Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Canada vs. America

I thought that I would put up this post since this year is the bicentennial of the War of 1812 when the States under the presidency of the Southern aristocratic plantation owner, James Madison, invaded Canada for reasons of honour based on British impressments of American sailors. At the beginning of the war, 90% of Upper Canada`s (Ontario) population had arrived from the thirteen colonies after the end of the American Revolution and the other ten percent were mostly indigenous peoples. This population of immigrants from the republic were divided into the minority of Loyalists who left for political reasons such as support for the crown (like my Ex`s ancestors) and the majority of so called Late Loyalists who left for economic reasons. After the American Revolution, land speculators in the new republic bought huge tracts of land in the new nation and resold it to the farmers at usurious prices. Crony capitalism has been present in the States from the very beginning. The republic which was also almost bankrupt, raised taxes on the settlers to new heights and the British in Upper Canada under the new governor, Lord Simcoe, offered Americans almost free land and taxes one fifth of their prevalent rates which led to the second North American migration to the north after the original Loyalist movement. On the two hundredth anniversary of the war that decided the fate of British North America which group fared best – the ones who stayed in the republic or the ones who moved north?

An article in Time magazine on July 17, 2012 had the following to say:
Watch out, Americans: Your thrifty, socialist neighbors to the north have stealthily become richer than you.
Over the past five years, the average net worth of Canadian households has exceeded that of American households. So for the the first time in history, Canadians are wealthier than Americans — by more than $40,000, on average. In 2011, the average net worth of a Canadian household was $363,202, compared to $319,970 in the U.S., according to Environics Analytics WealthScapes data published in the Globe and Mail. (‘Average net worth’ measures the total combined value of a household’s liquid and real estate assets, minus debt.)

Inequality of wealth is much less in Canada than the States so the bottom 80% of Canadians have been making out like bandits compared to the American bottom 80%. From an investment blog:

The data shows that the median net worth per adult in Canada is $89,014. That means $89,014 represents the perfect cross section of our economy because half of Canada’s society has more, and the other half has less. In the US however, the median net worth per adult is $52,752. So in other words, most Canadians have more money than most Americans.

Of course, wealth is not the true measure of success and social outcomes are often a better indicator.

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