In the US you have the rise of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-styled Democratic Socialist pushing a decidedly leftist agenda on the American people. You have Senator Bernie Sanders and a slew of left-leaning politicians who are pushing for Green Deals, free education, free healthcare, jobs and salaries for all, including those unwilling to work. Affordable housing is being painted as a basic human right. Such a system may well make us all look for example of socialistic countries. Cuba and Venezuela come to mind. These infectious and corrosive ideas have always lingered in the minds of those on the far-left fringes of Canada and USA. But with the rise of millennial politicians in the US, these radical ideas are going mainstream. Here in Canada the NDP with its left-leaning objectives is expected to gain traction with millennials who like things to be free and the ozone layer to be safe.
Canada already has a socialized form of healthcare which is ostensibly ‘free’ and there is a push for things like education and housing to be free or almost free.
Last month Ontario Premier Ford tinkered with OSAP, reduced the cost of college education by 10 percent and cancelled the previous program that saw non-repayable grants given to a whopping 40 per cent of the full-time, domestic students who qualified for ‘free’ college education.
Had the program not be changed, the percentage of students qualifying could well hit the 50 percent mark. If 50 percent of Ontarian families cannot afford an already subsidized college education, it speaks of a deeper and wider problem. It would be interesting to note how many of these students’ parents live in homes that are more than $500,000, have decent jobs and enviable assets.
Affordable Housing Plan
When it comes to housing, we have NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh amping up his message of creating an affordable housing plan if he becomes PM. He is currently proposing measures he believes will help build 500,000 new affordable housing units across Canada over the next 10 years. Affordable housing does not really address the problem of housing because in a city like Toronto, there are people earning $40K to $50K occupying these apartments. The money they save allows them more disposable income than most who aren’t that fortunate. Like most good ideas, affordable housing will only help a segment of the population while the rest have to contend with market forces.
With socialism going mainstream in the US, those ideas are also gaining traction here in Canada.
No one is denying the need for affordable housing. An average family should not be spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Creating the right policies that discourage real estate speculation. Re-zoning land and making land available for smaller and more econ-friendly homes will satisfy millennials who are obsessed with saving the planet and living in affordable housing. With the right balance between demand and supply, the market will correct itself in time.
But by getting into the business of creating ‘affordable housing’ that will one day become crime-ridden ‘projects’ isn’t the answer.
The problem is that whenever a program is ‘free’ people devalue it, take it for granted and abuse it.
Take healthcare for example, insiders will tell you just how much waste they encounter every day. Many Canadians don’t even realize or care about what their ailments cost this taxpayer funded system. Not so long ago, I encountered a large family sitting at in the waiting room of a Family Physician. Just one family member was visibly unwell, but all six of them went for a checkup one after the other. Turns out that the family thought it was a good idea to take stock of their health by visiting the doctor. It didn’t hurt to have their blood pressure checked and inane questions answered by the good doctor who happily billed OHIP $32.62 per visit. This sort of stuff happens in a crazy scale so do the math.
If every person visiting a GP had to pay a $5 or $10 flat fee every time they visited a GP or a specialist, you can be quite sure that the number of doctor visits would drop significantly.
Somehow when a Canadian has to pay a small token amount toward a service, they attach a dollar value to it. Tell the average Canadian that his or her visits to doctors costs thousands of dollars annually, you’ll be met with a shrug. Why? Because it is ‘free’. This is why healthcare is abused and the wait times for specialists and other treatments keeps getting longer and longer. Such a system will not be sustainable until things change.
Last year delegates at the NDP’s annual convention in Ottawa officially vowed to eliminate college tuition fees. Resolution 3-18-18, calls for the party to work towards “eliminating tuition fees and all administrative fees” at Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Millennials love any plan that involves free education, cheap housing and good jobs that will allow them to buy smashed avocados on toast and travel the world. But by providing free education will end up devaluing college education. It will encourage those who don’t have the aptitude for higher education to join the herd rather than seek vocational training. There will be less incentive for students to stay in college and even fewer students on completion of college will find it easier to get jobs. Why? Because employers seeing the glut of college ‘educated’ students will treat them almost like High School students and will change the criteria for post-graduates. So, you will still keep seeing college-educated baristas at Starbucks and Uber drivers.
What we need is for government to ensure a level playing field by making things like housing, education and healthcare affordable for the masses but not free. This ‘free’ giveaways have a corrosive effect on society, kills efficiency, devalues it and turns us into a society addicted to handouts. -CINEWS