Why Canada is prospering and the US is not...

Discussion in 'Politics & Diplomacy' started by Long Island Mike, May 14, 2014.

  1. Long Island Mike

    Long Island Mike Senior Member

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    Last edited: May 14, 2014
    #1

  2. Electrify

    Electrify Senior Member

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    In Toronto, definitely. Rest of Canada, I'm not the person to ask...
     
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  3. denfromoakvillemilton

    denfromoakvillemilton Senior Member

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    Americans don't care about each other anymore.
     
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  4. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    oil.
     
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  5. TheTigerMaster

    TheTigerMaster Superstar

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    I'm honestly not knowledgeable enough to comment. But one of the thing I worry about is if Canada's economy is too dependant on resources. Eventually those resources will run out. I'd rather us focus on making things (manufacturing, services, etc...)
     
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  6. MisterF

    MisterF Senior Member

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    While Canada's resource sector is more important than in most industrialized countries, it isn't nearly as large as people tend to think. All the resources put together account for about 10% of GDP. It's the icing on the cake, but 90% of the cake is made from other stuff.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
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  7. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    I don't think you can quite realize how large the oil sands are. Its not like we will run out, its more like "do we want to completely destroy half of Alberta?" The Tar sands are friggen huge, larger than some US states. Its just a question of how much land we are willing to plunder and destroy in the process.
     
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  8. Johnny Au

    Johnny Au Senior Member

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    Here is Canada's exports in 2009 in treemap form:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Mislav

    Mislav New Member

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    Perhaps I look at Canada through Toronto so I can't really say about the rest of the country but I don't really think Toronto is really "prospering" or at least the "prosperity" is not being evenly distributed. One thing that I've noticed is that it's extremely difficult to find a job in the city, let alone one that pays well. I'm not even going to talk about how difficult it is for first time homeowners to get into the market considering how high prices are and how the average salary is low. But I guess it's more of a problem we have on a global scale than a local one when any increase of income or wealth only gets distributed to a small minority of people. Nonetheless I would still be very cautious about saying that we're prospering because even if the numbers show it, can you honestly say that the average person is better off?
     
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  10. TrickyRicky

    TrickyRicky Senior Member

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    ^actually the numbers show the average person is better off as far as I have read. Wealth and income are disproportionately being accumulated by the elite but Canada is one of the few countries in the developed world where middle-class people are still doing (marginally) better year over year.

    Regarding resources one of the things Canada has is economic potential. In a way we aren't a developed nation, we are a developing nation. Canada has this big backyard called Canada, a notable chunk of the world's surface area that is essentially un-populated and un-developed. We haven't even realized the economic potential of the near north let alone the far north. I'm not saying it is right or possible (due to the hostile environmental conditions) to exploit this area but the fact is we are generations from doing so. There is a lot of work ahead. The Alberta Tar sands, Gas shales of British Columbia, and Ring of Fire in Ontario are examples of near north resource areas. This is the near north remember we are talking about not the North or far North.

    Even in terms of infrastructure you can really see how Canada is not developed, we are developing. "Developing" countries like China are already surpassing us in infrastructure build-out. We have skeleton rail, highway, bridge, port, pipeline, material processing, urban transit, etc. systems. We could easily be building this kind of infrastructure if we weren't spending it all on health and education (vital sectors in their own right but syphoning all the money from productivity enhancing developments).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
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  11. RC8

    RC8 Senior Member

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    Canada's taxes are actually quite low compared to those of countries like Denmark, Germany, or the United Kingdom (all of whom collect a significantly larger amount of tax revenue relative to their GDP). However, we collect significantly more than the U.S.

    Letting the government control health and education among other things means that, as a society, we are much more efficient and can provide better services for all. There is a very strong correlation between a larger public sector and middle-class prosperity so long as corruption is kept relatively low (high levels of corruption sink countries regardless of tax revenue).

    Now, if we added transportation to one of those things we do in the form of public corporations (rather than subsidising car ownership, which is what we've been doing for the past 70 years), we would see a further increase in efficiency and improve the quality of life of most people further.
     
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  12. denfromoakvillemilton

    denfromoakvillemilton Senior Member

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    US unemployment rate is lower now. Things are getting back to where they should be under Obama.
     
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  13. Admiral Beez

    Admiral Beez Senior Member

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    I think the correct phrase would be " things are getting back to where they were before Obama".

    US employment figures has now returned to their pre-Obama numbers, and unfortunately as the current President has done little to curtail it, much of the pre-Obama reckless behaviour on Wall Street has returned as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
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  14. TrickyRicky

    TrickyRicky Senior Member

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    The improving US employment picture is good news for Canada. But before we get too excited about US unemployment look at how bad their labour participation rate is. At 62.8 % it makes Ontario look like a workers paradise at 66.1%. I point this out because of how important it is to the economy of Canada that American's are working.
     
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  15. shumoon

    shumoon New Member

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    I believe the key is Canada's health care system. The U.S. health care regime is tied to employment, whereas Canada's health system is government-based. What this means is that someone in the U.S. who has health insurance through his employer gives up that insurance once he stops working for that employer. In Canada, this health care coverage is portable so a person can still be covered if he leaves his job or starts his own business.

    With a sluggish economy, American employees are reluctant to take risks and leave their jobs and try something new (e.g., start a business, new career) because of uncertainty of having comparable health care coverage in their new endeavours. This gums up the employment situation as current employees hold on to their positions longer than usual and new job seekers have difficulties finding job vacancies. Moreover, opportunities are being missed as job holders stick to the jobs and health insurance policies they have rather than seek out jobs they may be more qualified for or more happier with.

    My belief is that if the U.S. adopted a single-payer system similar to Canada's, health insurance would be portable and may afford some American workers the opportunity to leave their current jobs for other opportunities with no risk to their health care coverage. This would make the job market more fluid and the economy would improve.
     
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