In a country where Cliven Bundy can be a folk hero, it must come as a shock that the Amerian middle class is no longer the richest in the world. According to the apostles of “the free market” and sink-or-swim individualism, their way is the only way to prosperity. And they have been able to point to the good life enjoyed by the American middle class as proof positive of their doctrine’s infallibility.
But no longer.
The American middle class is now Number Two in the world. And one of those dreaded Socialist countries is Number One.
It’s Canada, eh? The True North strong and free. The land of the Mountie and the Moose, of hockey pucks and parkas, the Bluenose and beer, lots and lots of beer (it helps to keep the blood flowing in those frigid temperatures).
How’s that for a poke in Uncle Sam’s eye?
It was bad enough losing gold medals to Canada in both the men’s and women’s hockey in the recent Olympics, but it must really sting for American “patriots”to read stuff like this excerpt from Lynn Stuart Parramore’s article in Alternet:
After taxes, the Canadian middle class now has a higher income than its American counterpart.
So, it looks as if taxes aren’t keeping Canada’s middle class down, after all. Could it be that taxes can benefit the economy? Can it be that NOT taxing the rich is actually harming America? Here’s more from Ms. Parramore:
America’s wealthy are leaping ahead of the rest of much of the globe, but the middle class is falling behind. So are the poor. That’s the sobering news from the latest research put out by LIS, a group based in Luxembourg and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Sobering indeed. Especially when you consider what those middle-class Socialists in Canada have that their American free-marketers don’t. Here’s what Ms. Parramore says:
So what does Canada have that the U.S. doesn’t have? Well, it has universal healthcare, for one thing. And more unions. And a better social safety net.
And apparently, Canada is not the only country where “Socialists” are living well. Ms Parramore explains:
And many European countries are closing in on us. Median incomes in Western European countries are still a bit lower than those of the U.S., but the gap in several countries, including the Netherlands, Sweden and Britain, is significantly smaller than it was a decade ago. However, if you take into account the cost of things like education, retirement and healthcare in America, those European countries’ middle classes are in much better shape than ours because the U.S. government does not provide as much for its citizens in these areas. So the income you get has to be saved for these items.
It’s revealing that a nut like Bundy can get a sympathetic audience in America. I lived in Canada and still have many close relatives there. And I can assure you his racist rants and seditious threats would not be tolerated. The Canadian government has prohibitions against racist hate mongering.
Does that contribute to the country’s economic well being? I can’t say.
But it sure makes it a nicer place to live.