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Andrew Coyne and the 2037 Economic Crisis.

July 18th, 2007

The boomer generation has created financial havoc in their wake since they entered the workforce. The 70’s small car boom can be attributed to a huge number of young workers, needing inexpensive transportation, as much as the oil crisis of that decade. In the 80’s housing prices began to jump, as the boom generation started spending their earnings on housing. Add in, for the first time, double income families, and it’s no surprise housing prices skyrocketed. and other than a correction somewhat in the early 90’s, they have fairly consistently risen since.

The 90’s saw the price of health care skyrocket, and the stock market has been strong since the ’87 crash, with the exception of the implosion of the dot-com bubble.

I have long believed that the stock market will crash badly sometime between 2012 and 2017 as boomers remove their retirement money from the market, into safer havens and to finance their retirements. Huge amounts of money leaving the market can only cause a crash, and the only possibility of saving it, as one financial analyst once argued with me, is the addition of pools of inheritance money into the market.

But no doubt, where the boomers money goes, so goes our economic activity. It is with this in mind that I point out a brilliant piece by Andrew Coyne, From 2037, a cautionary tale, in today’s National Post. His argument? A pension crisis, a health care crisis, a rising deficit, rising taxes and “youth flight.” All serious possibilities, and as he points out, all foreseeable and predictable.

His medicine? Improved productivity through better facilitation of labour and capital movement, and adding competitive forces to infrastructure improvement. All sound ideas, all would cause the left to go ape. And Coyne is right, without such medicine, Canada is heading for some serious problems.

Economic Fundamentalism, Great Writing

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