Kia (ddstory) wrote in talk_politics,
Kia
ddstory
talk_politics

Quiet success

Hardheaded Socialism Makes Canada Richer Than U.S.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-15/hardheaded-socialism-makes-canada-richer-than-u-s-.html

"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.
"
(courtesy nairiporter)


I understand that in the minds of many of our friends on the right, the term "socialism" is a dirty word that calls associations to totalitarianism, Stalin, GULags, and greedy state bureaucracy stealing the hard-earned money of the good pious working people. The legacy of the Cold War brainwashing is pretty much alive and well, it would seem.

The funny thing is that these soundbites neglect to notice the nuances that exist in the real world (you know, the one outside the populist political speeches and the thoughtful allegorical books from the late 50s), and to cross from the neverland of fantasy into the real one, and do the small step towards making the distinction between a democratic, balanced, western type of socialism (often called a "mixed economy"), and the Stalin or Mao type of authoritarian communism, to which we hear parallels so often from self-appointed TV and radio gurus. And that, without ever having lived a minute under the latter. Anyway, that's solely their problem.

When we return back to the real world, we'd realize that Canada is now by far a much more stable and healthy society than its southern neighbor. Why? For two reasons (the "luck" of having natural resources aside): 1) The political culture is different (blatant individualism/selfishness hasn't been raised to a romantic pedestal where it renders even the remotest attempt at team-work dead in its roots); and 2) The presence of smart politicians making well-thought decisions, due to the simple fact that they're having the public's real interest as their top priority, as opposed to that of their corporate masters. Thus achieving what the article calls "Orderly fairness".

Indeed, reality tells us many things we could learn from. Just a couple of examples. Health-care in Canada is by far more effective and more accessible for the ordinary people than it is in the US; education is at a world-class level; there are lots of social programs that actually work, without throwing the economy down the gutter in the process... And on top of all that, despite all those oh-so-dreaded public expenses, now it turns out the average Canadian is wealthier, and with a noticeably higher living standard than their US counterpart. Not to mention the state of social equality being light years away. And we do know what outcomes the extreme social stratification tends to lead to, historically, no? I actually do recall reading yesterday here on this very forum that the likeliness for a nationwide Civil War style insurgency in the US is now estimated close to 60/40, OH WOW! How about that?

I say well done, Canada! While their louder southern neighbor is shaking in one political and economic controversy after another, still refusing to deal with the fact that complacency has led it to where it is now, the Canadians are building their success quietly, modestly, brick by brick, without useless fanfares, and without all that ridiculousness. Does it make them more boring? Certainly! But who would ever insist living in "that" sort of Interesting Times, especially when it affects them directly?
Tags: canada, socialism
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