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Is Canada a Capitalist or Socialist country?


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Canada is a healthy mixture of socialism and capitalism. Anyone who compares it to the People's Democratic Republic of Korea or Cuba is a drama queen. I suspect the necessities of any large-scale buil

Thread bumping. In any case given how even US Democrats have been transformed into pyjama clad AK47 packing extreme radicals these days - worrying about whether Canada is a socialist country seem

This is a silly topic Socialism is defined as; a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or reg

Every so often, I ask myself this question. Sure, we have healthcare, but so does other capitalist countries like Japan and the UK (NHS), sure we provide lots of EI and social securty, even the USA does.

However, many Americans down in the USA continue to label Canada as a socialist republic like Cuba and North Korea (hell, I spend time on the Politics section of Yahoo Answers).

Now, the question is, is Canada more of a Capitalist country or socialist country?

The question is ludicrously slanted. Even the US has plenty of socialist policy, they're just not allowed to say it down there.

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Every so often, I ask myself this question. Sure, we have healthcare, but so does other capitalist countries like Japan and the UK (NHS), sure we provide lots of EI and social securty, even the USA does.

However, many Americans down in the USA continue to label Canada as a socialist republic like Cuba and North Korea (hell, I spend time on the Politics section of Yahoo Answers).

Now, the question is, is Canada more of a Capitalist country or socialist country?

The words capitalist and socialist have no real meaning today in terms of extremes, and I dont know how you would measure that...

Heres the first method I came up with... If you assume that a nation that was 100% a "free market capitalist" economy, would have zero central planning (no government at all). And assume on the other end that "pure socialism" means the economy is 100% centrally and collectively managed then you have a basis for a comparison.

So to compare Canada to the US...

Canada spends about $280 billion on central planning, and collective administration, collective defense, and all other social programs combined, etc, from a GDP of about 3.4 trillion. So about 20% of our economy is centrally/collectively directed.

The US spends about 3.5 trillion for a GDP of 14.5 trillion. Closer to 25%.

So we have LESS central management than the US per capita, and LESS collective (common good) spending.

Edited by dre
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So to compare Canada to the US...

Canada spends about $280 billion on central planning, and collective administration, collective defense, and all other social programs combined, etc, from a GDP of about 3.4 trillion. So about 20% of our economy is centrally/collectively directed.

The US spends about 3.5 trillion for a GDP of 14.5 trillion. Closer to 25%.

So we have LESS central management than the US per capita, and LESS collective (common good) spending.

Probably a little oversimplified but you're central point is very valid. Nation states in the 19th century figured out after some abortive revolutions that the best way to assure contentment and tranquility in the middle and lower classes was to institute social services (along with, of course, increasing political emancipation). That meant a social safety net of some sort. The US was no different than any other Western country in this regard, starting with very basic services like free primary education, but over time expanding to include pensions, unemployment insurance, welfare and a whole raft of programs.

I doubt very much a pure free enterprise capitalist state could last long. In a democratic state, you would still have the lion's share of the votes in the hands of the working classes. In a more authoritarian state, like China, where there is growing economic emancipation, it's hard to see how eventually the state won't run up against the fact that that economically powerful working class is going to start asking questions that begin with "Hey, that's my money, why are you...?"

This poll is idiotic on several levels. Japan, for instance, is every bit the welfare state that Canada is.

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Dre, this is all good to know and very interesting. Please do give us a link though.

I cobbled that together from a few sources.

I got the GDP data from here...

http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=us+gdp#met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:USA:CAN

Use the checkboxes to get the data for each country.

The US Federal expenditures here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget

And Canadas here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Canadian_federal_budget

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Probably a little oversimplified but you're central point is very valid. Nation states in the 19th century figured out after some abortive revolutions that the best way to assure contentment and tranquility in the middle and lower classes was to institute social services (along with, of course, increasing political emancipation). That meant a social safety net of some sort. The US was no different than any other Western country in this regard, starting with very basic services like free primary education, but over time expanding to include pensions, unemployment insurance, welfare and a whole raft of programs.

I doubt very much a pure free enterprise capitalist state could last long. In a democratic state, you would still have the lion's share of the votes in the hands of the working classes. In a more authoritarian state, like China, where there is growing economic emancipation, it's hard to see how eventually the state won't run up against the fact that that economically powerful working class is going to start asking questions that begin with "Hey, that's my money, why are you...?"

This poll is idiotic on several levels. Japan, for instance, is every bit the welfare state that Canada is.

Probably a little oversimplified

Absolutely :)

My formula assumes that ALL collective endeavors for the common good are "socialism". I personally think that definition is defensible but I know people disagree on that.

I construct a very simple scale that has 0% central management on one end (market directs the entire economy), and 100% central management on the other end (Government directs entire economy). But I figure we are better of trying put some sort of metrics behind the question even if our methodology is not quite perfect than rely on "convention wisdom", and peoples "gut feeling".

Edited by dre
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Absolutely :)

My formula assumes that ALL collective endeavors for the common good are "socialism".

So. the london stock exchange, lloyds of london. The Toronto and montreal exchnages are solialist?

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So. the london stock exchange, lloyds of london. The Toronto and montreal exchnages are solialist?

No those things are driven by private investment, and trade shares of private companies. The central management and direction of those things is a socialist endeavor though to the extent that it happens.

In a country based soley on free market capitalism there would be no central planning or regulation of those type of institutions, by any entity representing the collective.

That central planning is what makes us a "mixed economy".

A mixed economy is an economy that includes a variety of private and government control, or a mixture of capitalism and socialism.[1]

There is not one single definition for a mixed economy,[2] but relevant aspects include: a degree of private economic freedom (including privately owned industry) intermingled with centralized economic planning and government regulation (which may include regulation of the market for environmental concerns, social welfare or efficiency, or state ownership and management of some of the means of production for national or social objectives).

Government interference or participation in the planning or regulation of the "market", reduces "private economic freedom", and slides you to the left on the scale I mentioned before. But it still doesnt mean those are not capitalist institutions... they are. But they centrally planned and managed ones to a degree.

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No those things are driven by private investment, and trade shares of private companies. The central management and direction of those things is a socialist endeavor though to the extent that it happens.

Methinks you are unaware of how they came to be. They were (are) collective endeavours for the common good of the collective...whether it is hedging or insuring against ship wrecks or simply a place to trade with established rules, rules established by the collective.

In a country based soley on free market capitalism there would be no central planning or regulation of those type of institutions, by any entity representing the collective.

In Canada we have no central planning or central regulation of the exchanges

That central planning is what makes us a "mixed economy".

:lol:

Government interference or participation in the planning or regulation of the "market", reduces "private economic freedom", and slides you to the left on the scale I mentioned before. But it still doesnt mean those are not capitalist institutions... they are. But they centrally planned and managed ones to a degree.

Mainly, the market polices itself and the government follows....for example, take the Hudbay M&A deal an d the changes that were made by the OSC which became precedent setting, right to the Kinross deal. Precedent setting. This is the government wading in...it is a government body reacting to a court challenge by the players which resulted in the government changing the rules. Without the players telling the government what rules are needed, the government would have bugger all to do.

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Methinks you are unaware of how they came to be. They were (are) collective endeavours for the common good of the collective...whether it is hedging or insuring against ship wrecks or simply a place to trade with established rules, rules established by the collective.

In Canada we have no central planning or central regulation of the exchanges

:lol:

Mainly, the market polices itself and the government follows....for example, take the Hudbay M&A deal an d the changes that were made by the OSC which became precedent setting, right to the Kinross deal. Precedent setting. This is the government wading in...it is a government body reacting to a court challenge by the players which resulted in the government changing the rules. Without the players telling the government what rules are needed, the government would have bugger all to do.

In Canada we have no central planning or central regulation of the exchanges

If you mean at the Federal level then thats true. But provincial regulators, still indicate a government directed economy.

For example TSX is regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) which has a mandate to...

Protect investors from unfair, improper and fraudulent practices

Foster fair and efficient capital markets

Maintain public and investor confidence in the integrity of those markets

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If you mean at the Federal level then thats true. But provincial regulators, still indicate a government directed economy.

For example TSX is regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) which has a mandate to...

Correct, there is no central planning...no central regulations....securities laws are different in Alberta say, than in Ontario.

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If you mean at the Federal level then thats true. But provincial regulators, still indicate a government directed economy.

For example TSX is regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) which has a mandate to...

Securities regulators is not the same thing as a directed economy. I have no idea where you get that idea, but methinks you don't know what is meant by a planned economy.

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This post is so loaded.

Canada is a mixed economy - and definitely oligarchic

Government is almost always socialist

1. Canada is technically a dictatorial state where all executive power is vested in a single person - the Queen - but the queen is not seen as a day to day ruler - and seen usually as a benevolent dictator - or just benevolent, because they are seen as a rubber stamp instead of a foot stamp.

2. Canada is not technically democratic - and it doesn't strictly adhere to its constitutionality in regard to practice. For instance 1. a number of organizations both government and business organizations have vetting powers for Candidates in federal elections - specifically professional accountants, the courts, elections canada, and some other individuals that are potential intervenors. The elections process itself is over sighted in part by Elections Canada and in part by the major parties (the winner of elections party and the 2nd place finishers party - they pick the people who count votes in the next election...)

3. Canada does not follow its constitutional laws - so it is a "de facto political state" not a de jure state, this is further propounded by the fact that its very sovereign existence legally stems from an still existing and ammendable act of british parliament - one that may also technically be unconstitutional due to ancient rights of british subjects not to have their constitutional rights abrogated - and essentially an alienation of rights violates the constitution of British subjects in Canada. More or less a state was created on political grounds, NOT strictly pro socio legal grounds - this could be reference back to "consensus" and ascension by the Monarch but this doesn't per se make the monarchs acts de jure but this becomes problematic and it can be seen that it is more so POLITICAL not de jure as the monarch ought not be able to violate their subjects individual rights for another persons wishes - as this would be biased conduct -but in part it is also the parliamentary fundamental. So you can look at it multiple ways but the practice ongoing is to deny constitutional rights on a basis of unconstitutional laws and acts that are supported (although they themselves are illegal) They exist by force of law (that is suppression of constitutional rights) - this would be an individualist trait - but capitalism and socialism could be then only left to "economic basis".

Since Money is controlled by the bank of Canada (a public organization - and finance laws and taxation are all made the government - it is a strictly socialist nation.

But in terms of practice there is a margin (the taxation rate) that would deem it a mixed economy not capitalist.

My government policy is much more capitalistic than the other parties who are far more socialistic because they support public taxation, and want to use the publics money for social use.

My system has people give money for what they would collectively like (free use of capital)

And sets a bear minimum of government intervention to keep peace and order and to provide for those in abject poverty

Further more it provides some basic rights of man in their pursuit of life - in insuring sustaining environment (rather than outright owned private land where a man is a slave by grounds of mere location (jurisdictional basis to loss of individual rights and generalized freedom under lordship), liberty - in the ability to choose their actions and activities and employment without forced serfdom.

Likewise wondeful rights such as the right to work.

The difference in a socialist and capitalist society is that individuals have a means of survival and exchange. Socialism equates servitude to the state, capitalism denotes private ownership of all material things.

The key in creating a "functioning" capitalist society is a NON TAXED society, and a government that functions at private by optional non monopoly based services.

This is what I support, sadly most governments in Canada have not, and are fiscally run to force socialization by debt slavery such as the yoke of bonds.

-----------

It is depending on what aspect you are coming from - most people will say mixed or socialist, but the de facto consensus is not a direclty franchised population, and

the people have no final say in how money is controlled, only government does.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689

The thing that makes it definitely socialist is.

1. The fact land is deeded on fee simple with taxation for holdings (rather than allodial right)

2. Various other portions of deeding is not provided to the individual but is held by the state. So property isn't actually owned.

3. the basis of totality of non self jurisdiction. Only people with sole jurisdiction can be landholders -- and only the government has that capacity - even the monarch in many cases has been stripped of personal ownership of property and instead had their assets vested to the state.

IT IS SOCIALIST. but ruled by an elite oligarchic group.

The basis of right would make this judicially capitalistic - but the rights of petition have been limited, and right to self representation in court has been trounced by the courts, and legislatures in regard to remedy against corporate bodies.

It is an "oligarchic" - aristocracy of the privileged rather than "free capital" the flow and use of capital is completely controlled by the government and professionals.

this is a non corporate fascism but more fascist than not because corporations have more protections than individuals for legal remedies.

Fascism (pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2][3][4] Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and

the economyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

Corporatism, also known as corporativism, is a system of economic, political, or social organization that views a community as a body based upon organic social solidarity and functional distinction and roles amongst individuals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatist

Edited by William Ashley
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I realize that this subject was abandoned in 2010; however, I googled the question and this site was #1. When analyzing economic structure in a country you can't ignore that the government controls where the nation is heading to a great degree through social programs etc. Merriam Webster online states that socialism is a transition state between capitalism and communism and as such is a gray area(if you will) with white being capitalism and black being communism. Things are seldom black or white and the same is true of most nations economics, but many countries are to some degree (a shade of gray) socialist.

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I realize that this subject was abandoned in 2010; however, I googled the question and this site was #1. When analyzing economic structure in a country you can't ignore that the government controls where the nation is heading to a great degree through social programs etc. Merriam Webster online states that socialism is a transition state between capitalism and communism and as such is a gray area(if you will) with white being capitalism and black being communism. Things are seldom black or white and the same is true of most nations economics, but many countries are to some degree (a shade of gray) socialist.

Good post. Good description.

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I realize that this subject was abandoned in 2010; however, I googled the question and this site was #1. When analyzing economic structure in a country you can't ignore that the government controls where the nation is heading to a great degree through social programs etc. Merriam Webster online states that socialism is a transition state between capitalism and communism and as such is a gray area(if you will) with white being capitalism and black being communism. Things are seldom black or white and the same is true of most nations economics, but many countries are to some degree (a shade of gray) socialist.

That's a very astute observation...

I would add that,historically speaking,things have gone the best for "The West" when we had a "controlled Capitalism"By that,I mean there was a workable economic framework that allowed the business sector to remain profitable,but there was also a regulatory framework to keep things under control and not go too far to one side or the other.

Most people,I think,would agree that over the last 3+ decades things have drifted (at least economically) towards breaking down that more controlled model and headed towards more "freedom" for business...

Another thing to note is that some think "Socialism" is a waystation on the way to Communism...That might be true in some cases.However,it must also be noted that the unfettering of Capitalism wil also lead us down a road to another extreme.And I would note that it's the reason why so many "freedom" loving Capitalists look at China as the best model for this...

Authoritarian Capitalism which is simply a longwinded term for Fascism...

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Most people,I think,would agree that over the last 3+ decades things have drifted (at least economically) towards breaking down that more controlled model and headed towards more "freedom" for business...

Complete nonsense. There are more controls and regulations on business than ever before. Each year, government adds more and more regulation on top of the already existing regulatory framework. You're premise is pure fantasy.

Authoritarian Capitalism which is simply a longwinded term for Fascism...

More nonsense, as usual. Anyone that doesn't agree with your fantasy based premise is a fascist. Err, wait, didn't is used to be crypto-fascist? :lol:

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Every so often, I ask myself this question. Sure, we have healthcare, but so does other capitalist countries like Japan and the UK (NHS), sure we provide lots of EI and social securty, even the USA does.

However, many Americans down in the USA continue to label Canada as a socialist republic like Cuba and North Korea (hell, I spend time on the Politics section of Yahoo Answers).

Now, the question is, is Canada more of a Capitalist country or socialist country?

Pfff... People only pull socialist up as a bogeyman term.

We are middle but very slightly on the right (on average) in practice

We, for the most part, are a capitalist country with some socialist tendencies.

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