Friday, June 4, 2010

Canada's faltering demographics

An interesting article from the Okanagan gives us a preview of Canada's future.

The Okanagan valley located in British Columbia is Canada's retirement haven. More than a quarter of the population in the valley is retired. They have pensions or retirement funds as their main source of income. Region feels strain of demographic shift

This article was based on an analysis by Michael Brydon who is a director with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Brydon highlights that: 
unearthing an “empirically untrue” general assumption regarding the Okanagan-Similkameen’s economy: that it is based on agriculture and tourism. Brydon found that pensions and investments account for more than a third (33%) of the income in the district while the combined wage income from farming, accommodation and food services was no more than 6.5 per cent of the regional total.
The implications of this are staggering. This is the future face of Canada.

This analysis brings into question the issues of the sustainability of our whole society. How can we as a society support ourselves when the production of society is less than our consumption?

My question is based on the premise that those in retirement do not add any value to society but are consumers of society. They do not add anything to generate wealth but consume wealth. They consume recreation, long-term care, hospital services and prescription drugs.

The products and services that our retired population consume are one time items that add no long term value to our society, the capital stock of our society.

The article points out:
“If you go back to the 1950s and ‘60s there was huge public investment in elementary schools. Then 15 years later there was huge investment in universities ... Then the baby boomers went kind of quiet for a couple years but now we are getting back to a situation where public investment is required again.
“We know it’s coming. The question is: How do we plan for it?”

The most popular blogs I have written shows the serious state of Canada's demographics.
Tales from the other side of the aging catastrophe

Thank God we have saved some money into our pensions. It is this capital that will be save over the next 20 years. Lets hope we have saved enough!

Bill Tufts

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