My point is obvious. They are not hard done by. They have no tuition 'cause' but only childish 'wants' as spoiled entitled self centered anarchists.
“Entitlement.” We hear that word associated again and again with student protesters in Quebec. Usually, it’s preceded by the words, “sense of.”
“They think someone owes them a living,” disgruntled critics harrumph. “Wait until they get into the real world.”
Setting aside the fact that this intergenerational hectoring dates back to Socrates, let us ask: Who exactly is making the charge? Quebec has had low tuition rates for a half century. That means almost every living adult in the province, having already been afforded a plum goodie, is now wagging his finger at the first generation that will be asked to pay the tab. So who really is entitled here?
Canadians now aged 55 years and older will collect Old Age Security when they hit 65. The rest of us will have to work two more years. Those who came of age in the 1960s enjoyed Employment Insurance and Medicare when they were still unfunded liabilities. They cash a Canada Pension cheque that depends upon today’s working men and women. The plan probably won’t exist by the time the rest of us reach whatever age of retirement the government decrees by the time we are old.
In the 1970s, parents pulled on the (now discontinued) Family Allowance program. The employed could count on a level of job security that allowed them to take on debt to own houses, cottages and cars. They paid them off and retired to indexed pensions.
It’s almost like Canadians had a “sense of entitlement,” or something.
In the ’90s, this same well-entitled generation began the drumbeat for lower taxes, never once offering up a government program they were willing to sacrifice. When the economy tanked, it fell to money-starved governments to bail everyone out. Today’s youth had nothing to do with that profligacy, but are being called upon to “grow up” and shoulder the adult responsibility of paying the debt off.
We hear a great deal these days about how we have to be reasonable about the times we live in. Corporate officers pulling in massive salaries and bonuses even as their companies lose money say average working men and women have to understand that the age of job security, pensions and even a middle-class wage are behind us. Have any of them offered to take the lead by surrendering even a fraction of their benefits? Are Federal Labour Minister Lisa Rait and Quebec Premier Jean Charest prepared to trim their gold-plated pensions to set an example to the students and workers they condescendingly lecture about the “new reality”?
Today’s youth face a grim future not of their own making. Is it any wonder that they’re angry about it? What they are asking for is what previous generations so eagerly gobbled up for themselves. If those generations now believe their entitlements were too generous, then, perhaps, in the spirit of sharing the burden, they might want to give some of them back.
Didn’t think so.