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(Bloomberg)   The results are in: The oppressive socialist experiment in Canada has driven millions of canucks into poverty. Just kidding, they're now richer than you   (bloomberg.com) divider line 142
    More: Sad, U.S., Canada Day, packet switches, reserve requirements, Charter of Rights, Social welfare in Canada, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, socialism  
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2724 clicks; posted to Politics » on 16 Jul 2012 at 11:36 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-16 01:25:40 PM  

LargeCanine: News flash: Canada introduced free market reforms while the US pursued Keynsian economic policies and increased debt. Free Markets work. Now Canada is reaping the benefits of moving AWAY from socialism.

Yes, I wish we were more like Canada now.


You're a retard. Canada uses Keynesian monetary easing all the time.
 
2012-07-16 01:26:56 PM  

Mercutio74: LargeCanine: News flash: Canada introduced free market reforms while the US pursued Keynsian economic policies and increased debt. Free Markets work. Now Canada is reaping the benefits of moving AWAY from socialism.

Yes, I wish we were more like Canada now.

What saved us from totally imploding during the global economic collapse was that we had a well regulated banking industry. Those countries with the "freest" markets and/or very pooly managed debt markets were the ones that got screwed the worst.

Also, Canada actually has in the past and will in the future use Keynesian manipulation to help recover from recessions. If you look at the Conservative authored "Economic Action Plan". You might say that it's not as far reaching as it should be, but look at it this way... this is our most conservative major party authoring this. This is likely the most conservative federal government we've ever had up here.


Shhhhh, the truth will distract him from his talking points.
 
2012-07-16 01:28:12 PM  

Muk_Man: Yeah, can't believe they got a majority. At least they didn't win in my riding.


I can believe it. The Liberals has an exceedingly, almost embarrassingly weak campaign. The NDP had a strong one. Every vote to the left of the US Dems got split to either the NDP or the Grits. It's the biggest weakness of how votes are counted here. It should be an ordered vote (with your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc choices indicated) and then instant run-off until a candidate captures over 50% of the vote.
 
2012-07-16 01:28:27 PM  

NemoD: Canada has one of the most highly regulated banking industries in the world. In fact, just before the crash, their bankers were screaming bloody murder about "Free Markets" and how their industry should be deregulated like their banking buddies to the south. After they saw how great the "Free Market" worked on Wall Street, they STFU about "Free Markets".


And when MF Global screwed American investors over so badly that even people who thought they had title to specific bars of gold had to settle for 71 cents on the dollar, Canadians with money in the Canadian branch of MF Global didn't lose anything because MF Global wasn't allowed to pull the same shenanigans in Canada.
 
2012-07-16 01:41:15 PM  
Maybe it's because American pay twice as much for health care.
 
2012-07-16 01:47:30 PM  

qorkfiend: sleeps in trees: Also a 3 party system works well as a fail safe.

Fail safe for what? It wouldn't be any less susceptible to corrupting influences.


As long as we have a Weeners the post system, we can give governments "Warning shots". We gave one to Paul Martin, and he ignored it. We didn't think too much of Harper, so we gave him two. Finally he managed to convince us that he wasn't the devil, and we gave him his majority. He might be due another minority warning next time around, unless the libs actually come up with some policy.
 
2012-07-16 01:53:17 PM  

Mercutio74: Muk_Man: Yeah, can't believe they got a majority. At least they didn't win in my riding.

I can believe it. The Liberals has an exceedingly, almost embarrassingly weak campaign. The NDP had a strong one. Every vote to the left of the US Dems got split to either the NDP or the Grits. It's the biggest weakness of how votes are counted here. It should be an ordered vote (with your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc choices indicated) and then instant run-off until a candidate captures over 50% of the vote.


Makes sense from a fairness standpoint, but makes the counting procedure a little draconian. That said I'd probably be more in favour of the ranked voting as well.
 
2012-07-16 01:54:45 PM  

brantgoose: In some ways we suffer from the faults as well as the virtues of Americans, the British, the French and others. We are surprisingly a lot more German than any of us were prepared to imagine or acknowledge. We are also a very Scandinavian type society with both liberal and conservative, social democratic and authoritarian tendencies in a general state of balance.


Your entire post was great, but this stood out for me. What a fascinating way of looking at Canadians! Now I'm thinking about how it fits (or doesn't, as the case may be) into what I know of various people. It's a good yardstick. I like it!
 
2012-07-16 01:55:04 PM  

ordinarysteve: change1211: praymantis: This explains why Canada is doing so well from the CIA World Factbook:

"The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US its principal trading partner. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs about three-fourths of Canadian exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. "

OMG Canada is doing well because of free trade with its next door neighbor the most powerful and wealthy country in the world. Good for them but please don't compare their way of government to ours, they don't have to worry about a defense because we will do it for them, they don't have to worry about pirating on the seas because our Navy will do that for them too. They are living next to the most loyal friend ever!

Yeah...except when you piss all over NAFTA. That tends to make it a bit less useful and causes us to go looking for other trading partners.

Shhhh.... Amurican exceptionalism means that everything Canadians accomplish is because of their completely selfless neighbours to the south. They only consume our natural resources to make products to sell back to us, because they are like, the most loyal friend evah!1!!!!1
/unless we don't help invade Iraq, then they snub us and question our loyalty


Not my point at all just saying that the conversation on this thread started heading toward the "Socialism is better than free market derp" and I think in this case it is almost impossible to compare the US and Canada.
 
2012-07-16 01:59:43 PM  

mightybaldking: He might be due another minority warning next time around, unless the libs actually come up with some policy.


A Con minority will not happen in the next election, but perhaps in the one after that, dependent upon the selection of an accessible Liberal leader.

Liberal strategists are still wetting themselves with delight over Mulcair (the best thing to happen to the Libs in recent memory), but they still have a lot of internal purging and visioning ahead of them.
 
2012-07-16 01:59:50 PM  
The average Canadian income is now higher than their American counterparts, and yet we have a GDP of $14 Trillion compared to their $1 Trillion. Hmm, wonder how that happened?

Nah wealth inequality isn't a problem.
 
2012-07-16 02:01:44 PM  

meat0918: Those companies that develop pharmaceuticals need money to fund research, and because Americans are so afraid of "socialism" to actually use the collective bargaining power of 350 million people to negotiate better drug prices, we get gouged to make up for the lower profit margins the companies get selling their drugs in other countries.


The second half of you sentence contradicts the first. R&D is an expense that is already taken into account when profits margins are calculated.

If a drug was to be sold at a loss in Canada, then the drug manufacturer would simply not sell it in Canada. Therefore, these drugs are sold at a profit.

If the drugs are still sold at a profit in Canada, then Canadians pay for the R&D costs just as much as Americans, they only pay a bit less for the shareholders earnings, though.
 
2012-07-16 02:10:14 PM  

dehehn: The average Canadian income is now higher than their American counterparts, and yet we have a GDP of $14 Trillion compared to their $1 Trillion. Hmm, wonder how that happened?

Nah wealth inequality isn't a problem.


I moved to America because I wanted to make more money and because I wanted to be warmer.

Well... I'm warm at least. :)
 
2012-07-16 02:53:49 PM  
So basically: For years when Canada is behind the US, it's nothing to talk about, but now suddenly there's a point where Canada is ahead on a few economic figures and SUDDENLY... The differences in the two systems matter and the more socialist system works... So was it not working in the decades before this moment in time? Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?
 
2012-07-16 02:56:50 PM  

LargeCanine: News flash: Canada introduced free market reforms while the US pursued Keynsian economic policies and increased debt. Free Markets work. Now Canada is reaping the benefits of moving AWAY from socialism.

Yes, I wish we were more like Canada now.


Occam's Nailfile: Martin also slashed funding to social programs. He foresaw that crippling deficits imperiled Canada's education and health- care systems, which even his Conservative predecessor, Brian Mulroney, described as a "sacred trust." He cut corporate taxes, too.

And for those who don't pay attention:

Martin also slashed funding to social programs. He foresaw that crippling deficits imperiled Canada's education and health- care systems, which even his Conservative predecessor, Brian Mulroney, described as a "sacred trust." He cut corporate taxes, too.


dywed88: Aidan: mander: Pro tip: get tar sands

I grew up in Alberta in the 80s and 90s, and the thought was more or less that tar sands would never be lucrative until the world went to hell.

And yet, here we are... :)

Untrue. Alberta was better off prior to 2008. That drop in oil prices was detrimental to the tar sands.


Phony_Soldier: Not to mention that they don't have a military to fund. They just rely on ours.


Kome: Phony_Soldier: Not to mention that they don't have a military to fund. They just rely on ours.

They rely on the reality that no one would want to invade Canada to begin with.


dywed88: Kome: Phony_Soldier: Not to mention that they don't have a military to fund. They just rely on ours.

They rely on the reality that no one would want to invade Canada to begin with.

More that nobody other than the US COULD invade Canada. And no amount of spending would allow Canada to compete with the US.


praymantis: OMG Canada is doing well because of free trade with its next door neighbor the most powerful and wealthy country in the world. Good for them but please don't compare their way of government to ours, they don't have to worry about a defense because we will do it for them, they don't have to worry about pirating on the seas because our Navy will do that for them too. They are living next to the most loyal friend ever!


Are you in the 4th grade or something? Thanks for protecting us from... you.

Apart from protecting arctic sovereignty (thanks for being so supportive, BTW), We could spend every dollar on our military, and still never be in a position to defend ourselves against the only real threat- the US. Our unspoken defense is to breed and raise 34 million people that look, sound, and know everything about you. 34 million possible American infiltrators.

You think invading and holding a tiny country half the size of Alberta where everyone looks and sounds different from the average American is hard? Wait until you go up two orders of magnitude on the size and can't differentiate friend from foe. And even then, we have our poison pill- Quebec. We know how much the french frighten and confuse you.

We're not better armed because we're not as paranoid, and just smarter about the reality of the situation.
 
2012-07-16 03:01:51 PM  

unyon: You think invading and holding a tiny country half the size of Alberta where everyone looks and sounds different from the average American is hard? Wait until you go up two orders of magnitude on the size and can't differentiate friend from foe. And even then, we have our poison pill- Quebec. We know how much the french frighten and confuse you.


Also, the Quebecois have crafted our most insidious biological weapon. Consider... the POUTINE!

The US is already in the grips of a major obesity crisis... if we were able to add a dish consisting of freedom fries, rich gravy, and gooey cheese curds to the US diet we would win any war within 10 years due to the shortage of Hoverounds for occupying forces. Then, we'd declare the war over and a few days later, burn down the Whitehouse... just because we're a nostalgic people.
 
2012-07-16 03:06:48 PM  

praymantis: they don't have to worry about pirating on the seas because our Navy will do that for them too.


Yeah, thanks for that whole "keeping pirates away" thing you guys have been doing.

Been meaning to send an e-card to that effect but I keep forgetting.

*blink*
 
2012-07-16 03:09:55 PM  

randomjsa: Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?


Are you saying that Canada doesn't have a capitalist economy?
 
2012-07-16 03:15:41 PM  

sleeps in trees: Us Canadians are pretty sick farks aren't we?


I believe the preferred sentence construction would be, "Us Canadians are pretty sick farks, eh?"

And yes... yes we are. :D
 
2012-07-16 03:19:18 PM  
This story is true because our Government is so crooked, they farked us all, and will keep doing it until we are a dictatorship.
 
2012-07-16 03:19:18 PM  

randomjsa: So basically: For years when Canada is behind the US, it's nothing to talk about, but now suddenly there's a point where Canada is ahead on a few economic figures and SUDDENLY... The differences in the two systems matter and the more socialist system works... So was it not working in the decades before this moment in time? Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?


So basically, when the Mets are killing the NL East, it's nothing to talk about, but now, suddenly there's a point where the Mets went from 8.5 games ahead with just over two weeks in the season to .5 back with 2 games to go and SUDDENLY...The difference between the Mets and, say, the Phillies, matters more and the pitching-first system works...So was it not working when the Mets were killing everyone else?

Or use the tortoise and the hare ("The hare's been killing him this whole time, yet the turtle's overtaken the hare with only 20 yards to go!").

The point is that when one starts to flag and the other is still going strong (or is doing even better than before, relative to their own performance), there may be indicators as to why.

"When can you attribute correlation to causation?
-First, establish correlation (r closest to -1 or 1 is a strong correlation).
-Next, establish a temporal relationship. The independent variable ("x") should be measured before the dependent variable ("y"), and any changes should be linked in the same way (a change in x should occur before any change in y is noticed).
-Finally, establish relatedness - does a change in the independent variable cause a related change (though not necessarily equivalent) in the dependent variable?

A strong correlation, where a chronologically-first event makes an expected, measurable change in a later dependent event can be said to be correlated."

DNRTFA, but that's the methodology you'd use to establish causation. Correlation is a much lower hurdle to clear (but you can't make as many assumptions about correlated events).
 
2012-07-16 03:22:48 PM  

randomjsa: So basically: For years when Canada is behind the US, it's nothing to talk about, but now suddenly there's a point where Canada is ahead on a few economic figures and SUDDENLY... The differences in the two systems matter and the more socialist system works... So was it not working in the decades before this moment in time? Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?


It's more that the Canadian approach results in lower peaks and higher valleys and I don't think the author of TFA was pretending otherwise. TFA makes clear that while the Canadian banking sector didn't get to partake nearly as much in the obscene profits leading to the '08 meltdown, nor did the meltdown hit the banks nearly as hard. Likewise, Canadian fiscal policy during the bullish years was more conservative, maintaining surpluses and using them to pay down debt instead of squandering them on tax breaks or on a pointless war (Iraq, that is; Afghanistan is up for debate), leaving us in a much better position now that times are tougher.

It's the difference between "peace, order and good governance" vs. "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
 
2012-07-16 03:28:56 PM  

threedingers: randomjsa: So basically: For years when Canada is behind the US, it's nothing to talk about, but now suddenly there's a point where Canada is ahead on a few economic figures and SUDDENLY... The differences in the two systems matter and the more socialist system works... So was it not working in the decades before this moment in time? Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?

It's more that the Canadian approach results in lower peaks and higher valleys and I don't think the author of TFA was pretending otherwise. TFA makes clear that while the Canadian banking sector didn't get to partake nearly as much in the obscene profits leading to the '08 meltdown, nor did the meltdown hit the banks nearly as hard. Likewise, Canadian fiscal policy during the bullish years was more conservative, maintaining surpluses and using them to pay down debt instead of squandering them on tax breaks or on a pointless war (Iraq, that is; Afghanistan is up for debate), leaving us in a much better position now that times are tougher.

It's the difference between "peace, order and good governance" vs. "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".


Canada, the land of mediocrity and damned proud of it.
 
2012-07-16 03:31:19 PM  

dywed88: threedingers: randomjsa: So basically: For years when Canada is behind the US, it's nothing to talk about, but now suddenly there's a point where Canada is ahead on a few economic figures and SUDDENLY... The differences in the two systems matter and the more socialist system works... So was it not working in the decades before this moment in time? Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?

It's more that the Canadian approach results in lower peaks and higher valleys and I don't think the author of TFA was pretending otherwise. TFA makes clear that while the Canadian banking sector didn't get to partake nearly as much in the obscene profits leading to the '08 meltdown, nor did the meltdown hit the banks nearly as hard. Likewise, Canadian fiscal policy during the bullish years was more conservative, maintaining surpluses and using them to pay down debt instead of squandering them on tax breaks or on a pointless war (Iraq, that is; Afghanistan is up for debate), leaving us in a much better position now that times are tougher.

It's the difference between "peace, order and good governance" vs. "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

Canada, the land of mediocrity and damned proud of it.


If by "mediocrity" you mean "pragmatism", then yes.
 
2012-07-16 03:43:42 PM  

dywed88: Canada, the land of mediocrity and damned proud of it.


All I can say is that I'd much rather live in Canada than the US. I`m far freer here to live my life and pursue my goals than I would be in the US.
 
2012-07-16 04:05:28 PM  
i'm not really patriotic, but canada is pretty great.

after a couple decades of global warming, it will be even better, so thanks for that guys!
 
2012-07-16 04:07:58 PM  

optimus_grime: i'm not really patriotic, but canada is pretty great.

after a couple decades of global warming, it will be even better, so thanks for that guys!


We`ll turn our strip mines into rice paddies. Can`t lose.
 
2012-07-16 04:18:42 PM  

optimus_grime: i'm not really patriotic, but canada is pretty great.

after a couple decades of global warming, it will be even better, so thanks for that guys!


Sure, if you consider having a muskeg bog mosquito breeding zone the size of Europe where the permafrost used to be "better". Not to mention invasive species like cockroaches setting up shop. I'll take the colder winters thanks.
 
2012-07-16 04:25:16 PM  

sleeps in trees: dywed88: threedingers: randomjsa: So basically: For years when Canada is behind the US, it's nothing to talk about, but now suddenly there's a point where Canada is ahead on a few economic figures and SUDDENLY... The differences in the two systems matter and the more socialist system works... So was it not working in the decades before this moment in time? Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?

It's more that the Canadian approach results in lower peaks and higher valleys and I don't think the author of TFA was pretending otherwise. TFA makes clear that while the Canadian banking sector didn't get to partake nearly as much in the obscene profits leading to the '08 meltdown, nor did the meltdown hit the banks nearly as hard. Likewise, Canadian fiscal policy during the bullish years was more conservative, maintaining surpluses and using them to pay down debt instead of squandering them on tax breaks or on a pointless war (Iraq, that is; Afghanistan is up for debate), leaving us in a much better position now that times are tougher.

It's the difference between "peace, order and good governance" vs. "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

Canada, the land of mediocrity and damned proud of it.

I'm cool with flying under the radar.


So am I. I will take the consistently OK long before the balancing of great and terrible.
 
2012-07-16 04:35:34 PM  

Mercutio74: optimus_grime: i'm not really patriotic, but canada is pretty great.

after a couple decades of global warming, it will be even better, so thanks for that guys!

We`ll turn our strip mines into rice paddies. Can`t lose.


It's going to be a while before we can grow rice in thawed permafrost swamps.
 
2012-07-16 04:37:32 PM  

unyon: LargeCanine: News flash: Canada introduced free market reforms while the US pursued Keynsian economic policies and increased debt. Free Markets work. Now Canada is reaping the benefits of moving AWAY from socialism.

Yes, I wish we were more like Canada now.

Occam's Nailfile: Martin also slashed funding to social programs. He foresaw that crippling deficits imperiled Canada's education and health- care systems, which even his Conservative predecessor, Brian Mulroney, described as a "sacred trust." He cut corporate taxes, too.

And for those who don't pay attention:

Martin also slashed funding to social programs. He foresaw that crippling deficits imperiled Canada's education and health- care systems, which even his Conservative predecessor, Brian Mulroney, described as a "sacred trust." He cut corporate taxes, too.

dywed88: Aidan: mander: Pro tip: get tar sands

I grew up in Alberta in the 80s and 90s, and the thought was more or less that tar sands would never be lucrative until the world went to hell.

And yet, here we are... :)

Untrue. Alberta was better off prior to 2008. That drop in oil prices was detrimental to the tar sands.

Phony_Soldier: Not to mention that they don't have a military to fund. They just rely on ours.

Kome: Phony_Soldier: Not to mention that they don't have a military to fund. They just rely on ours.

They rely on the reality that no one would want to invade Canada to begin with.

dywed88: Kome: Phony_Soldier: Not to mention that they don't have a military to fund. They just rely on ours.

They rely on the reality that no one would want to invade Canada to begin with.

More that nobody other than the US COULD invade Canada. And no amount of spending would allow Canada to compete with the US.

praymantis: OMG Canada is doing well because of free trade with its next door neighbor the most powerful and wealthy country in the world. Good for them but please don't compare their way of government to ours, they don't have to worry about a def ...


Just keep suckling off of our teet and be thankful you are near us.
 
2012-07-16 04:42:08 PM  

Mercutio74: dywed88: Canada, the land of mediocrity and damned proud of it.

All I can say is that I'd much rather live in Canada than the US. I`m far freer here to live my life and pursue my goals than I would be in the US.


You don't even have freedom of speech are you kidding me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Canada
 
2012-07-16 04:51:14 PM  

praymantis: Mercutio74: dywed88: Canada, the land of mediocrity and damned proud of it.

All I can say is that I'd much rather live in Canada than the US. I`m far freer here to live my life and pursue my goals than I would be in the US.

You don't even have freedom of speech are you kidding me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Canada


My, what a black and white world you live in.
 
2012-07-16 04:54:49 PM  

praymantis: You don't even have freedom of speech are you kidding me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Canada


Not absolutely, we don`t. But then, the US doesn`t either. In fact there`s some kind of limitation of free speech in pretty much every civlized nation in the world.

The problem that the wikipedia article kinda almost starts to explain isn`t as much a problem with the charter of rights and freedoms, it`s that some elements of the government have begun to use human rights commissions to pursue their own agenda by trying to apply the banner of "hate speech" to whatever ideology or writing or whatever to their political opponents. It's a weakness of the law more than the weakness of the charter.

Personally, I think that the scope of the HRC should be somewhat narrow and ironically... this might be something the Conservatives actually deal with. Unless of course, they feel it'll be a convenient tool for them to limit dissent. In any case, there's always the supreme court.

The fact of the matter is though, that the action of the HRC doesn't impact our public lives much.
 
2012-07-16 04:57:53 PM  
Not grumpy at all, I love Canada especially the ballet. I just find it amusing that not one person on this thread will admit that the reason Canada is so successful(Not the only reason but certainly one of them) may have something to do with the fact that 75% of all of their exports go to the US. We are your biggest trading partners enjoy it.
 
2012-07-16 05:02:06 PM  

praymantis: Not grumpy at all, I love Canada especially the ballet. I just find it amusing that not one person on this thread will admit that the reason Canada is so successful(Not the only reason but certainly one of them) may have something to do with the fact that 75% of all of their exports go to the US. We are your biggest trading partners enjoy it.


You make it sound like such a one way street and you're making yourself sound like a real asshole. The US exported around $280 billion to Canada in 2011, next on that list was China with $103 billion.
 
2012-07-16 05:07:12 PM  

praymantis: Not grumpy at all, I love Canada especially the ballet. I just find it amusing that not one person on this thread will admit that the reason Canada is so successful(Not the only reason but certainly one of them) may have something to do with the fact that 75% of all of their exports go to the US. We are your biggest trading partners enjoy it.


Our biggest trading partner is a consumer-based, heavily debted, captialist nation with a population 10x our own that's connected to us via a massive system of modern roadways, shares a language (and mostly, a culture) with us, and happens to share one of the longest borders in the world with us?

Wow. I can't imagine why we'd be each other's largest trading partners.

The fact of the matter is that we (and same with the US) could trade with anyone in the world. It's just most efficient and most profitable to deal with each other.
 
2012-07-16 07:08:31 PM  

meat0918: I joke with my wife about when the US will start demanding tribute. What's the point of having an empire if you cannot exact tribute for the protection you give your territories?




"Capitalism is obviously new, you wouldn't describe the ancient world as capitalist, but at the same time capitalism is built on top of something that is not historically unprecedented, and the link between military and money systems remains the dirty secret of capitalism.

It's important to look at the link between what post-Keynesians call 'high-powered money,' and the military, imperial militaries in particular. The Bank of England for example, was created by a loan to King William III to fight a war in France. He then granted the bankers who lent him the money the right to take the money that he owed them for his war debt and monetise it, to take that debt and lend it to other people in the form of bank notes. That's what bank notes actually are, why if you take a tenner from your pocket, it has a picture of the Queen, and next to it, 'I promise to pay' the bearer the sum of ten pounds. It's not ten pounds. It's a promise.

Since 1972 when Nixon went off the gold standard, the world reserve currency has been the US dollar, but what ultimately backs the US dollar? People say nothing, it's 'fiat money' but I don't think this is true. It's a credit system based on the circulation of debt. Of course the US has the enormous advantage of being able to write checks that are never actually cashed: US treasury bonds have become the basic reserve currency for the central banks and as Michael Hudson originally pointed out, most of these American treasury bonds are never really cashed in. They're rolled over year after year to buy new ones, and these holders are taking a loss on them as they pay interest lower than inflation. So why are they doing that? Well, if you look at the size of US deficit it corresponds almost exactly to the real saw military budget. If you look at graphs showing the growth of the US deficit, and the percentage of it held overseas, and the US military spending-basically, you see almost exactly the same curve. So basically, foreign governments and institutional lenders are buying US treasury bonds and paying for this enormous military spending. So, who are the guys doing it? Well during the cold war it was especially West Germany, now, apart from China, the most important are places like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Gulf states. What do these states have in common? They're all covered in US military bases, or under US military protection. The US is borrowing the money to create these military bases from the very countries that the US military is sitting on top of. In the past, such arrangements were called 'empires' and the money sent over was referred to as 'tribute.' Now apparently your not allowed to use that language, so it's called a 'loan.' Nonetheless, that link between the military and the core of the financial system remains, it's the thing we're not supposed to think about.

In a way the language we use to describe this in the US or UK is self-evidently absurd. We talk of 'trade deficits,' i.e., 'oh for some reason, people all over the world send us stuff worth far more than anything we send them. Isn't that a problem?' If you suggest this has anything to do with the fact that the countries that seem to be getting the inflow of goods (and not getting in trouble for it, anyway), are those which also are massive military powers bestraddling the world, people look at you as if you're practically lunatic fringe. On some level, of course, everyone does have to admit there's a link between who is a military power, who consumes the bulk of the world's resources, and whose money just happens to be the world reserve currency, but it's somehow taboo to try to work out exactly what those connections are."
--David Graeber
 
2012-07-16 09:35:41 PM  

sleeps in trees: dywed88: sleeps in trees: dywed88: threedingers: randomjsa: So basically: For years when Canada is behind the US, it's nothing to talk about, but now suddenly there's a point where Canada is ahead on a few economic figures and SUDDENLY... The differences in the two systems matter and the more socialist system works... So was it not working in the decades before this moment in time? Will the author of the article be back to tell us how much socialism sucks and capitalism works if the US pulls ahead again?

It's more that the Canadian approach results in lower peaks and higher valleys and I don't think the author of TFA was pretending otherwise. TFA makes clear that while the Canadian banking sector didn't get to partake nearly as much in the obscene profits leading to the '08 meltdown, nor did the meltdown hit the banks nearly as hard. Likewise, Canadian fiscal policy during the bullish years was more conservative, maintaining surpluses and using them to pay down debt instead of squandering them on tax breaks or on a pointless war (Iraq, that is; Afghanistan is up for debate), leaving us in a much better position now that times are tougher.

It's the difference between "peace, order and good governance" vs. "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

Canada, the land of mediocrity and damned proud of it.

I'm cool with flying under the radar.

So am I. I will take the consistently OK long before the balancing of great and terrible.

fark we are mediocre. Maybe the beer and politeness is a good thing.

My husband and I joke "We're #5!"


Tried to find that THH22M Heritage Moment spot about how finishing just out of the medals at the Olympics is another fine Canadian tradition. My google-fu was weak.

Sorry about that, eh?
 
2012-07-16 10:58:35 PM  

beta_plus: So, subby, you are OK now with Tar Sand Oil & the Keystone Pipeline. Good to hear. Let's get that pipeline built.


I got a better idea. let's build refineries in North Dakota. Why do they want to pipe it the Louisiana? TO SHIP IT THE CHINA YOU DOLTS!!!

//so cute, they think it's "our" oil.
 
2012-07-17 12:29:15 AM  

NemoD: Canada has one of the most highly regulated banking industries in the world. In fact, just before the crash, their bankers were screaming bloody murder about "Free Markets" and how their industry should be deregulated like their banking buddies to the south.


Actually, it was the Americans and the UK who were pushing the Canadians to deregulate, and the Canadian bankers who fought against it.

/They bought out my local bank a few years back, which rode out the housing bubble pop by not behaving like an American bank, which is why the Canadians bought them.
//TD Bank ftw
 
2012-07-17 03:14:11 AM  

Lost Thought 00: Because they are habitually selling off their natural resources, just like sub-saharan africa. It will not last


Does that also apply to the other 13 countries whose citizens are now wealthier than Americans? 19 countries if you go by the CIA list.

List of countries by per capita GDP

Back in the 70's the US was on top of this list and had been since it overtook Britain in 1910. As recently as the late 90's the US was ranked 3rd.

What a farking mess.
 
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