Gee, maybe this is the reason for Vermont’s demographic crisis.
You know Canada, that country to our north? The socialist nightmare with high taxes, a robust social safety net, single-payer health care and tough regulations on the financial sector?
Well, for the Millennial generation, it’s a lot better place to live than the United States. This, according to a study by TD Bank, which as far as I know is not a commie-pinko front organization. So maybe our kids are all moving north.
Canadians aged 25 to 34 are more likely to have jobs than Americans of the same age (nearly 80% are employed, compared with less than 75% of Americans). American millennials are worse off than their compatriots from Generation X (the cohort that came just before them). In Canada millennials’ household incomes are 16% higher. Just over half are homeowners, compared with 36% in the United States.
Huh. I guess nobody told them they’re being downtrodden by an oppressive regime.
And why do young-adult Canadians fare so much better? No, sorry, it’s not Stephen Harper’s devout efforts to turn his country into a free-marketeer’s wet dream. In fact, Millennial prosperity exists precisely because of Canada’s democratic socialist blots upon economic opportunity.
According to TD Bank, a number of factors explain the heightened status of Millennial Canadians.
— Higher education is much more affordable in Canada. This means young people graduate without the crushing burden of debt that retards the prosperity of young Americans. The average graduate’s student loan debt in America is more than twice as high as in Canada.
— Young women are more likely to enter the workforce and establish careers. Why? Because in Canada, employers are required to offer paid parental leave of up to 50 weeks. No such luck in the US, where the careers of many young women are kneecapped by child-rearing responsibilities. Paid leave is against the self-interest of each individual employer, but according to TD Bank it has a net positive impact on the nation’s economy.
— Canada’s housing market didn’t go through the catastrophic collapse that almost killed the US economy in 2008. Why? Because government regulation prevented Canadian financial institutions from diving into the deep end of the toxic mortgage-backed securities pool. Canada’s housing market grew at a sustainable level while the US housing market was unsustainably soaring. And it remained on a stable upward trajectory when the American bubble burst.
This has left Canadian parents with plenty of home equity, allowing them to help their young-adult children buy homes of their own. That, combined with the superior earning power of Millennials and their greater capacity to take on debt after college, puts more Millennials in position to buy a home — a traditional stepping stone to prosperity.
TD Bank also notes that “there is a strong inherent feedback loop between the rising wealth and spending gains of [Millennials] and the nation’s overall economic performance.” Young adults spend more money than older people — at least they do when they can afford to. Their better financials have a ripple effect on the entire nation’s economy.
This study, on its own, does not prove the financial merits of a democratic socialist society. But it certainly belies right-wing dogma about economic freedom. Indeed, it provides substantial evidence for the opposite conclusion: that taxes and regulation can create a strong foundation for prosperity, and give people a sense of security that frees them to pursue their dreams.