Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Oh Canada! ... Role-Reversal in North America?

From Brussels Journal
By Marc Huybrechts

Stereotypes are often rooted in some current or past reality, but they can also become outdated. While the USA and Japan have for a long time been regarded as small-government countries, among industrial countries, Canada has long been considered more ‘socialistic’ and closer to the big-government model of Western Europe. However, a careful look at the relevant economic data casts serious doubt on that old stereotype. That is exactly what three economists did in a recent article in The Washington Post (Chris Edwards, Jason Clemens and Niels Veldhuis, Great Right North, Sunday, May 17, 2009), using data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and development (the OECD, which is specialized in constructing ‘comparable data’ for industrial countries) as well as on national data from the USA and Canada. Consider the following 7 criteria for judging the degree of socialism in North America (excluding Mexico).

1) Government Spending


Over the last twenty years or so, consolidated general government spending, i.e. spending at ALL levels of government (federal, state/provincial, local) has steadily declined in Canada from a peak of about 53 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) in 1992 to just below 40 percent in the last few years (2004-08).

By contrast, in the USA, over most of the same time period, general government spending has tended to fluctuate narrowly around 35-36 percent. However, in recent years (2006-08) it has turned sharply upwards to reach the current ‘Canadian level’ of just below 40 percent of GDP.

Read the rest of this entry >>

1 comment:

Canada Realtor said...

The numbers sure and graphs sure look surprising to me. Although since Mr. Obama happened in the US, I did expect a change in their government spending which had to show somehow in the numbers. Anyways, great article, thank you for sharing it,

take care, Elli