Friday, March 30, 2012

Disappointing Reaction to OAS Changes

Yesterday, I was deeply disappointed while watching televised 'person-in-the-street' reactions to the changes in Old Age Security ensconced in the federal budget. One young person expressed his approval of the change, another said he never really expected a pension by the time he retires anyway, a middle-aged woman approved because people at the age of 65 are now healthier than in the past and should therefore keep working and, perhaps most surprising of all, a 61-year-old woman employed in a restaurant said it made no difference to her, since she will not be able to afford to retire when she is 65 anyway.

At first I attributed this strange reaction to a lack of critical thinking skills, combined with the power of Harper government propaganda, but that probably is only a partial explanation at best. Reading Rick Salutin's column this morning shed additional insight on that reaction, suggesting as it does that people under the age of 40 or so only know the neo-conservative agenda that has been so vigorously promoted since the time of Reagan and Thatcher, and therefore they lack a larger context within which to evaluate government policy.

I highly recommend the article, as it is the last column Salutin will be writing for awhile as he takes time off to write a series on democratic renewal.

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