Five ways B.C. eats its young

Our system was built for boomers. They will fight to preserve it.

My parents are 62 and 64. I love them. But sometimes I resent their generation.

Baby boomers love to talk about how hard they worked to get where they are today. How they “scrimped and saved.” How they made good choices.

The reality is, people born in the 1950s and 60s grew up during the most blessed period in Canadian history. Now they live in a system designed to make them comfortable and happy.

Here’s how.

1. Housing
proportional representation

“Have we told you how much our first house cost?”

There are two kinds of people in our province: the ones who paid off their mortgage before house prices went crazy. And everyone else.

The first group literally makes money sitting on their asses.

The rest of us will never catch up. Unless you’re slinging rock or you’ve got a wicked jump shot, you can’t compete with someone who just owns real estate in the Lower Mainland.

2. Politics
proportional representation

“Please, don’t vote!”

The entire political engine exists to serve the people who benefit from it. Sometimes it’s obvious, like casinos paying off the BC Liberals while gangsters laundered hockey bags of dirty cash.

Sometimes it’s more subtle. Governments spend way more money on old people than young people. Why? Because old people vote.

B.C. has a referendum this fall on whether to throw the whole rotten system in the trash. Surprise surprise, the old guard from both parties is teaming up to campaign for the status quo.

3. Seniors discounts
proportional representation

“Let’s get you some more khakis.”

If you’re 65 or older, ICBC knocks 25 per cent off your insurance. You get a 50 per cent discount on BC Ferries, four days a week. And you save 69 per cent on a three-zone Translink pass.

Banks, restaurants, movie theatres, retail outlets – they all offer discounts to wealthy older customers, subsidized by younger customers with less disposable income.

At Banana Republic, the discount starts when you’re 50. I’m sorry, but nobody who was one year old during the Woodstock festival needs a “senior discount.”

4. Pollute now, pay never
proportional representation


B.C. is full of dead pulp mills and bankrupt mines that will cost tons of money to clean up. Add in the facilities running today, and the future bill is literally in the billions.

Rather than put those costs on the companies, the government is quite happy to put them on you. That’s just how B.C. works.

What about the money governments get from royalties? They don’t save a penny. It all goes into balancing the budget so they can get re-elected. No my friend, the long-term costs are on you.

5. Blaming you
proportional representation

“Do you think avocados grow on trees?”

By now you might be thinking: this whole system is rigged. Our generation is basically being used as blood bags to keep the boomers pink and happy. And you’d be right.

That’s why they blame you. Oh, you can’t afford a house? Too much avocado toast. Too lazy. Fancy phone. Not enough education. Too much education. I’m sure you’ve heard it all.

Aside from waiting for our parents to die so we can inherit their stuff, there’s one thing we can do. We have to pry the power out of their hands. It won’t be pretty. They’ll kick and scream. But there are more people under 50 than over 50. Way more.

Step 1: Make sure you are registered to vote before November 23. It’s simple. You can do it from your phone.
Step 2: Vote for a better system. Deadline: December 7.

It all starts here:

3 Responses to “Five ways B.C. eats its young”

  1. Lynne says:

    What about the activists who fought long and hard for union rights and women’s rights. it wasn’t always like it is.
    DO VOTE. People fought for that right too!

  2. Erich says:

    I agree with the gist of Kai’s blog in the sense that power has to be re-balanced in BC politics, where for the last 100 years the party establishments have had 100% of the power with less than 50% of the votes cast, never mind of total eligible voters. This is essential for tackling the IMPORTANT issues facing young people and the future of our planet.

    Speaking from a baby boomer’s perspective, I obviously have some reservations about Kai’s details (and some of the language used), but we all must keep our eyes on the ball, which is to engage the eligible voters below 35, if we want to effect real change.

  3. Richard Habgood says:

    I can see from the pics that he choose that the article is slanted toward the boomers who have ‘ benefited ‘ from almost, total right wing rule. The top 30%ish of our population. Not everyone has benefited from what we’ve created, but, I must admit, I bought my first property back in the early 70’s, an acre of land for $1,500.00. Here on the island. And that was very affordable for what I was earning, and I wasn’t in the ‘ high ‘ income bracket.

    I didn’t have anywhere near the challenges that my daughter or son is facing. And if you’re a social democrat, concerned about the environment and climate change, well, that crowd has won ” 3 ” elections since 1933. The system ‘ is ‘ rigged. The right / far wing has had 100% control of the game for all the times between those elections won by the left wing. DISMAL. And the results have been very far reaching. None have served anyone but their base.

    If we want a social democracy, that puts environmentalism up front and center, Kai is right. We have to take away their power. And the way we do that, at least start doing it, is to change how we vote. I sincerely hope that every Dogwood supporter realizes that in order to bring about meaningful environmental policy we must first bring in a voting system that takes away the power of the right wing.

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