they will. As a mediator who works in the area of elder mediation I chuckled when I read your last paragraph as I work with families who are unable to work together. it is not just the baby boomers siblings who will be involved in the elder care but also the grandchildren, friends, and other family. it is very challenging trying to work with many individuals at the same time who have the elder’s well being in mind. One of my biggest fears is the growth in homelessness among the elderly, it has already begun.

  18. The idea that we should have larger families so we have someone to take care of us when we’re old is ridiculous. I’m not looking after my parents when they’re old. Certainly not after the abuse they put me through. They can use their retirement fund for
    their care – the retirement fund they were able to save because they didn’t spend a lot of money on raising a herd of progeny or frivolous things.

    Of course if they act like my in-laws, going on six vacations and a cruise per year (not exaggerating), of course there will be nothing left of that fund and they will be in trouble.

    And sure, we’re living longer and longer but the quality of life past a certain age… just take me out back and do what they used to do with lame horses when I get to that point.

  19. It bothers me that people seem to think the obvious solution to paying for elder care is for everyone to have more children. Running a country’s finances as a pyramid scheme is the problem, not the solution. Any boomers who think they’ve already paid for their retirement in taxes should check the national debt.

    On a side note, aren’t young people not being able to find jobs and lots of old people needing care two problems that solve each other? The question is how do we do it without going broke, and there I think technology, as the article mentions, is hopefully the answer.

    • If we had sense enough to go back to sound money, we’d have never had a fraudulent “fiat currency based economy” that robs value from everyone who “believes” that their “fiat currency” is “money” in the first place. People are going to learn the difference, whether they like it or not, a lot sooner than they think.

      Given the last century’s worth of advancements in technology, manufacturing, processing, farming, etc., etc., etc., a penny should buy us ten times what it does today, not 1/100th…but since we refuse to understand the REALITY of economics, and the REALITY of the absolutely amazing level of overt, outright “theft in plain view” in the world today, even as the economic collapse we KNOW is coming gets closer, we still “can’t be bothered” to do anything to prepare ourselves.

      The math doesn’t lie…and now you understand why so few people are getting a worthwhile education, but so many are getting saddled with life-long debts for a lackluster “education.”

      You can’t do ANYTHING without going broke when the basic economics are based on fiat currencies which are DESIGNED TO BE DEVALUED.

      Canada is already doomed, as “our employees” already decided to sell off ALL of the Canadian gold reserves in the 80’s, and since we have a wilfully ignorant population, we did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop it…now that it’s ALL GONE, we still don’t care. But we will.

  20. It’s boomers who actually are pushing for assisted suicide. I will pull a Ruth Goodman before I become dependent and I think it’s ridiculous to waste great big gobs of money so that I can “age in place”. I live in an area full of seniors and the one thing they are really good at is denial and more denial. None of them will take any cognitive testing, what other disease is there like that with no testing when half the population has it by 85. None of them will give up driving until they do what my neighbour did and get picked up by the police hundreds of miles away weaving all over the road after getting lost. The current crop of seniors are the spoiled ones, expecting their kids to do in-home caregiving while they themselves never had to, all their parents died younger. I will chose $20 worth of barbiturates over a gold plated LTC bed or in-home nursing or anything else. So please don’t worry your pretty little heads over boomers, most think exactly the same as I do.

    • This U.S. boomer does not agree with you. Should I live long enough (God willing), I just hope that I’m not told that I have a “duty to die”. Or if I can’t make my own health care decisions, I hope that my health care power of attorney isn’t pressured to consent to my involuntary euthanasia.

      Life consists of much more than the ability to drive, travel, walk, speak, see, or chew solid food. I feel for you if you don’t understand this.

  21. This is a great article, but does anyone else see a problem with the logic? Logically we can’t keep multiplying our number forever. The planet has finite resources. So are we damned if we do, damned if we don’t?

    The answer is quite possibly yes. We are after all simply biological machines, programmed to reproduce, as a survival strategy. But as anyone who has observed the lifespan of a colony of bacteria in a petri dish can attest to, there is a point where multiplication stops being a survival strategy and becomes a freight train on a one-way trip to devastation.

    So what’s to be done? How can we decouple ourselves from growth, both economic and population?

    One possible solution is basic income. Replace all welfare, EI, old age pensions and other income transfers with one universal payment made monthly, biweekly or whatever, TO ALL CITIZENS, and then begin radically downsizing government. Yes, I’m talking about “money for nothing.” It’s a citizen’s dividend. The government already redistributes wealth on a massive scale. Subsidizing this, bailing out that, paying for this program or that program, in wildly inefficient fashion. Most of the money spent on poor relief goes to government employees who live better than most workers, let alone most welfare recipients! So, fine, let the government redistribute but let us, the people, decide how that money is spent. Put money in our pockets and we will take care of the rest.

    This article discusses how making it harder for young people, and especially making it harder for them to take risks, causes them to delay starting families. Well no shit! People have no income security, in one of the richest countries in the world, because we think it’s more important to subsidize oil and have given up on taxing the rich. In providing income security basic income would allow people to take risks, make it easier to start businesses, allow people to opt out of the consumption race, and empower workers to stand up to their bosses.

    This idea has been touted by people of all political stripes, from Green party leader Elizabeth May, to Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, to former Bank of America Economist, one-time NDP Candidate and now federal Liberal Paul Summerville.

    It wouldn’t even cost that much. We could fund it easily with a combination of GST increases (let’s say 12%, with no exceptions) and carbon taxes. It makes more sense to tax CONSUMPTION than PRODUCTION, right?? Most people’s income taxes could be cut as well! We have the money, we just need the will.

  22. I had 1 child and then got fixed, (yes like a dog)
    I worry about my child, the world we are leaving our children is not a place I want to be, so why would I want children to have it.
    90% of world fish are gone, oil is running out, the USA say they only have 100 years of coal left, what then?? we burn all the trees in 5 years.
    We never talk of population control to solve energy and food problems.
    I see China is buying up the best farm lands in Africa and shipping out food as the locals starve to death, no thanks!!!!

  23. It’s time for men to help carry the load of caring for their parents also. Very rarely do you see a son looking after the parents. Women seem to be caregivers from the cradle to the grave

    • I cared for my mother. Now it turns out my spouse is ill and I care for her.
      You, sadly are correct, 90% of men leave their wifes when they become sick and 60% of women walk away.
      I hope my daughter lives her life and I can go to a home, just give me lots of drugs, I am very ill myself so I speak first hand.
      Yes Lily I am mostly ashamed of my fellow men. Most have little to do with their kids. I remember a fathers day at the local pool and I was the only man there with my spouse and daughter, that was a Sunday…..

  24. Sorry, but the premise of this article is ridiculous. I know couples with many children who never get visits from them. I know people with 1 or 2 children who have great interaction with their kids. I’ve worked in retirement homes, and have seen fairly independent people placed in them because none of their MANY children wanted to bother with them. And I know of elderly parents who moved in with their loving, ONE child. Having a lot of kids isn’t a safeguard against anything! I’m in my 60’s, unmarried, no kids. I have two housemates of the same age. I suspect that many people will go the housemate route as they age, and why not? Housemates can be “families” too.

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