Last night GC and I went to Loblaws and gathered a bunch of ingredients for a Cob Salad. Then we unshopped, putting all those ingredients back where we found them, and drove over to Farm Boy instead, because we love Farm Boy. (Sometimes when we can’t think of anything to do, one of us will suggest that we go hang out at Farm Boy, and we both brighten up. It’s the friendliest grocery store in town.)
But actually, this post isn’t so much about Farm Boy as it is about the conversation we had on the way home from Farm Boy.
We were talking about the health care system and how the aging population might bring it to its knees if we don’t fix it first (obviously not “we” as in GC and me, but “we” as in Canada).
As we all know, people tend to use substantially more health care resources towards the end of their lives, when they’re old and/or sick. If a huge chunk of the population gets old at the same time, it’s going to overburden the health care system.
The topic wandered around to whether one political party would be more inclined to fix it than another. I said I didn’t think so, because it’s largely a function of demographics, and none of the political parties can do anything about the fact that the boomers are getting old.
But then it hit me that maybe the Conservatives are the least likely to fix it, because they’re working against the shifting demographic reality instead of with it.
The reality is that with an aging population, you have increased expenses on the health care front. But the same demographic reality also means a falling crime rate, since crime is most prevalent among young men.
A smart government would use the savings from the falling crime rate to help offset the increasing health care costs.
The Conservatives are doing the opposite: Despite falling crime rates, they’re pushing through their so-called Law and Order agenda, which will force us to spend significantly more money on cops, courts and corrections. Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses – just one element of the Law and Order agenda – will necessitate the expansion of our prison system to accommodate the sudden influx of new prisoners, most of whom have committed victimless crimes.
Instead of reaping some economic benefit from one end of the demographic reality to apply to the other end, we’re going to be hemorrhaging money from both ends as a consequence of Conservative ideology.