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The Employment and The Equity Between the Generations

By Bernard

Let's begin by establishing the generations we are talking about here (Establised for the year 2000).

Grand Parents

The oldest among the grand parents had lived through th Great Depression of the 1930 and they fighted to win the Second World War for the Western Democraties. They took benefits for which the following generation in paying now, mainly the social security and other programs like the Canada Pension Plan or the Régie des Rentes du Québec, since 1966; they receive a full pension pay even if they contributed only a few years, with a minimum of 10 years. They have an average family of three children and they helped them to study more than they had themselves. They are the grand parents.

The Parents or Babyboomers

The following generation was born after 1945, up to the middle of the 1960. They are the babyboomers. They have a good job, which they got easily right after their studies and they kept up to their retirement. Most of them are already retired. They have only one or two children, sometimes without child. Their life had been easy: no war, no big economic depression. The unemployment did not touch them less tha their predessessors or their followers. They profit from the ehlp of the Governement, whom deficit help them oto have free education and so many advantages. The life was easy for them. They liked theTV soaps. They are the parents.

The Children

This last generation was born after 1966 They think that nobody think about them. They were overprotected by their parents, being the only child of the family (average 1.4); they did not have to fight to have anything. They were educated in the new system: "polyvalentes" and "cégeps". They studied more than their parents, but they have almost no manual experience, keeping themselves away from vocational school and blue collar work, looking for white collar work in the offices. They experience unemployment at the ending of their studies, and they still experience it. They are the video game people. They are the children.

The Babies to Come

The next generaton is the one being bonr now.They have nothing. We collectively endepted them from the day they are born. The dental services of their parents and many others are gone. Their teachers are old et they can not find a sympatic earing to talk with in their school. After their studies, they will find easy jobs, after the babyboomers retirement (after 2015), but their social security charges for the repaymant of the national debt and for the old people security will crush them. They will want more children to fight the decreaseof the population (and immigraton), which will increase their financial charges. Finaly, they will blame each of the prededing generations for having allow them with a endebted society and a decreasing population.


This very quick photo of the generations is partial and bias. Meanwhile, from what we had seen, we could draw some important conclusions over the biggest stakes in our society.

The Jobs

Since the babyboomers began to enter the workforce, in the 1960, the unemployment rate had increased regularly, from 3% in 1965 to 6% in 1970, which brought the FLQ crisis. It doubled another time up to 12% in 1982 and stayed at the level for some times.

With the retirement of the same babyboomers, the total labor force will stabilize; it has decresed recently and we now expericence labor shortages that will last forever, but will be more felt up to 2015.

Since the job problem is not the one of only one generation, we should look at it on the long run, not only with artificial measures.

The Debt

The national debt is another important problem as people think. That debt was created by bad fiscal liberal policies during the 1970. In order to fight the underemploment of that decade, the federal government did increase the annual budget deficit from a few hundred millions of dollars in 1969 to more than forty billions, each year, during the 1980.

So the Trudeau governement did pay for interprovincial road, for post-secondairy education and also for the new healt insurance system, not mentioning the billions lost in petroleum exploration and other ventures of that reign.

The parents had created a huge debt that is left as an poisonous inheriance for the children and the grand chinldren. And it is too late to change anything, except to lower the interest rate, which will deprive the parents of some income, but will diminish the charge for the children and grand children.

The Civil Service

There are too many civil servants. As it is said in La Presse (October, the 29, 1996) by François Rebello, there are 175,000 administrative civil servants and more than 189,000 teachers, nurses, medical doctors and others workers on the civil front.

I propose to diminish that number of administrative civil servants that do not give front services, by the half, being less than 100,000, without touching to the others, who are giving direct services to the people. That will alleviate the task ot the front civil workers who would not have to answer to so many irrelevant questions from some of the useless civil servants, who just want to justify their useless job by some more useless requirements.

Work Sharing

The nuimber of hours worked during a lifetime had a tendency todiminish since the middle of the previous century. The grands parents worked forty hours a week, from their 14th anniversary, up to their retirement at the age of 65, often without any holiday.

The parents began to work later, because of their studies, and the number of hours worked every week is less than forty, and the number of weeks worked during the year also is diminished because of so many holidays. And they try to retirere young.

Their children did not worked so much because of underunployment, but they would like to doso. They could put their parents on early retirement, but they did not taught too much about that!

The generaton to come wil have to work more, as we already see in USA, because of the increase of the costof living and because of the diminution of births since 1966. People will go back to six days of work a week, and overtime, without holidays.

Early Retirement

One of the best answers to these different problems is the early retirement of workers over 50, with pension from the surplusses of their pension plans. These surplusses belong to the workers who paid for it; so, they should be able to use it. Look at another study to know more about this idea.

With the early retirement of the older workers, the whole work force will be rejunenated. The instable workers will gain stability in their job, even permanence. The youngest will enjoy real jobs, good salaries and better benefits, even if their job is precarioux. Over that, the cost of the manpower will diminish a bit for a short period of time, which is a good advantage.

With this, the young workers will have jobs, the less youngs will have more stability, the oldest will benefit from retirement and the governement will see a decrease in the public expenses, with a decrease of the governement deficit and a smaller debt for the future generation.