A friendly word of advice

Dave Killion — January 8, 2012

The BC Iconoclast has embedded this Youtube video on his site, and titled the post “What can I say? “-

I don’t want to make a big deal out of this because (1) I’m an American and (2) they’re just kidding around. That said, I have a warning for my Canadian friends and neighbours.

It has been my experience that Canadians often gauge how well their country is doing by judging it relative to the US. This leads to a certain complacency, smugness, and a blindness to developing problems. For example, when I came to Victoria in 1986, people who had discovered that I am a US citizen frequently commented on the severity of the homelessness situation back in my homeland. Fast forward to today, and homelessness is a big issue across Canada.

Currently, Canada is doing comparatively well in terms of economic growth and unemployment, relative to the US. This should not be confused for actually doing well, or as an indication that Canada is on the right track either politically or economically. The fact is that Canada, like the US and the European states, is a corporatist entity whose government interventions are intended primarily to benefit the well-connected and the well-to-do. Although there are some secondary intervention intended to ameliorate the harsher consequences that arise from this reality, the failure of any corporatist system is merely a matter of manner, time, and degree.

My point? When Canadians are shocked/delighted by events in the US, they would do well to contemplate this possibility – today them, tomorrow us.


The Libertarian says

Funny that you mention this. I happen to be a foreign resident in Canada, originating from old Europe. Having lived for more than ten years in this country, I can only agree with you 100%. The sad thing is, that Canadians tend to define themselves primarily as what they are NOT (i.e., Americans), rather than what they ARE. Also, having travelled frequently in the US, I can truthfully state that I never ever met a US citizen who had anything but nice things to say about Canada and its citizens. Unfortunately, there is pretty far-spread anti-Americanism around in Canada, which – against the background of the present economic situation – is mixed with a good deal of “Schadenfreude” (google it).
You are quite right in stating that Canada is still a corporatist country, with too big a government and too many liberal ideas, even in a Western Province like Alberta, where we have an oxymoron called the Progressive Conservative Party at the helm. One thing, however, is indisputable: it is truly remarkable how relatively unscathed the Canadian banking system has been by the economic melt-down. I am neither an expert in monetary policies, nor an economist, but this is certainly an aspect that needs to be carefully looked at when comparing these two countries.

I’ll be following The Libertarian Book Club closely from now on. Thanks for the kind mentioning in your latest entry.


— January 9, 2012

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