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Canada's long, slow decline


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I've been feeling very pessimistic recently about this country's prospects. It seems to me that both by inclination and design we're headed in the wrong direction. Our politics is governed by a feckless cartel that seems unable to gauge or understand the concerns of ordinary Canadians and our economy, which is too dominated by various officially sanctioned oligopolies, is at best an unproductive second-tier entity. One of my relatives has told me that her son, who will soon graduate university with a STEM degree, is thinking of leaving the country for better opportunities elsewhere, probably in the U.S. or Australia. At the top of his list of his concerns about remaining is government policies that distinctly disadvantage young people like him. I believe that over the next 30 to 40 years Canada will simply become a 21st century version of Argentina, which slid from being the Western Hemisphere's second most prosperous country at the beginning of the 20th century to developing world status by the end. It can happen and this is the future we're apparently choosing. Can anybody or any political party prevent it?

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I've been feeling very pessimistic recently about this country's prospects. It seems to me that both by inclination and design we're headed in the wrong direction. Our politics is governed by a feckle

These 'Chamber of Commerce' style rankings prove very little. If you look more closely at academic analyses, Canada's rankings across a number of indices have been declining throughout much of the rec

It makes you cringe, doesn't it? Unless his lines are written for him and studiously practiced in advance, Trudeau tends to babble incomprehensibly. I think the critique in the last election that Trud

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I often feel pessimistic about the world in general and think Canada is holding its own against a world that is increasingly unstable.  Perhaps that will change over the next few years, who knows?   

Is there a country you would prefer to live in, somewhere?

 

 

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There is well over 7 billion people on the planet. In a few short years, it will soar to around 12 billion with not much indication of stopping.

But still need to grow food.

Don't think our 'betters' haven't done the math...

"Hmmmmm...1 billion is about right."

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2 hours ago, dialamah said:

I often feel pessimistic about the world in general and think Canada is holding its own against a world that is increasingly unstable.  Perhaps that will change over the next few years, who knows?   

Is there a country you would prefer to live in, somewhere?

 

Given that I'm retired I'm basically stuck here. And I won't be alive at mid-century, at which point I suspect the futility of Canada's current policies will surely have reached fulfillment resulting from steep falls down multiple economic indices. But if I were young I'd likely think of going elsewhere. I recently saw an online article - although I didn't save the link - rating the 10 best countries in the world for young people. Canada didn't make the cut. I believe Australia was at the top and the U.S. and Germany were also in the top ten. Canada's ridiculous social engineering policies will surely push us further down as talented and educated young people leave for greener pastures and fairer treatment elsewhere. My relative says that her son, who grew up in the diversity generation, gets kidded by his 'diverse' mates, who seem aware that the fix is in, about being pushed to the back of the job line, a situation he now takes so seriously as to believe there may be no future for him here. How did we allow Canada to get to this point?

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This is patently untrue.  Canada consistently ranks near the top of every quality of life index, ahead of the US and other developed countries.  Canada is a bastion (one of the last?) of progressive policy.  We have our limitations, challenged to provide all the modern advantages available with a small population spread over a vast territory with many indigenous and ethnic groups that have various perspectives, but we’ve held up quite well under the pressure of retrograde quasi-fascist pressure from almost every continent.  Be grateful, stop whining, and work hard to improve the the great country we have. 

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16 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

This is patently untrue.  Canada consistently ranks near the top of every quality of life index, ahead of the US and other developed countries.  Canada is a bastion (one of the last?) of progressive policy.  We have our limitations, challenged to provide all the modern advantages available with a small population spread over a vast territory with many indigenous and ethnic groups that have various perspectives, but we’ve held up quite well under the pressure of retrograde quasi-fascist pressure from almost every continent.  Be grateful, stop whining, and work hard to improve the the great country we have. 

Your opinion isn't apparently shared by many people. We're falling, and doing so quickly. And "progressive" policy is a big part of the problem. Among Western countries, the quality of our health care system ranks near the bottom. Wages are, by design, stagnant. Housing prices and rents, particularly in our largest cities (at least in English-speaking Canada), are beyond the reach of ordinary income earners. Our education system is in decline. Our infrastructure is inadequate and crumbling. Our social safety net no longer functions as a safety net but as a support system for a permanent subsidy class. Food bank use is soaring. Our educated young are leaving for opportunities elsewhere. Our middle class is withering, a fact illustrated by the fact that according fewer than half of Canadians now say they enjoy middle class status, down from 70% at the beginning of the century. I could go on. I just look around me and see decay and despair everywhere. There is little hope for this country. It's time to be realistic.

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"Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself. Heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression, this generation starting from its own negations has had to re-establish, both within and without, a little of that which constitutes the dignity of life and death. In a world threatened by disintegration, in which our grand inquisitors run the risk of establishing forever the kingdom of death, it knows that it should, in an insane race against the clock, restore among the nations a peace that is not servitude, reconcile anew labour and culture, and remake with all men the Ark of the Covenant. It is not certain that this generation will ever be able to accomplish this immense task, but already it is rising everywhere in the world to the double challenge of truth and liberty and, if necessary, knows how to die for it without hate. Wherever it is found, it deserves to be saluted and encouraged, particularly where it is sacrificing itself. In any event, certain of your complete approval, it is to this generation that I should like to pass on the honour that you have just given me."

~Albert Camus' speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1957

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4 hours ago, turningrite said:

Your opinion isn't apparently shared by many people. We're falling, and doing so quickly. And "progressive" policy is a big part of the problem. Among Western countries, the quality of our health care system ranks near the bottom. Wages are, by design, stagnant. Housing prices and rents, particularly in our largest cities (at least in English-speaking Canada), are beyond the reach of ordinary income earners. Our education system is in decline. Our infrastructure is inadequate and crumbling. Our social safety net no longer functions as a safety net but as a support system for a permanent subsidy class. Food bank use is soaring. Our educated young are leaving for opportunities elsewhere. Our middle class is withering, a fact illustrated by the fact that according fewer than half of Canadians now say they enjoy middle class status, down from 70% at the beginning of the century. I could go on. I just look around me and see decay and despair everywhere. There is little hope for this country. It's time to be realistic.

You can’t make all of these claims without data to support them, just by looking around.  We have the best public education system in the English speaking world.  Our teens score in the top five countries internationally in reading, writing, math and science.  Our unemployment rate at 5.8% is the lowest in 40 years.  While housing prices are high in our biggest cities, that is mostly a mark of our success.  Home prices have steadily risen since the mid-90’s, which means that if you have a home (a non-taxable investment as the primary residence), your nest egg has grown tremendously in value, adding to household wealth.  

If anything Canada is experiencing the growing pains of success.  People want to be here.  It speaks to our values that we welcomed vulnerable refugees fleeing civil war in Syria.  The US will not be looked on with admiration for its government’s xenophobic policies.  Believe it or not our immigration policies are among the best as they are largely skills based. Don’t buy into the anti-scientific, fear mongering rhetoric south of the border.  We have good anti-climate change policy. We are on the right side of history.  Trump is a concern, not a model for democracy.  Appreciate what you have in Canada.  Our social policies prevent vast inequality.  

We need to do more to make housing affordable for young people, but if you think that Trumpists like Ford will do it, you’re sadly mistaken.  He is removing the foreign buyers’ tax on housing. Trudeau is problematic too.  Canada needs to toughen up, at least militarily, to defend our way of life, but be wary of simplistic answers and inhumane policies that play on fear. 

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10 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

You can’t make all of these claims without data to support them, just by looking around.  We have the best public education system in the English speaking world. 

 

Cite please for this often repeated claim....I can find rankings that say otherwise   (e.g. United Kingdom ranked higher).

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7 hours ago, turningrite said:

How did we allow Canada to get to this point?

It's really simple, we decided to put economics ahead of virtue.

This decline is also very global in nature so it's not just us at fault.

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Top 5 Winners

 

?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.beam.usnews.com%2F98%2F34%2F2eea0f664f129ff2c54a0995bc45%2Fresizes%2F500%2Fbc18.countries_canada_crop.jpg

#2 in Best Countries

A typical Canadian consumer spends $28,996 on goods and services each year, according to the World Bank.

 

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#11 in Best Countries

A typical Danish consumer spends $28,282 on goods and services each year.

 

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#6 in Best Countries

A typical Swedish consumer spends $25,770 on goods and services each year.

 

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#12 in Best Countries

A typical Norwegian consumer spends $39,797 on goods and services each year.

 

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#7 in Best Countries

A typical Australian consumer spends $30,762 on goods and services each year.

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19 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Cite please for this often repeated claim....I can find rankings that say otherwise   (e.g. United Kingdom ranked higher).

Canada, fifth best country to raise kid; attributes considered were:  care for human rights, family-friendly, gender equality, happiness, income equality, level of safety, well-developed public education system and well-developed health care system.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/us-news-world-report-2018-top-10-best-countries-to-raise-children.html

United States didn't even make the list.

"For the countries that rose to the top of this year's rankings, it is once again clear that military vigor and economic power are no longer the key determinants to a country's brand success," Y&R Global CEO David Sable said in a statement."

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There is a lot that's pretty bad about how this country is run. We jet around the world trying to set up free trade with other countries, but we have no free trade between provinces.

We have massive bureaucracy which gets in the way of business and individuals. Government fees and red tape add between $150k-$600k to the price of a home across Canada. We have the best paid public servants to be found, and the best paid cops, firefighters and teachers. And get mediocre services. We've built our EI system into a duplicate welfare/income support for people who work three months of the year and relax the rest - never looking for work because -- why should they? Most of our artists, musicians, poets, dancers, writers and actors are effectively living off the government dime, because no one else likes what they do enough to pay for it. We have the most expensive banking and investing services in the world, to go along with the most expensive internet, cell phone and cable. Why? Because the government controls the prices and fees, and there's little competition. And then there's our ever expanding 'native' population, and their growing demand on services, which no politician wants to do anything to address. We can't continue to have a large population of welfare lifers in Canada, living out in the bushes as if it was 1867. They need to be moved in closer to urban areas where there are jobs, and need to be taught to work.

I'm coming to the conclusion that I will vote for Max Bernier's party next election, not just because he's the only one with the balls to challenge the chattering classes on their ever rising immigration numbers, but because he's the only one likely to do anything about any of the above.

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5 minutes ago, dialamah said:

Canada, fifth best country to raise kid; attributes considered were:  care for human rights, family-friendly, gender equality, happiness, income equality, level of safety, well-developed public education system and well-developed health care system.

 

The specific and oft repeated claim was for public education in "English speaking" nations.

I could be wrong, but I think "English" is still spoken in the United Kingdom.

 

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7 minutes ago, dialamah said:

United States didn't even make the list.

"For the countries that rose to the top of this year's rankings, it is once again clear that military vigor and economic power are no longer the key determinants to a country's brand success," Y&R Global CEO David Sable said in a statement."

 

...and yet, the United States has remained the #1 destination for landed immigrants...legal and illegal.  I guess they don't care about such rankings.

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19 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

The specific and oft repeated claim was for public education in "English speaking" nations.

I could be wrong, but I think "English" is still spoken in the United Kingdom.

 

Yes, we outperform the UK.  International testing (PISA) is every three years:

Canada's 15-year-old students among best global performers in science, math

Students in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia among the best in the country

 
nicole-mortillaro.jpg
Nicole Mortillaro · CBC News · Posted: Dec 06, 2016 1:36 PM ET | Last Updated: December 6, 2016
 
st-anne-catholic-school.JPG
Canadian high school students are faring better than those in most other OECD countries. (Laura DaSilva/CBC)

Canadian 15-year-olds are among the best in the world in science and science-based technology, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Canada ranked fourth among OECD countries, tied with Finland and surpassed only by Singapore, Japan and Estonia, according to the report involving 540,000 students from around the world. Among all participating countries and economies, Canada ranked fourth.

 

The ranking comes from the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which surveys adolescents every three years for their proficiency in science, math and reading. The focus of the testing, however, is science.

https://twitter.com/OECD/status/806075954460315648/photo/1

The results didn't differ much from 2006, when Canadian teens also were ranked high in science. In both 2009 and 2012, however, students scored slightly lower than in 2015.

Despite the high ranking for Canada, the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, concluded in its report on the findings "that there is cause for some concern."

"Almost one in 10 Canadian students do not meet the benchmark level of science proficiency, a proportion which has not changed since the baseline year in 2006, and students in minority-language settings achieve lower results in science compared to their counterparts in majority-language settings," it said.

When it comes to mathematics and reading, 15-year-old students in Canada also performed well above the OECD average. Only Singapore surpassed Canada in reading.

Canada was also one of the highest-performing countries when it came to equity between boys and girls.

Provincially, students in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia performed particularly well in science, among the best with the highest-performing countries and economies. 

Approximately 20,000 students were tested across 10 provinces in both English and French.

"The results from PISA 2015 are extremely gratifying. In every domain, Canada is not only near the very top internationally, we have increased our ranking since PISA 2012," Doug W. Currie, chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, and minister of education, early learning and culture for Prince Edward Island, said in a press release.

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14 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

Yes, we outperform the UK.  International testing (PISA) is every three years:

 

 

There is more to public education strata than "15 year olds" and PISA testing.  

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/education-full-list

https://www.banboneirubek.com/content/countries-best-education-system

 

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1 hour ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

...and yet, the United States has remained the #1 destination for landed immigrants...legal and illegal.  I guess they don't care about such rankings.

You gots yer quantity then you've gots yer quality. It's pretty clear what you care most about.

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35 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Yep....America gets both...including many of Canada's best.   They know where to go for the best opportunities.

Okay, a little anecdote from one of my last trips south. In a small town where we were staying in Florida, I'd just come back from a walk to a traffic jam outside our place.  When I asked people on the street what the fuss was about, I was told that a man smashed his car into another car, got out of his car and walked towards the car he hit to ask the woman driving it if she was alright.  He pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.  That kind of shit just doesn't happen very much in small-town Canada,   I don't feel as safe in the U.S. by a longshot.  It's a great place like many places, on the whole, but it's quite a spectacle.  So when you say that America draws so many people because of opportunities, I'd say that opportunity is a relative idea.  There's economic opportunity and opportunity for safety, education, health and so much more to consider.  Canada tends to fall under the radar internationally.  If that prevents our country from facing some of the chaos and downsides of our big neigbour to the south, I'm good with that.

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2 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

... I don't feel as safe in the U.S. by a longshot.  It's a great place like many places, on the whole, but it's quite a spectacle.  So when you say that America draws so many people because of opportunities, I'd say that opportunity is a relative idea.  There's economic opportunity and opportunity for safety, education, health and so much more to consider.  Canada tends to fall under the radar internationally.  If that prevents our country from facing some of the chaos and downsides of our big neigbour to the south, I'm good with that.

 

America is not about playing it "safe"...and never has been.   

Going to the moon was not a "safe" thing to do, but Americans (and other nationals wanting more opportunity and challenge)...did it anyway.

I'm good with that too...the "safe" Canadians can just watch on American television networks...like they always do.

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1 minute ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

America is not about playing it "safe"...and never has been.   

Going to the moon was not a "safe" thing to do, but Americans (and other nationals wanting more opportunity and challenge)...did it anyway.

I'm good with that too...the "safe" Canadians can just watch on American television networks...like they always do.

I disagree with that.  Canada has always had a very strong space program, from having the fastest aircraft (until Eisenhower asked us to shut it down) to being the third country to launch a satellite into space to the Canadarm to leading ISS missions.  It's not about risk-taking, which Canada does very well.  Read our world war histories.  It's about avoiding reckless policies like the 2nd Amendment.

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