No. 5 with a bullet:
Canada has taken its place among the Top 5 countries with the most economic freedom, according to a new Fraser Institute report — now leaps and bounds ahead of the United States thanks to the gradual shrinking of the Canadian government since the mid-1990s as America’s just got bigger.
The annual Economic Freedom of the World report, released Tuesday, has Canada tied in fifth place with Australia — up one spot from last year. Hong Kong remains at the top, Singapore’s next, then New Zealand.
Let me take a moment here to openly mock Pat Buchanan who, in 2002, described our country as "Soviet Canuckistan."
So how's that hope and change going?
Just had to get that out of my system. For the first time in my life I live in a country that is further to the Right of the United States. Ha! Take that Toronto Star! Take that Fox News!
I know. I know. I'm being juvenile. Back in 2002 I secretly agreed with Buchanan's put down. It wasn't exactly true but rang with enough truth to annoy the hell of out much of the Canadian Right. The Left, naturally, took it as a badge of honour. That was then. The wheel of fortune has spun and we are, for the moment, its relative beneficiaries.
The Canadian government has gotten somewhat smaller over the last fifteen years. The American government has gotten much, much bigger. This is less a story of Canadian success than epic American incompetence. The Canadian tortoise has beaten a very lazy American hare. This is not something we should be happy about. At least not too happy. Down goes America, down goes ALL of us. The whole free world.
The Canadian Left has for decades thrived on a visceral anti-Americanism. Every misfortune and misstep was an opportunity to crow about the moral superiority of Canada over the US, despite our steady decline against the US by pretty much every objective measure. Until quite recently we were poorer, more regulated and more taxed than our American brethren. Now Canada is doing better than America on economic terms. Where is the Canadian Left? Why aren't they crowing about this?
They are a little. The anti-American instinct is so deep that it comes out despite their best efforts. But our relative success is because our government has gotten smaller, while theirs is getting bigger. To crow about the success of Canada today would be to admit that capitalism might be a good thing. That's just too painful an admission. Instead they are trying their best at spin, arguing implausibly that Canada's banks have survived because they are more highly regulated than American banks. A confession of profound ignorance of North American economic history.
Canadian banks are not more highly regulated, they are regulated differently. The amount of red tape is, if anything, less than in the United States. The key difference is that Canadian banking policy, dating back to before Confederation, has encouraged large and highly diversified banks. American banking policy, dating back to before the Civil War, has encourage the exact opposite. This is why thousands of American banks failed in the Great Depression and none did in Canada. Paul Martin and Jean Chretien, both as yet unborn in 1929, had nothing to do with it. In power they continued and elaborated on policies that had been well established for over a century and a half.
To understand this requires a modicum of historical knowledge and some basic economics. A history that does not teach that all white men are bigots is ignored by the Left, just as any economic theories that explain the efficacy of the market economy. Instead we witness the spectacle of the MSM desperately trying to argue that statism was our salvation, when the evidence keeps showing the opposite is true.
The most cherished of Trudeaupian Myths is that of Medicare. This ramshackle disgrace to our country and its traditions has been a very useful prop for the Left. The elevation of a failed social program into a national icon was necessary as a way of justifying the moral superiority of Trudeaupian Canada over the supposedly laissez-faire bastion to the south. Every sick veteran, every bankrupt cancer survivor proof that American capitalism kills. We were to see and hear these horror stories and thank Our Saviour Tommy that it did not come to pass in Canada.
The failings of the American system were exaggerated, the failures of our system excused. The Cult of Medicare is the founding Trudeaupian Myth, the rationalization for a big government that twenty years ago surpassed 50% of GDP. But why did the Americans not embrace our glorious system? The narrative held that it was because the Big Corporations forbade such an idea. It was never explained how Canada's large corporations, hardly slouches when it comes to rent seeking and lobbying, were unable to thwart Father Tommy. Nor could the narrative explain how twice in a generation proposals for socialized health care in America were meet with ferocious popular opposition.
Barack Obama is trying to give to America what Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau gave to Canada, a European style social democracy and all the horrors that entails. Pearson-Trudeau succeed because they had dozens of loyal Liberal Quebec MPs willing to support their revolution. Barack Obama does not have Francophones Congress creatures to do his bidding, but he has sown up the Black and Hispanic votes. Just as in Canada, minorities that have traditionally felt marginalized are using government to "rig the game" in their favour. Having failed in the market, they run to the state, not pausing to question how much Leviathan is the real cause of their woes.
America seems to be sliding into the same mess from which we are slowly extracting ourselves. As Mark Steyn observed almost a decade ago, what allowed Canada to be Canada and France to be France is that America would always be America. Now America is as unAmerican as it has been in nearly fifty years. That is something that every Canadian should worry over.