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Some time ago I wrote a blog entry about the emotional bank account ... which was based on Stephen Covey's thinking,
The basic premise is that in any relationship between two people, each needs to contribute in a "relatively fair" way. When one party takes more from the relationship than the other, then that leads to discord.
That same bank account theory can of course apply to companies ... at some point they need to bring in more (revenues, investments) than they spend in order to survive.
Well countries are exactly the same!!!
The economy supports our society ... not the other way around! AND at some point we need to live within our means.
Our society generates income through taxes ... value added taxes, property taxes, corporate and personal taxes etc.
Our society spends that money on multiple levels of government, social programs, health care, education etc.
It is no surprise that our costs are escalating ... health care costs are going through the roof (people are living longer, we have self imposed problems from smoking, drinking and over eating also putting excess pressure on the system). The cost of people increases every year ... Statistics Canada tells us there are approximately 417,000 people working for our Federal government, so increases are not insignificant as a burden. We must understand what we can afford and create more "revenue positive" jobs!
The other concern is that our tax base is eroding, as we lose jobs to cheaper off-shore solutions such as the mass exodus of manufacturing jobs from Canada to China, or the large number of technology jobs that have gone to India and other low cost countries. We also have the large base of baby boomers who are mostly still working but will be retiring in droves over the next few years. They will move from being net "contributors" (tax payers) into society's bank account to becoming net takers (pensioners) from society's bank account.
These are not insignificant issues that countries everywhere are grappling with, and some such as Greece, Ireland, Spain et al are feeling some very real pain now.
Canada is luckier than many ... BUT we need to get our house in order now. At its most basic level we need to have at least as much "coming in" to our society's bank account as we are spending.
That means creating MEANINGFUL jobs ... that are net contributors to our coffers. We NEED government, BUT government jobs do not contribute to that bank account in fact they take away! We need to attract jobs here, encourage entrepreneurs to build companies, create the right atmosphere for companies to be successful in Canada.
We also need to be mindful of our spending. We WILL have less people paying into the bank account and MORE people taking out ... we need to manage that.
In the face of these tremendous challenges faced by our society I am somewhat appalled at the actions of the Quebec students and what I can only call mindless support from unions in their quest to stop an increase in tuition fees. Quebec already has amongst the lowest tuition fees in Canada. The increase amounts to peanuts. the value they receive in education is huge and provides them with an ability to gain employment for life ... IF they find that attitude that says they are responsible for their own life, rather than the attitude that says the government owes them (which is saying I want more out of the bank account ... even though I put NOTHING in)!
If you want the government to look after you then take what government is willing to give you ... otherwise look after yourself!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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