Canada vs. California

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
    Peyton Farquhar 22 July, 2010, 10:09

    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.

    Reply this comment
  2. Canadian
    Canadian 19 February, 2012, 19:03

    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.

    Reply this comment
  3. Canadian, But Cali at Heart
    Canadian, But Cali at Heart 14 November, 2012, 07:20

    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.

    Reply this comment
    • Steve
      Steve 5 March, 2017, 19:04

      I could not agree with you more !!
      And guess what ?
      I’m a miserable canadian !!
      I’ll take the beautiful California weather and happily pay for USA health care than suffer in cold depressing canaDUH and get free health care,
      Weather is everything !!

      Reply this comment

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