Friday, August 21, 2009

Short Takes: Middle Class Squeeze, Cheap Travel, and Banning Advisor Commissions

1. Rob Gerlsbeck wrote an interesting piece claiming that the Canadian middle class is being unfairly squeezed financially (the web page with this article has disappeared since the time of writing).  Canadian Capitalist found flaws in the logic. I don’t buy Gerlsbeck’s arguments. I find that they fall into the category of telling people what they want to hear. It’s easier to sell an article if it tells people they are beautiful, their problems are someone else’s fault, and chocolate, alcohol, and coffee are good for you.

2. Million Dollar Journey has some specific tips for saving money on travel including saving on airfare, accommodation, sightseeing, and food.

3. Preet reports that the planned ban on financial advisor commissions in the UK has partially spread to Australia.

4. Larry Swedroe explains that even smart people who make economic forecasts get it wrong most of the time.

5. Thicken My Wallet looks at the pros and cons of having banks sell insurance from the point of view of consumers, shareholders, and the economy as a whole.

6. Canadian Financial DIY takes issue with the MacLean’s article making the case against having kids. The article may be largely correct from an objective point of view, but people are definitely not wired to be objective when it comes to children.

7. Big Cajun Man plans to cut back on cell phone use and switch to a pay-per-use plan. Good luck!


  1. Hi Michael, thanks for the link. I gotta admit my bias, I do like kids.

  2. Thanks for the mention have a fine weekend.

  3. I liked Canadian Financial DIY's post on the case against kids. Whether I want kids or not, I want everyone else to have them -- the more, the merrier! I can count on CARP to demand more but realistically, I'd like someone to fund my healthcare and OAS when I'm old.

  4. Thanks for the link. I am with CC. Bring on the kids! Its always nice to live in a society with both youthful passion and experience learned with age.

  5. Thanks for the link. I still act like a kid, so no kids for me yet. Fiona has two nephews who are a lot of fun though. Perhaps they will pay for my pension.

  6. The Gerlsbeck article was well written and researched but I didn't think raising minimum wages and expanding Employment Insurance were solutions to the middle class squeeze. It has more to do with lifestyle choices (avoiding too fancy a house or car, etc for one's income level). I think it would also help if taxes came down and there was less waste in public services.

  7. Thanks a lot for the link. Lots of great articles here.