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Pensions do not work because governments have every incentive to over promise, and to the dilute pensions through inflation


My parents grew up on a farm with no plumbing and no electricity. Life for them was simple. Work the farm, make some money, buy more farmland, gift the farms to your children when they marry, and then the children will take care of you when you are older. Today, we are so far removed from that formula that no one can afford land, everybody lives in the urban centers, very few people get married, fewer still have children, and parents are put in retirement homes. On top of all of this, has grown so large that public sector employment is starting to rival private sector employment, and what started as a fund for private sector employees has been taken over by the public sector.

These public sector pensions have created several problems. The first problem is that of socialism, where we have a cradle to grave, welfare state. Not only does the government funded health care system bring you into this world, and take care of you throughout your life, but now government is directly responsible for your ability to pay for services when you are near the end of your life. The second problem is that of a combination of multiple conflicts of interest. Government has every incentive to over promise on its pension obligations in order to obtain more votes. It further has every incentive to print money to pay for other goods and services it has over promised on, thereby inflating retirees pensions out of existence. The problem, in short, is that we abdicated our responsibility, entered into a social contract with the government, and now, that government has broken that contract, and our elderly population is left priced out of the rental markets.

This problem is not even one of pensions, per se. It is one of a lack of free markets. We need to drastically reduce the size of government by removing many of the bureaucrats at the local, provincial and federal level. Next, essential public sector employees should be kicked down to the local level, and if the community wants public pensions for, for example, the local police force, they should make that decision at the local level. Finally, whatever remains, for example MPs or judges, should not be afforded a pension at all, given that those positions are a civic responsibility, not a full time profession. This will go a long way to removing professional politicians, and elitist judges. If PPC and independent candidates, like myself and others, are sacrificing their businesses to run for political office as a matter of duty, there is no reason why professional politicians and elitist judges cannot forego theirs.

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