Sunday, April 21, 2024

It's About Over-Extraction

The Liberals say that their budget is about restoring generational fairness. Some economists say that the problem is over-extraction. Evan Dyer writes:

"Income matters less than it used to. Access to secure housing matters so much more," said Paul Kershaw, a professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and founder of the group Generation Squeeze, which lobbies for what it calls "intergenerational equity."

Kershaw said his own Vancouver home is an example of how real estate consolidates wealth.

"I've gained about a million and a half in wealth in the last 20 years while I've been watching TV, cleaning in the kitchen and sleeping," he said. "And that's coming at the expense of a younger person being able to be just as smart as me, just as hardworking as me, but who now can't live where I do."

Kershaw said he's seen his students struggle "to get the degrees that are necessary to compete for jobs that don't pay as much as in the past. And then they face home prices that are up to a staggering level, which means they have to pay more for rent because they're locked out of ownership.

Kershaw said the housing shortage is just one example of "over-extraction" by the boomer generation.

"Climate change reflects the over-extraction of the atmosphere's ability to absorb carbon," he said. "We've done that over the last many decades. Now the legacy is extreme weather for those who follow in our footsteps."

Many young people are despondent about environmental degradation and climate change. Those fears are compounded by anxiety about their own economic futures.

"The third example of over-extraction," Kershaw told CBC News "is over-extraction of the revenue produced from economic growth.

"The fastest-growing part of the federal budget is spending on Old Age Security. The second-fastest part is the Canada Health Transfer, half of which goes to the 20 per cent of the population that's over 65."

Back in the 1950's Ayn Rand wrote a little book entitled Selfishness As A Virtue. By the early 1980's policy makers began to build in economic incentives based on her ideas. We are living in a world Rand helped to create. It will take a while to reverse what has happened over the last forty years.

But one thing is for certain: If the young buy what Pierre Poilievre is selling, they'll get more of the same.

Image: Radio Canada


lungta said...

Generally we "boomers" bought into what was available . We didn't decide to prevent the energy efficient carburetors (plus all other efficiencies) so we could sell 200 times more gas and incur the equivalent damage ... It was the oil corporations, with the blind eye help of the revolving self serving "leadership", so they could make more money faster.
We have all been farmed and railroaded by a corporate elite and articles like this just perpetuate the divide and conquer tactic that they have hidden behind since the beginning.
Ann Rand was 100% wrong but very useful for those who needed confirming justification for their own selfishness thus her popularity.
Poetic justice would have them all live out their days in poverty and on welfare like Annie did.
Coincidentally I just had the housing affordability argument here.
Within the last year a rancher moved his whole 400 breeding cow operation out of alberta to saskatchewan because it was too expensive here .
I chide a friend whose dream is to move to BC but can't afford it that it totally unreasonable to expect to retire to hollywood.
A friend moved to where he could afford 50 years ago, started a business, lived a life.
Short story; There are 40,000 dollar houses out there if you want one, just not in downtown yourville , you are not entitled , you can move.

Owen Gray said...

"You are not entitled." You hit the nail on the head, lungta.

Northern PoV said...

Hopelessly off-topic again (svp)

Watch for this story please. It is on the front page of Canadian Press but seems to have been buried by the Globe and Nat. Post chain. Is it on a print-copy front page anywhere?

Yesterday an Ontario jury found Umar Zameer not guilty of

First degree murder
Second degree murder

and set him free.
The judge* actually apologized to Mr. Zameer. (*Judges almost never do this.)

The Ontario premier and the Toronto Mayor and the media had all hysterically declared Zameer guilty when he was released on bail two years ago. Turns out the bail judge (whose remarks were embargoed until the verdict) thought the Crown and cops were simply making up the charges to cover up their own mistakes in a botched undercover operation. (Why use undercover cops to investigate a public stabbing, eh?)

The trial judge thought the same and told the jury so in her instructions.

This case should be in the headlines across Canada. Censorship by omission is so easy.
Carry on campers, nothing to see here.

Graham said...

Yeah, I’ve heard sentiments like lungta’s before. The trouble is, as that cow farmer found out, the place you moved to originally gets expensive and then you move and it gets expensive and so on and so on. We are in the middle of that circle right now, everyone is looking for that next “cheaper” place and there aren’t many left. Those that live in those areas already are getting priced out and have to move. Many places in Canada are going through this right now. The east coast is such an area. I don’t think this has anything to do with entitlement. Where does this stop exactly? What do you see as the logical conclusion to this scenario? We all move to nowhereville South America?
The government used to be building houses, homes, co-ops, low income housing etc and this was a good part of the mix. Not since the early ‘80’s have they done this and here we are. I’ve read elsewhere that in the Netherlands and Switzerland the government had built and owns 40% and more of the housing. Other countries do this as well. The other part of the problem is we have allowed houses to become investments instead of a place to live. This has led to individuals or companies owning multiple homes and this also helps put prices up exponentially.
If we don’t come up with some way to control this there will be a bad end. A financial bad end or a bloody end or long slow spiral to shit hole status country end.
Where are these mythical $40,000 homes? I’m sure many people would move there if they knew.

Owen Gray said...

We should take comfort that the judicial system -- for the most part -- still works, PoV.

Owen Gray said...

The problem, as you say, is that houses are now investments, not places to live Graham. That notion is simply upside down.

Anonymous said...

10:35 am: This story was broadcast on CBC's TV "Power and Politics". I think this program is televised across Canada is it not?. However, if little PP has his way, CBC will not exist. Anyong

Owen Gray said...

Pierre has made it clear that he is no fan of the CBC, Anyong.