O Canada

19 thoughts on “O Canada”

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised either. They’ve always looked like they have their act together. I fear we may have seen our best years some time ago.

      1. I don’t doubt that. I just wonder if the study decided health care wasn’t a big enough item in the average household’s budget to be included.

      2. That’s probably true, PT, but only because, from what I read, so many people put off healthcare problems until they become emergencies, at which point they throw themselves on the mercy of the system (EMTALA). That keeps it off the household budgets but it looms huge in government deficits. What is the result of that? I’m thinking one of them is the steady rise of sales taxes, probably the most regressive of all systems. It steadily erodes the net worth of the middle class while being negligible for the wealthy. Here in Joplin the total sales tax is about 8% and in several neighboring communities is approaching 10%. That’s huge, but it’s like boiling a live frog – you just keep raising the temperature gradually, the frog takes it, and the median net worth decreases.

  1. You should read this, it’s a piece written by a self-described “die hard conservative Republican” about living in Canada, and living with Universal Health Care for the first time… it’ll answer some of the health care questions:


    “With my pregnancies in the States, I had limited my checkups to only a handful to keep costs down. When I went in to get the shot I needed because of my negative blood type, it was covered. In fact I got the recommended 2 doses instead of the more risky 1 dose because I didn’t have to worry about the expense. I had a wide array of options and flexibility when it came to my birth, and care providers that were more concerned with my health and the health of my baby than how much money they might make based on my birth, or what might impact their reputation best. When health care is universal, Drs are free to recommend and provide the best care for every patient instead of basing their care on what each patient can afford.”

    1. Interesting article! With health care, as with so many things, it’s hard to appreciate what you’re missing if you’ve never experienced it. (I’m as guilty of that as anyone) But radically changing the American system to something more like the Canadian system seems about as likely as our changing our guns laws or broken political system. I was thinking last night about why the U.S. seems so far behind other modern nations when it comes to the many forms of civility; all I could conclude is that relatively speaking, we’re a very young nation. Perhaps in another couple of centuries, we’ll get our act together.

    2. Your link to “A Young Mom’s Musings”, Gabe, confirms what I’ve heard from other knowledgable sources about universal healthcare, i.e., that it’s not the bugaboo commonly perceived here in the States. The U.S.A has a kind of paranoia about government, an inherent distrust of it. Maybe PT is right in her comment (below this one), that we are still too young a country, but somehow I think there’s more to it. After all, Canada was a frontier with about the same timeline as us. No, I think our political system is too contentious and that it got that way from Gerrymandering, something that promotes the election of extremists. It’s pandemic this year.

      1. The similarities between the two countries obscure the differences… the USA was created as a religious colony. People desperately seeking a place to practise their religion without persecution. Canada, on the other hand, was created as a business. Our ‘pilgrims’ were a corporation, the Hudson’s Bay Co., who were searching for fur — started in 1670, HBC is the oldest corporation in North America, and one of the oldest in the world.

        Your pilgrims decided they needed more land, and started a war with the original North Americans. The HBC needed more profit, so they traded and negotiated with the Natives.

        When Canada was created, in 1867, French, English and Natives had been living together, peacefully, for nearly 200 years. By the time the USA was created, your country had been at war with the Natives for nearly two hundred years.

        People forget this. But this is where our paths, as British colonies, divides. Canada had three (or more) founding nations. We’re not “just” French and English, we’re French and English and the many nations that were here before. That matters.

        In a lot of ways we’re more Aboriginal than European. Canada’s earliest motto on every piece of governing documentation, for example, was “peace, welfare and good government” — the American motto being “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

        There’s a book I strongly recommend you find, it’s called ‘A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada‘, by John Ralston Saul, a Canadian philosopher (yes, we have some). He describes, in the book, how Canada was created through negotiation, slow change and egalitarianism.

        Personally, I think it’s a brilliant book.


        “…Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by Aboriginal ideas: Egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all Aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. An obstacle to our progress, Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada. It is critical that we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink it’s future.”

... and that's my two cents