Canada vs. California

July 21, 2010 - By admin

John Seiler:

Dan Walters had a good column comparing California to Canada. Both have similar-sized populations and economies. Yet, Canada has mostly avoided the economic calamity of recent years, whereas California has suffered heavily. Dan:

Canadian bankers eschewed massive involvement in the housing boom of the past decade. As a result, the nation escaped the bad effects of the housing bust, and its economy has continued to expand modestly.

“We did a lot of things right going into the financial crisis,” Glen Hopkins, vice president at the Conference Board of Canada, said in a recent Los Angeles Times article.

California remains mired in a deep economic trough, with unemployment stuck at 12-plus percent, and is continuing to shed jobs – 27,000 just last month. Its politicians are deadlocked over how to deal with the state’s stubborn budget deficit, and its credit rating is the nation’s lowest.

He then goes on to recommend getting our act together on the state budget and pensions.

But he’s leaving out the most important thing: California is part of the USA, and as such, its economy and budgets rise and fall depending on the whims of Washington. Here are some of the main reasons Canada’s economy is doing better:

1. The USA now has an “unfree” economy, according to the rankings of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. That’s the first time our country has fallen out of the “free” category. First under Bush, now under Obama, government has grown and grown more expensive and controlling. The economy has suffered. And California, of course, adds more state taxes and regulations than most states — another hit against us.

By contrast, Canada is in the “free” category. Heritage notes:

Scoring high in many of the 10 economic freedoms, Canada performs particularly well in business freedom, financial freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. Straightforward regulations facilitate entrepreneurial activity. Overall, regulation is thorough but essentially transparent.

2. Medical care is cheaper. Of course, one area where Canada is not free is its mandatory socialist medical system. But with Obamacare, America now has something similar — except ours costs twice as much. We have the worst of all worlds: the expense of capitalist medical care, with the incompetence and lines of socialist care.

3. The fooluish Iraq and Afghan wars.  The latter now is the longest in American history, surpassing Vietnam. It’s obvious from history that wars drain treasuries. Although Canada has contributed troops to both wars, its involvement has been limited. By contrast, for America the cost of the Iraq War alone is as high as $5 trillion, a massive drain on the American treasury.

Basically, America now is headed downward to Third World economic status, with California leading the way.

By contrast, Canada, except for its dismal socialized medicine system, remains a robust, dynamic First World economy, and is likely to remain at that level. Eh?

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  1. Peyton Farquhar says:

    Dismal, long lines, incompetent socialist medical care? LMAO. Clearly, you’ve never gone to see your own doctor right here in the U.S. because you have the very SAME dismal, long lines, incompetent medical care and you pay exponentially for it. Given a choice I’d take Canadian healthcare over American. Healthcare is a **right** up there, not an elite privilege reserved for only those who can afford outrageous pricing.

  2. Canadian says:

    Canada has a very crummy health care system.I speak from abundant experience.Yes the USA is rapidly getting worse for sure.For that matter all socialist health care systems around the world are facing massive financial problems.The USA easily provides the most advanced medical treatment in the World,which is why any body semi famous,or rich,or some King goes to the US for treatement.The major problem with the USA is not the Health care but the Govt involvment in the Health insurance system ,which is why the costs are so dam high,and the system is slowed down by all the excessive bureaucracy.

  3. Canadian, But Cali at Heart says:

    I live in Canada and seriously other than the fact there are like no natural disasters, it sucks. It’s cold even in summer. In Cali it’s always sunny and hot. Our prime minister sucks. Barack Obama is a true leader. People always say. “Well Canada’s so safe and nice.” HAHA. We have poverty and killing too. I say Canada is good for family life. But California is perfect for a dreamer like me. Thank you.

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Joseph Perkins
Joseph Perkins, now assistant editor of the Orange County Register Opinion Pages, started his career as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. After serving on the White House Staff of former Vice President Dan Quayle he wrote for the San Diego Union-Tribune where he authored a nationally-syndicated column. Before writing for, Mr. Perkins was also Business Editor for San Diego Magazine.
Chris Reed
Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.
Brian Calle
Brian Calle is Editor-in-Chief of and the Opinion Editor for the Orange County Register. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, Fox News, Forbes, Real Clear Politics, Human Events, Real Clear Markets and City Journal, among other websites and publications. Find him on Twitter: @briancalle
John Seiler
John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles,, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email:

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