|According to the Cons, our students are to be trusted|
with cash about as much as Fat Joe and Lil Wayne
Reaction from the media outlets not routinely kissing Harper's butt was overwhelmingly positive: See here and here.
Others weren't so jazzed. National Post columnist John Ivison writes,
"All [students] have to do is open an RESP (no need to make any contributions), turn up at college or university and get their $4,000 in free money. For some reason, the words “beer” and “popcorn” immediately spring to mind."
The Harper camp launched a full-scale attack on the proposal, which I guess is what they're supposed to do and one of the reasons elections can be so dull. Of course, Conservatives are usually pretty hot to trot when it comes to putting money in the hands of individuals (here I think of Harper's clawback of government-funded daycare in favour of cash payments to parents).
So, who is more likely to waste "free money?" Students? Or parents? Or Fat Joe and Lil' Wayne?
Students, you say?
Let's look at it this way. Under this proposal, students must physically go to a bank and open an RESP. They will be able to see the money accumulate. This in itself could instill positive habits, and get them thinking about saving rather than spending
Yes, some students will waste their money. But in the long-run, affordable education for everyone is an investment in our future. Ivison uses the traditional argument that lowering corporate taxes is the way to make Canada attractive to global investors.
Let's be real: Canada would look good drunk at 1pm, in a dayglo tuxedo and fake moustache. Why? Because we have natural resources - aka "stuff the world needs" - the demand for which will only increase. Now if our goverment is stupid, and goes around just giving away our resources and bowing down to the US every time there's a spat (ahem, Harper, ahem, softwood lumber), well, that's a different story altogether...
I say, let's instill some financial literacy and responsibility in our young people. That, coupled with better access to education for everyone could certainly go a long way towards securing our collective financial future.
PS: I often wonder, when rappers throw money on the set of a music video, do they attempt to collect it at the end of the day? Or does a smiling janitor just sweep it into a big, tidy pile?