Thursday, April 18, 2013

the good the bad the ugly

Though Gail Vaz-Oxlade makes a few good points, I am growing tired of articles - e.g., re saving for retirement - that are printed when only half-baked. Growing numbers of recent graduates and middle-aged workers are facing a 'no-jobs today' climate and have burned through savings accounts to stay alive. Governments, businesses and raw news articles aren't helping to change matters.

the good:

"...people are unwilling to stop spending every red cent they make." 

If Gail is addressing just those who have a lot of disposable cash, she makes a good point. If she is also addressing those who barely make enough to cover the rent and meager groceries, then she needs to giver her head a shake. She makes no distinction in the article.

"If you think a manicure is a need, you're delusional."

Good point. There is a lot of confusion amongst die-hard shoppers concerning wants and needs.

"shop only with cash"

I agree that it is one good way to save money because cash is hard to part with once it's in one's wallet (vs use of e.g., credit card)

the bad:

"If you think you don't make enough to save, think again."

Harsh words to the growing ranks of the under- or unemployed, to those living back at home with struggling parents. London will likely hit 10% unemployment in the near future and I'd be very surprised if Gail's article will encourage a spike in the number of new savings accounts.

the ugly:

"without the commitment to having something in the future, the amount of income you earn has very little to do with long-term savings success"

True, we need a commitment to save money when we have some disposable income.

However, not only is disposable income drying up for a lot of people (new grads and seasoned employees), but a few big factors work against a secure future for many.

big factors:

Good, full-time jobs in or close to many urban centres are declining (e.g., in London alone, 5,200 manufacturing jobs were lost in the last year)

[April 6, London Free Press]

PM Harper has postponed retirement benefits for most Canadians, from age 65 to age 67. He likely will  make people work even longer in the future because we're living longer. Too bad for those who can't save any money now.

Apparently, Canadians - especially those affiliated w the ruling class - hate unions, the public sector and taxes of any kind. So positive job benefits (like reasonable pensions), jobs in the public sector and funds to protect the future of many Canadians will dry up over the years.

The rich are getting richer, thanks to low tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest among us, but the benefits associated with that trend (job creation, trickle-down wealth, a stronger economy) have all but disappeared.

We have a government interested in making the wealthy wealthier, but not good at promoting job creation and beneficial tax reform.

If you feel the noose tightening, it's not for good reason, but for bad, ugly ones.

Photos of Free Press (April 7) by GH


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