Baby Boomers are the largest demographic in Canada by a wide margin. People in their 50’s – 60’s outnumber both Generation X and the Millennials. Because of this, Canada is growing old and the future is bleak.
Retired senior citizens do not earn much income and thus pay very low taxes. This is the fundamental premise of how RRSPs works.
They also require the most resources of any other age demographic. To illustrate this, if you put 4 small children in a single room with two beds they will have the time of their life. If you put 4 seniors in a room with two beds, you are probably in a Canadian hospital, not having a particularly good time. (That’s a bit flippant but still illustrates the point).
In the past, younger generations supported seniors. Mid life adults (in their 40’s and 50’s) at the peak of their income earning potential and still relatively healthy had the means to support their elders. The economic activity that enabled mid-lifers to have those means (and thus pay more taxes) was consumption from young adults and their children, (who also paid taxes – there’s a bit of a pattern here).
For this system to balance there needed to be a small pool of seniors, with increasing amounts of younger people. The needs of the elderly could then be met by the surplus of all younger generations without being so onerous as to cripple the economy or cause unproductive inter-generational conflict.
To wit, more younger people supporting fewer seniors is sustainable. 100 years ago, this was the case.
More seniors with fewer young people to support them is not sustainable. This is where we are today.
Herein lies the ultimate reason why every Millennial should be a separatist.
If you are a Millennial your parents made an intentional choice 20 – 30 years ago to allow you to live. In that regards, you and I are the lucky ones, and be sure to tell your parents you love them and appreciate them for making that choice every chance you get.
Unfortunately for us, our parents were an abnormality.
Most of our parents’ peers decided having kids of their own would cost too much money, be too much work, or YOLO and so they just couldn’t be bothered.
What our parents’ peers failed to realize was that those babies they didn’t want (our generation) would one day grow up to be the adults whose taxes would pay for services they would one day need.
This is a very selfish and short-sighted mindset. But this is Canada. Par for the course.
We saw this hold true in the the Oct 2015 Federal Election. All the polls indicated that support for the Liberal party of Canada was highest among senior citizens. The reason is obvious. The Liberals had the most lucrative campaign promises towards seniors among any party.
Never mind the fact that you and I as Millennials will be the ones to pick up the tab for those promises – when the beneficiaries of them are long dead and no such benefits will be remotely possible for us.
What else would you expect from a country where self-centered myopia is the cultural norm?
Tangentially, Western Canadian seniors had more sense – but we Westerners tend to be very un-Canadian in most regards anyway. Alberta and Saskatchewan are also the youngest provinces in Canada, so to you disenfranchised Western Canadian Boomers and Xers – we Western Millennials are not as much of a lost cause as we might seem.
More generally, if you are a 20 – 30 year old Canadian, you probably haven’t realized the gravity of the situation.
You are probably too busy being young and living in the moment to think about frumpy issues like “How am I going to save for my retirement?” or “Who will pay for my ‘free’ health care in 30 years?” or “Why am I paying so much in taxes and getting so little back in return?” or “Why does the economy suck so much?”
Being Canadian, I can’t say I blame you and nor do I judge you.
When almost everyone around you has no vision for the future, it’s easy to conform to the crowd. You (for now) at least have your youth as an excuse.
However, one day, when you wait 9 hours in an emergency room with your sick child, or when you calculate how much you will actually get out of your CPP payments, or when you are chronically under-employed with few opportunities to become independent, you will realize the truth.
Canada was doomed from the day you were born.
You will NEVER be able to outvote the people from your parent’s generation who ran this country into ground. (Note: If you are a Millennial or Post-Millennial, odds are, your parents weren’t among them)
You CAN however vote to separate from Canada, which in the coming years will be the logical choice to avoid the coming Canadian shipwreck.
In a future article, I’ll write about how I already have and how it has made all the difference for me.