Occupy Wall Street: Focus on Generations, not just Fat Cats

Fewer than 50% of Ontarians voted in this month’s provincial election, letting the state of Canadian democracy slip to a new low.  How can citizens be so quick to criticize politicians who labour far longer hours than do many Canadians, when a majority of citizens won’t even show up to cast a ballot once every several years?  If you don’t like Canadian politics, look in the mirror.  More and more, our critiques need to start with our individual apathy, especially in Generation X-it.

While voter turnout is dismal, Occupy Wall Street protests spread across North American cities, including in Canada this past weekend.  These demonstrations give hope to democracy, even if you don’t support the message.  With the general disinterest for politics in our country, we should take our hats off to any who raise their political voice in peaceful ways.

Occupy Wall Street groups have been criticized for not having a unified message, although corporate bailouts and growing inequality between the uber-rich and the rest are common themes.  “We are the 99%” is a powerful slogan.  Organizations as disparate as the Conference Board of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report that the richest 1% of Canadians make 14 percent of total income, and took home more than a third of the growth in incomes since 1998.

But here’s the problem.  “We’re the 99%” frames the issue as a select few fat cats gorging themselves on cream produced by many little mice churning the milk.  The story of Mouseland governed by cats is a metaphor that worked excellently for Tommy Douglas back in the day.  It’s less likely to move public opinion in Canada now.

Canadians are devoted to the value of personal responsibility.  There is more dignity at the end of a shovel than at the end of a handout, many of us think.  People reap what they sow, and deserve what they earn.  These beliefs underscore the amazing work ethic that Canadians demonstrate, ranking among the top countries for average employment hours.

One implication of a commitment to personal responsibility is that it works both ways:  if you are poor, you failed; if you are rich, you earned your success.  Plus, there is always the Canadian and American dream that we all can one day earn our way to super-rich status.

The fat cats focus overlooks important generational realities.  The Canadian economy grew more than 100% since 1976, producing an additional $35,000 of prosperity per household ON AVERAGE after controlling for inflation.  Averages are deceiving.  Household incomes have stalled for the generation raising young kids as they take on massive debt to keep up with real estate prices.  By contrast, those age 55-64 are doing far better:  their incomes grew by nearly $12,000 compared to near-retirees in 1976, they have far more wealth because housing prices nearly doubled over their adult lives, and they leave the planet hotter than they inherited it.

Occupy Wall Street may signal a growing concern about inequity between the rich and the rest, but we can only address these pressures by tackling the intergenerational tension.  The Boomer generation about to retire may be the richest our continent has ever seen, while young families struggle with a substantial decline in the standard of living.  This is a bad intergenerational deal.

To be clear, it’s not about Boomer-hating.  Quite the opposite:  it’s about inviting Boomers as allies.  Unlike fat cats who have no reason to care about struggling mice, Boomers have strong emotional ties to the generations that follow, and want their kids and grandchildren to succeed.  We’re far more likely to mobilize Boomers to support a Better Deal for young families than we are to move fat cats to share cream with hungry mice.

Speaking about generations helps to ensure we don’t get distracted by the language of personal responsibility.  There’s no doubt personal responsibility is a value to which all generations in this country subscribe, including those under 45 who work longer employment hours and perform more unpaid caregiving than others.  But talking about generations makes us also think about historical TIMING.

Those who came of age in the 1970s did so in housing markets that were going up after they already owned homes; in labour markets where wages were on the rise, especially in return for education; and in an environment where global warming was not yet a serious constraint.  Boomers didn’t earn these blessings.  They lucked out in the lottery of timing.  The generation raising young kids doesn’t enjoy this same good fortune, as wages are more stagnant, housing is unaffordable for many first-time buyers, and climate change occurs around us.

So Occupy Wall Street, as you evolve in Canada, here’s some unsolicited advice.  Talk less about fat cats and more about Boomers who abandoned their beavers.  Recall beavers adapt to changes in their environment by ensuring their dam does not leak.  Not because any beaver lives in the dam, but because the dam ensures there is a reservoir on which all in the beaver community depend.  If the reservoir is deep enough, beavers swim efficiently, far faster than they walk on land. If the reservoir is deep enough, beavers enjoy more security from predators.  If the reservoir is deep enough, there is space for beaver families to build their lodges.

Canadian Boomers did benefit, and continue to benefit, from the policy planks that make up our national dam – the public universities, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, public pensions and public medical care.  These national policies were in place before Boomers became adults.  As Boomers retire, the national dam is leaking – not because the same policies don’t exist, but because the environment has changed, and we have yet to adapt our national policy dam.  As the generation raising young kids tries to gain a foothold in the resulting flood, two questions become critical.

First, will the generation raising young kids find its voice, and use it to influence public policy decisions, including at election time?

Second, will Boomers help build new policy to address the growing inequality that makes many Boomers “the rich,” and many in the generations that follow, “the rest.”

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WTF? Where’s the Family?

Saskatchewan goes to the polls today.  Newfoundland, the Yukon Territory, NWT, Ontario, Manitoba and PEI held provincial elections in the last couple of months.

I can’t help but ask, WTF?  Where’s The Family in all of these elections?  Where were the policy promises to remedy how young families now have less time together, less household income after housing, and insufficient services to balance work and young kids, compared to the previous generation.  If not in elections, when do we talk seriously about the higher housing prices and stalled household incomes with which Canadians age 25-44 struggle despite being more committed to the labour market than any other generation in recent memory?

Sure many candidates referred to families.  And many made sure their spouses and children appeared for photo ops to convey their commitment to family values.  But talk and photos are cheap.  Putting the family back in the core of Canadian values requires policy innovation and re-allocation of substantial resources.

Since political parties of all stripes across the country are slow to develop policy to resolve Canada’s bad intergenerational deal, I propose in this column a New Deal for Families, one informed by leading national and international research.  It’s then up to Gen X-it and Boomers who care about their kids and grand-kids to ensure the next elections give serious attention to proposals like these.

Given global economic turmoil, we are living in very complicated times.  But this complexity should not mean we forget that the Canadian economy grew 108% since 1976, even after adjusting for inflation.  On average, this means it produces an extra $35,000 per household.  Compared to a generation ago, our country has far more resources with which to address the ways in which it is harder to raise a family today – and do so as a part of our efforts to navigate the challenging economic waters.

A Time Dividend

Since the generation raising young kids is squeezed between the need for time at home and time to earn a living because wages lost ground as housing prices rose, a New Deal for Families should organize around the concept of a Time Dividend.  When talking about dividends, the stock market provides a reasonable benchmark for prosperity sharing.  Just as Dow Jones Industrial stocks paid an average annual dividend of 2.8% in 2010, a Time Dividend in Canada could use 2.8% of the economic prosperity produced today compared to the mid-1970s to alleviate the time, income and service pressures faced by Generation squeeze.

2.8% equals $22 billion annually – a national dividend for families to be financed either by (a) less public spending on other things; (b) higher taxes, or fewer tax write-offs; (c) new business investment; and/or (d) deficit financing – spend now, pay later.  Reasonable people will differ about which of these options to prioritize or combine.  But it is critical to recognize that these are the only options, save one:  accept the status quo by doing nothing to address the decline in the standard of living for the generation raising young kids.

A Time Dividend would get Canadians back to basics.  It would:

  • Put the family back into Canadian values, while acknowledging the diversity of households.
  • Spend more time together, and spend less on stuff.
  • Give real choices for women and men to contribute at home and on the job, rather than just talk about this balance being a possibility.
  • Enable and expect personal responsibility, because moms and dads alike will have enough time to raise their kids, and enough time to earn a living to pay for their kids.

To pay this Time Dividend, three policy changes are required:

New Mom and New Dad Benefits to ensure all moms and dads, including the self-employed, can afford to be at home with their newborns, at least until children are 18 months.


Extend parental leave from 12 months to 18 months, generally reserving the extra six months for dads (with exceptions for lone-parents and same-sex couples).

During a child’s first 18 months, parents will enjoy increased access to healthy child check-ins and parenting support.


Caring at home would be made affordable by insuring 80% of parents’ income up to $60,000 a year. This increase will double the existing maximum benefit.

A new minimum $440 weekly benefit will be available to ALL parents, enough to eradicate child and family poverty for this age group.   Moms and dads who currently do not qualify for leave would see their after-tax household income increase by at least $13,500 in the 12 months following the birth of their child.

$10 a day child care services will ensure that parents can afford enough employment time to manage the rising cost of housing and stalled household incomes.


Reduce child care service fees for children over 18 months to no more than $10/day (full-time) and $7/day (part-time), making it free for families earning less than $40,000/year.

Invest adequate funding for kids to spend their time in developmentally stimulating activities and play, including children with extra support needs.  Child care workers will have appropriate training in child development, and earn pay equity wages.


The services will supplement, but never replace, the care that families provide.  Families will be able to use the parenting support even if they do not choose to enrol their children in non-parental services.

Where numbers permit, families could choose programs that feature a language other than English or French in recognition that Canadian families speak many languages at home.  For Indigenous citizens, services will prioritize exposure to the languages and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit as part of Canada’s commitments to Truth and Reconciliation.

Flex-time for employees and employers to remedy workplace standards that too often make it standard practice to ignore the family.


Adapt overtime, Employment Insurance, and Canada Public Pension premiums paid by employers to make it less costly for businesses to use employees up to 35 hours per week, and more costly for hours thereafter.

Overtime will kick in at 35 hours a week (averaged over a year). Overtime premiums will be paid either as cash or earned time away from work.


With new incentives, employers would reduce the work week by 3-5 hours for the half of men and the third of women who currently work more than 40 hours/week.

These employees would trade some after-tax wages (or future wage increases) in order to gain around 4 more weeks of time per year. In negotiation with employers, this time could be taken in chunks, or as earned hours away from work each week.

Changes to the National Child Benefit Supplement will ensure any reduction in employment hours does not reduce income in low-earning families. For other families, the reductions in earnings will be offset because the $10/day child care plan will reduce households’ child care expenditures by thousands of dollars a year

Employees who currently work part-time hours would gain opportunities for more employment. Within two-parent homes, flex-time may not change the total hours that parents work, but redistribute them more evenly between dads and moms.

For each Canadian adult, the cost of this New Deal would be $1.67 per day in the first year, and cheaper thereafter as benefits to government, the business community and society increase over time.  $1.67 is less than a cup of coffee and doughnut at Tim Hortons.

$22 billion is less than one and a half percent of the Canadian economy.

It is about one-third of what Canadians currently pay for Old Age Security and RRSP subsidies, and 16% of medical care.

We know this price tag is doable.  Between 2007 and 2010, Canadians increased our public spending on medical care by more than $22 billion annually.  Clearly, $22 billion can be found for priorities.

The real question is:  Do Canadians prioritize a Canada that works for all generations?

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Generation X-it

It has become harder to raise a young family today in Canada, while it has become easier to retire.  The generation raising young kids has less time at home because they work harder to compensate for stalled incomes that must now pay for housing prices that skyrocketed since 1976.  By contrast, poverty is down dramatically for seniors, earnings are higher for those about to retire, and housing prices that nearly doubled in value are a major source of wealth for those who owned a home back in the 1970s and 80s. There is no doubt that the Baby Boom generation worked hard as parents, employees and business owners – and they deserve credit for this hard work.  But Boomers also lucked out because their adult years coincided with wage returns for education, and wealth accumulation through home ownership, patterns that don’t continue nearly as much today for the generation raising young kids.

As a result, there now is a significant intergenerational tension in Canada.  But this doesn’t mean Boomers alone are responsible.  Pete McMartin writes in good humour about “The attack of the retired baby boomers… Run for your lives.”  Yet the reality is that much responsibility for the bad intergenerational deal rests with the very generation raising young kids.

This is not to suggest the generation raising young kids is generally lazy. Statistics Canada data show that Canadians age 25-44 work more hours and provide more unpaid care than Canadians over 44.

Nor is it to suggest that the generation raising young kids is more consumerist than previous generations. The additional time they devote to employment is as much about being stuck on a hamster wheel as it is anything else. Don’t forget that dual-earner Canadians age 25-44 make on average a household income that the Boomer generation often earned with one salary. Worse than that, far higher housing prices mean that when the generation raising young kids get in the real estate market, they aren’t buying granite countertops; they are buying fixer-uppers, often without yards.

The main problem with the generation raising young kids, as I see it, is that too many bought into the name Generation X, and ‘X-ited’ formal politics. It’s almost a badge of honour now to proclaim our political laziness, maintaining that “Politics aren’t about me” or “It doesn’t matter if I vote.”

And so we don’t. We’re a third less likely to vote compared with those older than 44. Indeed, we seem much more interested in who gets voted off some TV island than who gets voted to Victoria or Ottawa.

We may not worry about our X-it from politics. But will our children? Might they not someday question why we didn’t grow up politically to challenge the decline in the standard of living; to challenge the fact that an especially affluent generation of Canadians approaches retirement with some more intent on globe-trotting than on remedying the fiscal debt, the environmental debt, or the family policy debt they leave for those who follow?

The reality is that Boomer politicians play politics well for their generation, reducing seniors’ poverty, strengthening pensions and investing even more in medical care to treat illness at the end of life.

By contrast, the generation raising young kids doesn’t play politics well, and we get a bad deal as a result.

Our poor effort is partly a problem of X-haustion. Reality TV was bound to gain popularity when families are squeezed for time and income left after housing and services. When tired, who doesn’t want to veg on the couch watching some mindless program?

But we can’t let our X-haustion get in the way of the solution. It’s time to grow up politically. It’s time to start demanding a New Deal for families with young kids.

This means taking politics more seriously. We can’t keep treating politicians as punch lines more than persons who deserve respect. Presently, just 15 per cent of Canadians trust our elected officials. More of us trust new car salesmen! Reaching out to MPs and MLAs in all parties is imperative if we are to make progress on the New Deal. Tell them the facts about Canada’s untold story — the decline in the standard of living for the generation raising kids, which makes it far more difficult to raise a family.   Tell them job creation definitely matters when putting families first – but data also show that jobs aren’t what they used to be in terms of paying wages that keep up with the cost of living.  So putting families first now must also mean policy innovation to help moms and dads alike afford enough time at home, and enough time on the job to earn a living to pay for their family.

Championing a New Deal will be work.  But it also can be fun.  Many repeat Emma Goldman’s famous line:  “If I can’t dance, I don’t want any part of your revolution.”  So… it’s time to follow her lead and organize the serious business of politics around fun activities.  Let’s rekindle the politics that were pervasive in the Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll of the 60s, and adapt it for our time – if we want Canada to work for all generations.

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Intergenerational Breach

There is a growing intergenerational breach in Canada.  Consider three facts.

  1. Average household income for Canadian couples approaching retirement (Baby Boomers) increased 18% since the mid-1970s.  This increase is nearly four times greater than the increase reported for couples age 25-34 over the same period.
  2. In 1976, the low-income rate among seniors in Canada was 29%.  As of 2009, it is 5%.  By contrast, the low-income rate for families with children is 10% — twice as high.
  3. Boomers approach retirement with far greater private wealth than previous generations because they lucked out in a housing market that increased 76% over their adult lives.  With this additional wealth in housing, Boomers now transform expectations for retirement, making globetrotting and second homes more and more the norm. All the while, skyrocketing housing prices are the primary source of private debt for the generations that follow – the very people who must sustain the economy to pay for the pensions and medical care required by an aging population, and the very people who must invest in Canada’s future – their children, and Boomers’ grandchildren.

While Boomers approach retirement with more private income and wealth than previous generations of retirees, they leave far larger public debts than they inherited.

Although our economy doubled in size since 1976, our national debt nearly tripled.

There is also Canada’s environmental debt.  It remains among the very highest in the industrialized world, as measured by Carbon Dioxide emissions per person.  While we have made no progress reducing these emissions per person since 1976, many other countries have since decreased their environmental footprint significantly.

Growing public debts amid greater private wealth for those approaching retirement invites questions about an intergenerational tension.  Do Boomers care that other generations don’t share the standard of living they now enjoy?

There is absolutely no doubt that Boomers care.   But the last federal election paints a worrisome picture.  Political leaders of all major Parties prioritized:

×      Status quo increases to medical care spending, which generally overlook health promotion when citizens are younger.

×      Strengthening pensions and reducing seniors’ poverty, even though poverty among seniors is already less than half of the poverty rate for families with young children.

This last election shows that Boomers play politics well, and Boomer leaders responded accordingly.

By contrast, the generation raising young kids does not participate politically nearly as well, and they get a bad deal as a result.

We know they get a bad deal because national and international data show that Canadians have been slow to adapt public policy in response to the time, income and service squeeze with which the generation raising young kids struggles.  This is the case in all provinces, with some exceptions in Quebec.

Canadian policy expects parents to endure a major reduction in household income to care for a baby at home

 A typical Canadian couple outside of Quebec will forgo $13,000-$15,000 in after-tax income when parents share a year to be home with a newborn age 3-15 months, even after collecting parental leave benefits.  In Sweden and Germany, policy ensures the same couple does not lose any after-tax income.

Canadian policy provides parents with very limited access to quality child care services

Despite the need for parents to have sufficient time in the labour market to manage stalled incomes and rising housing costs, and despite evidence showing the importance of quality environments for child development, Canada allocates just 0.34% of GDP to child care and kindergarten services for children under age six (2008).  This is just over half of the UK and New Zealand; and barely one-third of what is allocated in France, Sweden and Denmark.

Canadian workplace standards mean employees have less time at home

 Although Canadians say we value the role of parenting, Canadian workplace standards mean the typical Canadian employee works 300 hours per year (over 8 weeks) more than the typical Dutch, Norwegian and German employee.  While higher housing prices make this commitment to the labour market understandable, it erodes the opportunity to be home with kids.

Canadian policy tolerates high rates of child poverty

Canada ranks among the industrialized countries with the highest rates of child poverty.  Child poverty in Canada is three to five times higher than the countries that make it a real priority to eliminate poverty among the generation raising young kids.

These poor policy realities beg an important question:  What kind of Canada do we want?  One that ignores the intergenerational breach?  Or a Canada that recommits to working for all generations?

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Generation Squeeze

A lot has happened since 1976.  The Canadian economy has grown 108%, after controlling for inflation.  On average, it now produces an extra $35,000 per household.

Despite this additional prosperity, a silent generational crisis occurs in homes across the land, one we neglect because Canadians are stuck in stale political debates.  The crisis becomes clear when we consider a simple “Then and Now” story.  Picture it:  the mid-1970s in Canada.  Baby Boomers were moving beyond their sex, drugs and rock and roll phase to build families, communities and enterprises.  Then the average household income for a young couple was $65,160, adjusting for inflation and expressing in current dollars.  54% of young women contributed to this income.

Flash forward to the present.  82% of women now contribute income, while young men’s employment remains stable.  Despite all this extra adult time in the labour market, average household income for a young couple today is $68,300, just slightly higher than 35 years earlier.

It is worrisome for a country’s standard of living when we ask a generation to make do with household incomes that flat-lined despite a dramatic increase in adult time devoted to earning.  But the reality is bleaker still when we recognize that the primary cost of living – housing – has skyrocketed over the same period.  In 1976, the average price for Canadian housing was $192,390, again controlling for inflation and reporting in today’s currency.  Today, it is $339,045.  That’s an increase of 76%.

When housing costs nearly double at the same moment that household incomes stall for a group of adults who are more committed to the labour market than any previous generation, we’re talking about a massive social and economic change – one akin to a silent, but no less damaging, tectonic shift.

The generation raising kids today is squeezed for time at home; they are squeezed for income even if they are not ‘poor’ because of the cost of housing; and they are squeezed for services like childcare that will help them balance successfully raising a family with earning a living.  In short, this generation can no longer count on a market in which they earn and purchase a standard of living that approximates what their parents enjoyed, even though the economy has grown a rate that far outpaces (by 44%) the rate of population growth.

What accounts for the generational decline in the standard of living despite the rising Gross Domestic Product?  I explore this question throughout the blog, and suggest that Thinking like a beaver offers pragmatic solutions.

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Think Like a Beaver

Canadian Senator, Nicole Eaton, recently recommended that Canada replace the beaver as our national animal.  She lamented that the beaver is a dentally deficient rodent, or toothy tyrant.  But such critiques are all wet.  Our national animal may not be as regal as the eagle to the south, but the beaver is a builder to be proud of.

Recall the last creek or river you passed by where beavers dutifully constructed a dam.  Ever wonder why they build it?

Nobody lives in the dam.  The dam does not provide shelter to a single beaver family.

Beavers build the dam, because the dam creates a reservoir.  When the reservoir is deep enough, the beavers are efficient, able to swim faster than they can walk on land.  When the reservoir is deep enough, the beavers gain security, further out of reach from bears and other predators.  When the reservoir is deep enough, it provides a safe home for beavers to build lodges for their families.

Whenever the dam springs a leak, whether from wear, heavy runoff or an earthquake, busy beavers adapt, just as all good managers do.  They fix the dam, renovating it to withstand the new challenges in their environment.  No individual beaver stands to gain alone.  Beavers adapt because they all depend on the dam to safeguard their shared standard of living.

Such logic guides this blog.  Throughout my posts, I will urge readers to think like a beaver:  to renew interest in our national dam – the policy on which citizens depend to safeguard our shared standard of living – and to ask some fundamental questions.  Who stands on guard for the dam?  When did we last renovate it?  What are the greatest challenges to which we must adapt?  How should we respond?

Thinking like a Beaver is important now, because in this era of economic uncertainty and global insecurity, so much attention is given to what constrains Canada, to what Canadians can’t do, or can’t afford.  This focus risks diminishing our national aspiration, and neglects our proud history of building and adapting.

Think back to the late nineteenth century, when we built public schools and universities, roads and railways, markets and banks.  We were so proud of these achievements, we sent soldiers overseas to defend them along with our values.  When they returned home injured, we adapted again, building veterans benefits.  We soon extended these to citizens generally as workers compensation and unemployment insurance.  And then the busiest policy beavers in Canada’s history – the parents of the Baby Boomers – set in motion Old Age Security and Hospital Insurance.  By 1966, in one single year, they capped their accomplishments by launching the Canada Public Pension plan and the Medical Care Act, which remain the cornerstones of our social commitments to one another as citizens.

This history is impressive, one we can all be proud of.  But we can only rest on our laurels for so long.  We must now ask:  What have we built since?

Sure we’ve continued to build roads and bridges (but not enough transit!).  We’ve expanded markets and strengthened our banks – achievements that helped us weather the global recession better than most countries, and position us as a strong member of the G-8 despite our small population.

On the other hand, history books make clear Canadians have been reticent to build new social policy since the 1970s.  This reticence is especially evident in our slow national response to a disturbing reality – that the generation raising young kids today is the first in a long time to struggle with a dramatically lower standard of living than their parents.  For the most part, this struggle remains an untold story in Canada.

It is now time to tell it.

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Blogging about a Canada that Works for All Generations

As the challenges before Generation Squeeze gained greater media attention over recent weeks, a number have tweeted, emailed and written that I remain in the 20th century when it comes to communicating.

Sure, I have a blog, they observe.  But I treat it as a website.

Evidently, this is sooooo passé.  Websites are static, people tell me, and require a lot of work for readers to figure out what information may be newly posted.  Blogs, by contrast, are supposed to be dynamic, because they create a conversation through routine posts that offer others the opportunity to comment.

As a farmer morning and night, I have to say that I find some passé technology pretty handy.  I start and end each day cleaning manure from my barn with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow.  This back to basics approach works well.   My partner Andrea and I even had aspirations to harness our horses to old fashioned farm equipment to maintain our fields and spread our compost.

But it turns out that finding this old equipment is very difficult.  There is so little demand, and little supply.  As a result, a few years back, we modernized the farm by purchasing a little tractor.  I must confess, it is FANTASTIC, and very efficient.

So just as the farmer in me has embraced modern technology, so will the communicator in me.  With this post, I announce that I am formally transforming my website into the blog people want it to be.

I created the website over the summer to inform Canadians that our country risks no longer working for all generations.  My intention was to attach weekly observations as a result of my regular column in the Vancouver Sun, which started this past September.

As I transition from the website, I want to ensure the blog posts capture the narrative in its entirety.  I therefore start the blog by re-presenting the initial material in four introductory posts.  These are followed immediately by a re-printing of some of the initial Vancouver Sun articles, which I composed for the column “Think like a Beaver.” Thanks to the Postmedia group for granting me copyright to reproduce material digitally for my academic blog.For some, these introductory posts will be repetitive.  But any good teacher knows that the key to pedagogy is repetition, repetition, repetition.  Why else do advertisements repeat the same phrase as many as 7 times in 30 seconds?!

For those bored by repetition, there is no need to read the initial blog posts if you have either scanned the blogsite before, or been enthusiastic readers of my Vancouver sun columns.  The most recent posts will be new material, often featuring material I prepare for the Vancouver Sun column.

As I start the blog, I promise readers to shovel manure only morning and night at my farm in Pitt Meadows, which will remind me to refrain from spreading any BS through my writing.  Not all will agree with my commentary about Canada’s bad intergenerational deal, Gen Squeeze, or the New Deal for Families we require to make Canada once again work for all generations.  But I promise all of my ideas will be based on solid academic research.

I look forward to the conversation.  Regards,


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