Anti-Empire

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I think that Iris Evans was trying to get a point across, but she did it way too bluntly instead of doing it with a little bit of class. Yes, a lot of parents, especially single parents, can't stay home with their children. At the same time, 85-90% of women said that if they could afford it, they would prefer to stay home with their kids. Obviously it is something they value because they believe that it would be best for their kids! Probably her best point was that "Sacrificing some income to stay at home with the kids is probably the best", but could be said a littler better if she mentioned "if it's affordable". Numerous studies have shown that it IS best for the kids to have one parent stay at home instead of both parents working. Obviously she has something to say when she says "It is best when one parents is at home". She just didn't do it in a very politically correct manner.

Second, she said that education is very important, and that it prevents mental illness and crime. Once again, she probably could have explained herself better - what exactly does she mean by mental illness? I'm sure studies have been done as well that show that when 1 parent stays at home that their kids do get into trouble a lot less. Often times one of the toughest times for teenagers was for them was when they came home and there was no one there, and that often times that was when they would end up getting themselves into trouble.

And lastly, the part I probably agree with the most - YES, we need FINANCIAL EDUCATION FOR KIDS! I can't believe how many people I see at University walking around with Ipods and starbucks coffee's, go hiking in the mountains in Europe during the summer, and complain like crazy when they get back that tuition is too high. This country was built on people working hard and saving, and now Canada and the US are both going downhill because that no longer exists like it used to. People just borrow, borrow, and borrow more. It seems like each generation loses the values of hard work/saving/investing more than the last. Not only that, but people seem to know nothing about investing, compound interest, budgeting, and all that fun stuff! We need to do some major overhauling so that every kid who goes through high school is required to take a class on finances. It's getting pretty tiring seeing all these kids living at home with their parents at the age of 21, making $3000 a month, and can hardly afford their car payments, have no savings, and blow their money on beer each weekend.

Hardworker,

On your first point, Iris Evans simply did not explain herself better and given the nature of her province and personal politics (I live in Edmonton) probably would be at pains to do so. I suspect she meant exactly what she said.

On your second point about paying for university: Tuition, books and fees(oh how they nickle and dime!) for my undergraduate degree were ~$4500-5500/a, rent was another $4000/a depending on where/how I was living, and food ~$3600/a. So we're looking at an absolute minimum of ~12000/a in expenses per school year. They definitely came in higher when unforeseen events emerged, so a more realistic figure might be closer to $15 000. The most I ever grossed in one summer of work was $8000 (working for the federal gov't). Usually it was 2/3 to 1/2 that (tree planting). I had to still pay rent and such through that time. Annual living expenses therefore had to be met on a scant 7500 to 10000 that could not be earned in a summer of work. You try living on that and still find money to invest!

I HAD to borrow money for my undergrad because the costs of a bare minimum standard of living and education have exceeded the earnings available for summer work. I started my undergrad in my late 20s because with no education, I was stuck with working crap jobs for barely above minimum wage that allowed almost no room for saving.

Those kids you see with cars and Ipods may be older part-time students on the 10year undergraduate degree plan who are able to work full time, or younger students with parents able to pay for their education (many are not so lucky). If kids are living at home and going to school it is likely because they are trying to avoid debt (isn't that fiscal responsibility?) and finish their degree within a reasonable length of time.

It seems you're making the same error as Evans in that you're both arguing for something that is not possible for many people in current race-to-the-bottom economy.

I'll keep my kids out of that mandated financial planning class on religious/moral grounds. You really want the government to teach our children about finances? "Take money from you sister's piggy bank to give yourself a raise in allowance with, and if you can't manage your money just run a deficit" isn't what I'd like the kiddos to be learning.

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