Monday, January 30, 2012

The Assault on the OAS is the Beginning of an Attempt to Strengthen Neoliberal Principles

Yesterday on CTV Question Period, Dan Gardner's argued that it a was good thing to raise the entry level for the OAS by at least two years because everybody else has done it. Well, Dan, just because everyone else has done it doesn't make it right, especially when the reasons for doing so are the same old neoliberal ones that are always an implicit assault on social programs. It would seem, old chap, you got sucked in by the sustainability spin.

Do a little research, Danny boy, and you'll see that beginning around 2020 OAS gross funding will begin to decline when babyboomers begin dying off - a decreasing trend that will rapidly accelerate in 2030. In other words, this is not the problem the Harper Regime has made it out to be, and in fact the percentage of increased funding is a mere 5.6% per year over this time period, and the ratio of expenditures to GDP will increase from 2.4% to to a mere 3.2% - hardly the catastrophic amount Harper pretends it is. Of course lying has always been a political tactic for the Harper Regime, so we really shouldn't be surprised to discover the reality beneath the spin once again. 

Bob Fyfe was right when he said on yesterday's QP show that the Harper Regime's agenda is not a social one, but an economic one. What he didn't say is that the basis of this economic agenda is a concentrated effort to strengthen the already established Harper Regime's neoliberal principles through the usual neoclassical economic tools. We can see only the beginning of this process now, but the coming changes will amount to the destruction of a socio-economic foundation on which we have sat for 50 years or so. They may be impossible to reverse in four to ten years' time.


  1. Addendum;

    Low Income and the Age of Eligibility for OAS: Those in lower income brackets will of course be affected the most, and, as Andrew Jackson points, out there is a correlation between health and income. In every way, this proposal is just plain wrong.

  2. Well put.

    For the life of me I don't understand why the media are so hesitant to point out the downward trend of OAS to GDP ratio, after 2020.

    Great blog, I'm a fan!