Disclaimer: Evan’s Daily Grind in no way endorses or supports the notion that asking politicians about old age benefits is better than asking seniors.
Stephen Harper has confirmed that there may be some changes on the way for OAS. Is it time to sound the alarm on a right wing ploy to roll back the state or is it a way to make a government program sustainable for future generations?
First, read this:
The first point to be considered (and focus of this entry) is a possible raise in the age of eligibility. This is a reoccurring and very contentious issue among modern industrialized nations. It’s caused protest and civil disobedience in Europe and elsewhere. Massive dissent in the form of protest occurred in France when this idea of raising the age of eligibility was floated. Fortunately, this is Canada and most people have jobs or other commitments to attend so the likelihood of some sort of “Euro Dissent Fest” occurring in the near (or likely distant) future is relative low.
Well, should we ask people to put in two more years of work? This is where people tend to split off into different ideological camps. However, this issue is not a simple matter of right or left, liberal or conservative, coffee or tea. It’s a complex issue with many intervening variables to be considered. The first (and perhaps most obvious) issue to look at is the type of job one holds. A sanitation worker or heavy manufacturing labourer will have a much different experience than someone who works in a less physically demanding job such as something in administration, service, etc. This concept raises yet another concept: who is to say that one job is ultimately harder than another? While a worker in a factory may have a position requiring greater physical dexterity, someone in a service or retail position may be faced with intense emotional or stress related pressures. Furthermore, someone who holds a management position and sits at a desk all day may also have an equally demanding position resulting from the intellectual requirements and massive responsibilities and workloads. When trying to compare one job to another in this frame is very hard. One question only leads to another. How can an accurate and objective of assessment of jobs come about in regards to OAS age eligibility? Who really worked the hardest?
What is needed is an objective and replicable scale; something similar that might be encountered in sociology for analyzing social topics, units or aspects. Who would create this? Government, industry, both? Deciding on this is yet another issue to which would need to be addressed.
The only thing that is clear is that any decision regarding age of eligibility for Old Age Security will be a tough one. It will make some happy and some very upset. Some people will reap the benefits, others will be screwed. In other words, it will be just like any other political decision.