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Ayn Rand would be crying right now if she weren't dead and/or a sociopath. The Neoliberal experiment America started in the 1980s has now yielded results, and they are poor.

From Bloomberg View's Hardheaded Socialism Makes Canada Richer Than US:

On July 1, Canada Day, Canadians awoke to a startling, if pleasant, piece of news: For the first time in recent history, the average Canadian is richer than the average American.

According to data from Environics Analytics WealthScapes published in the Globe and Mail, the net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, while the average American household’s net worth was $319,970.

A few days later, Canada and the U.S. both released the latest job figures. Canada’s unemployment rate fell, again, to 7.2 percent, and America’s was a stagnant 8.2 percent. Canada continues to thrive while the U.S. struggles to find its way out of an intractable economic crisis and a political sine curve of hope and despair.

But it gets worse!

Canada's Socialist Healthcare System (and that's actual socialism not Obamacare) has proven superior to America's insurance industry cartel system.

From Reuters:

Canadians live about three years longer and are healthier than Americans, and the lack of universal healthcare in the United States may be a factor...

A healthy 19-year-old Canadian can expect to have 52 more years of perfect health versus 49.3 more years for Americans.

Canadians have a universal healthcare service, which is free at the point of care, whereas Americans' access to health insurance is usually based on employment, income through Medicaid, or age through Medicare, and not universal, according to the study.

If it is any consolation US insurance companies make more money.

But Canadians don't have the American Dream! They don't have the opportunities to work hard and get ahead, to have it better than their parents had it. To move from one socioeconomic position to another...

From Sutton Trust & Carnegie Corporation UK and US much less socially mobile than Australia and Canada:

Children from poorer families in Australia and Canada have a much greater chance of doing well at school, getting into university and earning more in later in life than children in the United States and the United Kingdom...

The latest international research findings, compiled for a two-day summit on social mobility in London organised by the Sutton Trust and Carnegie Corporation of New York, are the first to compare and contrast education and social mobility levels in the four major English-speaking countries. Many of the key findings are based on a new book Parents to Children published to coincide with the summit by the US-based Russell Sage Foundation.

Australia and Canada are around twice as mobile as the UK and US, according to the analysis produced for the summit by Professor Miles Corak from the University of Ottawa, one of the world’s leading experts on mobility.

Hmmmm well, you know America is still awesome and stuff, uh, freedom. Hot Dogs... bedazzle.

From New York Times:

Benjamin Franklin did it. Henry Ford did it. And American life is built on the faith that others can do it, too: rise from humble origins to economic heights. “Movin’ on up,” George Jefferson-style, is not only a sitcom song but a civil religion.

But many researchers have reached a conclusion that turns conventional wisdom on its head: Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe. The mobility gap has been widely discussed in academic circles, but a sour season of mass unemployment and street protests has moved the discussion toward center stage...

At least five large studies in recent years have found the United States to be less mobile than comparable nations. A project led by Markus Jantti, an economist at a Swedish university, found that 42 percent of American men raised in the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. That shows a level of persistent disadvantage much higher than in Denmark (25 percent) and Britain (30 percent) — a country famous for its class constraints...

In 2006 Professor Corak reviewed more than 50 studies of nine countries. He ranked Canada, Norway, Finland and Denmark as the most mobile, with the United States and Britain roughly tied at the other extreme. Sweden, Germany, and France were scattered across the middle.

Interesting. It is almost like anywhere people let Banksters run amok they have a lot of inequality and social rigidity.

So did Socialism win? Calling Canada socialist is not derogatory especially concerning its healthcare policies. Which begs the question - if socialism leads to better outcomes in wealth, health, and opportunity why shouldn't Americans adopt it? Riddle me that teabaggers.

Now I will engage in one activity America surely leads the world in - preemptive strikes!

Progressives want to improve America not move to Canada (side note: it's really hard to emigrate to Canada) so the point is not to drag America down but adopt policies that can lift it up. If a country is doing better than us in some areas we should understand why and make changes

Originally posted to DSWright on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (145+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, jessical, Shawn Russell, Horace Boothroyd III, Susan from 29, luckydog, Frank In WA, atana, OleHippieChick, hungrycoyote, delilah 52, Libby Shaw, marking time, Crashing Vor, Russgirl, Mentatmark, Justina, cotterperson, Andrew F Cockburn, Bob Duck, Tyler R, cassandracarolina, ParkRanger, Sylv, LeftOverAmerica, splashy, vahana, llywrch, Killer of Sacred Cows, NBBooks, ozsea1, mumtaznepal, fixxit, zackamac, gsbadj, CTLiberal, commonmass, cordgrass, Funkygal, TheGreatLeapForward, gulfgal98, Diana in NoVa, JimWilson, bookwoman, SneakySnu, Old Jay, Iberian, Jlukes, Mistral Wind, Williston Barrett, Clyde the Cat, kyril, WiseFerret, Flying Goat, mofembot, eeff, MartyM, blueoasis, xanthippe2, Rogneid, US Blues, Dbug, kurious, Joe Bacon, MarciaJ720, opinionated, emal, Jim R, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, RMliberal, ask, Nulwee, Robynhood too, fiddlingnero, TracieLynn, nomandates, Haningchadus14, statsone, Quicklund, Catesby, Gary Norton, gramofsam1, OhioNatureMom, leonard145b, MA Mom, countwebb, tomephil, Steven D, a2nite, AllanTBG, Leftcandid, No one gets out alive, juliesie, little lion, Only Needs a Beat, 1Nic Ven, cybersaur, Alise, Matt Z, BachFan, Lupin, pfiore8, Lefty Ladig, jennylind, Bear, bnasley, slowbutsure, VTCC73, Freakinout daily, glbTVET, Unbozo, Lost Left Coaster, Dumbo, cyncynical, armadillo, Panacea Paola, shaharazade, sofia, wayoutinthestix, RebeccaG, isabelle hayes, jedennis, Pluto, Wino, Mr Robert, ridemybike, greengemini, NM Ray, MKSinSA, MJ via Chicago, deha, pioneer111, Grandma Susie, uciguy30, cpresley, the good witch, rlharry, breakingranks, leevank, Jujuree, Randtntx, Shockwave, Habitat Vic, indres, 207wickedgood
  •  The article points the finger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, kyril

    at both the U.S. Left and right.

  •  I was born and raised in Canada and (37+ / 0-)

    I am very happy to see that my former home is doing well.

    Through the influence of the New Democratic Party and great leaders like Tommy Douglas, Canada is more accurately described as a hybrid economy with a very strong private sector but with government playing a huge role in health care, education and retirement benefits.

    So I would be hard pressed to call Canada a socialist country but it does have a socialized healthcare system that seems to deliver a better level of care at a lower cost.

    It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time. - Thich Nhat Hanh.

    by Frank In WA on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:41:22 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I'm also smacking RW which labels (20+ / 0-)

      Canada and Europe as "Socialist" obviously they aren't Socialist as in USSR - but the point being if conservatives want to keep claiming they are Socialist... well Socialism is doing pretty well isn't it!

      •  I call myself conservative and I'm a registered (15+ / 0-)

        Republican.  I support(ed) low taxation and small government interference in the free market because that is the most likely form of government that will lead to greater wealth, more social mobility and a healthier and happier populace.

        The evidence seems to be contradicting my thesis and therefore needs to be re-thought.  But it is not easy to acknowledge that on such important topics that I "knew" I was right that I was indeed wrong.  But the harsh light of fallibility and imperfection is preferred over the smug, darkness of ignorance self-imposed by theoretical and ideological dogma.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:51:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Classic conservatism is not the problem (16+ / 0-)

          Classic conservatism aims to minimize government but that is a tertiary priority after one: doing what is effective and two: doing that which is lest expensive. Since the days of Nixon that message has been co-opted by the radicals to a single item: minimize government. That isn't "conservatism", that is fanaticism.

          Under classic conservatism life's basic needs are addressed effectively. Then the most efficient system is sought  so the needed quality can be delivered at the lowest price. A true conservative will support a government program if such a system delivers the quality most efficiently. At this point in time, when the nation's needs are being met and cost is under control, only then does the classic conservative oppose government expansion as a point of principle.

          Conservatism in America is functionally dead. It has been replaced by propaganda designed to support plutocracy. The American government has been transformed into an engine which pumps money from the general public into the coffers of a very small sliver of the population.

          What is called conservatism to day has no resemblance to the genuine article. Dong what time has proven to work best is right down a conservative's alley. And in the matter of health care, time has proven that universal access works best and is the cheapest.

          May America's true Conservatives have this epiphany and unite with her Liberals against the plutocratic cancer eating away at our great nation.

        •  It's complex. (8+ / 0-)

          The countries that have had the most consistent record over the last century or so of rapid change have been the ones where political debate over economic policy is dominated by a pragmatic approach that acknowledges the complexity of the real world. No single ideological model - capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism - captures all of the complexities of real-world economic interactions, although of course some have failed more spectacularly than others when applied in isolation.

          Beginning from the capitalist perspective:

          - Broad freedom in economic interactions seems to be the best way to encourage economic growth in good times. The free market is quite good at increasing total wealth.

          - The free market, however, requires certain conditions to operate effectively. It's generally understood by conservatives that security (both national security and personal security) is one of those conditions; however, there are a number of others that are at least equally important.

          A key point is that market models operate under the explicit assumption of perfect information. However, the market itself is rather bad at providing that information; in a "tragedy of the commons"/game theory paradox, while everyone would benefit more if information were openly shared, individual actors can gain advantages from secrecy, as we see in the LIBOR scandal.

          But there are also other hidden assumptions of free-market models. Ability to interpret information, ability to weigh that information impartially, ability to act on the result - all of these are limited by actual human biology and are not distributed equally through the population. Market models also assume a physical infrastructure thet permits reliable transportation of goods and people.

          The result is that while the market is good at increasing total wealth (given sufficient regulation that the wealthiest actors at least have good information), it doesn't do as well as the models predict, and it does a terrible job of distributing the wealth, especially to those who begin with lower levels of economic power.

          - More equal distributions of wealth are closely correlated with security and social stability. More unequal distributions are correlated with social unrest, crime, and upheaval.

          - In addition, unequal distributions of wealth reduce the efficiency of a market, because poverty restricts the ability of humans to make rational economic decisions. In particular, lack of access to medical care, education, housing, or food impairs people's ability to behave as rational market actors.

          - Unequal distribution of wealth has a further negative impact in that the marginal value of a dollar to the economy is much higher in the hands of a lower-income actor. It has more value to the initial spender (in terms of improving quality of life) and is spent more times.

          - Thus, without invoking any ideological or ethical arguments, it becomes clear that the market taken as a whole stands to gain from creating the preconditions needed for it to operate at maximum efficiency: transparency, infrastructure, an educated population, good health care, and a distribution of wealth that minimizes the type of poverty that restricts individual freedom of economic action.

          - But individual economic actors have an incentive not to invest in creating those preconditions, because they can gain an advantage over their competitors by keeping their money. Thus, as game theory predicts, the free market itself is extremely bad at creating the conditions it itself needs to operate efficiently.

          - A solution is for market actors to come together and compel each other to invest, to operate transparently, and to conform with other necessary behaviours. That, in essence, is what government and taxes are for from a purely economic perspective.

          - The ideal level of tax and regulation, from an economic perspective, is the one that produces the highest stable, sustainable level of growth.

          - Very low levels of tax and regulation create a volatile, unstable economic environment that prevents long-term growth - you get a bubble-and-bust pattern as was seen in the 19th/early 20th centuries and as is emerging again in the late 20th/early 21st century.

          - It would seem obvious that excessively high levels would stifle the ability of the market to operate, forcing the government to step in and provide products and services that it's not well-structured to provide.

          - However, an economic model cannot predict the ideal tax level, because taxes are specifically collected and spent to establish the preconditions that the models already assume are in place. We need to use real-world data from other disciplines to figure out what actually works.

          - So far, after a number of experiments across a large number of economies including a century of experimentation in the US, it seems that what actually works best is a moderate overall tax rate with a steeply progressive structure (again, taking into account the higher marginal economic value of money in the hands of low-income people) and a fairly strict regulatory structure particularly in the banking sector. Thus, a number of socialist ideas have a place in supporting capitalism.

          Unfortunately, individual actors have an incentive to fight that structure (game theory again). The wealthiest actors stand to gain a significant economic advantage in the short term from lower, flatter tax rates and deregulation. They also have the greatest ability to present their case to the public. So we get inundated with propaganda that makes it difficult to recognize what actually works best for growing the economy. Socialist-inspired structures applied in support of capitalism are conflated with socialist or even fascist or communist ideologies.

          The countries that have been most resilient and economically-stable through the last few decades are the ones that have managed to keep the conversation pragmatic rather than ideological and keep the focus on the overall health of the economy. Part of that is cultural - Canadians and Scandinavians tend to value civility and collective well-being - while part is legal (some countries are more able to restrict the influence of money on politics than others).

          If you keep your reasoning pragmatic, by the way, you can arrive at basically the same economic structure beginning from a socialist ideological perspective, which is what many liberals do. The two lines of reasoning tend to converge on a mixed approach when confronted with the data, which is why the Democratic Party contains both Eisenhower Republicans and 1960s hippies pushing basically the same economic policy.

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:20:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  how many of us can you sponsor for citizenship? (8+ / 0-)

      I'm only half-joking; there doesn't seem to be any other way other than pretty much buying citizenship for $400K.  Good luck getting residency without a job and good luck getting one if you don't already live there.

      Canada is more accurately described as a hybrid economy with a very strong private sector but with government playing a huge role in health care, education and retirement benefits.
      This is the same system that the Nordic counties - Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark - use to great effect; it's even called the "Nordic model".

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People can take risks in a socialist society (3+ / 0-)

      I could start a business but we need the corporate sponsored health insurance to survive.

      more like me out there...

  •  Canadians are able to get away with (4+ / 0-)

    having a tiny defense budget because they rely on us for protection. Defense of North America is a very expensive endeavor for us, and yet we bear it mostly ourselves. Perhaps there will be a more equitable split someday.

  •  Check out this related diary from earlier today. (10+ / 0-)


    "Average" income or wealth is not the most useful statistic, "median" is. And we are doing very badly in median wealth.

  •  UK also has socialized healthcare but their (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, Nulwee

    economic mobility is no better than in US. So that by itself is clearly not enough.

  •  The Canadian banks are healthier too... (9+ / 0-)

    because of that silly socialist regulation.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:06:52 PM PDT

  •  not for long. (14+ / 0-)

    I live in Canada, and things are going downhill fast.

    Really fast.

    See, we have a conservative govt, a franchise of the GOP.
    The Harpercrites deregulated banking, and then scrambled when the fit hit the shan to backtrack. They are working on healthcare and Social Security. Raising the retirement age, etc.


    Anything that is still left, will not be here long.


    Fuddle Duddle--- Pierre Trudeau.... Canadian politics at......A Creative Revolution

    by pale cold on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:33:25 PM PDT

    •  Yes, of particular concern (4+ / 0-)

      is Canada's increasing lack of concern for environmental issues on both the federal and provincial level.  I would say at least for the time being environmental protection seems a bit stronger in the US

      Some of the things that both Harper and the Alberta government are pulling regarding the tar sands would not  be allowed even in the US (5 years from now that probably will have changed for the worse here).

      A particular concern of mine is the lack of a strong Canadian version of the US's Endangered Species Act which seems relatively toothless at the Canadian federal level.  For example, grizzly bears are rapidly becoming endangered in Alberta which has done little to protect them, whereas in Montana they are flourishing--for the time being.

  •  Let me tell a brief story. (15+ / 0-)

    Four years ago I fell in love with a Finn after we met in Germany and backpacked through Austria and Italy.

    She came to visit me the next summer (after a brief visit for Christmas as well). When counting the days of her visit, she thought she'd be right under the 90 visa-free period. Turns out she counted wrong and had to change her flights to be within the 90 days.

    Then, even though her English is quite good (even better now), she made a mistake on one of the forms we force people to fill out even though the EU doesn't make you do anything of the sort- saying she wanted to volunteer.

    Her passport was flagged and she was pulled aside in Miami. The airport authorities wouldn't tell me she had arrived or any information about her. Four hours later she emerges in tears: our immigration agents accused her of wanting to "illegally move to America to take our welfare." They even went to the length of making fun of her over being a vegetarian. Four hours of being treated like shit- having to sit in one position and not move. Four hours of humiliation. Eventually they let her go. Wanting to take our welfare. I'd be surprised if they knew anything at all about Finland, because....

    Fast forward to June 2012. I arrive in Helsinki-Vantaa airport without a visa or even a return ticket. The passport control asks what the Schengen countries always seem to ask: "May I see your passport." Sure, I pass it over. A quick shuffle through, he asks "What brings you to Finland?" I say, "I'm getting married on the twelfth of July." No change in his face or tone: "Where are you going?" "Here, Helsinki."

    "OK" says the agent and he stamps my passport.

    No visa. No return ticket. And I just admit that I'm going to be marrying someone. And this is a country with some of the most generous welfare benefits anywhere on Earth! I  admit to them I'm going to be immigrating to their country and they let me in with no paperwork!

    Yesterday we went to the police station- they handle residency permits- to file my application. On time, we are called back. We turn over the application and the young man (not wearing a uniform of any kind, just casual- maybe its a Friday thing) nods along while reading. He then says- everything is here except one thing: we need some kind of proof that he is living at this address. At this point, we wonder, how can I get such a thing when I'm technically a tourist! No problem, he says, just ask for a letter from the student housing saying he resides there.

    And what if the refuse? Just write one yourself. All we need is a paper.

    Once my back ground check is completed, I'll have a residency permit by the end of October- possibly by my birthday in September. Yes, all this was possible because of marriage. But just think of the financial cost and the time it takes to bring your spouse to the States- and then compare the "benefits" that comes with being a member of society in either country.

    And who has the audacity to scream "I'm the greatest f** here! Ahahaha!" all the damn time....

    A Victory Garden documents my family's experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles. A new blog following my life as an immigrant in Finland will be up soon.

    by FinchJ on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:59:42 AM PDT

    •  The immigration people are THAT stupid? (0+ / 0-)

      Holy cow we are in trouble!

      What arrogance, what ignorance.

      I do know people who had bad experiences with immigration and won't travel to the US again.  It is looking like a pattern.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:01:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Being eclipsed causes nationalism and much worse (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, Nulwee, ozsea1, Shockwave

    Germany was eclipsed during the 1930's by the powers that it previously denigrated.  Nazism resulted from this stew of resentment.  Let's remember, "ignorance is strength" (in the short term), and nations--and people-- who feel their positions threatened, many times,  do not act rationally but double down on their bad behavior.

    If we consider the plummet as to our position in the world and regard by other nations since the Iraq debacle--and the resulting American political/societal turmoil--we cannot but come to the conclusion that we are following a familiar pattern.

    Peace to all for as long as they can keep it.

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:21:24 AM PDT

  •  Why does the GOP hate America? (6+ / 0-)

    Seriously: if you love this country, you try to improve it. You try to make life better for real people, not corporate "persons". American exceptionalism is killing this country. It's preventing us from asking the important questions and working together to find solutions, preventing us from looking at more successful, progressive, modern models to seek those solutions.

    America, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

    My last fortune cookie was a The Nephew sockpuppet.

    by commonmass on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 03:58:54 AM PDT

    •  "We" don't hate America (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      squarewheel, Shockwave

      We love America.  And "we" "know" that conservatism defends freedom and socialism destroys freedom.  And freedom is a God given right that He gave to all people born in these here united states and is something that all people yearn for.  Anyway, when "we" "know" the answers the questions are not all that important, are they?

      Here's the other thing I would say.  I'm 41 and have been calling myself a conservative all my adult life.  My first political memory was the Iran Hostage crisis and the Cold War shaped a lot of how I viewed the world.  In that fight there is no doubt that the US system was better than the USSR system.  So "we" were right from one perspective.

      But we have lost all ability at nuance.  To too many conservatives we can't identify the difference between communism and socialism.  In our world view, there is America the free and the struggling and failed socialism of Europe.  We can cite Spain, Greece, and Portugal to show the failure of socialism.  But we haven't the faintest idea of the differences between Spain and Norway, or between Germany and Canada or between Finland and the UK.

      Without this nuance we are stuck with supporting our conservative beliefs that this is the best country that God ever gave man.

      My one piece of advice would be to understand conservatives and attempt to learn to speak our language so that we can understand the nuances.  Without that we are doomed and "my" conservative brethren can make the switch on their own.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:56:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't get a lot of nuance from the conservatives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        at work.

        i get A LOT of free market will solve every single problem ever, and if it doesn't, it's because it wasn't done right.

        and that's every single on of them.

        not a an iota of nuance in the bunch.

        also too, they think it's ok to leave the old people to die without healthcare.  after all it's their own damn fault they didn't work hard to provide for their retirement, so why should I help ?

        sociopaths, the lot of them.

        I hope you're not.

        big badda boom : GRB 080913

        by squarewheel on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:11:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fair Enough (0+ / 0-)

        my political thought was also forged in the cold war era.  And I too thought that America was the greatest country God had given man.  Then I moved to Germany were the world is nuance. Germans at that time thought of themselves as European.  The rest of europe thought of them as Germans.  And as I got used to coming FROM a country that was at the center of some of mans darkest history, my politics began to change rather drastically.  For me, God does not give mankind countries, they are of his own making.  God gives mankind meaning, and this can be realized anywhere.  The U.S. has many wonderful people that embrace this meaning, and many that do not.  It has nothing to do with the country's greatness. And the U.S. has been fortunate in many ways, but this seems to have always involved misfortune on the parts of others - blacks, american indian, wars not fought on U.S. soils.  These were not gifts from the God I know.  Freedoms that are touted in the U.S. are frequently freedoms that one segment of the population enjoys while denying them to others in the population.  This is not why God gave such freedoms.  So to my mind, it is nonsensical to describe a country as the greatest or the worst.  We can talk about outcomes for a population, wealth accumulation and happiness, but these things are connected to our history and many come at a terrible cost to others.

        So I agree with your thesis, nuance is important.  There is always more to the story.  Maybe so much, that we should begin to think of one another as more than a label such as "country."

      •  I think it would be better if conservatives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        learn to speak the language of reality. I know how to speak your language, I just really don't feel comfortable talking down to people. ;)

        My last fortune cookie was a The Nephew sockpuppet.

        by commonmass on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:37:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You don't belong in the GOP (0+ / 0-)

        I was there too. I did support Reagan and some California GOP candidates in the 80s and 90s.

        I really started drifting away with the growing influence of people like Gingrich and Limbaugh in the mid 90s and their unnecessary viciousness during the Lewinsky scandal

        I participated in the McCain primaries campaign in 2000 because I could not believe the GOP would pick someone as bad as W.

        During the buildup to the Iraq invasion I corresponded with some Republicans (then) like Arianna Huffington and some ex-Republicans like Jim Webb and realized that the GOP had succumbed to the neo-cons (neo-conservative BTW) led by Dick Cheney.

        Soon after I found out about the unholy alliance between the Dominionist Christian fundamentalists, neo-cons and Ayn Rand admirers and decided that I would be better off as a Democrat.  

        I never called myself a conservative.  Conserve what? We need to improve.  Everything. The more I opened the hood of the political system the better I felt about my desicion.

        Now the GOP is going in directions that will destroy America.  Destroy its economy, destroy its social fabric, destroy its standing in the world and bring about a plutocratic neo-feudalism with elements of theocracy.

        Come on over, it's safe.  Let's be pragmatic and rebuild the American dream.  Leave these political mutants behind and help us all.

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:30:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm definitely coming over (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          While I don't prescribe to many of the solutions that are offered by Dems they at least recognize the problems and offer some sort of action to remedy the problems.   My side is stuck with offering the same solutions that were presented in the mid-80's and are wholly inadequate to what we face now.

          With that said, as a conservative Republican, I am pretty darn near supporting single payer.  I would also favor ending prohibition, raising taxes and strengthening the safety net while requiring community service for nearly all forms of government support.

          But it must be admitted that these are pretty much minority views.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:47:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Spain, Greece and Portugal (0+ / 0-)

        aren't even failures of socialism.

        These are the three most right-wing fascist countries in Europe. All three had long time right-wing movements and gov'ts, dictatorships, until the mid 1970s.

        It's not like those people and their children ever went away. They run the military, the police forces, the shadow state, they are the oligarchs and kleptocrats.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:32:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They hate Americans unless they are only the 1% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:06:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder about income inequality comparisons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    across the Canadian society relative to ours. Yes they have an average wealth per citizen that is higher, but surely the standard deviation must be much smaller as well. Or so I might guess. We always hear about the striking difference here between the 1% and the 99%. What about there? And other nations as per the studies in question? It would seem germane to ask and might strengthen the argument at hand.

    The man who moves a mountain begins by moving away small stones. -Confucius

    by Malachite on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:31:01 AM PDT

    •  Pretty sure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Malachite, mmacdDE, Nulwee

      I am pretty sure that there is less income inequality. For one the social safety net pretty much ensures the low end get money on a regular basis. There are child tax credits, sales tax credits etc that are paid monthly to those at the lower end of the scale and usually don't end until family income is above about 45-50K.

      Funding for schools is relatively equal, at least in Ontario. Schools are funded a set amount per student, so it does not matter if you live in a rich or poor are, the school gets funded equally. In addition a lot of money goes to special ed, and much less to elite programs.

      Universities too are more equal. There is far less of a difference between a top Canadian university and a bottom one. The best US schools are superior to the best Canadian ones, but the average Canadian school is (according to people I have talked to) far better.

      This is all to say that policies in place help to construct a society with less inequality. If everyone has relatively equal access to education early on this helps a lot because otherwise you will never fix problems created early on. The inequality just grows and grows.

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - JFK

      by taonow on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:30:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For that, you want the Gini Coefficient (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSWright, taonow, BradyB, Mr Robert

        The calculation determines how much the income distribution in a country is skewed. A Gini Coefficient of 0 indicates perfect equality (everyone has the same income) while a coefficient of 1 indicates perfect inequality (one person has all the income and no one else has any).

        So, basically, the higher the coefficient, the greater the inequality in income distribution.

        Based on 2009 numbers, Sweden led the pack with a coefficient less than 0.25. Following up with results in the 0.25 to 0.29 range were the other Scandinavian countries, Germany, and a swath of nations in Central Europe. In the 0.30 to 0.34 range is most of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, South Korea, and some others.

        The US comes in at the 0.45 to 0.49 range, with countries like Argentina, Venezuela, China, and Uganda.

        Now, this is obviously a crude measure: someone with low income in the US is probably still better off than someone with low income in Uganda so the number itself doesn't tell you everything, but the fact that the US is much higher than any of its peers in the western democracies does indicate something.

        In fact, you know those countries where American popular fiction has created the impression of wealthy (and often corrupt) people in their mansions lording it over the poor common folk living in their hovels in the countryside or the ghettos? You know, places like Russia, where the fall of communism meant rich corrupt oligarchs took over? Or places like India where the rich party it up with Bollywood stars while the huddled masses struggle to live? Yeah...they rank better than the US.

      •  Income inequality in Canada is growing at a (0+ / 0-)

        faster pace than most countries. Comes with the teritory, living next to the USA, that is.

        "...stories of past courage can define that ingredient..... But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul." JFK Profiles in Courage

        by ontario on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 03:36:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This makes me feel great (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This makes me feel great
    And this makes most of us feel great (trolls excluded), but how do we convince others that this data IS REAL and moving our country to a model more like the Canadians is GOOD?  Many folks I work with (Minnesota Fortune <54 HQ) that need to know information this WILL NOT LISTEN.  I bring up LIBOR, they mention “but both R and D congresspeople took sweetheart mortgage deals”, I mention “I WANT people making my food to have healthcare”, they say “healthcare rationing, you’ll lose your access to doctors”, I mention federal taxes are the lowest they’ve ever been, they absolutely can’t believe it (even after providing proof).  They are so full of Fox-provided false equivalencies and cock-sure confidence, that there is NO WAY to influence them.  
    I guess we raise a generation of progressives (my three kids are), and wait for the backwards Rs to grow old and die.  With government provided healthcare.
    For a good look into a part of the false information mill of the right, go to
    A few years back, someone on DKOS did an analysis comparing the number and percentage of false stories circulating on the intertubes about President Obama versus those of President Bush.  Updating those numbers as of this morning (fast and dirty), in less than four years as president, about 100 of 120 emails/stories circulating about President Obama were “false” or had ”multiple truth values””.  In eight years as president, Bush’s tally is about 21 of 28.  
    Or maybe our leaders will get some balls and attack these falsehoods publicly and repeatedly head on.  I’m seeing some of that now from the BO reelection campaign.  We need a lot more of it so it aint’ just me at the lunch table.

    •  What is striking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, Mr Robert

      is that much of the Canadian social safety net was not adopted by Canada until the 1950s and 60s--particularly the Canadian Pension Plan which was somewhat modeled on the US social security system.

      While I wont go so far as to say the US was a leader in government social services, the introduction of New Deal programs in the 1930s was at least within the mainstream of most western nations.  Now we are far behind.

  •  I don't know about average but median net worth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is much worse.

    In a recent Investment Contrarians article, editor Sasha Cekerevac argues that consumer confidence remains in a deep hole, and one of the main reasons is a study published by the Federal Reserve, which looked at the median net worth of the average American family. Cekerevac notes that the median net worth dropped from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010—a decline of 38.8%!

    We should just copy Canada.

    •  What is the median net worth (0+ / 0-)

      of Canadian families?

      The diary is comparing average US net worth and average Canadian net worth.

      •  More numbers: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert

        For 2011, according to a report by Credit Suisse, the median net worth per adult in Canada was US$89,014, and in the US, US$52,752.

        The US has 32% of the world's billionaires while only having about 4.5% of the world's population: this drags the averages up considerably, which is probably why you should be wary of people quoting any sort of income figures using averages.

  •  But ... the 1% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, Mr Robert

    But the 1% do far far better in the US than in Canada ... and that is all that really matters, isn't it?

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - JFK

    by taonow on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:23:37 AM PDT

  •  And they invented Hockey, eh! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, Nulwee

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:15:47 AM PDT

  •  Great post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSWright, Nulwee

    I like what I read and agree with it totally.  I find the problem with many Americans is that they confuse socialism with communism.  They are not the same.

    Another point the Bloomberg article mentions is balance.  What Canadians try to find is a balance in our social policies as to not take away from basic rights of freedom and free speech.  The US lacks balance in many of its laws.  The argument that the 2nd amendment means that everyone can have any kind of gun and can carry it anywhere is just crazy.  There has to be some reasonableness in how one is permitted to have a gun.

    The US leads in a lot of ways but they are stuck in the in what used to be and fearful of moving forward.  Ever wonder why the US is the last country to adopt metric?  What does that cost the US economy?

  •  You can't have healthy & prosperous society (7+ / 0-)

    without a combination of both capitalism AND socialism. It simply can't be done otherwise, as both communist experiments in the USSR, China and elsewhere and the past 30+ years of neoliberalism have shown. Too much government control of the economy and productivity, income and quality suffers. Too much unregulated capitalism and only a few benefit at the expense of most.

    Like anything complex you need a ying and yang approach to properly run a modern economy. Even the founders knew that (well, the Federalists and Whigs, at least) in mandating that the government run and operate a postal system, roads, bridges and canals, and provide for the "general welfare".

    This view of the government's beneficial and really essential role in economic matters eventually came to be known as the "American System", and when properly implemented invariably led to shared prosperity. E.g. Lincoln and the intercontinental railroad system, TR and the regulation of trusts, FDR and the New Deal, Ike and the highway system, etc. It wasn't until that insane jackass troll Reagan came along and messed with this approach that our economy began to come apart. Anyone who doesn't get that is an idiot or ignorant.

    Socialism is basically the economic equivalent of democracy, in which a nation (i.e. the citizens of a country) collectively determines how and to what extent its government will engage in its economy, in those economic matters which are best managed collectively (through elected representatives and their appointed beaurocrats) and not by private self-interested interests.

    The more essential a given economic activity, the more likely it is that it will be better managed by government, not companies. E.g. roads, schools, mail--and yes, health care. Sooner or later this will be the case here too. Too bad so many had to needlessly suffer on the path there due to the stupidity and selfishness of some in the name of some mythical "freedom".

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:19:18 AM PDT

  •  Canada may find itself facing a situation where... (5+ / 0-)

    ...US citizens will be fleeing to Canada to get jobs, health care, and a chance for a better life.  

    They may be forced to do so if the GOPers keep up their war on the American worker, on minorities, and on women;  their neglect of the infrastructure; their decimation of the environment; their endless wars everywhere policies; their systematic dismantling of the public education system; their religious intolerance, persecuting anyone who doesn't believe as they dictate; their fearmongering; and their determination to strip Americans of affordable health care.  

    All that would be left here will be the tea party types, who will finish running the country into the ground in record time.

  •  A more useful comparison would be a ranking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, squarewheel

    of developed nations by public sector /private sector economic ratio.  Canada is not really a socialist country but has socialized health care and is in some cases better regulated.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:00:25 AM PDT

  •  Lots of natural resources wins (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Living in a country with lots of oil and precious metals; and the good-paying jobs they generate wins.

  •  I'm in Canada right now. (8+ / 0-)

    I took my family up here to Victoria again for the fourth time in a few years and sometimes it just makes me sad. This is no country of soft Eurotrash. Yet, you can see it in the cleanliness of government buildings and the condition the schools are in: people here give a shit.

    And this isn't to say there aren't challenges and issues here. It's not perfect. But they're headed in a better direction than the US.

    It makes me sad when I leave and realize I'm going back to a place that could be just as good but refuses to be.

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:46:14 AM PDT

  •  Communism and the US (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I love to put "Communism" in a Subject title as we in the US have an extreme pavlovian negative response, Commie, Pinko, etc.

    The US has always had an extreme hatred of Communism as it violates the basic belief of Capitalism, that those who can accumulate extreme wealth deserve to own it.

    I'm not a Commie, far from it, but we do need to move forward with the design of our economic/social systems.

    The irony is that the US did everything possible to make sure that every Communist country failed economically and was held in a state of military terror. One might wonder what history would have told if the US allowed Communism to play out.

    Fast forward to the 21st century. The only major Communist country left is China. The Communist Party controls the economy from top down and allows the free market to work from the bottom up. It turns out that it works pretty well and China has had an average growth rate of 10% for the last 30 years. They are now the second largest economy in GDP, perhaps the largest economy in purchasing power GDP and certainly the largest manufacturing economy in the world. It's clear that the 21st century belongs to China. Has Communism won? Not really as they are not really Marxist, and they will evolve politically to be more democratic, perhaps even more so than the US. You have to wonder, though, the only Communist-like country that we did not try extremely hard to squash under our boots and they are thriving.

  •  But... but... we're the greatest country in the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSWright, Lupin, glbTVET, Mr Robert

    world!  Hanni--I mean God, God said so!  In the Bible!  Don't ask me where; just take my word for it.

    And since we are the greatest country in the world, whatever we do is the best possible action, giving the best possible results.  Ergo, widespread poverty is actually desireable, & the Canadians must be dealing with Satan to get these results.

    Your psychopathic Ruling Class

    And now, please enjoy the complimentary police beatings for your impertinence...


    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:18:08 AM PDT

  •  I have an idea. Why don't we divide the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glbTVET, shaharazade

    U.S. Since the west coast is considered the "left coast" all the time, and probably deservedly so, with inland exceptions though, as I know too well,  why don't all the Progressives relocate out west here, and the right wing cliff party can have the east coast?!  Will see which half does better in the long haul.  Just a thought.....

    •  North-South split MUCH more likely (0+ / 0-)

      The Northeast is AT LEAST as liberal as the West Coast, and has been so for much longer. Whereas the deep South - well, they were dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century, didn't and don't like it, and have not only refused to move on into the 21st, they're trying to crawl back to the 19th and drag the rest of the country after them.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:13:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is not all the land of milk and honey here (6+ / 0-)

    As a Canadian, a Social Democrat, long time member of the New Democratic Party, and just one of a long time line of committed Social Democrats, CCFers, and NDPers, let me tell you it is not all unicorns and butterflies here.

    Under successive Liberal Party of Canada and Conservative Party led governments, Canada has seen the gap between rich and poor grow since 1976 by 289%. Over the last 30 plus years, the average Canadian industrial worker wage has fallen by 5000 dollars, and while over the last 10 years worker productivity has increased by 65%, worker wages have either fallen, or remained at best stagnant.

    The other issue we are dealing here is with a slow and steady attack on our institutions. Beginning with the Paul Martin budget of 1995, and continuing under succsssive Lib and PC-Conservative governments, many of our cherished programs have been under attack. From Martin stealing over 65 Billion dollars from the worker contributed Employment Insurance program to balance budgets, and his abandonment of the Federal Government authority to control the purse strings relating to health care through his creation of his no strings attached, block funding, health and social transfer program, the Feds have progressively allowed the programs to be under minded.

    Do not think that things here in Canada are without challenge. However, the rise of the NDP and its replacement of the Corporatist Liberal Party of Canada is the alternative to the Conservatives is a hopeful development.

    My point, yes, cheer what we have here, but understand that much has been done and is going to be done to try and overturn many of these accomplishments.

    •  The Story Of The Farmer And His Sons (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      meralda, ozsea1, Mr Robert

      A farmer with a modest plot of land was dying, The land was in poor condition and had not been tilled for years.

      His sons came to see the father and ask if there was any inheritance.

      The father told the sons "There is treasure buried on the farm." then he died.

      The sons worked day and night digging up the land in search of the treasure... there was none.

      But in digging for treasure they had improved the land and secured for themselves economic security.

      So it is with social progress, there is no utopia but in striving for it, in the struggle, we secure a better (though imperfect) world.

  •  We are not that happy at the moment (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glbTVET, ozsea1, shaharazade, Emmy

    because our right wing federal government and the Alberta government have opened up the Tar Sands to the world. Multinational oil companies from Exxon, BP to Asian oil companies all have a piece of the Tar Sands.

    Our provincial BC Premier also right wing has just publicly opposed the pipeline from Alberta to the west coast of BC, so the protests have had an effect. Thank you Bill McKibben and other US environmentalists who joined Canadians in the protest. We are happy about that.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:37:09 AM PDT

  •  Sorry I missed this diary (0+ / 0-)

    I've been married several times and every wife said the same thing when I suggested emigrating and leaving this capitalistic mess BEHIND:

    "Ohhh ohh ohh I have family here!!"


    Rmoney: says it all. Children have imaginary friends; adults have gods.

    by glbTVET on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:44:47 AM PDT

  •  during all the healthcare debates (13+ / 0-)

    we've had here over the past years, I've tried to point out something very practical.

    If you are a small business, say, a start-up company that is going to manufacture and sell outboard motors (I chose that because it sounds nice and wholesome), when you start your company, you're going to have to invest a certain amount of your time on a regular basis to insuring your employees.  Why?  Well, in the US, that's how people get insured, and potential workers don't flock as readily to jobs that won't insure their kids.  So you, as the employer, are burdened with the non-outboard-motor-production problem of finding insurance for your employees, paying insurance for your employees, having somebody whose job it is to keep track of all that shit for you, and having to argue with the insurance company if there's confusion about what types of things are covered and whether or not to switch to another provider.

    ON THE OTHER HAND... In Canada, you don't have to worry about ANY OF THAT SHIT.  You can just make outboard motors.  

    Process that for a moment.  It's crystal clear.  

    Now which of the above two situations is friendlier to the entrepreneur: the American one or the Canadian one?  Uh huh...

    And yet we don't even bother fighting with the Republicans over stuff like that.

    Of course, this argument would carry a lot more weight if ACA had actually offered a way for potential employers to shrug this burden off Canada-style, thus benefiting American entrepreneurs.  Oh, what a boast we could have made about that!  But, no, we're too gung-ho capitalist for that.  Instead, we have welfare programs for insurance companies.  

  •  You are SOOO missing the point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Those people that are "moving on up" in places like Canada are the undeserving, the poor, the slackers that want free stuff from the government.  A few that were born of the right "ilk" for this read color, race, or creed, are supporting those filchers that are reaping all of the benefits of health care and upward mobility. America decides who shall inherit the earth — as God wanted it. It isnt our fault that Canada has become immoral. When the beautious rapture comes and our 1% are taken, we will at least have the honor of knowing we made it possible for them to have had a fair and balanced life while here among us.  Sure, all the job creation will have been off-shored to heaven, but we will have gotten no more than we truly deserve, unlike in Canada where practically anyone can receive health care.

    Hum... sarcasm isnt so funny here...  

  •  and yet the working Canadian sytem is under (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, Emmy

    serious assault by Harper and his cronies and the Canadians are putting up with it.

    also too, tar sands.

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:13:04 AM PDT

  •  we are not mobile b/c we are all F**king depressed (0+ / 0-)

    sitting at home worrying and doped on depression pills...i got 99 problems and ___

  •  Wait until global warming creates 10s of millions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of US ecological refugees fleeing north. Canada will have to build a Wall to keep Americans out. Maybe they will electrify it and patrol with drones.

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