October 15, 2008

No Tote Bags!

h/t Diogenes Borealis

Posted by Kate at October 15, 2008 8:09 PM

sad because its true.

Posted by: cal2 at October 15, 2008 10:42 PM

This time around I think they'll just choose to riot in the streets, burn cars and loot businesses.

Posted by: Eskimo at October 15, 2008 10:55 PM

Forget Canada. Move to Quebec;
because of the culture.

Posted by: Bernie at October 15, 2008 10:59 PM

Hey, you forgot to tell them about the 50%+ tax rate.

Posted by: The Phantom at October 15, 2008 11:03 PM

Yes, by all means! Come North!
...and then keep going North until you've gone right over the top and are in Sweden.

Posted by: Edward Teach at October 15, 2008 11:16 PM

I wonder if these idiots realize Canada reelected a conservative economist on Tuesday.

This may be the only hope for the Liberals; a McCain win south of the border.

Posted by: Ryan at October 15, 2008 11:36 PM

Hopefully the events of last night will lower the chances of Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, or Michael Moore becoming my neighbors anytime soon.

Posted by: Bart F. at October 15, 2008 11:47 PM

Where are Bob and Doug Mackenzie when we really need them. Apparently Trailer Park Boys was not enough.

Posted by: Jay Currie at October 16, 2008 12:43 AM

Does that 50% tax rate cover both federal and local? Because if it does, it sounds pretty good compared to what Obama has planned for me on top of what Vermont already does.

Posted by: Tim in Vermont at October 16, 2008 6:59 AM

...for some reason, the Mountie in the screen shot looks like something out of a Monty Python movie.

Just can't place my finger on it.


Posted by: tomax7 at October 16, 2008 7:00 AM

Actually on a very serious note, CPC in Canada and a possible Obama presidency here makes Alberta look very attractive to me once again. Although one chooses residency over larger issues than simply politics, I am certainly considering returning to Alberta.

Posted by: Brent Weston at October 16, 2008 7:51 AM

That's with a Conservative government in place too, Tim.

If you add it all up, federal, provincial, local, taxes and fees, according to the Frazer Inst. it ends up being something on the order of 65% for the -average- family. If you're in Quebec its worse.

Don't know why, but I don't feel like a free man when I know they're taking more than half of every dollar I earn, one way or another. At least Harper and Co. are working at cutting it back, one bullsh1t government department at a time.

And you're right, that is exactly what Obama has in mind. Tax the "rich" to bribe the "poor".

Drudge has this up on the top line right now: //

"Joe The Plumber" has weighed in on Wednesday's presidential debate and he says that Barack Obama's tax plan "infuriates me."... "To be honest with you, that infuriates me," plumber Joe Wurzelbacher told Nightline's Terry Moran. "It's not right for someone to decide you made too much---that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back."

"That's just completely wrong," he added."

Posted by: The Phantom at October 16, 2008 8:52 AM

Tim in Vermont,
50% covers about all the taxes including some GST purchases. Quebec (Your direct neigbor) is the highest taxed and Alberta the least. Now before you leave because of Obama, also take note that our purchase power is a lot less here because of many higher priced items like electronics and cars, cloths, food, gas...The dollar is currently valued at .84 US and has dropped as much as .62 in the past.
If you have no employer paid medical insurance you might break even with what you have now if you were up here but our social system is fast falling apart and will go broke soon since the boomers are aging. Many private clinics are starting to pop up and it's a matter of time before we have parallel systems. The current social system, you have to wait months to get service right now.
Example: I have been diagnosed with nasal polips 1 month ago by a specialist. 1 month prior to that, my family doctor set up that specialist's apointment. At the end of this month I have my appointment for my MRI scan so they can construct their surgical "pattern". Then on Dec 16th I have an appointment to review the scan with the surgeon which will then set up the surgery. I will not be surprized if that is set for late spring or even summer 09.
BTW: That family doctor took me 3 1/2 years to get. Thousands in this country have no family doctor waiting on lists.

Now do the math.

Posted by: Right Honorable Terry Tory at October 16, 2008 9:05 AM

I guess the good thing about Baracorn elected President is that Alex Baldwin won't be moving to Canada after all.

Posted by: a different Bob at October 16, 2008 9:17 AM

Here in *Alberta* (per capita, the best-funded social medicine regime in Canada) I had to wait almost two years to see a GI specialist.

You read that right.   Two years.   It ain't all kittens and sunshine up here...


Posted by: Garth Wood at October 16, 2008 9:20 AM

This time around I think they'll just choose to riot in the streets, burn cars and loot businesses.

Posted by: Eskimo at October 15, 2008 10:55 PM

Of course they will. The Rodney King riots were in 1992: those looted TVs are obsolete or in the landfill. Why not upgrade to the new generation of large-screen TVs? Remember, U.S. broadcasting goes digital in February. We wouldn't want Rufus and Shaniqua to miss the Lakers' games in HD.

Plus, we all know the police will flounder ineffectually, not act decisively. The political leadership will fear to act, because reasserting control will be construed as "racist." Then, once the damage is done, the National Guard will go in, a few token criminals will be prosecuted, and everything will go back to normal until the next round of imagined grievances.

Posted by: Charles MacDonald at October 16, 2008 10:02 AM

Just a note to continue Charles MacDonald's post...We have the same kind of loyal to democracy type citizentry here in Canada; it is called les Quebecois. The only difference is that they blackmail to extort cash from others to get their big screen HD TV's.

Posted by: Right Honorable Terry Tory at October 16, 2008 10:17 AM

Last US election a number of Dems I know in the US all swore they would move to Canada if Bush got re-elected.

As it so happens they are all still in the US.

Posted by: TJ at October 16, 2008 11:21 AM

I am not ready to give up my US health care, or leave the country. The point of my comment was that I don't think Canadians realize how high our taxes have become.

Posted by: Tim in Vermont at October 16, 2008 11:22 AM

Oi, does anyone even bother looking up any information regarding this subject? Canada's effective tax rate, on average, based on the average wage of the nation, is 31.6% based on OECD data in 2005 (before Conservative tax cuts).

Guess how much the U.S. paid? 29.1%. This is _only_ personal income tax, so you have to add on any kind of GST or PST based on purchases made for the year, and then property tax, etc. etc. The U.S. pays sales taxes in each state which seem to average around 4 - 6%. Now its definitely true that richer Canadians pay more tax than rich American's...our taxes are more biased against the rich than the U.S. system is, however the lower tax brackets are taxed less and are given more rebates than the U.S. making things even out somewhat.

Posted by: bar_jebus at October 16, 2008 12:52 PM

Frig off, eh!

Posted by: bud at October 16, 2008 1:17 PM

haha, brilliant!

Posted by: Richard Romano at October 16, 2008 1:29 PM


11 trillion and counting?

Just how would either of the economic illiterates running for the presidency deal with the mounting national debt?

Taxpayers just got hit with $850 billion to cover politically-correct lending practises inspired by your politicians.

Until somebody comes along and kills the US culture of entitlement, the US is going to sink further into the glue.

Obama's idea of spending your way into prosperity has been tried here before, by the former premier of Ontario who could become the leader of the Liberal Party once the other buffoon is jettisoned.

At least we have a Prime Minister who believes the person who earns the money is best qualified to decide how to spend it.

I don't see that particular sentiment in either one of your presidential candidates.

McCain is completely hopeless and Obama will load an even bigger burden on the taxpayer.

I would vote for Obama and a Republican congress to keep his spending in check.

To me, that's the only hope for the US to get out of its fiscal mess. Am I wrong?

Posted by: set you free at October 16, 2008 1:32 PM

Set You Free,

I don't think the US and most countries in the G20 will be able to pay their out of control debts or simply not go into yearly deficits without huge national sacrifices that I can't even start to contemplate in spoiled societies without chaos, revolution and anarchy.
The ones that could pay their debt down like Canada will be eventually blocked from doing so from the simple fact the other nations in trouble who normally exchange with Canada will eventually drag us into a standstill too. The free world is all financially inter connected now. The unraveling will be global.
The orgy of excess from cheap credit is way past it's point of no return. Monetary funds will eventually start devaluating. We need to throw the books out and start a new. But that won't happen without major major pain.

Posted by: Right Honorable Terry Tory at October 16, 2008 1:51 PM

The debts _do_ seem out of control, but with regards to America's debt as a percentage of GDP, it's not wildly out of control (well, I haven't seen a chart with the numbers since the bailout, so that could change). Under Clinton things were looking up with regards to the debt, the percentage of debt to GDP fell around 10 - 15 percent, but its been growing steadily under Bush (the percentage of GDP) back to the same levels as his fathers administration. Under Reagan the percentage climbed from 25% to close to 50% of the GDP, and with the recent bailouts, they've jumped up again.

So long as a country keeps their debt close enough to a certain percentage of their GDP, things will continue as normal. Israel maintains a national debt that equals 80% of their GDP, while Canada maintains one around 64%, which is currently far higher than the American ratio. Japan is the worst off however with a debt of around 200% of their GDP due to their massive infrastructure investments.

Posted by: bar_jebus at October 16, 2008 3:00 PM


I dunno, but my sense is that the US debt load is worse than Canada's.

Just look at the 1:10 population ratio.

Canada's debt right now is about $480 billion and successive governments have been paying it down. Last year, the entire $10 billion surplus went to debt repayment.

So, using the 1:10 ratio, an equivalent US debt should be $4.8 trillion.

Instread, it's now reaching $11 trillion, which includes the $850 billion taxpayers are stuck with due to flawed government policy which led to the subprime mess.

I'd say Canada is in much better economic shape to weather the storm.

There's encouraging signs Americans are living within their means.

Totally anecdotal, but a gal who was recently in Bermuda told me the place was virtually empty. US tourists are staying away.

Once the economy settles down to a sustainable level based on people living within their means, the US economy will settle down.

Still, there's that huge debt that will drive down the value of their dollar.

Looks like the stock markets had another turnaround today ... Dow is up 368 points, TSX is down just 26 points.

Good buying opportunity for those who have cash.

Posted by: set you free at October 16, 2008 4:18 PM

On a population basis you are correct set you free, but on a GDP basis Canada has a worse debt load. The reason being that the U.S. GDP per person is around 30% more than Canada.

Ultimately it doesn't matter how many people are in a nation but rather how much money that country generates. If the U.S. put half its GDP into paying off its debt in a single year, their debt would evaporate, but that would be absolutely catastrophic for their nation. The problem is that 11 trillion dollars (U.S. debt) is a huge number, and huge numbers scare people more than 500 billion (Canada's debt).

As to the stock market, it is a bargain compared to prices even a few months ago, but on a year over year average, we are sitting right in the middle in terms of the price to earnings ratios of most stocks. The real bargains would be to find stocks that are artificially depressed, the ones that are dragging the market down due to external influences (i.e. oil companies since the price of oil has collapsed, or financial institutions who will surely weather the current storm, but have investors so spooked that the company is seriously undervalued).

A good example is Cameco...their company is fundamentally sound, but their stock price has crashed, losing 70% of its value in the course of two months...Uranium will make a comeback if the U.S. ever opens Yucca Mountain, or allow some new plants to come online. India and China are building a ton of new nuke plants, so we'll see how that effects uranium prices.

Posted by: bar_jebus at October 16, 2008 4:37 PM

US GDP = $13 trillion

US national debt = $10 trillion

Ratio is 77% and rising.

Canada national debt is about 40% of GDP and falling. Of course we can't forget about provincial debt which ultimately falls on the same taxpayer.

But there is also US state debt.

I read somewhere that when the French national debt to GDP ratio passed 80% in the 18th century, a certain head of state found his way to the guillotine.

Posted by: felis corpulentis at October 16, 2008 11:26 PM

Sorry felis, I misspoke. I'm talking about _public debt_ which according to wikipedia sits at 5.3 trillion. You are entirely correct when it comes to gross public debt.

Posted by: bar_jebus at October 17, 2008 1:38 AM

What a childish production!

Everyone knows cops wear turbans in Canada...

Posted by: Jim at October 17, 2008 8:25 AM