The cheery economic news just keeps on coming. Now there’s a report that for the first time in recent history, Canadians are richer than Americans — to the tune of $40,000 per household. Furthermore, the Canadian unemployment rate is lower than ours, 7.2 percent vs. our 8.2 percent. Their currency is virtually equivalent to ours now, and their labor market is better; so is their real estate market. According to the US News report, “real estate held by Canadians is worth more than $140,000 more on average and they have almost four times as much equity in their real estate investments.”
The one bright spot, notes the author, is that the average American has more liquid assets, ie, cash, than the average Canadian. Heh, really? Where? Who?
Perhaps there is solace in knowing the numbers came originally from a Canadian source. Well, that explains it. Biased, obviously. And not averse to a bit of gloating:
For the moment, it seems that the risk-averse Canadian tortoise has the lead in the race against the risk-taking American hare, who has singed his feet on his rocket pack. How Canadians will respond to this at the household level remains to be seen. Are we naively careering toward American-style (pre-crash) financial behaviour with loaded credit cards, second and third mortgages, and a lax approach to savings in a headlong pursuit of materialism, hedonistic pleasures, and instant gratification? Or does it say something about our abiding national character that we have so many sober souls in positions of power who will mete out regular scoldings like the clergy in pulpits of old and do things like change our mortgage rules to protect us from ourselves?