February 2019

Shared economy offers bleak future for today’s young people

To the editor,

(Editor’s note: The following is an email exchange between veteran taxi industry members Peter Pellier, first below, and Gerry Manley.)

It has become readily apparent that young people today think and act differently, certainly from our generation. Many of them own nothing and have no savings. They either rent their living accommodation, or live in the family home; eat in restaurants; spend their disposable income on entertainment, digital devices, travelling, clothes, and personal effects; and embrace companies such as Uber with open arms. In short, they have different values and goals.

To these individuals, it matters not a fig that the Uber business model is totally contrary to consumer health, safety and protection. Quite frankly, such recklessness is cause for concern.

My guess is the older (and supposedly wiser) the individual, the less likely they will avail themselves of Uber.

And so, with both the public and local governments greeting Uber with open arms, we face an uphill battle.

Sisyphus comes to mind - rolling a giant stone uphill, only to watch it roll back down again.

Peter D. Pellier

Your assessment is spot on Peter and brings to light again something I have reported on in the past.

Companies like Uber are the product of an ill-advised government idea known as the shared economy. This is where the individual can use personal assets to earn extra money through enterprises like ride sharing and BnBs.

These part-time services fit very conveniently with the attitudes and expectations of the younger generation, but the end result 30-50 years down the road is disaster.

These people will contribute much less if anything to the tax base, especially CPP and retirement funds, so when they reach the age of retirement, they will have no resources to sustain them into and through their senior years and will be forced to seek government assistance.

The trouble here, of course, is when that time comes, it is projected as many as two thirds of our population will be senior citizens – so how does one third financially sustain two thirds?

Is not government supposed to be part of the mature and responsible society that we look to for guidance on issues such as this?

Obviously responsible governments faced with this clear impending disaster should take steps to try to avoid it. Unfortunately, we live in the “Now” and “Me” generation where everyone including government basically lives day to day on the revenues at hand and traditional values like putting something away for a rainy day, have long gone.

I hope the lessons I have tried to pass on to my family have sunk in and they are taking the necessary steps to financially sustain themselves into and through their senior years, for when that time comes, the government programs currently offered to seniors will no longer be available, regardless of the years you may have paid into them.

Gerald H. Manley



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