At least according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Why Canada is beating America” is a concept I imagine is rarely pondered south of the border, primarily because in that neck of the woods the prevailing opinion is that nobody beats them at anything, ever. But the Wall Street Journal boldly goes there, and I can’t help being reminded of Rick Mercer’s “Talking To Americans”. Really, eh?:
While the U.S. remains mired in debt and slogs through a subpar economic recovery, Canada is moving ahead steadily. Its unemployment rate peaked at a little over 8.5% and is now 7.4%, and there were no bank bailouts. Real GDP growth is expected to be roughly 3% this year.
And how did we manage this? Because we apparently “shrank government”. Yep, and we have a National Igloo and a 65-minute hour!
But the WSJ is missing part of the story. Canada’s *real* unemployment is a lot higher than 7.4%, since those who’ve run out their EI benefits (and they are legion) aren’t included in the statistics. Our banks weren’t going hat in hand to the government because financial regulations that many Americans would consider unacceptably intrusive prevented them from engaging in the kind of kamikaze casino capitalism that sunk a few US investment banks and set off a worldwide economic cataclysm in 2008. (And besides, the banks own this place.)
“Shrank government”… really!? As far as I can see, government under the Conservatives is just as obscenely bloated as it was under their Liberal predecessors. As the population ages and civil servants wander out to pasture there may be some attrition, but for now we’ve still got big fat greasy, slow-moving, dull-witted government in the fine old Canuckistanian tradition. AND a Prime Minister who spends like a drunken sailor (my apologies to drunken sailors), on all kinds of dumb shit nobody wants or needs.
The Cons might dream of turning Canada’s government into a highly-functioning, lean mean austerity machine, but the notion that they’ve already done so and are reaping the rewards of their fiscal responsibility (Ha! Hahaha!) is so goofy it makes me wonder if the source material for this article was some Harper Government-approved propaganda from the Canadian Embassy.