OTTAWA — Age, not gender, is increasingly at the heart of income inequality in Canada, says a new study that warns economic growth and social stability will be at risk if companies don’t start paying better wages.The Conference Board of Canada findings suggest younger workers in Canada are making less money relative to their elders regardless of whether they’re male or female, individuals or couples, and both before and after tax.The average disposable income of Canadians between the ages of 50 and 54 is now 64% higher than that of 25- to 29-year-olds, the report found. That’s up from 47% in the mid-1980s.Five financial pitfalls that post-secondary students should avoidNot super rich or super smart? Well then, don’t major in the artsEven though most students are working this summer, most won’t make enough to cover school costs: CIBCConference Board vice-president David Stewart-Patterson, one of the study’s co-authors, said the economic think-tank was motivated to undertake the study due to a wealth of “anecdotal evidence” that suggests Canadian youth are falling behind economically.“We all know the stories — all our kids getting really good educations but too many of them are still stuck living in their parents’ basements, still in low-end service jobs that don’t really take advantage of all the education that we’ve paid for,” Stewart-Patterson said in an interview.“Our report provides some pretty persuasive, quantitative evidence that yeah, there really is a systemic pattern here. These aren’t just stories of individuals — there really is a pattern that’s unfolded over a prolonged period, a pattern which has some disturbing implications going forward.”He pointed out that top Canadian earners fought for principles of equal work for equal value, yet their children now face lower wages and reduced pension benefits even if they’re doing the same work at the same employer.The trend is particularly troubling, he added, because as the Baby-Boom generation moves into retirement, Canadians will be relying on a smaller share of the population to drive economic growth and sustain the tax base that supports public services.Canada therefore needs average employment incomes to rise, not fall behind, in order to pay for the increasing health-care costs of the baby-boomer generation, among a host of other expenses, Stewart-Patterson said.“We are moving into an era where people of working age are going to be increasingly scarce; that should put upward pressure on wages going forward,” he said.“And yet, if we look at the past 30 years … the real incomes that are being earned in the workplace by younger workers have barely budged after inflation. That creates an issue in how much governments can raise in tax revenues, how much can our economy grow?”He also warned that before long, the younger generation is going to “get fed up.”Andrew Langille, a Toronto-based labour lawyer and youth employment advocate, said the Conference Board study confirms what’s already known: Canada’s young people are falling behind.“Increasingly it’s clear that Canada doesn’t have a problem with a declining middle-class; rather it’s a problem of income and wealth inequality for younger generations,” he said.“From skyrocketing tuition to the increasing cost of home ownership to the prospect of stagnating wages and precarious work — young Canadians are increasingly on shaky financial footing and not able to get ahead.”Few politicians seem ready to tackle the problem, he added. “Unless politicians get serious about intergenerational equity, this issue has the potential to cause damaging social and economic consequences,” he said in an interview.“I really wonder who the boomers expect are going to buy their pretty houses.”
OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) dribbles the ball during a game against Northwestern on Jan. 28 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorEnergy filled the Schottenstein Center on Monday in Columbus, as everyone who was present for the late-night tip was well aware of what the contest meant for both parties. The top spot in the Big Ten was on the line, and No. 5 Maryland (21-3, 10-2) was the challenger for seventh-ranked Ohio State (19-4, 11-1). Earlier in the season when these two powerhouses faced off in College Park, Maryland, OSU took home the win, defeating the Terrapins 80-71. But the Buckeyes weren’t going to let past success affect how they entered Monday night’s meeting.The teams are both known for their impressive scoring attacks, with Maryland averaging 85.9 points per game and OSU right behind them with 85.3 points per contest, but it was the Buckeyes who administered a greater effort to propel them to a 94-86 upset victory at the Schott.The intensity that was circling around the arena from the start of pregame warmups translated immediately to a Buckeye success, as they started off the game with a 7-0 run.“I was really proud of our effort to start, and we had great focus and energy right from the tip,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said.Maryland had a tough time against OSU’s full-court pressure, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half, but when it was able to adjust to the Buckeye defense and the atmosphere that was presented, the Terrapins were able to play catch-up and keep the deficit to seven points heading into the locker room at the break.OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston went on a surge to begin the first quarter, scoring 11 points, but more pressure came her way when she had the ball in the second quarter. She was limited to only two points, ending the half with 13. Along with her scoring in the first 20 minutes of play, Alston weaved passes through the defenders to her teammates, having three flashy assists at the half.The Terrapins were able to make a majority of their shots off second-chance opportunities, grabbing 11 rebounds in the first half. The Buckeyes, being a more guard-heavy unit, have struggled on the glass throughout the season. Maryland truly took advantage of OSU’s weakness Monday evening.Alston, though, would not point to height differences as an excuse for poor rebounding.“We are looked at as being undersized,” Alston said after the game. “But it’s just ‘who wants the ball?’ so that is effort.”Second-half action was dominated by the Buckeyes. They began to pull away after sophomore guard Asia Doss buried a 3-pointer with 4:26 left to play in the third, forcing a Maryland timeout and all the Scarlet and Gray fans to their feet.Going into the final quarter of play, the Buckeyes led 75-61. Even with the lead, OSU kept the foot on the gas pedal. It continued to apply the pressure and push the ball on the fast break. “I thought that we disrupted (Maryland), and those turnovers that we caused were key,” McGuff said. “Then we played at a really fast pace on offense. Overall, probably our best game to date.”The second-leading scorer in the Big Ten, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell, was back to her normal self, scoring 33 points after an underwhelming performance in OSU’s previous game in which she only scored 16 points. Mitchell went on a tear in the first half,, putting in 18 points with three deep balls, and knocked down another 3-pointer in the second half to pad her point total for the night.It wasn’t only Mitchell who was knocking down 3-point field goals. The entire team shot an impressive 52 percent from beyond the arc, going 12-of-23.“I think we have a special team,” Mitchell said. “Everyone can shoot and do something well on and off the court, and I think it helps us throughout the course of games.”Alston had a productive second half as well for the Buckeyes, finishing her night with 22 points and eight assists.Maryland was led by junior center Brionna Jones, who scored 28 points on the night. She acted as an absolute force in the paint with her extraordinary post play. Along with scoring buckets for the Terrapins, Jones dominated the glass,, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.The Buckeyes are scheduled to hit the road for their next two games, facing Iowa on Thursday night and then traveling to “Happy Valley” to take on Penn State on Valentine’s Day. Now riding a seven-game winning streak, OSU has emerged as the team to beat in the Big Ten.