Friday, July 20, 2012

We're richer than you because we're socialists, Eh

The median family wealth in the US is now less than $53,000. We aren't even in the top 15 anymore. Even Canada has passed us by, and at $89,000 is leaving us in the dust. Why is Canada doing so well? For one thing they didn't have a banking collapse, they regulate theirs. Other than that, their economy is a clone of the US, except for the 40% unionization of private sector workers (we have 7% including second tier workers that get starvation wages). That might have something to do with the decline of American wealth since Reagan declared war on unions. Then there is Canada's single payer healthcare system, no family loses everything from sickness. In the US, 2/3 of bankruptcy filings are a result of sickness.

The right-wingers will tell you that Americans are broke because they are lazy and spend all their money at Starbucks. Those $5 coffees do ad up, but seriously, and I'm pretty sure they have Starbucks in Canada (serving maple bark blended something for $5 CAN).  Besides, Starbucks is essential to the new service economy that replaced our industrialized economy. Do you suppose this has something to do with our decline? The right can't understand that money needs to circulate, so just convincing everybody to be stingy isn't going to make all of us rich.

But, just circulating money doesn't work either, Wall Street has been telling us that was the solution for a couple of decades. Clearly we should all be catching on to that scam by now. You can either produce wealth the old fashion way (you know make things), or you can steal wealth from the people who did (the Bain way).  

There is also the monopoly business model, just use overwhelming capital to drive your competition into the ground, and then clean up at your price. The six Walmart heirs now have more wealth than the bottom 40% of families in America. This doesn't count their control of corporate assets that effectively doubles their impact. If you own a business in a town invaded by Walmart, you and 200 of your middle class compatriots are on the way to working poor status. Your business assets become worth little or nothing, and the value of your home begins to decline.

This is the way of America in the past 30 years, try to find family owned businesses anymore. This is where the wealth went. If you still have some wealth you are simply a target. Sharks don't ever stop swimming or eating. Even if they don't target you directly, your customer base is simply disappearing into their hungry maw.


Anonymous said...

For one thing they didn't have a banking collapse, they regulate theirs.

We didn't have a banking collapse because, yes we regulate our banks. The Canadian government also dumped, depending on who you believe, between 16 and 41 billion into the Canadian banking system to ensure a collapse did not occur. Why was that needed? Because our 'regulated' banks were also exposed to the crisis through their own greed. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), one of the big five chartered bank, took a heavy hitdue to its involvement in US realty, but weathered it due to government intervention.

Other than that, their economy is a clone of the US

No, it is not. Our economy is far more resource and energy driven than that of the US.

40% unionization of private sector workers

About one in three Canadian employees (31.2%) belonged to a union or were covered by a collective agreement in 2011. And that has declined slightly over the last decade from ~33%. And unionization varies by province anywhere from 23% in Alberta to 39% in Quebec.

Then there is Canada's single payer healthcare system, no family loses everything from sickness.

First true thing in the article. But we pay taxes for that system, it isn't free.

(serving maple bark blended something for $5 CAN).

Awwww. Cute, rustic Canucks. Fuck you and your pathetic stereotypes, anonymous blogger.

Oh, and we're not 'socialists' in the American meaning of the word. Not even Nordic type socialists. But then the author didn't get his basic research right, so why would he get that right?

prairie2 said...

Guess this guy didn't get the point. Canada is only "socialist" by the standards of the US right. Only a conservative could be "insulted" by having it pointed out that Canada is doing things better than the US. Are you really from Canada, or just a hoser?

Anonymous said...

I guess you missed the point that most of your 'facts' about Canada are wrong, when they're not patronizing. Are you really doing in depth analysis, or just a poser?

prairie2 said...

You're nit-picking that Quebec only has 39% unionization and not 40%? Canada still has more unions than the US ever did. Seriously, this post isn't about you, or Canada. You seem to be complaining that Canada is really worse off than I portrayed it. My blog is about the failings of the US economic/political system, take off hoser (just kidding).