Forget the Liberal mythology, Canada’s middle class is not struggling by Andrew Coyne

Forget the Liberal mythology, Canada’s middle class is not struggling by Andrew Coyne

Introducing his “fairness for the middle class” tax plan, Justin Trudeau waxed lyrical about a golden time, still within memory, when opportunity beckoned and the sun shone year ’round. “When we were growing up,” he told a roomful of bemused diners, “the sky was the limit. If you worked hard, got a good education, and applied yourself, you could get a good job.”

Listening to this, I wondered: when was this miraculous epoch? Trudeau was born in 1971. When “we” were growing up, then, would presumably be the early 1980s, a time when unemployment was in double digits and inflation nearly as high. Was it then? Or perhaps he meant the 1990s, a decade in which unemployment averaged nearly 10 per cent — versus the 6.8 percent it is now.

Of course, there was no such era. It was just something to say — the same myth-making on which the entire plan is based. In Liberal mythology, the middle class is forever said to be “struggling,” forgotten, falling behind. The explanation for this is usually left vague, other than the obligatory poke at Stephen Harper, who for some reason has turned his back on “the people who do most of the heavy lifting in this economy” (wouldn’t that be the working class?) in order to cavort with his wealthy friends.

But in Monday’s speech Trudeau went further than before in isolating just exactly who is to blame. It isn’t just that the middle class is struggling, it turns out. It’s that it’s being held down. The Canadian dream, he said, “has been taken from too many for the benefit of too few for too long.” Taken, note. By the “few.”

Read the full article at: National Post

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