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Forum Post: Free Markets, Not Socialism, Has Enabled Canada To Surpass The U.S. In Wealth

Posted 5 years ago on July 21, 2012, 6:21 p.m. EST by Freebird (158)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Free Markets, Not Socialism, Has Enabled Canada To Surpass The U.S. In Wealth

Posted 07/18/2012 06:51 PM ET

Wealth: For the first time in history, a major nation — Canada — has surpassed the U.S. in household wealth. So much for Obama's hope and change. The lesson here is that free markets, not socialism, enabled Canada to soar.

To justify even bigger government, our president and his surrogates have told Americans lines such "deficits don't matter," "tax cuts have been tried and don't work" and "free markets have never worked." But Canada, our long-overlooked, and now richer, neighbor, is telling a different story.As of July 1, Canada surpassed the U.S. in net household worth. That's a sign of a nation that's been growing for a sustained period, boosting household wealth .

According to a study by Environics Analytics Wealthscapes published by The Globe & Mail, average Canadian household net worth in 2011 was $363,202, surpassing by $40,000 the $319,970 U.S. average.

Commentators from The Atlantic to Bloomberg News have rush to lay this success to Canada's socialism. That's nonsense. Canada was stagnant for years until it — like, say, Chile in Latin America, moved away from socialism toward free markets.

The U.S., on the other hand, is moving closer to socialism. And not surprising, it finds itself in roughly the same downwardly mobile position as, say, Argentina.

For one thing, Canada has embraced fiscal discipline. Its federal debt is around 35% of GDP compared to the U.S. at 100%. The deficit is 2% of GDP, not 10% as here. At June's G-20 meeting in Mexico, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told heads of state that economic growth and fiscal discipline "go hand in hand."

"We had budget surpluses and a low and falling debt burden when the crisis hit," Harper said. "It is one reason we have weathered the economic crisis so much better than many others."

But austerity isn't Canada's only story. Canada coupled smaller government with the idea of making the private sector bigger. In January, its slashed its corporate income tax rate to 15%, lowest in the G-7. The U.S. rate is 39.2%, the world's second-highest. That's helped Canadian companies create jobs and cut unemployment to 7.2% as the U.S. remains at 8.2%. Foreign direct investment has also surged, hitting a record $26 billion in 2011, fueling even more jobs and wealth.

Canada also opened itself to the world by enacting 11 free trade deals in the last decade. It has three more in the hopper, and is negotiating or exploring deals with 16 others. Among these are some of the world's biggest markets — the European Union, India, Japan and Ukraine, all of which the White House has shunned.

Canada's parliament cut regulations too. A "Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity" act, passed this year, reformed labor laws and pension costs, again enabling businesses — and household wealth — to grow.

Canada also has kept government meddling to a minimum. Unlike in the U.S., there's no Community Reinvestment Act to foist mortgages on people who can't afford them. That has kept the country out of crisis, while the U.S. housing crash slashed household wealth 30%.

Our northern neighbor also has leaders who recognize the global revolution in energy production and have decided to ride the wave, not fight it. Canada's total oil and natural gas output is soaring. In 2011, output hit 3.3 million barrels a day, but that's expected to double by 2030.

By contrast, the Obama administration is doing all it can to halt U.S. energy production, stopping the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, demonizing oil companies and putting much of federal lands off limits.

Canada's success is so obvious to the rest of the world that it's becoming a safe haven for investment. Its bonds are drawing buyers, and its currency, known as "the looney" is rising. Even tiny Iceland is thinking of adopting the Canadian dollar as its own currency.

The cumulative reality is that these policies translate into wealth for an entire country. Canadians are richer, bolder and face a brighter future because they have quietly abandoned socialism and embraced free markets and free enterprise. We obviously need to relearn the lesson our neighbors are teaching: When free markets are embraced, we all do well.




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[-] 5 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 5 years ago

Since you're holding up Canada as an example of economic success that we should follow, you obviously believe we should institute universal health care, just as Canada has.

Oh, yes, Canada also offers an universal child-care benefit, which pays parents $100 per month per child to offset child-care costs. Another program we should institute, don't you think?

semper stulti stultos sunt

[+] -4 points by Freebird (158) 5 years ago

Canada's "universal healthcare" is in big trouble and unsustainable in the long term, primarily due to demographics. The boomers are moving into retirement and there are not enough young people to keep the system going, without massive immigration and much higher taxes.

American socialists noticeably plug their ears when other problems with the system are mentioned too; waiting lists, inability to find a family doctor, having to be sent to the US for care that cannot be provided in Canada in a timely manner, etc. The politicians and wealthy go to the US rather than wait like the rest of us peons. As these realities become more dire, a lot of the system will get privatized - as it should be.

In fairness, the article fails to mention that Canada doesn't waste trillions on foreign intervention and policing the world, and we also don't take the war on drugs to the same extreme.

As far as the "universal child-care benefit" goes - where do you think that comes from? It's actually a tax credit, and this great generous gift from the government only comes after they steal your money in the first place and "give" a paltry portion of it back.

[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 5 years ago

The "universal child-care benefit" is what Canada calls it. The Canadian government does not call it a tax credit. Here is a direct quotation from the Canadian website: "The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) program issues a taxable $100 monthly payment to families for each child under the age of six to help cover the cost of child." If you have a problem with that take it up with the Canadian government.

I've also heard that Social Security and Medicare are in big trouble, but that's not what the actual figures show. In fact if all the money collected were used for only paying benefits to those who had paid in, and the income cap was removed on Social Security, both funds would be fine.

The only people who ever bring up problems in the successful socialized medical systems are opponents, and they stab at phantoms bringing up the flimsiest arguments. All civilized countries provide universal health care. The United States does not. That places it in a netherland of idiotic capitalism, which provides only for the well-to-do.

[-] -1 points by Freebird (158) 5 years ago

Titus, I pulled out the last "Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice" I have, from 2010. I'm Canadian and I "received" this generous "gift" from my rulers until each of my two kids turned 18. The last cheque (2010) was for $112.33. But guess what? If you made over $40,970 it was reduced by $50.57, leaving a whopping grand total of $61.86. In our “great” system, each year as my kids got older and more expensive, the "benefit" was reduced. The real insult is, they take TENS OF THOUSANDS originally in income tax and send you a little refund and try to propagandize you that this is some kind of gift.

The government has NO MONEY. They tax people. That's it. Canadians pay very high fed/prov income taxes and very high fed/prov sales taxes. Do Americans cross the border to shop in Canada? No they don't. Our currencies values are basically the same, but our cost of living here is much higher. Now, you will argue that Canadians don’t go bankrupt with medical expenses, and you don’t have to worry if you get sick. Yes, that is true. But we DO NOT GET OUR MONEY’S WORTH. Our pet’s will get an MRI scan faster than humans. Our system costs the average tax payer +/-$9000 per person, per year for our so-called FREE health care. And young people in general don’t get sick. We are paying for the older generation’s care. But there are not enough young people to pay for ours when we age. It’s a ponzie scheme and unsustainable. That is the point of the article I referenced. Canada is moving away from a completely socialized system and letting the free market do its job and it’s working.

My point is this. You think socialism is the path for America. But Canada is moving AWAY from that ideology, and that is why our quality of life is improving. You stated "All civilized countries provide universal health care." They are all going broke. Look at Europe – a complete disaster, and it’s only going to get worse. The USA’s problem is crony-capitalism. Government-corporate back scratching. Free markets work. Anyways, I’m pooped and gotta go to bed. Peace.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

many don't make $9000 a year in the US

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 5 years ago

First, you said it was a tax credit. Now you say it's not much. Here's the link to the website, which I had assumed you could find on your own: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/goc/universal_child_care.shtml

Please, notice, the first paragraph clearly states a payment of $100 per month will be made for each child under six. The site was last updated June 21, 2012. So, either you're giving me another dose of misinformation, the site is wrong, or you're distorting the facts. By now I don't know which, since you've already given me two different stories.

[-] -1 points by Freebird (158) 5 years ago

I'm only telling you what it fucking says on my receipts for the eighteen years that I received it. I don't give a shit what the web site says. It was called the Baby Bonus when I was a child. Maybe they changed it again. I really don't care. What's interesting is that you choose to focus on a $100 dollar tax redistribution and act like if only the US would do that everything would be fine. Ridiculous. Canada is backing away from the policies that have destroyed Europe and the "soak the rich" policies that OWS cries for. Read the article again and try to grasp the bigger picture.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 5 years ago

You certainly are hostile. You should be happy Canada provides medical coverage; treatment is available and, luckily, it won't be like in the USA, where most insurance companies don't cover psychiatric care.

[-] -1 points by Freebird (158) 5 years ago
  1. You insinuated I was lying. 2. Willful stupidity must be met with derision. 3. You don't want to comment about what this thread is about, you just want somebody to send you a cheque with "free money"!
[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 5 years ago

I certainly didn't mean to insinuate you were lying; I should have stated it clearly, since I gave you a direct quotation from the Canadian website, then even provided the link. I apologize for my oblique manner.

Oh, yes, by the way make out the check to Titus Moans. I'll take all the free dollars you have, even Canadian. I'm an equal-opportunity free-rider.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33489) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago


Whats that signify - your middle finger?

[-] 1 points by Freebird (158) 5 years ago

Lol. Never thought of it that way!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

the policy is provide for the people

[-] -1 points by salta (-1104) 5 years ago

dont confuse the libs/dems with facts


[-] 2 points by April (3196) 5 years ago

First off, I've personally never heard Pres. Obama or 'his surrogates' say 'deficits don't matter'. Maybe I missed it. Enlighten me. I think that line was made famous by the Reagan administration to justify their massive amounts of military spending without paying for it.

'Tax cuts have been tried and don't work' - this is correct.

'Free markets have never worked' - define what you mean by 'free market'. You mean like repeal the Fair Labor Standards Act and put our children to work as wage slaves to compete with China?

'Canada surpassed the U.S. in net household worth' - not surprising. Their banks aren't full of criminal greed and didn't destroy their economy.

'The U.S. rate is 39.2%, the world's second-highest' - nonsense. The average effective corp tax rate is around 20%. On a weighted average basis, the US is in line with other OECD nations and even the top 15 largest economies.

Canada's 'free trade deals' - talk to me in about 10 or 30 years and let's see how that's working out for them.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 5 years ago

Like ALL countries Canada has a mixed economy, it has many socialist elements and many capitalist ones; Universal Health Care is one some would call 'socialist', however it is a huge help to all the capitalist industries that have a healthy workforce showing up for their jobs. You see, these mixes work together, not in opposition. The idea of a 'pure' capitalist or socialist system is a silly joke of a concept.

The reason Canada is doing better is that they did not deregulate the banking system, keeping in place the separation of commercial and investment banking and regulations on speculative derivative investing and such,. not the Clinton/Greenspan deregulation of the whole money system, that directly led to the 2008 crash.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 5 years ago

Might want to look at effective rates. Loop holes with loop holes. Their cumulative rates have been higher than ours when including province taxes up to 17%. Compare effective rates (actually paid). The problem is NOT taxation rates, apparent or effective rates. The income and wealth disparity is a function of corruption. There is no question we have more of that and it has been effective in keeping incomes for the bottom two quartiles flat while the top 1% has gone through the roof.This is the old misdirection play. Ain't gonna work this time. The numbers (and the cat) are out of the bag. Libor, subprime, robosigning, fraud in many guises AAA ratings, CDS's, gouging fees, student loads high rates with no risk, let me count the ways. All invented here. Financial innovation.

We clearly have the lead in corruption but we are willing to give it up. To Canada, Europe, Russia, China, Africa anyone want it? Come on, anyone?

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

wealth is based on property

[-] -1 points by vvv0721 (-290) 5 years ago

ignorance is based on lack of knowledge

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

bombing is an area effect attack

[-] 4 points by brightonsage (4494) 5 years ago

A Rolling Stone has some good articles.


[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33489) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Unless for use in 1st aid in an outdoors emergency.

Or perhaps to use as tinder if it is dead and dry.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 5 years ago

Welcome back dog, you were missed.


[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 5 years ago

Canada has some good policies, some bad. You say some things that are true, some aren't.

Clearly some of the problems the US and Canada have are the same.

So one policy at a time, the whole spectrum should be assessed and adjusted. The many in the US believe we are unique, therefore we can learn nothing from the experience of others and must craft unique solutions. History would show that these experiments have often failed and that we ignored what has been successful for others.

Our arrogance is unique in its magnitude, perhaps, but others aren't immune either.

Everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler, Einstein said, but he didn't have everything right. Getting the right answers requires effort, but perhaps not emigration.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 5 years ago

well said. our government has sold us out to bankers.

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 5 years ago

socialism it`s free market you idiot

[-] 1 points by nazihunter (215) 5 years ago

Excellent! I like cold weather. Global Warming hasn't trashed it yet I hope. Do their Free Markets have all the Fraud, Theft and Corruption of ours? No, they couldn't, or there might be a need for regulation. I'm glad your're saying this, most conservatives I've spoken to speak very negative of Canada. You'd better tell THEM it's not socialist.

[-] 1 points by Freebird (158) 5 years ago

I'm not a conservative, I'm a libertarian. Canadian politicians are as corrupt as the rest of them, but their greed is tempered by the fact that we do not have the world's reserve currency or the money printing press (the Federal Reserve). Yes, our politicians are corrupt, but they're not stupid - they "shear" the sheep - American politicians "slaughter" them.

[-] 1 points by nazihunter (215) 5 years ago

I'd prefer a haircut to the meat grinder. But, corruption leads to stupidity. Ours, in this author's opine, are outright insane, and they're getting away with it. Not one arrest in the banking scam. Whatever works is the way to go. But r u sure there are no environmental, insider knowledge, inter-industry co-ops,(far, far away from "competition" and "free markets"), regulations in Canada? Plotting and scheming against their own consumers and using the law to back them up. How shameful is that? This is the Wild, Wild, West. If you see Artimus Gordon, send him home.

[-] 1 points by Freebird (158) 5 years ago

Did u ever see the movie Goodfellas? There is a great scene when the mob takes over a restaurant and then proceed to rob it blind and finally burn it to the ground. If you look at the government like the mob, it all makes sense. The final nail is when the citizenry is corrupted... When everyone wants something for nothing or when basic survival means you're breaking some kind of law or regulation everywhere you turn... Well, it's pretty close to collapse. Time for a reset and a moral accounting.

As far as plotters and schemers? I'm sure they are well represented here too. Canadians love the natural beauty here, but they also love the prosperity that natural resources bring. Environmental extremists don't get a lot of respect. There is a balance that can be achieved, particularly when the gov can be prevented from playing favorites to one side or the other.

[-] 1 points by nazihunter (215) 5 years ago

Loved 'Goodfellsas.' Good analogy! LIke 'we're the good guys! Can you mince words into total ignorance in other languages like we can with English?