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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 45
    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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Archived thread
2012-07-16 11:43:27 AM
6 votes:
Canada for the most part has been a "control group" of what America could have been like had it not been infested since 1979 with fundies, Teabaggers, neofascists, and other life forms of HerpaDerpage.
2012-07-16 01:21:15 PM
4 votes:
Canada's success has been a combination of luck, policy and underlying soundness of long-standing Canadian values and traditions, especially the basic principles of peace, order and good government.

Luck
I suspect that the housing bubble in Canada was not only smaller but at an earlier stage when the US bubble burst. Canadians save more traditionally and the financial system is more conservative, so when the US bubble burst, there was less damage to home-owners and buyers. This was essentially a matter of lucky timing--it can pay to be behind the curve if the curve is a high lob off of a cliff.

Policy
The Canadian banking system is much sounder than the US banking system and has been for generations. The Canadian banks are few in number and national or regional in scope. They follow sounder banking principles and there are more firewalls I think. Thus the Canadian banking system has avoided crashes better than the US system. The Canadian Government's relationship to the Seven Sisters (the seven big banks--the others are chump change) is paternal, perhaps even collusive, but it is also disciplined and generally responsible.

That gave Canada two trumps: less of a housing bust and more fiscal rectitude.

Luck and Policy
Canada also benefits from being a huge producer of natural resources. Bad crops in many places has raised the price of agricultural products while demand for natural resources from China and other rapidly developing countries has been inexorable. Thus Canada has not been greatly hurt by low demand from Europe and the US. Like Australia, our sister Dominion, it has been floated by Chinese buying.

The Canadian forestry industry and the fishing industry are in bad shape because of lack of foresight, inefficiency, over-harvesting (my father saw this coming thirty years ago, as did anybody with half a brain and any inkling about forest resources), as well as competition from the Bootstrapy Finns (who are brilliantly efficient small woodlot managers), Russians and Brazilians. The mining and other industries are doing fine.

In short, housing did not crash, the banks did not crash, resource demand has remarkably not crashed, and Canada has done OK. Not great, but OK.

On the other hand, Canad has some advantages that can not be attributed entirely to luck or political foresight.

Canadian regulations may seem draconian to Canadian or American businessmen, but Canada is, as the conservative Frazer Institute think tank points out, very free and enterprising. You can fire easier in Canada than almost anywhere, including the US. You can start up a business with less paperwork and Canadians excel so much in the things that the USA thinks it is good at that we actually beat the US hands down in several aspects of entrepreneurialism.

Furthermore, the Government does give a lot of support to businesses (it's undying love affair with the oil and gas patch in Alberta and Saskatchewan is one kind of support) in the form of education and health care, etc.

There are some areas where Canadians are much weaker than Americans--advertising, marketing, retail competition, follow-through on initial successes, etc. They show up in the failure of Canadian companies to break into the US market (although those that do, such as McCain Foods, prosper) and the rise and decline of many Canadian ventures from Robert Campeau's commercial property empire to Lord Black's newspaper empire and RIM, among many others.

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 tendancies in a general state of balance.

Luck and Policy and Good NatureAfter 911, the US and to a certain extent, the UK and other societies made it much harder for foreigners to do business, live and study in their countries. Canada and Australia were quick to capitalize on mistakes made by the USA and the UK, with the result that we got a bigger share of talent and money from international students and entrepreneurs.

We keep the doors open for business and didn't panic. For some reason terrorists have NOT poured in to blow us all to Kingdom Come. This is probably not the result of brilliant policy, even though we have surrendered a massive number of rights and freedoms without much noise, but simply because of lack of push. Where are the terrorists? WHAR? I suspect that they are not coming because their real aims are domestic, not international. They want to over-throw their own govenments, not liberal democracy here. They don't even know where here is unless we draw their attention by our policies or actions in their own sphere of concern.

Put it all together and Canada has been doing relatively better at least.

I don't expect it to last, but hopefully some remnant of our recent successes will remain despite 1) President Sweatervest; 2) the Canadian tendancy to choke after initial successes; and 3) the inevitable return of the giants to the global economy, plus all the other inevitable stuff that happens, such as disasters, wars, unimaginable idiocy, etc.

In other words, I am a Canadian realist. I am please that things are not too bad but don't expect them to fail to go to Hell in a handcart at any moment, especially if those idiots in Parliament get their way. Which they shouldn't. That Government governs best that gets the most kicks in the backside from a vigourous and vigilant populace.
2012-07-16 11:59:36 AM
4 votes:
Check again before the next Canadian election. The Conservatives are really pushing a strange untraditionally Canadian mandate. It's like Harper wants us to emulate the US even though we've been doing better than the US lately.
2012-07-16 11:59:20 AM
3 votes:
There is something to be said about watching your older brother and learning what not to do, soas not to suffer the same consequences. Really. The US has 100 years plus on Canada, we did get a wee bit of a break.

Also a 3 party system works well as a fail safe.
2012-07-16 11:56:53 AM
3 votes:
FTFA: Alone among finance ministers in the Group of Eight nations, he "resisted the siren call of deregulation," in his words, and insisted that the banks tighten their loan-loss and reserve requirements. He also made a courageous decision not to allow Canadian banks to merge, even though their chief executives claimed they would never be globally competitive unless they did.

Funny how much better things turn out when you don't let bankers dictate policy.
2012-07-16 11:37:51 AM
3 votes:

meat0918: Well, 1/5-1/6 of their economy doesn't go into defraying other countries pharmaceutical and healthcare costs, now does it?


You forgot to account for about a fifth of our economy going to defraying other countries' national defense costs as well.
2012-07-16 12:19:59 PM
2 votes:

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.


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".
2012-07-16 12:14:10 PM
2 votes:

unyon: Rapmaster2000: They also don't subsidize home ownership through tax policy, so there's that.

Not through tax policy, no. We do have the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), which is not dissimilar from Fannie Mae, to help questionable borrowers enter the market.

Let's face it- the interest deduction in the US only serves to inflate sale prices on the front end. The average house will always cost what the average guy can reasonably afford, that's just math. Make it cheaper to own more house, the cost of that house goes up.

People want to own homes anyways. There's no need to incent it.


Yeah, the new mortgage rules are interesting:

"Under the rules that went into effect last week, borrowers will be allowed to use up to 80% of their property's value as collateral for home-equity loans, down from 85%.

In addition, the maximum amortization period dropped to 25 years from 30 years for government insured mortgages.

Flaherty also said government-backed mortgage insurance will be limited to homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million."

The National Post is already complaining that the changes are cooling the housing market...but frankly it's an overdue correction.
2012-07-16 12:11:02 PM
2 votes:

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.


Umm, no.
Regulations were never gutted to the extend of the US.
The fiscal conservatism introduced in the early 1990s to balance the budget was similar to that in the US.
The differences exist under Bush and his tax cuts and military spending creating massive deficits, while the Liberal governments continued to run surpluses that were used to pay off debt.
2012-07-16 12:05:14 PM
2 votes:
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.
2012-07-16 11:59:59 AM
2 votes:

Bender The Offender: vpb: meat0918: Well, 1/5-1/6 of their economy doesn't go into defraying other countries pharmaceutical and healthcare costs, now does it?

WTF?

Never respond to retards or trolls. Retards are too intellectually rigid to correct and trolls are just trying to piss you off.


Only slightly trolling.

Americans do pay more than the rest of first world countries for medical procedures and medicine.

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.

I wonder if an unintended consequence from such a development (i.e. if we ever actually got a national level bargaining power of that 350 million people to get better prices), drug prices in other countries would go up.
2012-07-16 05:07:12 PM
1 votes:

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 04:54:49 PM
1 votes:

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 04:51:14 PM
1 votes:

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 04:50:17 PM
1 votes:

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!"
2012-07-16 03:17:56 PM
1 votes:

Mercutio74: 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


Grammer Nazi!
2012-07-16 03:15:38 PM
1 votes:

quatchi: 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*


Well they didn't protect us from the gay pirates and look what happened. The whole country turned fabulous.
2012-07-16 03:11:48 PM
1 votes:

Mercutio74: sleeps in trees: I actually would pay - just for shiats and giggles - to see the GG veto.

I would be exceedingly entertained myself. Especially with a conservative gov't that hasn't the deference for tradition that the Liberals do.


Us Canadians are pretty sick farks aren't we?
2012-07-16 01:59:50 PM
1 votes:
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 01:53:17 PM
1 votes:

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 01:28:12 PM
1 votes:

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 01:24:31 PM
1 votes:

brantgoose: In other words, I am a Canadian realist. I am please that things are not too bad but don't expect them to fail to go to Hell in a handcart at any moment, especially if those idiots in Parliament get their way. Which they shouldn't. That Government governs best that gets the most kicks in the backside from a vigourous and vigilant populace.


All of your post... very, very well put. Bravo.
2012-07-16 01:05:00 PM
1 votes:
Let me get this crazy thing straight...

So you're saying that in societies that have infrastructure to cover the basic necessities of life people are free to grow and prosper?

OMFG what a radically insane idea!


/Americans are farking retards.
2012-07-16 01:04:46 PM
1 votes:

Mercutio74: sleeps in trees: No the senate and GG can veto. Neither are elected.

If the GG vetoed anything, I would expect an instant vote in parliament where we finally cut off all ties with England. GG is a ceremonial position, nothing more.

I don't mind an unelected Senate, to be honest. It should prevent a wholesale change in legislative philosophy of the country. Unfortunately, due to Mulroney and Harper's governments, there's a Con majority in the senate right now too. At least if Harper does something so dastardly that even his own party members rebel, the Senate wouldn't have to toe the line because there's nothing Harper can do to put them out of a job.


I actually would pay - just for shiats and giggles - to see the GG veto.
2012-07-16 12:54:40 PM
1 votes:
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!
2012-07-16 12:53:20 PM
1 votes:

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.


Yeah, but pick a G20 that wouldn't have our back. We cemented that in WW2. China included.

Holy shiat, a new WW3 theory. Now let me get my tin foil hat.
2012-07-16 12:45:01 PM
1 votes:

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


Well, that and we rarely try to create and maintain a global empire run via despotic proxies.

/It kinda pisses people off
2012-07-16 12:43:34 PM
1 votes:

imontheinternet: [blu.stb.s-msn.com image 598x448]

Sounds like Canada has their economic house in order. It's too bad their beer sucks.


I assume you're from the US. If you are, this is how it must feel to be a Frenchman and listen to English wine critics.
2012-07-16 12:40:54 PM
1 votes:

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?


USA: Pay us or we will withdraw our military from your soil!
Some Countries: Sounds good. Can you be out by Wednesday?
2012-07-16 12:24:28 PM
1 votes:

Epoch_Zero: 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... :)

"You're Welcome" - US Republicans


The world didn't have to go to hell.

Oil prices just need to be high enough to make it worthwhile to extract. I mean, Republican policies helped oil prices along, but it was only a matter of time before technological advances and oil price increases made it economically viable and feasible to extract.
2012-07-16 12:23:48 PM
1 votes:

Ball Sack Obama: Of course... Obama outsourced his campaign bus to Canada and flipped the balance of power.


farm4.staticflickr.com
2012-07-16 12:20:43 PM
1 votes:

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.


It keeps them a bit more in check. Maybe fail safe is the wrong word. It's very Canadian to vote for a party you don't normally support. My husband is a dyed in the wool Conservative and voted for Martin. I'm a Liberal and anti NDP yet voted NDP to keep a minorit gov. at one time.

I suppose what I'm saying (although poorly) there are few here with hard party lines, and many like a minority gov.
2012-07-16 12:12:20 PM
1 votes:
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.
2012-07-16 12:10:22 PM
1 votes:

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.
2012-07-16 12:07:58 PM
1 votes:

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... :)
2012-07-16 12:01:56 PM
1 votes:
The important thing to remember is that the US has nothing, absolutely nothing to learn from the Canadians, or anyone else for that matter. For you see, the US is always right and thus whatever we do is always the best thing to do and so we never have to look at other examples for how to do things because those examples would not be as good because they aren't ours.
2012-07-16 11:59:49 AM
1 votes:

Rapmaster2000: They also don't subsidize home ownership through tax policy, so there's that.


Not through tax policy, no. We do have the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), which is not dissimilar from Fannie Mae, to help questionable borrowers enter the market.

Let's face it- the interest deduction in the US only serves to inflate sale prices on the front end. The average house will always cost what the average guy can reasonably afford, that's just math. Make it cheaper to own more house, the cost of that house goes up.

People want to own homes anyways. There's no need to incent it.
2012-07-16 11:57:56 AM
1 votes:

Serious Black: Because every other company in a given industry is accepting market-distorting programs, Koch companies have had little option but to do so as well, simply to remain competitive and help sustain our 50,000 U.S.-based jobs. However, even when such policies benefit us, we only support the policies that enhance true economic freedom.

Anybody care to guess which traitorous anti-American commie wrote the above tripe?


You left us a clue, Einsteen.
2012-07-16 11:57:56 AM
1 votes:
So Bloomberg is trying to chum the waters for a "strong social programs and business regulation are GOOD capitalist business!" narrative? Well, good luck with that.
2012-07-16 11:49:12 AM
1 votes:
POGG.
2012-07-16 11:43:19 AM
1 votes:
Yeah, this has nothing to do with the Housing Market falling apart... nothing at all...

Spinning shills
2012-07-16 11:42:10 AM
1 votes:
Because they are habitually selling off their natural resources, just like sub-saharan africa. It will not last
2012-07-16 11:40:28 AM
1 votes:

Serious Black: meat0918: Well, 1/5-1/6 of their economy doesn't go into defraying other countries pharmaceutical and healthcare costs, now does it?

You forgot to account for about a fifth of our economy going to defraying other countries' national defense costs as well.


Forgot that.

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?
2012-07-16 10:54:15 AM
1 votes:
Well, 1/5-1/6 of their economy doesn't go into defraying other countries pharmaceutical and healthcare costs, now does it?
2012-07-16 10:25:01 AM
1 votes:
I was told that they're all wretched beggars who stumble around half crippled because their doctors are all Mister Bean.
 
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