The Fraser Institute and Cato Institute (along with many other free-market think tanks) have republished their economic freedom ranking for various countries around the world. Sadly, the United States has fallen further in their ranking and free-market thinkers are now justified in questioning whether Canada should start referring to the U.S. as their “socialist neighbour to the south.”
Americans have long dismissed Canadians as “our socialist neighbors to the north.” But since 2005 Canada has been more economically free than the supposed laissez-faire wonderland of the United States—and the gap is widening. …
Economic freedom is defined by the Fraser Institute as “the extent to which you can pursue economic activity without interference from government, as long as your actions don’t violate the identical rights of others.” This ideal is difficult to define, much less quantify, so the index breaks each country’s score into five broad categories: size of government, legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, international free trade, and regulation of credit, labor, and business.
Every country is ranked on a scale of one to ten, with ten being most free. In 2013 the report ranked 152 countries and territories. The Index has data on most going back to 1980. This allows for long-term analyses of what policies caused countries to catch up, or in the case of the United States, fall behind, in economic freedom.
Canada’s policies can serve as an example for policy makers looking to jumpstart U.S. growth. Canada has a federal corporate tax rate of just 15 percent whereas the United States has a top rate of 35 percent, the highest among OECD countries. Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio is 35 percent. It is targeting a ratio of 25 percent by 2021 thanks to a strong commitment to spending cuts from Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The U.S. ratio is 73 percent and rising. Mr. Harper has publicly pushed for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would benefit the economies of both countries, while President Obama has done all he can to block the State Department’s permit. Canada also has an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, lower than America’s.
The increasing gap in economic freedom, the rapid growth of public debt, the push toward socialized health care, increasing burdens of extreme regulatory pressure, and many other factors are a shameful and destructive attack on what once was the most free country on the planet.
It is becoming increasingly clear that true patriots, conservatives, and libertarians need to push to return government to a far more states-oriented, federalist view as a means of returning the country to its founding principles. We need to use the rights of states to act as a constitutional circuit breaker on the growing power of the federal government. Check out the work of groups like the Goldwater Institute for more information on how that can be achieved.
Dr. Brian Day clearly lays out the problem with running a single-payer health care system. His closing line pretty much sums it up. Canada came in dead last on a list of 30 other countries around the world for value of health care provided for the dollars spent.
When the top brass of the Canadian health care system (i.e., the current and former heads of the Canadian Medical Association) are both saying that the Canadian system is “imploding,” or providing bottom-of-the-barrel quality health care to Canadian citizens, can anyone out there give me a solid reason for rushing headlong into the exact same fiasco here in the U.S.?
As if we didn’t need another reason to RUN!!!! from the socialized, single-payer system that Obama and the Dems are trying to force on us. Here’s an article in which the top Canadian doctor — the incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association — openly admits that the Canadian health care system is “imploding.” She openly admits that Canadian doctors are scrambling to keep the most basic care available for Canadians. The article quotes Doig and other Canadian doctors who admit that as part of a move toward “patient-centred care,” that the Canadian system will need to allow private, for-profit options for Canadians – the exact opposite direction that Obama wants us to go.
Read it yourself and then ask if you really want to chuck the best medical system in the world for that.
The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country’s health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.
Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country – who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting – recognize that changes must be made.
“We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize,” Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
“We know that there must be change,” she said. “We’re all running flat out, we’re all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands.” …
“(Canadians) have to understand that the system that we have right now – if it keeps on going without change – is not sustainable,” said Doig.
I’ve posted here before on the potential outcomes of altering the traditional definition of marriage. Now Darcey has another post demonstrating that once you’ve opened up the subject, others are going to take the ball and run with it.
Last spring, Aly Hindy of the Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Ontario told the Toronto Star that he had personally blessed more than 30 polygamous marriages over five years and touted it all up to his religion:
“This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion,” he said. “If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that.”
After that article a few more came out across Canada talking about thousands of Muslims with multiple-wives which is now the now politically correct term for polygamy and I believe we are going to be hearing more of it now that British Columbia has charged two men from Bountiful with polygamy including their leader Winston Blackmore. This case has been coming for a long time and I believe it stems from public pressure but I don’t believe they are going to win. A few years ago Winston Blackmore stated if he was ever charged he was going to use the charter of rights and freedoms and most current speculators are assuming he is going to do just that:
Get ready Canada, legalized polygamy (or mulitple-wives, or polyamory, or whatever you wish to call it) is coming to the courthouse near you .. the city near you .. and likely the house near you. What’s more, the proponents of polygamy will have as strong a legal and moral argument for further redefining the definition of marriage as gay couples have recently presented to society and the courts.
It doesn’t matter if it offends my Judeo-Christian sensibilities, or someone else’s Muslim/Mormon/Catholic/Buddhist/atheist/agnostic beliefs, or your feminist contention that polygamy is a tool for the subjugation of womyn, or our traditional North American beliefs and heritage, or that the definition of marriage has been “one man and one woman” for most of human history. None of that matters anymore.
As I have said in other posts, if you are willing to defend the “right” of homosexual couples to marry, you cannot reasonably deny the same “right” to informed adults who wish to enter into other forms of “marriage.”
On the horizon – next comes inter-species marriage. Since animals are now being given the same legal rights as humans – one could not legally argue that would be inappropriate. so long as both parties were willing.
I wish I had read this Australian government web page before I grew up in Canada. If only I had known that I had unintentionally exposed myself to so much danger for over those 30 years.
Australians considering a trip to the Great White North may find themselves quickly making other plans after reading their federal government’s travel advisory on Canada.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently updated its “Smart Traveller” website – intended to give travellers “up-to-date information about the risks Australians might face overseas” – and classified the world’s nations into five categories based on their current “security situation.”
Canada falls into the second safest category, called “exercise caution” (not as safe as Chile, Romania and South Korea), with terrorism listed as the top concern.
“We advise you to exercise caution and monitor developments that might affect your safety in Canada because of the risk of terrorist attack,” the website reads.
“Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.”
While the crime rate in Canada is acknowledged to be “similar to that of Australia,” tourists are warned to remain vigilant as “pick pocketing and street theft occurs at tourist destinations, hotels and on public transit.”
The section on climate, which was just updated with new information about natural disasters, would turn even the most hardened adventurer away.
“Heavy snowfalls and ice in the winter can make driving dangerous. The wind-chill factor can also create dangerously cold outdoor conditions. … The province of British Columbia in western Canada is in an active earthquake zone. Alberta and British Columbia are also subject to avalanches. … Tornadoes can occur in some areas of Canada between May and September. Bush and forest fires can occur any time in Canada.”
To be fair, the bit about the wind chill is correct. And, yes, it is true that a lot of the tourists (and people from Vancouver) have no idea how to drive in snow. Other than that, stating that Alberta and British Columbia are subject to avalanches is a bit over the top. Well … there was the big slide of ought-6 that leveled the city of Edmonton.
With the Canadian dollar now sitting at par with the US greenback, people are, once again, floating the idea that the Loonie’s exchange rate should be fixed against the U.S. dollar before it changes again. However, a new CD Howe study, written by David Laidler, says that the push to stick the Loonie is misguided.
The idea of a pegged Canadian-U.S. dollar exchange rate is in the air again, perhaps as a first step towards a North American monetary union. Though some supporting arguments have changed since last time around — such as the peg’s potential to defuse rising tension between Canada’s resource-driven and manufacturing regions — it is still a bad idea. Economic fundamentals suggest that fixing the exchange rate would expose Canada once again to the swings in inflation and unemployment that successful inflation targeting, supported by a floating rate, has done so much to mitigate since 1991.
Canadian proponents of fixing have become sensitive to the serious economic and political obstacles to a full North American monetary union, and no longer treat the latter as a near-term goal. Nor do they argue, as they did when the dollar hovered near 62 cents, that the floating Canadian dollar is under imminent threat of extinction by market forces. They do assert, however, that a pegged rate would add stability to the business environment, as well as reduce domestic economic and political tensions.
Now, other things being equal, a successfully fixed exchange is an attractive prospect, but the trouble is that those other things would not remain equal. Canada’s floating exchange rate does not move around gratuitously, but responds to influences that would still exist even if it were pegged, and would be felt through other channels.
There is a good article on the death of Canadian teen Aqsa Parvez. Aqsa was murdered by her father for refusing to wear the burqa. The article, written by former Muslim, Alamgir Hussain is on the Islam Watch website. Later in the article, he discusses — with several references — the issue of compulsion in religion. It’s well worth reading the full article.
The murder of 16-year-old Canadian teen, Aqsa Parvez, by her Pakistani immigrant father for her refusal to wear a burka or hijab has shocked and saddened the nation. As people from all walks of life are mourning her tragic death, Muslims — particularly their religious leaders — have joined the chorus of denials that “Islam has nothing to with the death of Aqsa.”
Here is a Muslim riddle. When one criticizes the practice of Muslim women wearing the burka or hijab, Muslims quickly respond that their religious symbol or choice is being attacked, but when girls like Aqsa die for refusing to accept the same religious symbol, Muslims quickly respond by saying their religion has nothing do with the death.
It is indeed a fact that wearing the burka (not the more liberal hijab) is a religious duty for Muslim women commanded by Allah. The Quran [24:31] commands Muslim women to “draw their veils over their bosoms” so as not to expose their physical assets to unrelated people. Allah says [Quran 33:59]: “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers [Muslims] to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad).”
No Muslim will deny that Allah’s commands in the Quran are non-negotiable and binding on all Muslims. When someone dies for refusing to comply with those binding Islamic obligations, it is ridiculous to say the Islamic religion has nothing to do with that death.
When I was growing up as a Muslim, my religious teachers at my school and madrasa used to tell us that a righteous Muslim parent must ask his or her children to follow their religious duties at the age of eight and pressure them at the age of ten. If they continue to refuse, beat them at the age of twelve. In many Muslim countries not all parents apply this protocol rigorously, but it remains a widely accepted guide. Some parents do follow it closely in order to bring their disobedient children onto the righteous path. As a result, injuries and even deaths occur, like Aqsa’s. These injuries and deaths can in no way be separated from the Islamic religion.
There’s more here, check it out.
I watched the video of the last moments in Robert Dziekanski’s life and came away with the feeling that I’m missing something. However, if I did see all that there is to see, it looks like Dziekanski’s death was unnecessary.
After viewing the video I had a lot of questions running through my head.
It’s pretty clear that Dziekanski was agitated and had been moving/throwing furniture and computers earlier in the video. However, it is reasonable to suggest that if you had been retained in an airport for 10 hours and not allowed to speak with anyone who you could understand, you might be a little agitated as well. What was also clear was, that despite being agitated, when people talked to him, he set the items down gently.
When the four RCMP officers arrived, he moved away from the items and the security door and up against the desk behind him. As the police separated and moved to surround him, he then turned and walked away. As he turned, they tasered him.
I am not sure what type of tasers the police use, so I don’t know if they have special settings on their units. However, I do know that the average taser unit (for example, the X26E) has only a five second cycle that can be stopped by activating the safety. From the video, it is clear that Dziekanski is being tasered for longer than five seconds, as he is still groaning and spasming after the four police are moving in to restrain him. Why would it be necessary to “hit him again” as one of the people in the video yelled.
Again, I come away from this video and reading the articles on the incident wondering.
I don’t relish the duties and responsibilities of the police in situations like this. We demand that they go into bad, potentially life-threatening situations and make immediate judgments that will hold up in court for all time. In light of the terrorist threat we are facing and what recently happened at the Glasgow airport, the police are going to be at an all time high state of alert — think for a second what could happen if they make a mistake. However, we also provide them with training that will help prepare them to make those decisions in a professional and reasonable manner. Did they follow their training? Did they move ahead a few steps in the threat assessment because of a miscommunication down the line? I don’t know.
For now, I cannot say that I know enough about the incident to state positively that they overreacted, but even after giving the police the benefit of the doubt, it appears that they used excessive force in restraining Dziekanski. I’ll be interested in seeing what the final reports say.