Socialist Canada: Land of opportunity

Gee, maybe this is the reason for Vermont’s demographic crisis.

You know Canada, that country to our north? The socialist nightmare with high taxes, a robust social safety net, single-payer health care and tough regulations on the financial sector?

Well, for the Millennial generation, it’s a lot better place to live than the United States. This, according to a study by TD Bank, which as far as I know is not a commie-pinko front organization. So maybe our kids are all moving north.

Canadians aged 25 to 34 are more likely to have jobs than Americans of the same age (nearly 80% are employed, compared with less than 75% of Americans). American millennials are worse off than their compatriots from Generation X (the cohort that came just before them). In Canada millennials’ household incomes are 16% higher. Just over half are homeowners, compared with 36% in the United States.

Huh. I guess nobody told them they’re being downtrodden by an oppressive regime.

And why do young-adult Canadians fare so much better? No, sorry, it’s not Stephen Harper’s devout efforts to turn his country into a free-marketeer’s wet dream. In fact, Millennial prosperity exists precisely because of Canada’s democratic socialist blots upon economic opportunity.

According to TD Bank, a number of factors explain the heightened status of Millennial Canadians.

— Higher education is much more affordable in Canada. This means young people graduate without the crushing burden of debt that retards the prosperity of young Americans. The average graduate’s student loan debt in America is more than twice as high as in Canada.

— Young women are more likely to enter the workforce and establish careers. Why? Because in Canada, employers are required to offer paid parental leave of up to 50 weeks. No such luck in the US, where the careers of many young women are kneecapped by child-rearing responsibilities. Paid leave is against the self-interest of each individual employer, but according to TD Bank it has a net positive impact on the nation’s economy.

— Canada’s housing market didn’t go through the catastrophic collapse that almost killed the US economy in 2008. Why? Because government regulation prevented Canadian financial institutions from diving into the deep end of the toxic mortgage-backed securities pool. Canada’s housing market grew at a sustainable level while the US housing market was unsustainably soaring.  And it remained on a stable upward trajectory when the American bubble burst.

This has left Canadian parents with plenty of home equity, allowing them to help their young-adult children buy homes of their own. That, combined with the superior earning power of Millennials and their greater capacity to take on debt after college, puts more Millennials in position to buy a home — a traditional stepping stone to prosperity.

TD Bank also notes that “there is a strong inherent feedback loop between the rising wealth and spending gains of [Millennials] and the nation’s overall economic performance.” Young adults spend more money than older people — at least they do when they can afford to. Their better financials have a ripple effect on the entire nation’s economy.

This study, on its own, does not prove the financial merits of a democratic socialist society. But it certainly belies right-wing dogma about economic freedom. Indeed, it provides substantial evidence for the opposite conclusion: that taxes and regulation can create a strong foundation for prosperity, and give people a sense of security that frees them to pursue their dreams.

8 thoughts on “Socialist Canada: Land of opportunity

  1. Walter Carpenter

    “that taxes and regulation can create a strong foundation for prosperity, and give people a sense of security that frees them to pursue their dreams.”

    Good points here and it is surprising that almost every other democratic nation with these types of systems, with taxes and regulation, has learned this lesson except us, both in Vermont and nationally. You cannot pursue a dream, American or otherwise, when you are mired in debt. Our oligarchy understand this very well too.

  2. Brett Gaskill

    The writer conveniently leaves out several inconvenient truths. A major one is the fact that the millenials circumstances in this country have declined so drastically as THIS country has followed the disastrous policies of the Obama administration that has out-socialized the socialists to the North. Job opportunities have declined here directly because of the outrageous corporate tax rate in this country (highest in the industrialized world) and companies have been forced to relocate to places with more sane tax rates (like Burger King and Pfizer have just done). And while they rightly bemoan the outrageous increases in higher education costs, it is largely the liberals who are in charge of these institutions and have done NOTHING to curb these unsustainable increases in the last 30 years. And while the Canadians have had a better managed banking system, they also did not have a corrupt progressive government that put a gun to their heads and forced their banks to give mortgages to people that had little chance of repaying their loans. You can also bet that had they had a banking collapse that we had, they would not have handed the job of fixing the problem back to the SOB’s that helped caused the problem in the first place, like we did by giving it back to Dodd/Frank.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      Ooh, right-wing dogmatist ignoring inconvenient facts. He doesn’t address the substance of the post, he simply descends into an uncontrollable blurt of predigested talking points. I’ll just respond to two:

      — “Liberals” are not in charge of higher education in this country. Liberals outnumber conservatives in the least-powerful provinces of academia — the arts, literature, etc. — but conservatives get all the juicy stuff: law, engineering, medicine. And university administrators are, by necessity, thoroughly in bed with deep-pocketed donors.

      — The idea that “a corrupt progressive government” (Bush???) forced the banks to create subprime mortgage instruments is a deliberate misreading of history. The financial institutions eagerly created those awful deals and encouraged bad mortgages so they could bundle everything into investment pools that were green-lighted by compromised rating agencies.

      You’re welcome.

    2. Walter Carpenter

      “Job opportunities have declined here directly because of the outrageous corporate tax rate in this country (highest in the industrialized world).”

      What? Many of them pay less per capita than we do and we the people have been subsidizing them, not only to make up for the taxes they do not pay, but for the low wages they do pay and G.E. gets millions in tax refunds as well.

      1. John S. Walters Post author

        There’s some truth in both. Our corporate tax rate is high, but there are so many exemptions and credits and cutouts that most corporations pay little if anything. What we really need is a simpler corporate tax code. What stands in the way? Why, the fact that every corporate lobbyist in the country would fight tooth and nail to preserve their own benefits.

      1. Estella Leach

        i didn’t expect you would, therefore my suggestion. And a whole part of the sentence is missing: Canada is 6th in economic freedom and the US dropped to 12th in 2014.

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