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June 26, 2019 | The Atlantic: The Boomers Have Ruined Everything

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

It is important for those of us over age 50 today to understand the socioeconomic tensions sweeping the developed world, because younger generations are increasingly aware of how status quo policies and decisions are harming them.

Present conditions and systems are unsustainable on many levels, so restructuring can and will happen; but it won’t be painless.  We will have to give on many levels in order to get meaningful collective improvement.

In this week’s The Boomers have ruined everything, the Atlantic explains some of the oppressive trends which have intensified as the baby boomers came into power and influence in business and politics over the last 30 years.  It also suggests some changes now needed.  Here is a taste:

If the problem is too many senseless rules, then the solution is obvious. Strict license standards can be repealed. Minimum lot sizes can be reduced. Building-height ceilings can be raised. Nonviolent prisoners can have their sentences commuted. Even thorny problems such as cost control in universities can be addressed through caps on non-instructional spending, while solutions for government debt and obligations are widely known, even if they are politically unpalatable.

Reducing impossible-to-repay student debt is a weighty issue coming into federal elections in Canada and the US.  It is needed in order to get younger generations on the financial footing our economy and tax system requires; but it will be ineffective unless there is also a restructuring of education delivery systems to significantly lower costs.  More affordable on-line studies, more employer-paid education, as well as more companies investing in paid interns and apprenticeships, are all needed.

At the same time capping the amount that schools spend–on resort-like amenities, premises and management executives–is also critical.  The current cost-rich environment has only been possible thanks to easy debt policies enabled by lax banking regulators (central banks) and government underwriting.  In the process, schools end up harming the student customers they are meant to serve.

In this next phase, predatory business models –that weaken and take advantage of customers–are all up for reform.  We should all embrace the necessary evolution.

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June 26th, 2019

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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