If I wrote a blog for every time I got bagged on because I'm Canadian, I'd probably have 1000 posts by now, so I feel it's ok every few months or so to post something. I happened to come across a great article today from the Christian Science Monitor, via Google News, all about Obama's visit to Canada, but more specifically, about the difference between the Canadian economy & the US economy in light of the global economic recession. There were a few things that caught my eye:
"Canada's largest five banks reaped profits of $8.2 billion, the top five US banks lost a combined total of $8.3 billion last year."
"For 12 consecutive years, Canada has posted budgetary surpluses, compared with the $1 trillion US federal deficit – a figure that doesn't include the $787 billion stimulus package signed into law this week."
"healthcare costs are lower in Canada, accounting for 9.7 percent of the GDP, compared with 15.2 percent in the US."
That last one is particularly telling. I hear over and over how "bad" the healthcare system is in Canada - particularly from middle class & upper middle class people who have never experienced Canadian healthcare or the enormous problems on the US side. Everyone's got "a friend" or some story about somebody being denied treatment or some crap about having to wait months for some surgery or something. I spent the first 19 years of my life living in Canada and never once heard a story like that. I've had family go through cancer treatment, heart surgery, stoke recovery & long-time assisted care and I've seen the same in the US as a pastor. The only major difference is that it costs an arm and a leg to get the kind of care here in the US that you get in Canada.
So, laugh all you want to, the truth is, I can take pride in the fact that Canada, more often than you'd like to admit, gets it right. Maybe Obama can learn something from that 2hr visit...