Monday, January 16, 2012

Facing Demographic Decline

On talk radio in Halifax today, I heard a caller talking about the health care system in Nova Scotia and the federal government's proposed cuts to this province's health care funds. He was saying that it is unfair that Nova Scotia should suffer such cuts, since it is the fastest aging province in the country; this means, he said, that our children and grandchildren in this province will not enjoy the same health care that we now do.

But what he overlooked was the result of the very fact he stated: if we are the fastest aging population in Canada, this is because we must have one of the lowest birth rates (that and we are losing our working citizens to Alberta). So Nova Scotians leave for the west to get paid work, but also they are simply not having enough children to be the future tax-payers that are required to support universal health care.

But it is politically incorrect to talk about low birth rates, since you are making a judgment on those who choose not to have children, or just to have one "designer" baby. Tough, someone has to state the truth and our politicians need to start connecting the dots.

Sovereign debt, like any other kind, presupposes there will be someone around to pay it off. In much of Europe, there won’t be. In Greece, 100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren – in a land where far too many retire in their fifties and spend their final third of a century living at public expense. Is it remotely likely that the debts run up by 100 Mediterranean deadbeats will be repaid by 42 Mediterranean deadbeats? You follow Continental affairs as closely as anyone here, and you know the answer to that.
The More the Merrier, by Mark Steyn

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