FFFA! Vacation! Debt! Soft Landings!

Yep, it’s that time of the week again, time for our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread.

But FIRST! Thanks everyone for your patience while we were sluggish and inaccessible. It looks like we’re back in good shape, page load times are back to normal and we’ve changed a few things behind the scenes that will hopefully make for a more reliable site.

Here’s our regular collection of recent links to kick off the chat for the weekend:

Scotiabank: SOFT LANDING!
Have yourself a $563 holiday
New record for consumer debt
equity edges down and debt grows
Carney: Status quo
In Miami buyers pay for building
The Plunge-o-meter

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Is the site working

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

“I’ll thank the previous generations for a better standard of living”

Except, you probably don’t have a better standard of living than the previous generation.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

“This is the very same public who voted in a referendum to scrap a tax that would have brought in needed revenues and improved the prospects for business growth in BC.”

Yes, the very same public that was lied to by a corrupt government about the tax. This is what you do to corrupt lying governments – you kick them in the balls and take away the laws that were based on lies.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

“Government get elected because they spend money on what pleases the most people.”

Actually, governments in Canada typically get elected usually by a minority of voters, and the Government defiantly spends money on those voters, in particular those voters that contribute $’s to their campaigns.

jesse
Member

“Then, who pays for all of these extremely expensive medical services?”

The government. No wait. Taxpayers. Tell you what: you give up all the innovations of the past 30 years and pay no taxes, I’ll thank the previous generations for a better standard of living and pay my taxes as tribute. If I want the same of my children I hope I won’t raise them to be as cynical as you.

patriotz
Member

” It doesn’t matter who was in charge, the taxpayer never had a seat at the bargaining table. ”

This is the very same public who voted in a referendum to scrap a tax that would have brought in needed revenues and improved the prospects for business growth in BC. And as a result the province has to pay back $1.6 billion to the federal government.

And you are trying to portray the public as victims.

patriotz
Member

“The people I know on DB do not expect to get what was promised. They save money on RRSPs”

People with DB plans CANNOT save enough to retire on in RRSP’s because their contribution limit is cut back by the amount going into the DB plan.

squeako
Guest
squeako

my last squeak of the day:
“What is unmanageable is universal health care as we know it.”

What is very managable is prevention, with that comes education first.
There is no point having a population living in a unhealthyrisky manner and then try to fix them up with hi tech medicine.
Your body you get to keep for your life, dont clog it up with junk or there will be many trips to the mechanic. Be informed, educated, use common sense.. ie..fast cars and extreme sports should be avoided.
How about forbidding certain ingredients in foods, even though people have decided that cheeze whiz is better than blue cheese, in this case, they dont get a say b/c they are too stupid to have one.
Hah. 🙂

painted turtle
Guest
painted turtle

Quebec developer alleges corruption sank Alberta project
“In Alberta, when you don’t hear about corruption and collusion it’s not because it’s [not] taking place,” said developer Gilles Filiatreault.
“Nobody talks about it.…Town’s representatives, politicians are just walking away or keeping silent.”

ttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/12/12/quebec-developer-kickbacks-lamont-alberta.html?cmp=rss

The comments section is interesting, with many people saying they are aware corruption is happening all over Canada. I cannot wait for this bubble to burst 😉

Romeo Jordan
Guest
Romeo Jordan

Who gives a fuck.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

“It is unmanageable BECAUSE of innovations in health care.”

What is unmanageable is universal health care as we know it. Some of these innovations will have to be user pay. As you pointed out there will be no choice because tax revenue is limited.

Devore
Member
Devore

“If if need is real I don’t object to the government cutting back wages and benefits going forward, but it should not renege on its obligations.”

When virtually no DB pension plan is hitting its targets, that’s not an obligation, that’s just make believe. The obligation must be actuarially sound, and mathematically shortfalls compound as quickly as gains do. By not doing anything about the shortfalls, the obligation is not being lived up to already.

vancouverguy
Guest
vancouverguy
“This is manageable even without innovations in health care.” You have it backwards. It is unmanageable BECAUSE of innovations in health care. The boomers are accustomed to getting what they want at every stage of life. As their health deteriorates they will demand the highest levels of health care interventions. If they read on google that there is a device called an LVAD that can alleviate heart failure, they will demand it, whatever the price may be. If history is a guide, politicians will listen to their demands. But who provides those services? Are we doubling our hospital, inpatient hospital beds, physicians, nurses over the next 15 years? That would be a mighty task, but lets say we do, or at least we attempt our best shot at an increase. Then, who pays for all of these extremely expensive medical… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous

“Parties supported by big business have been in power for the other 37.”

I know there is the argument between business and unions but what benefit does a union provide in modern society? None. Business provides jobs, pays taxes and provide services people want. Without business we have no economy. Without unions we would have a better economy. I find it strange to even compare the two.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

“The BC NDP, which is the only party that unions donate to, has been in power for 13 out of the last 50 years.”

The problem is it only takes one NDP government to cause damage for decades. Remember Gordon Campbell reversing the contract given out by the BC NDP when he first got in? The government can only do so much of that to fix the damage done by the NDP. The NDP has been in power for 2 of the last 5 terms in BC.

Then there is the Federal Liberals who have been in power for most of the last 40 years and the left leaning municipal governments in the lower mainland that dole out pensions benefits like they are free.

Yalie
Guest
Yalie
The BC NDP, which is the only party that unions donate to, has been in power for 13 out of the last 50 years. Parties supported by big business have been in power for the other 37. I guess it would come down to exactly which government was actually in power when those deals were made (something I’m unable to find out). But the particular party responsible is not my actual concern, and I’m happy to concede your point. My point is that politicians of all stripes have a history of making bad deals with public money, and DB pensions are the worst of the worst. It doesn’t matter who was in charge, the taxpayer never had a seat at the bargaining table. These are terrible deals for the public, and there would be riots in the streets if more… Read more »
painted turtle
Guest
painted turtle

The people I know on DB do not expect to get what was promised. They save money on RRSPs, knowing the system will have imploded before they retire.

patriotz
Member

“Promises that can’t be kept should never have been made in the first place, especially when they were made by politicians whose election was paid for by the same people who stand to benefit from those promises.”

The BC NDP, which is the only party that unions donate to, has been in power for 13 out of the last 50 years. Parties supported by big business have been in power for the other 37.

So who should bear the burden of the blame for excessive obligations to employees made by BC governments?

Yalie
Guest
Yalie

If the government is short of money it is not fair to pick on obligations to employees for the government to default on, particularly when the government is handing out what amounts to DB pensions to private corporations for boondoggles such as the Golden Ears Bridge.

No argument from me about the evils of corporate welfare, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Promises that can’t be kept should never have been made in the first place, especially when they were made by politicians whose election was paid for by the same people who stand to benefit from those promises.

You recently argued yourself that unions and corporations should not be allowed to fund political campaigns. Why would you have said that?

patriotz
Member

Musqueam unveil plans to build condos on forested lot

Maybe “forested” by the writer’s standards. It’s the triangle between Univ. Blvd, Acadia and UHill High and Cathedral Grove it’s not.

Another onslaught of leasehold condos is likely to be the death knell for all those speculators trying to sell similar properties at UBC itself. Bring them on.

patriotz
Member

” But why should taxpayers be on the hook if they don’t? ”

Someone already gave the answer – the taxpayers have a contractual obligation to pay the pensions, made by their elected representatives.

If the government is short of money it is not fair to pick on obligations to employees for the government to default on, particularly when the government is handing out what amounts to DB pensions to private corporations for boondoggles such as the Golden Ears Bridge. But I guess big business and Wall Street would get less upset if the government failed to meet its obligations to its employees.

If if need is real I don’t object to the government cutting back wages and benefits going forward, but it should not renege on its obligations.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

painted turtle: “News 1130, CKNW and the Vancouver Sun are not good sources to me. Just look at how they report about the housing market”

You are confusing facts with opinion. It fair for you to not respect certain opinions but the facts are those were the teachers demands as ludacris as they are.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

“Remember, ALL of these plans are 100% guaranteed by the taxpayer”

Yup and Greek government workers were 100% guaranteed employment for life. That is until the government decided to not honor the guarantee. I think that is what we will see in the future for government DB pensions – roll backs. If I was in a DB plan that was more than 5 years out I wouldn’t plan on getting all of it.

jesse
Member

There is still a healthy percentage working-age population to fund this, age 70+ to 25-70 population ratio goes from 17% to 31% in 2036. Far better than Japan’s current and future situation.

This is manageable even without innovations in health care.

Yalie
Guest
Yalie
Has anyone seen any actual numbers indicating that federal and provincial pension plans are likely to have trouble making payouts? Experience of US plans is a poor model as a large amount of their payouts is medical benefits. I did a little digging through the website of the BC Pension Corportation (pensionsbc.ca) and here’s what I found for each of the 5 BC government funds it oversees: College Pension Plan Members: 22,000 Actuarial investment assumption: 6.5% 5-Year actual return (annualized): 4.3% Municipal Pension Plan Members: 274,000 Actuarial investment assumption: 6.5% 5-Year actual return (annualized): 2.8% Public Service Pension Plan Members: 111,000 Actuarial investment assumption: 6.5% 5-Year actual return (annualized): 3.3% Teachers Pension Plan Members: 88,000 Actuarial investment assumption: 6.5% 5-Year actual return (annualized): 2.6% WorkSafeBC Pension Plan Members: 4,900 Actuarial investment assumption: 6% 5-Year actual return (annualized): 3.8% The key… Read more »