Canada's biggest demographic cohort, the millennials, are facing a long uphill battle, one caused by the fiscal laxity on the generations that preceded them, the boomers who are now putting the burden on their children and grandchildren to pay for their taxes and health care costs.
This discourse is massively relevant not just in the upcoming elections in Canada, but it is something worth pondering for various nations in the world who might be facing the same issues.
Intergenerational justice is the term being thrown about and even in the US, a candidate is running his platform with that theme in mind. Even so, the onus is being passed on to the younger generation and it doesn't bode well for any of us.
This disproportionate growth in spending on seniors might be defensible if the boomers had experienced financial hardships that younger Canadians didn’t. But it’s the boomers who won that lottery, of course—and who now appear to want their children and grandchildren to cover the four-course meal with a glass of prosecco.
Their kids, on the other hand, aren’t doing as well. Yes, they’re more educated on average than their parents, but they don’t have much to show for it, other than the ever-expanding pile of student-loan debt, as wages for Canadians under fifty-five have more or less stagnated over the last four decades. And yet, Kershaw notes, those same kids are being asked to give back in ways their parents never did.
(Image credit: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen)