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Is Canada?s Economy a Model for America? (good article by Mark Steyn)

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,383
1,013
126
Quite an interesting piece, Mark Steyn IMHO continues to be one of the most thought-provoking writers out there.

That being said, I wanted to see if ATPN agreed or disagreed with his conclusion:

In that most basic sense, American progressives who look to Canada are wrong. Not only is Canada?s path not a model for America, it?s not a viable model for Canada.

Link

My favorite excerpt:


Canadian dependence on the United States is particularly true in health care, the most eminent Canadian idea looming in the American context. That is, public health care in Canada depends on private health care in the U.S. A small news story from last month illustrates this:

A Canadian woman has given birth to extremely rare identical quadruplets. The four girls were born at a U.S. hospital because there was no space available at Canadian neonatal intensive care units. Autumn, Brook, Calissa, and Dahlia are in good condition at Benefice Hospital in Great Falls, Montana. Health officials said they checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada, but none had space. The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician were flown 500 kilometers to the Montana hospital, the closest in the U.S., where the quadruplets were born on Sunday.

There you have Canadian health care in a nutshell. After all, you can?t expect a G-7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal intensive care coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote, rural Montana. And let?s face it, there?s nothing an expectant mom likes more on the day of delivery than 300 miles in a bumpy twin prop over the Rockies. Everyone knows that socialized health care means you wait and wait and wait?six months for an MRI, a year for a hip replacement, and so on. But here is the absolute logical reductio of a government monopoly in health care: the ten month waiting list for the maternity ward.

* * *
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Once him and Ezra Levant are locked up we won't have to hear their crap anymore.

Kidding :)

Off to grab beer and will be back to read this assuming my net connection is still alive.

EDIT: I read it. Good read. I remember why as a Canadian I still live in the US, and it's not just the better economy. Certain things are really quite insufferable about Canada, namely its government. That tripe about Quebec, for instance, and government-mandated signs on private businesses. What fvcking rubbish. If you want to open up a store here and all the signs are in Latin, AFAIK you can. I also did always feel the taxes there were too much, the government too big, and the population too apathetic about it--they didn't question; it was assumed that the big gov was right, their health care system was great (try debating it there with most people, they won't want to hear it). And at least in Eastern Canada people so liberal that being a moderate felt like how I presume hardcore, maniacal right wingers here feel.
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,708
9
81
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Once him and Ezra Levant are locked up we won't have to hear their crap anymore.

Kidding :)

Off to grab beer and will be back to read this assuming my net connection is still alive.

EDIT: I read it. Good read. I remember why as a Canadian I still live in the US, and it's not just the better economy. Certain things are really quite insufferable about Canada, namely its government. That tripe about Quebec, for instance, and government-mandated signs on private businesses. What fvcking rubbish. If you want to open up a store here and all the signs are in Latin, AFAIK you can. I also did always feel the taxes there were too much, the government too big, and the population too apathetic about it--they didn't question; it was assumed that the big gov was right, their health care system was great (try debating it there with most people, they won't want to hear it). And at least in Eastern Canada people so liberal that being a moderate felt like how I presume hardcore, maniacal right wingers here feel.
Try opening up a business and only putting spanish on everything in the US and see how far that gets you.

That law only exists in Quebec by the way. It's like saying all of America sucks cause they get flooded every time a hurricane comes along. It's something that definitely doesn't exist everywhere in the nation.

I think a lot of people here want some kind of public/private partnership on health care, but the noisiest people are the ones who want socialized everything.
 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,576
431
126
I'm still a little shocked by the immense amount of my fellow graduates who are now government employees, mostly moved to Ottawa, who do next to no work and never answer for it. I'm sort of jealous, but for the most part I prefer having a challenging work environment.

Quebec is, well, a special case. That province is pretty much despised by all of the others, and by far the most socialist in the nation. But at least Montreal's a fun city.

I can't see the logic in the Americans copying our health care system, which even though it serves 1/10th the population of the U.S. is still a wasteful, ridiculous, unconstitutional mess. It'd be remarkable fun to see how badly your government could mess it up.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
1
61
Canada doesn't have to spend trillions of dollars on a military. Of course, neither do we.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
I honestly feel immensely sorry for anyone that thinks Steyn is "thought provoking". The formula him and his ilk use is to make provocative claims, elicit a strong emotional response (either for or against) and get more readership. No thought need ever enter either during the writing of reading phase.

This article is a pretty good example of that, nothing but trite little insults, grand but idiotic claims supported by tiny pieces of anecdote, highly selective and restrictive use of facts, and lots and lots of America-fluffing. *yawn*.


But on the issue of models, there's one thing Americans have quite understood yet (undoubtedly helped in large part by fluffers like Steyn, Frum, Coulter, etc) and that is that America is not a model for anybody on pretty much anything. If a person bothers to look any of the myriad of international rankings available (freedom of press, economic competitiveness, government transparency, social mobility, happiness, democracy, civil liberties, quality of life.. just to name a few) they'll discover the US doesn't actually come out ahead on any of them. And it makes sense - if a country wants to improve itself shouldn't it look at what the best countries do?

Here is a recent example: Canada wants to improve its healthcare system, but in order to do so it must look towards the best systems available, not towards the failure south of the border. So they just completed the first ever Euro-Canada health care index, which compares Canada with 28 European countries, but not the US, which is particularly irrelevant in this area.
http://www.newsdesk.se/view/pr...umer-index-2008-190835
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Try opening up a business and only putting spanish on everything in the US and see how far that gets you.
Or one only in Mandarin and place it in China Town? You're missing the point.

Can you imagine if a state in the US had a similar law? it would be a laughing stock. Do you know what stop signs are written in in France? They say STOP. In Ottawa they say Stop and the Arrete below it, depsite the fact that damn near any Quebecer knows English perfectly well. Everyone in Canada outside of Quebec considers them little whiny bitches and never understands why they are so catered to.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
It'd be remarkable fun to see how badly your government could mess it up.
Haha

America is not a model for anybody on pretty much anything. If a person bothers to look any of the myriad of international rankings available (freedom of press, economic competitiveness, government transparency, social mobility, happiness, democracy, civil liberties, quality of life.. just to name a few) they'll discover the US doesn't actually come out ahead on any of them.
In some ways, Martin, this is a fault of the rankings, not the topic studied. I have yet to see any objective comparison on health care and using "infant mortality rates" as a simple number is missing the boat.

Some people "get" the US, some don't. It has massive numbers of people wanting to immigrate to it. And Steyn IS thought provoking. You may not like him--most Canadians are so obstinately liberal they cannot tolerate such a man--but he says things that most Canadians wouldn't think of. And don't forget, you being a case in point in fact, part of Canada's national identity is simply that it is not America. What does that say about Canada? I've lived there for most of my life. The number of times people mindlessly badmouth the US could not be counted.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,383
1,013
126
Originally posted by: Martin
I honestly feel immensely sorry for anyone that thinks Steyn is "thought provoking". The formula him and his ilk use is to make provocative claims, elicit a strong emotional response (either for or against) and get more readership. No thought need ever enter either during the writing of reading phase.

This article is a pretty good example of that, nothing but trite little insults, grand but idiotic claims supported by tiny pieces of anecdote, highly selective and restrictive use of facts, and lots and lots of America-fluffing. *yawn*.


But on the issue of models, there's one thing Americans have quite understood yet (undoubtedly helped in large part by fluffers like Steyn, Frum, Coulter, etc) and that is that America is not a model for anybody on pretty much anything. If a person bothers to look any of the myriad of international rankings available (freedom of press, economic competitiveness, government transparency, social mobility, happiness, democracy, civil liberties, quality of life.. just to name a few) they'll discover the US doesn't actually come out ahead on any of them. And it makes sense - if a country wants to improve itself shouldn't it look at what the best countries do?

Here is a recent example: Canada wants to improve its healthcare system, but in order to do so it must look towards the best systems available, not towards the failure south of the border. So they just completed the first ever Euro-Canada health care index, which compares Canada with 28 European countries, but not the US, which is particularly irrelevant in this area.
http://www.newsdesk.se/view/pr...umer-index-2008-190835
Well then, why don't you address the facts rather than the anecdotes then. For example, Canada's economy *is* more resource-dependent and less balanced/diversified than the United States. Tax rates are higher. The U.S. is controlling CO2 emissions better than Canada, despite not being a Kyoto signatory. Etc.

Stop being a Canada chauvanist and address the question fairly rather than badmouthing the author.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,480
3,593
126
Originally posted by: glenn1
Originally posted by: Martin
I honestly feel immensely sorry for anyone that thinks Steyn is "thought provoking". The formula him and his ilk use is to make provocative claims, elicit a strong emotional response (either for or against) and get more readership. No thought need ever enter either during the writing of reading phase.

This article is a pretty good example of that, nothing but trite little insults, grand but idiotic claims supported by tiny pieces of anecdote, highly selective and restrictive use of facts, and lots and lots of America-fluffing. *yawn*.


But on the issue of models, there's one thing Americans have quite understood yet (undoubtedly helped in large part by fluffers like Steyn, Frum, Coulter, etc) and that is that America is not a model for anybody on pretty much anything. If a person bothers to look any of the myriad of international rankings available (freedom of press, economic competitiveness, government transparency, social mobility, happiness, democracy, civil liberties, quality of life.. just to name a few) they'll discover the US doesn't actually come out ahead on any of them. And it makes sense - if a country wants to improve itself shouldn't it look at what the best countries do?

Here is a recent example: Canada wants to improve its healthcare system, but in order to do so it must look towards the best systems available, not towards the failure south of the border. So they just completed the first ever Euro-Canada health care index, which compares Canada with 28 European countries, but not the US, which is particularly irrelevant in this area.
http://www.newsdesk.se/view/pr...umer-index-2008-190835
Well then, why don't you address the facts rather than the anecdotes then. For example, Canada's economy *is* more resource-dependent and less balanced/diversified than the United States. Tax rates are higher. The U.S. is controlling CO2 emissions better than Canada, despite not being a Kyoto signatory. Etc.

Stop being a Canada chauvanist and address the question fairly rather than badmouthing the author.
1) The Resource Based Economy point is true, to a very large extent
2) Tax Rates are higher, but not significantly
3) The US isn't "controlling" CO2 emissions, it has merely transferred them(unintentionally) through Outsourcing Industry. Canada's increase in CO2 Emissions is largely due to increased Production of Oil for the US Market.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
2) Tax Rates are higher, but not significantly
Yes they are. As an example, I make precisely twice in US dollars what I made in Canadian dollars back in 2001 and pay almost precisely the same percentage of my income into taxes, medical, etc. Now, I do have medical deductibles to pay when I see a doctor, but these are less than the vast difference in sales tax I pay (less than 10% vs GST's 15%) whenever I buy anything. And this is before the fact that I can deduct all of my mortgage interest at tax time. Taxes in the US are MUCH lower.
 

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,728
92
91
Thanks for a very interesting read.
I don't agree with the author, but that's ok, I can see where's he's coming from. I will say two things, though:

1) there's a lot of exaggeration in his article (re: strikes, medical aid);
2) funny how he slams immigration (which, in itself, is a reason for Canada having a very different model of "national identity") while being an immigrant himself. In other words, he's saying "Why are you going to the country I left?". This begs the answer: "Because I don't want to live in a country with people like you!"
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
126
Originally posted by: sandorski
Originally posted by: glenn1
Originally posted by: Martin
I honestly feel immensely sorry for anyone that thinks Steyn is "thought provoking". The formula him and his ilk use is to make provocative claims, elicit a strong emotional response (either for or against) and get more readership. No thought need ever enter either during the writing of reading phase.

This article is a pretty good example of that, nothing but trite little insults, grand but idiotic claims supported by tiny pieces of anecdote, highly selective and restrictive use of facts, and lots and lots of America-fluffing. *yawn*.


But on the issue of models, there's one thing Americans have quite understood yet (undoubtedly helped in large part by fluffers like Steyn, Frum, Coulter, etc) and that is that America is not a model for anybody on pretty much anything. If a person bothers to look any of the myriad of international rankings available (freedom of press, economic competitiveness, government transparency, social mobility, happiness, democracy, civil liberties, quality of life.. just to name a few) they'll discover the US doesn't actually come out ahead on any of them. And it makes sense - if a country wants to improve itself shouldn't it look at what the best countries do?

Here is a recent example: Canada wants to improve its healthcare system, but in order to do so it must look towards the best systems available, not towards the failure south of the border. So they just completed the first ever Euro-Canada health care index, which compares Canada with 28 European countries, but not the US, which is particularly irrelevant in this area.
http://www.newsdesk.se/view/pr...umer-index-2008-190835
Well then, why don't you address the facts rather than the anecdotes then. For example, Canada's economy *is* more resource-dependent and less balanced/diversified than the United States. Tax rates are higher. The U.S. is controlling CO2 emissions better than Canada, despite not being a Kyoto signatory. Etc.

Stop being a Canada chauvanist and address the question fairly rather than badmouthing the author.
1) The Resource Based Economy point is true, to a very large extent
2) Tax Rates are higher, but not significantly
3) The US isn't "controlling" CO2 emissions, it has merely transferred them(unintentionally) through Outsourcing Industry. Canada's increase in CO2 Emissions is largely due to increased Production of Oil for the US Market.
Point 3 is a bunch of hogwash. Our industrial output continues to increase every year. We automate more than we outsource. Our economy is magnitudes larger than it was in 1990. Yet our emissions havent gone up as drastic.

 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: CanOWorms
Originally posted by: silverpig

Try opening up a business and only putting spanish on everything in the US and see how far that gets you.
That is quite common.
Yeah, WTH is silverpig talking about?

Fern
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,553
5,805
126
Originally posted by: Genx87

Point 3 is a bunch of hogwash. Our industrial output continues to increase every year. We automate more than we outsource. Our economy is magnitudes larger than it was in 1990. Yet our emissions havent gone up as drastic.
1990 million tons carbon equivalent greenhouse emissions were: 6146.7
2006 million tons carbon equivalent greenhouse emissions were: 7075.6
an increase of 15.1% (the high was 2005, at 16.8% increase over 1990)

however, the ratio of carbon to GDP has gone down by 25% from 1990 levels. MTCO2e to M 2000 dollars has decreased from 864.2 in 1990 to 625.1 in 2006. the economy went from 7.1125 billion in 1990 to 11.3194 billion in 2006, using constant dollars (yr 2000 base).

OECD europe increased from 4,092 million metric tons CO2 in 1990 to 4,381 in 2004. a pretty small change. but here is why europe really likes 1990 as the base for kyoto and everything else: non-OECD europe, excluding russia (so basically eastern europe that is getting absorbed into the EU) decreased from 1,859 million metric tons CO2 in 1990 to 1,134 million metric tons CO2 in 2004. the EU has a huge head start on meeting any reductions with a 1990 base merely by updating all the soviet era crap that eastern europe had. western EU countries can outsource their pollution to eastern EU countries and comply easily.


in 2005, texas generated more than 11.5% of US CO2. for industrial emissions, texas generated 22.3% of US CO2. a lot of that is refineries. texas generates nearly 10% of emissions due to electric power use. a lot of that is summer cooling, i'm sure.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
Originally posted by: glenn1
Originally posted by: Martin
I honestly feel immensely sorry for anyone that thinks Steyn is "thought provoking". The formula him and his ilk use is to make provocative claims, elicit a strong emotional response (either for or against) and get more readership. No thought need ever enter either during the writing of reading phase.

This article is a pretty good example of that, nothing but trite little insults, grand but idiotic claims supported by tiny pieces of anecdote, highly selective and restrictive use of facts, and lots and lots of America-fluffing. *yawn*.


But on the issue of models, there's one thing Americans have quite understood yet (undoubtedly helped in large part by fluffers like Steyn, Frum, Coulter, etc) and that is that America is not a model for anybody on pretty much anything. If a person bothers to look any of the myriad of international rankings available (freedom of press, economic competitiveness, government transparency, social mobility, happiness, democracy, civil liberties, quality of life.. just to name a few) they'll discover the US doesn't actually come out ahead on any of them. And it makes sense - if a country wants to improve itself shouldn't it look at what the best countries do?

Here is a recent example: Canada wants to improve its healthcare system, but in order to do so it must look towards the best systems available, not towards the failure south of the border. So they just completed the first ever Euro-Canada health care index, which compares Canada with 28 European countries, but not the US, which is particularly irrelevant in this area.
http://www.newsdesk.se/view/pr...umer-index-2008-190835
Well then, why don't you address the facts rather than the anecdotes then. For example, Canada's economy *is* more resource-dependent and less balanced/diversified than the United States. Tax rates are higher. The U.S. is controlling CO2 emissions better than Canada, despite not being a Kyoto signatory. Etc.

Stop being a Canada chauvanist and address the question fairly rather than badmouthing the author.
This may come as a surprise to you, but Canada is capitalist. The resources play a large part of the economy because there's a ton of money to be made. Several of my friends went to Alberta after graduating, not because they actually wanted to be there (after all, For t McMurray is nothing but plants, trailers, prostitutes and crack dealers), but because they get paid very well.

High taxes and extensive social services are choice, or is that such a terribly hard concept to understand?

CO2 emissions? Yeah, we know..

You and Skoorb don't seem to be getting the larger point. If a B student wants to improve himself, he must look towards the A students and see what they're doing, not try to emulate a C student. So if Canada wants to improve its healthcare, it must looks towards countries like France, if it wants to have cleaner government, it must look towards Finland, if it wants to successfully reduce CO2 emissions it must look to the UK etc etc. As the US doesn't do very well on these international rankings, it really needn't figure anywhere in the discussion of improving the country.

Now, if Canada wanted to become a paranoid, hysterical, warmongering police state, I suppose the US would be a pretty good place to start looking.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Originally posted by: Martin
You and Skoorb don't seem to be getting the larger point.
Apparently neither do the other Canadians who settle in the US. I believe they outnumber Americans who go north at a rate of something like 10:1.

Like I said, some of these rankings are not accurate (some certainly are). To pretend that the US is not superior to Canada in at least some ways indicates to me that your stomach is bloated from Canuckistani koolaid, and if you're worried about a police state you better keep an eye on your human rights commissions. And if you're worried about hysteria, there's plenty there in Canada too (biphenol A comes to mind).

The fact is that Canada and the US are probably more similar than any other two countries in the entire West and it's interesting that so many Canadians are SO damn sure that they're different from Americans even though they listen to the same music, eat the same food, drive the same cars, watch the same TV, vacation in the same places, engage in the same sports, have similar overall goals in life. I dare say that if a person was looking to move and limit culture shock, if they moved from St. Catherine's, Canada to Buffalo, NY or vice versa, they'd hardly even know they crossed a border at all.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
Originally posted by: Skoorb
It'd be remarkable fun to see how badly your government could mess it up.
Haha

America is not a model for anybody on pretty much anything. If a person bothers to look any of the myriad of international rankings available (freedom of press, economic competitiveness, government transparency, social mobility, happiness, democracy, civil liberties, quality of life.. just to name a few) they'll discover the US doesn't actually come out ahead on any of them.
In some ways, Martin, this is a fault of the rankings, not the topic studied. I have yet to see any objective comparison on health care and using "infant mortality rates" as a simple number is missing the boat.

Some people "get" the US, some don't. It has massive numbers of people wanting to immigrate to it. And Steyn IS thought provoking. You may not like him--most Canadians are so obstinately liberal they cannot tolerate such a man--but he says things that most Canadians wouldn't think of. And don't forget, you being a case in point in fact, part of Canada's national identity is simply that it is not America. What does that say about Canada? I've lived there for most of my life. The number of times people mindlessly badmouth the US could not be counted.
If you think Steyn is anything approaching thought provoking, you really, really need to spend more time reading. Really, once you've read a few pieces by him and his fellow fluffers, it all starts to become very generic, interchangeable and terribly yawn-inducing. Much like PR people, pop stars and the authors of The Secret, these people far, far more concerned with appearances than results - a magnificent triumph of style over substance. When I was younger, I got caught in their bullshit, but thankfully I escaped over the years.

Let me give you an example - a favourite line of writing for the fluffers is how wonderful a place America is because it is so open, dynamic and full of opportunities. A land where one isn't limited by their birth, a place where bland social safety nets are traded for the chance to move freely through the social circles etc (see how easy it is to recite this generic crap?). Well, like I lot of people I used to believe that, until I saw actual data (link) that showed quite the opposite picture. So what's one to believe? The fluffers and their eloquent lies, or reality.

And your post illustrates this style-over-substance view very nicely too. Sure, people want to come to America... they also want to come to Canada, the EU etc. In fact, relative to its population Canada receives far, far more immigrants than the US.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Originally posted by: Martin
You and Skoorb don't seem to be getting the larger point.
Apparently neither do the other Canadians who settle in the US. I believe they outnumber Americans who go north at a rate of something like 10:1.

Like I said, some of these rankings are not accurate (some certainly are). To pretend that the US is not superior to Canada in at least some ways indicates to me that your stomach is bloated from Canuckistani koolaid, and if you're worried about a police state you better keep an eye on your human rights commissions. And if you're worried about hysteria, there's plenty there in Canada too (biphenol A comes to mind).

The fact is that Canada and the US are probably more similar than any other two countries in the entire West and it's interesting that so many Canadians are SO damn sure that they're different from Americans even though they listen to the same music, eat the same food, drive the same cars, watch the same TV, vacation in the same places, engage in the same sports, have similar overall goals in life. I dare say that if a person was looking to move and limit culture shock, if they moved from St. Catherine's, Canada to Buffalo, NY or vice versa, they'd hardly even know they crossed a border at all.
Lol, of course the rankings are wrong. How could they not be - they don't show USA #1!!! USA #1!!! USA #1!!! USA #1!!! USA #1!!! In fact, I suspect that anything that doesn't make the US #1 is written by baby-eating socialist terrorist lovers. La-la land is a pretty comfortable place from what I hear.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
Originally posted by: dennilfloss
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Once him and Ezra Levant are locked up we won't have to hear their crap anymore.

I stopped reading when he quoted The Fraser Institute.:D
Kinda funny - the only thing he used the FI and its good for nothing. Take a look at the one produced by the World Economic Forum and suddenly you can't draw the conclusions Steyn does.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...Competitiveness_Report
1 Switzerland
2 Finland
3 Sweden
4 Denmark
5 Singapore
6 United States
7 Japan
8 Germany
9 Netherlands
10 United Kingdom

But reality is so bothersome! Its so much easier writing generic, easily-consumable bullshit.
 

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