Canada Rules, America Drools

“If the United States continues on its current course, Canada will find itself without peer as a magnet for investment, immigrants, innovation, and growth.”

Canada has always been a funny little country. We call it Canada Jr. We make fun of Bryan Adams. South Park got an entire movie out of the premise of Canada invading America.

I’ve always found Canadians to have a good sense of humour aboot it too. I have a few friends who are in fact Canadian, and their sell point for visiting the country is that their dollar is so weak, we’d live like kings throwing around the American dollar…which of course we went straight to the strip clubs with.

Here’s the real punchline…apparently Canada might be having the last laugh. According to a recent article in the Weekly Standard, while our spending and debt is out of control, Canada not so much…

Canada was called an “honorary member of the Third World” by the Wall Street Journal in 1995, and for good reason. Out-of-control spending, soaring debt, and the government’s bite of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growing at a furious pace—those trends prompted the Journal’s harsh putdown. Sound familiar? Those are exactly the trends that endanger America’s economy and standard of living today.

Only with Canada there’s a difference. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Canadians came to grips with their fiscal crisis. They cut spending at both the national and provincial (state) level, reduced the size and payroll of government, slashed debt, and produced what Paul Martin, then finance minister and later prime minister, called smaller, smarter government.

Canada is now in a far better economic situation than the United States. Its unemployment rate is lower, its budget deficit breathtakingly smaller (after nearly a decade of balanced budgets), its debt burden far lighter, its banks more stable. The Canadian dollar, once worth as little as .62 cents, is currently nearly at parity with the American dollar.

I highly recommend reading the whole article, which spells out everything Canada is doing right and we’re doing wrong. I think reading The Canadian Century: Moving Out of America’s Shadow might be the next book on my list.

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