Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Lifecycle of a Middle Class Voter

Let's see how the beaten, downtrodden, sorry-assed middle class canadian has been left for dead by Stephen Harper.

Average middle class Canadian is 41,4 years old, about the same as their champion Mr. Trudeau.  After 15 years and a few switches in jobs, they (husband and wife) are clinging to (insert redundant white collar admin or blue collar assembly line job here).  They have a company RRSP at work but they never read the brochure because they understood their paycheque would be lower and anyway, they don't like talking about that stuff.  They worry about their future and saving for their kids, aged 8 and 10, education.  They haven't put any money aside for this but do pay for cellphones for them.  Other than 15,000 invested in a tax free savings account earning 1%, they have no assets, but they do have two car loans, a line of credit at 30 grand, and they don't always manage to pay the credit card in full but some months they do which is better than some people they know.  Their house is in what was a treeless new development 50 km from the city 10 years ago but today is a community with a mall, they bought it for 195,000 and someone told their neighbour his is now worth almost 400k.  They are proud of this and of working hard and managing their debt, but things don't seem to be getting any easier.  Husband has had two layoffs in last 5 years and thankfully just got called back 9 months ago.  The youngest needed therapy which was expensive.  The family has it all you know big screen TVs, lawnmowers, snowblowers, sun wing vacations in the dominican every year but is still "struggling" and just can't seem to get ahead.

Welcome to the world of joe six-pack, the average Canadian voter assiduously courted by all three parties.  None however is more shamelessly pandering to this demographic than the new Liberals under Justin Trudeau. The Liberals and Conservatives (who will boast to you with a smile that their "big data" figured this all out - I could have saved them a lot of money and told them to just stand around any Canadian kitchen during a party, or drive around any major city, or read any newspaper any day of the week to see/hear/read live examples of where Canada's at) look at this demographic as a treasure trove of voters - an electoral gold mine.  Why? The strivers, the people who "play by the rules to get ahead" are the most profitable group to go after.  Old people, as much as they are portrayed as this captive audience, are not as dumb as we think they are.  Mostly they are set in their ways.  So they do vote, yes, but they do not swing very much and their political leanings are anything but monolithic.

Young people and rich people also have a pretty good idea of who they want to vote for, especially if they are educated (and they majority of them are).  This also puts them at great risk for seeing politics for the waste of time and energy that it is and freeing up their minds to focus on more important, productive things.  So the prize, the low hanging fruit if you will, is our downtrodden, beseiged, "middle-class".

So when we look at the average middle class voter we see that he/she is 1)financially illiterate 2)in debt up to their eyeballs 3)dependent on an unstable livelihood 4)experiencing no material shortcomings despite all this.  Now, I would like someone to explain to me how this person is somebody I am supposed to feel sorry for, or how they are suffering by any stretch of the imagination. 

The middle class people like Trudeau lionize, either because they really know nothing about economics or they just want power or both, have nobody but themselves to blame for the consequences of their behaviour.  They are living beyond their means, make no sacrifices, are over-leveraged, and do not take advantage of GREAT GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS that ALREADY EXIST for the purpose of building wealth and are FREE like TFSAs, RRSPs, and RESPs, nevermind tax deductible leverage interest and dividends and capital gains tax rates.  Before one more idiot bores me to death about how the 1% stole all the money, I would like to remind him that there is no net worth requirement and no minimum amount to take advantage of all these things I just mentioned, but only rich people do it.  Plenty of average folk could be on their way to the 1% if they grew a pair and took some risk (no such thing as a free lunch), another concept that is just not understood at all by the masses, and plenty more average folk make six figure salaries but save jack squat, thereby placing themselves in the boat with the same economic mobility as minimum age earners.

I guess its more expedient politically to tell people how they got fucked over even if its a lie than give them some useful information on how they can improve their lot in life (Live within your means - save for tomorrow - shun mass consumerism - don't become beholden to one volatile source of income that owes you nothing beyond your next paycheque).  If you earn good money today save it because who knows if those skills will be in demand tomorrow.  The world changes fast now.  Just remember if the middle class is struggling its due to their own poor-decision making and ignorance and that it their fault, not Stephen Harper's.  Nice opening convention Trudeau you're a nice guy but still pretty much full of shit as far as your political ideas are concerned.

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