Unhappy Republicans Move to Canada? Economics-Wise, Not a Bad Destination.

Among the perennial traditions of American politics are post-results, generally hot-air threats to flee the country if the "wrong" side wins — usually to Canada. Politico has a round-up of tweets by disappointed Republicans threatening to do just that. Leave aside, for now, that Canada doesn't necessarily leave out the welcome mat for Americans upset over election outcomes. Politico writer Patrick Gavin thinks the whole thing — *chuckle*, *chuckle*, *snicker* — "doesn’t really make sense given Canada’s many socialized elements." Except ... it actually makes more sense than Gavin allows, if you've kept sufficiently up with the times to know that Canada now ranks as more free-market than the United States.

Assuming that the disappointed righties are of the sort that care more about economic freedom than banning abortions, Canada actually looks like a pretty promising destination. There are two big international indices of the relative economic freedom of nations, and Canada ranks rather higher than the United States in both of them.

On the Index of Economic Freedom, created by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Canada is in sixth place, while the United States has fallen to tenth.

About Canada, the Index says:

Canada’s economic freedom score is 79.9, making its economy the 6th freest in the 2012 Index. Its overall score is 0.9 point lower than last year, reflecting worsening scores for government size and monetary freedom. Canada continues to be the freest economy in the North America region, though it has dropped just below the cutoff for characterization as a “free” economy.

Granted, that's not a rousing endorsement. But compare that to what the Index says about the United States:

The United States’ economic freedom score of 76.3 drops it to 10th place in the 2012 Index. Its score is 1.5 points lower than last year, reflecting deteriorating scores for government spending, freedom from corruption, and investment freedom. The U.S. is ranked 2nd out of three countries in the North America region, and its overall score remains well  above the world and regional averages.

The contrast is even more stark in the Economic Freedom of the World Report (PDF), compiled by an international coalition of organizations, including Canada's Fraser Institute and America's own Cato Institute. Here, Canada is ranked fifth, and the United States 18th. The report's detailed look at North America (PDF) has this to say about the relative rankings of Canada and the United States:

Canada and the United States have pursued very different economic courses through the first decade plus a year of the 21st century. One course, followed by the United States, has led to decreasing economic freedom, especially as the financial crisis struck; the other has led Canada to a stable level of economic freedom with only small declines during the crisis. Canada’s course was set in the mid-1990s, when the federal government dramatically reduced government spending. This led in time to a budget surplus, which disappeared during the recent financial crisis but allowed the federal government in Canada, unlike the American goverment, to avoid going deeply into deficit. The United States changed course in the early years of the new millennium, from fiscal responsibility and controlled spending to significant increases in spending and the creation of a huge budget deficit at the federal level, one that will likely lead to decreases in economic freedom in the future as coming generations will be taxed to pay off the debt created by the deficits.

It's not just about overall government spending, though. Regulation plays a big role, too.

As well as the effects of loosened spending controls, the United States has faced several stock-market scandals, such as that brought on by Enron, and a housing bubble, at least in part caused by a failure of policy, the intervention of federal housing agencies in the housing market. Both developments have led to a spurt of regulatory growth, which has limited economic freedom. In addition, they have brought about numerous criminal prosecutions, which, if some are seen as having an arbitrary nature, may have contributed to a huge drop—from 9.23 in 2000 to 7.30 in 2009—in the United States’ score for Area 2: Legal Structure and Property Rights in Economic Freedom of the World: 2011 Annual Report. ...

As an aside, it is worth noting that Canada achieved a higher economic-freedom score in credit regulations in the period leading up to the financial crisis—the Canadian regulatory climate was less restrictive of economic freedom than that in the United States—indicating that the solution to the crisis is not freedom-limiting regulations but rather properly structured regulations and the absence of the type of policy that can spur a bubble.

Oh ... And the accounting firm KPMG says that Canada's total tax burden is lower, on average, than that in the United States (PDF) — though the details depend on the structure of your finances and where, exactly, you live.

I'm sure that Mr. Gavin would, cleverly, retort, "but ... but ... socialized medicine!" And while it's true that Canada does have a government-dominated healthcare system, the country has been moving, in recent years, toward embracing private medicine. By contrast, many of the GOP-types threatening to flee to Canada may, understandably, assume that Barack Obama's re-election is moving the United States in the opposite direction, toward fully socialized medicine.

Of course, most vows to leave the country because of political disappointment ultimately turn out to be empty. If we couldn't even get Alec Baldwin to live up to his promise to move house to Vancouver, it's unlikely that conservatives will head to the Great White North in any substantial numbers. But it's worth knowing that Canada, far from being some two-dimensional pinko version of government-subsidized paradise, has more economic freedom than the nasty, uber-capitalist United States, in many ways.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • John||

    Canada was full lefty retard for decades. Then finally they had had enough and made the old liberal party into a rump party. So there is hope. Sometimes people do wise up. The Canadians did.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Grossly inaccurate. We were to the economic right of America before we elected Pearson and then a despot named Trudeau. During the '90s, it was the Liberals that hacked spending like no Republican ever would. Our federalism has always been better respected than yours. The only reason the Liberals lost was people were sick of their BS and corruption. The new guy sucks. Harper is a spendthrift drug warrior, albeit with a fondness for resource development.

  • John||

    We were to the economic right of America before we elected Pearson and then a despot named Trudeau.

    Doesn't that count as full lefty retard? If Trudeau isn't what is?

    The only reason the Liberals lost was people were sick of their BS and corruption.

    Which is more than I can say for Americans who seem to love liberal corruption.

    The new guy sucks. Harper is a spendthrift drug warrior, albeit with a fondness for resource development.

    Which is still better than what the US has.

  • ||

    John, it might pass as "full lefty retard", but it doesn't pass as "for decades".

    Pearson started moving the Liberal Party and the country left starting with his election in 1963 but it wasn't til Trudeau's election in 1968 that anything resembling "full retard" started. That's perhaps only because Pearson could never get a majority government.

    Trudeau's reign ended in 1984 so we're really only looking at sixteen years, not decades.

    Even at that most of Trudeau's contributions were to social and welfare legislation.

    As Minister of Justice, Pierre Trudeau was responsible for introducing the landmark Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69, an omnibus bill whose provisions included, among other things, the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults, the legalization of contraception, abortion[It's worth noting that the legalization of abortion here allowed for abortions for rape, incest and the health of the mother, elective abortion was still illegal in Canada til some time in the eighties] and lotteries, new gun ownership restrictions as well as the authorization of breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers.
  • Ted S.||

    Minus nine months for Joe Clark.

  • ||

    Joe Who?

  • Aresen||

    Canada remains, and will remain for a long time, far more interventionist than the US.

    The Harper Socons are only in power because the Liberal Party disintegrated and the NDP is not credible as a governing party.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Well, and what's more disturbing is that before the Liberal Party disintegrated, the NDP was all but powerless, but now they have, like...a lot more seats. That shit ain't going to go well.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Justin Trudeau will save the Liberal Party from obscurity and make them popular with the college kids because of his dreamy eyes and rock star hair.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The NDP's leader is an asshole named Mulcair. I can feel it in my bones: this guy is not going to be our PM. He's too much like Harper.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Interesting. I left and stop following so I didn't really know much about who has had power since Layton.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    that's "Saint Layton" now. You have been away a while.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Oh, I know. Fuck that shit.

  • ||

    Ok you guys are freaking me out.

    How come you guys know so much about Canadian politics???

    Does Reason need a Kanuk purge?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Canada's politics are actually really really interesting. Complexicated in ways that contain multitudes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Best cancer ever.

  • John Thacker||

    No, actually the statistics don't seem to claim that, both here and elsewhere that I've seen. Any evidence you can point to?

    The Liberal Party did actually reduce spending quite a bit before disintegrating.

    I agree that when the NDP gets in it could all reverse.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Yeah! Come to Canada.

    The more Canadians settle into a life of physical inactivity, the more they exact a toll on the country's health care system, a new study from Queen's University suggested.
  • R C Dean||

    The more Canadians settle into a life of physical inactivity,

    Sounds like I'd fit right in.

    Sadly, there seems to be zero demand for my rather specialized services there.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    At least we're trying to fix that here, by taxing inactivity!

  • RightNut||

    New Zealand or Australia are the way to go. Canada's economy is to linked to the US's.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    The PM of Australia is a lesbian atheist socialist. not the most "republican" friendly.

  • John||

    I could not care less about the first two descriptors. The last one however...

  • RightNut||

    Only 30 million people in a country roughly the size of the contiguous US. That's a lot more room to avoid busybodies.

  • ||

    Australia only has about twenty-two million people.

    Canada has only about thirty-five million, less than that of California.

  • ant1sthenes||

    But you're trading them for a continent full of things that want to murder you.

  • ||

    Canada is fucked-up, but has promise. Australia, on the other hand, is Socialist Retards Inc.

  • Cytotoxic||

    She's going to lose the next election to Tony Abbot.

  • Trespassers W||

    Sounds like our House minority leader.

  • ||

    Pelosi is hetero and catholic.

  • Ted S.||

    I thought she wanted to get rid of the monarchy. That seems republican-friendly.

  • ||

    Oz is at least as fucked as us. New Zealand seems promising, however.

  • Raston Bot||

    what's the orc:sheep ratio nowadays?

  • ant1sthenes||

    No matter, how horrible, terrible, no good, very bad your day is, some days are like that. Even in Australia.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it's important to remember that just because a lot of us may want to go there, that doesn't mean that Canada, or any other country, wants to be inundated with millions of conservative Americans.

    I mean, seriously, people from Montana don't necessarily want to be inundated with thousands of Americans from other parts of the country. People in New Hampshire aren't necessarily crazy about thousands of libertarians moving there!

    Jesus, the only reason Mexico tolerates our spring breakers is because Cancun is separated so far from the rest of Mexico! What makes us think that people in other countries want to be inundated with whiny Americans?

  • rho||

    Alberta would probably welcome them, but you have to work the tar sands.

  • ||

    ummm...

    Getting a job working the tar sands makes you rich.

  • The Hammer||

    Who invited you?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Ja mama.

  • Lisa||

    We can always just accuse them of racism and being anti-immigrant.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That would be ironic for a lot of conservatives, wouldn't it?

  • ||

    I'm sure that Mr. Gavin would, cleverly, retort, "but ... but ... socialized medicine!" And while it's true that Canada does have a government-dominated healthcare system, the country has been moving, in recent years, toward embracing private medicine. By contrast, many of the GOP-types threatening to flee to Canada may, understandably, assume that Barack Obama's re-election is moving the United States in the opposite direction, toward fully socialized medicine.

    Like other countries, and folks, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is really no place left to flee WRT "Socialized Medicine". While CAN is embracing some aspects of private medical care (mostly First Nations able to dictate their care, much like Indian Health Care), private medical care is largely the exception, not the rule, overseas and north of the border. Even Singapore, which has some pockets of private medical care (mostly for expats), is government run.

    Fully socialized, a la single payer, I predict will not fully happen in the USA (reed: Single Payer), but more of the fascist variety, where insurance companies are the bad cops and government as the good cops dictating coverage. When insurance is viewed as payment assistance, which it has for a long time (think HMO's. I hate you Dead Ted Kennedy), then it's only a matter of time.

    I'm going to the gun range.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, my this criteria we have already had socialized health care for more than a couple of decades already.

    When you do the math and add up all sources of government funding of health care from the big programs like Medicare and Medicaid down to county run health clinics fully 70% of all health care dollars come from some level of government

  • Pro Libertate||

    I agree, which is why the attempts to further socialize medicine and insurance are such a joke. The disaster is almost entirely from government intervention in the first place--both state and federal. So, naturally, the solution is more of the problem.

  • Rasilio||

    Here is the thing I don't get.

    It took me about an hours research on the web and simple math to arrive at that number but I have never seen it published or publicised ANYWHERE, not even here at Reason where they have frequently quoted an estimate of 50%

    Can someone explain to me why it is that no one, not even the right wing or libertarian press has hammered this fact home?

    I mean Republican Politicians should have used it as a major talking point in opposing Obamacare but it never once got mentioned.

    This is what pisses me off so much about the world it is a plain obvious fact illustrating just how little of a free market exists in health care and can easily be used to show how the problem is too much and not too little government intervention but not even Cato or Reason has been able or seen fit to publish a single article highlighting the actual raw numbers (and I've even posted them here in comments in the past).

    It is little wonder why we loose so many ideological battles, we can't even effectively use facts to prove our point.

  • robc||

    I was coming in to post that unhappy libertarians are moving to the Ukraine.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They'll beat you with your ripped-off arm for adding the the. It's like the reverse of Ohio State.

  • robc||

    I bet even worse if I add it in russian.

    In the Czech Republic, everyone above a certain age speaks Russian. When they list the languages they know, none will list it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    In Russian? Then they rip off your body and beat your arm with it.

  • ||

    "The" doesn't exist in Russian.

  • ||

    Beat me to it. Also, in UKR, "Na" is used to refer to Ukraine, not "V". It's really a big deal with them.

  • ||

    I say "in" ("v") instead of "on" ("na"), and that, along with many of the other differences between spoken Russian Russian and Ukrainian Russian, ensure someone, or multiple someones, is going to ask snarky questions about whether I'm from Russia or not.

    You'll get a particularly, like, ginormously enormous number of such snobs if you're moving to Lvov or Chernigov, so beware.

  • Ted S.||

    You mean Lviv and Chernihiv. :-p

  • Trespassers W||

    Seconded. Mrs. Trespassers, a Slovakess, will not admit to understanding a word of Russian.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Liberia. Like the Ukraine but with better weather and shittier alcohol.

  • Loki||

    I predict will not fully happen in the USA (reed: Single Payer), but more of the fascist variety, where insurance companies are the bad cops and government as the good cops dictating coverage.

    Aren't we already there?

  • ||

    You haven't seen nothin' yet.

  • ||

    Also, "read". Dammit.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This crap is tiresome. The national elections show a very close divide between voters, which has been true for a while. For whatever reason, a vanishingly small minority of our population (of those who will vote either way, that is) voted Democratic this time. As recently as 2010, that swung sharply the other direction.

    There's no sea change here and no reason for hand-wringing or much gloating. The GOP still controls the House and the Supreme Court (to a lesser extent, of course) and has a shot at the Senate if the administration continues to ignore the problems out-of-control spending causes our weakened economy.

    For the Democrats, they retain the presidency and the Senate but will have to moderate if they want to stay in or expand their power. It would take a very small shift of people recoiling in horror at the economy to give the GOP total control over the government again. Another year or two of nonrecovery (or another recession) could finally beat the issue into some denser heads.

    I don't think Obama has the sense to move to a more fiscally responsible position, but some other powers in the party know that big trouble could come if they keep on the present course. I suspect Clinton will try hard to convince him to moderate, now that his wife needs a successful Obama presidency to run in 2016.

  • John||

    Obama may have the sense to moderate and strike a real bargain with the Congress over the budget and entitlements. But as I said yesterday, considering the political skills and sense he has shown the last four years, the chances of that happening are right up there with it coming out that Michael Cera beat up the Klitschko brothers.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It would take incredible pressure from within the party. There are still some moderate Democrats in power in Congress who might try to do this, but the only way they will is if the Republicans in the House make it clear that ball, they are not playing. Despite the idiot Speaker's recent comments.

  • John||

    I think they need to raise taxes. I think people ought to have to pay for voting for Obama. The mistake the Republicans have made is that they cut taxes so that people think government is free. Put out a real deficit reduction plan that raises taxes on everyone. And then make him come up with an alternative.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, except I didn't vote for this crap, and I'm a taxpayer on an increasingly ridiculous scale.

  • ||

    I think if they allowed taxes to go wherever the Administration wanted them too, but held the line on new spending, they'd win the public argument.

    But they don't have the backbone to even do that. They are morally incapable of a spending cap.

  • John||

    If they did that, they could look like compromisers. They could say, sure the President won, so he gets his taxes. We just want our spending cuts. I think that is what the Speaker is doing.

  • ||

    I think they lost the election on class warfare grounds. And they also had a terrible deficit reduction plan (let's decrease the deficit via waste reduction and an explosion of military spending).

    I think Boehner is wiping the slate clean. Romney is off center stage. Now he's free to ignore that and focus on one thing...

    Holding the line on spending.

    And that's not even that much. Not a cut. Just hold the line. Cede the tax policy to the Administration. And then show, when the Administration can't even hold spending, how completely irresponsible the Democrats are.

    It would set them up perfectly for 2016...if they could find a true economic conservative who could still placate the socons.

  • Gray Ghost||

    ...if they could find a true economic conservative who could still placate the socons.

    You had him, but he'll be 84 in 2016. And everybody thought he was crazy, especially on foreign policy. Much as I hate the increasingly aristocratic nature of U.S. politics, maybe Rand would fit your description?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Closest thing we ever had was Ronald Reagan.

    Or Jack Kemp. Or Phil Gramm.

    There isn't anybody like those guys anymore.

  • R C Dean||

    I think that is what the Speaker is doing.

    Prediction, based on history:

    Boehner gets rolled by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Again.

    Think about that. Its losing a football game to the UNM Lobos. Every time you play.

  • John||

    To hear Democrats tell it, Boehner didn't get rolled on the debt ceiling deal. They are all convinced he forced them into horrible inhuman austerity.

  • John Thacker||

    Although Reagan was accused (and himself admitted) that he got rolled on budget deals with Democrats as well.

  • robc||

    The idiot Speaker should lose his job for that comment.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hell yes.

  • JW||

    Boner is playing a useful role in demonstrating just how useless the GOP truly is.

  • ||

    We will have a worse economy in 2016 then we have today.

    There will be a shift.

    Anyway Matt called this pretty well yesterday. The Vote on Tuesday was for the status quo.

    It looks weird to us because from 2006 on we have not had a status quo election result.

  • robc||

    Agreed. The key stat is Obama losing 9M votes since 2008.

    Sure, he still won, but it was a fight this time.

    Against an absolute loser candidate.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Obama won, and that's all he needed to do. So that's that. But there's no deeper meaning, no evidence of a permanent shift, no nothing except a guy who should've been fired by objective criteria wasn't.

    While I think the Republicans would be better served focusing almost entirely on spending cuts, reduction in government scope, and civil liberties promotion, that's more because I believe in those things and do, to a lesser extent, think they could work during these times.

    But if Obama doesn't moderate, the odds are the Republicans will be cleaning up in the next couple of elections. There's an outside chance that the economy could swing upwards in the next four years just because we have a huge economy that has withstood lots of government crap over the years, but that's looking less and less likely, and even that would be illusory. We're headed Europe way.

  • John||

    Chances are they will over play their hand and will get destroyed. Obama is dumb as a brick but makes up for it by being arrogant. The question is do the Dems in Congress' survival instincts kick in during the next two years. If they do, they will turn on him. And that will be interesting. If they don't, the Democrats suffer another blood bath in 2014. Then Obama will be a lame duck facing a hostile Congress and God knows how bad of an economy.

    The more this goes on, the more Obama looks like a Democratic Nixon. How long before he hands the sword to his enemies?

  • JW||

    How long before he hands the sword to his enemies?

    He already did and they promptly plunged the sword into their own abdomens.

    There was no fucking reason that the Big Zero should have been reelected. None. Other than the Stupid Party running a candidate that differed only in the melatonin content of his skin. The KULTUR WAR and sheer idiocy of the average American voter didn't help either.

    Fuck these people.

  • John||

    And the media. The media went after Nixon. The media will never go after Obama. Never. It does not matter what he does. No matter how bad it is, they just won't cover it. Forget politics for a moment. You can't have a Republic where one party is completely immune from any media scrutiny or criticism.

  • Invisible Finger||

    When the economy continues to shrink, the card that will be played will still be "It's the Republicans fault."

    I used to have some faith that playing the same card over and over would eventually no longer work, much like blaming the Jews no longer worked in Nazi Germany, but the facts are: 1) public school kids eat it up, and 2) the government has not yet begun to plunder the wealth of those it has labeled as its internal enemies.

    Think 'wealth tax' instead of "income tax". (Public servants exempted.)

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There's no sea change here and no reason for hand-wringing or much gloating."

    I think it's important to remember that the public policy about to be inflicted on us is going to be inflicted on us no matter whether the American people want it or not.

    It isn't just about whether the American people really want these changes. These changes are here, there are more on the way--and once they're in place, they seem to be impossible to get rid of.

    I don't think the pessimism is irrational here.

    If our only resistance to spending and taxing is John Boehner, then there is no resistance. That may be pessimistic, but it's also the truth. And there is no reason to Obama will be less aggressive than he's been over the past four years. There's plenty of reason to think he'll be more so.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm pessimistic because our government has gone out of control. I'd be only slightly less pessimistic if Romney had won. Heck, I'd still be somewhat pessimistic if Gary Johnson had won.

  • 0x90||

    The margin of victory was less than 0.9%, by population.

  • ||

    "Another year or two of nonrecovery (or another recession) could finally beat the issue into some denser heads."

    Yes, but when economic conditions worsen, they will simply blame the other team for not coming together to "get things done." And if there's one thing we've learned from this election, it's that dense heads are dense.

  • ||

    Every time I go to Toronto I think "Man, I'd love to move here."

    Then I pick up the latest Globe and Mail and think "boy I'm glad I don't live in Canuckistan."

    There's a real strange mixture of entrepreneurship and statism up there that rivals China.

  • John||

    I love Montreal. I don't care if it is full of Frenchman.

  • ||

    BLOC QUEBECOIS

  • Ken Shultz||

    I liked Victoria.

    Hell, I'd be ready to consider moving to Cascadia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_ (independence_movement)

    Maybe that's what we should be considering. Maybe this country is too big to govern well. Maybe we shouldn't break up into 50 states. Maybe we should break up into five or six.

    If the federal government is really the problem, then let's really get rid of the federal government.

  • John||

    If Western Canada lost the French and the Toronto socialists. I would move there in a heart beat.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Well, Cascadia is just Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia...

    If you like mountains, forests, salmon, and flannel shirts, you could do a lot worse.

  • John||

    Until the fucking hipsters from California showed up.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I can't help but feel like you're talkin' about me, John!

    Almost 40% of Californians voted for Romney.

    We need an escape hatch, too!

    P.S. I'm originally from Maryland/Virginia, but then everybody else in California is from somewhere else, too.

  • ||

    There are no hipsters in California.

    They are just Californians.

    You have to understand that hipsters in the east are simply East Coasters trying to look and act like Californians.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That is a brilliant observation.

    (no sarcasm)

  • ||

    flannel shirts

    No one wears those anymore...haven't seen one except in my closet for a decade.

    Note: i still have an army jacket in my closet as well...i really need to take a trip to goodwill.

    forests

    You forgot sagebrush deserts and the Columbia plateau...

    Of course most of the people who live here haven't seen those let alone visitors...so i guess you are OK.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I've been there!

  • ||

    John, Toronto is a major business center and is probably less socialist than much of the rest of the country.

    BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have all elected NDP governments more times than Ontario has.

    Where Canada has the US beat to a large extent is in the ease of doing business.

    Professional and occupational licensing are for the most part limited to the "learned professions"; law, medicine, engineering, accounting and pharmacy.

    When other occupations require licensing there is generally a plausible health or public safety justification. Frankly, Canadians do seem less prone to rent-seeking. Or, at least, they did when I lived there which, admittedly is over thirty years ago.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Ontario's governance has gone right to shit.

  • robc||

    From the one map in Revolution it looks like the US is about 5 or 6 countries.

    I think I would be in the "Georgia Confederation", but I didnt pay that much attention.

  • robc||

    http://www.revolution-show.com.....40x539.jpg

    Whoops. Georgia Federation.

    For those that dont want to follow link:
    Monroe Republic
    Georgia Federation
    Plains Nation
    Texas
    Wasteland
    California Commonwealth

  • Trespassers W||

    This "Wasteland" sounds fun. It's probably infested with Scorpitrons though.

  • ||

    The California commonwealth is bullshit and there is no way people without electricity could control people on the other side of the cascades.

    Also the Columbia river would make a formidable natural barrier against political hegemony.

    Also a coastal power controlling all the coast might make sense to an easterner...but they have not seen the Oreagon/Washington/northern California coasts...there is a reason why no one lives there.

    A sea power in the Puget sound might make sense.

    Southern California would be totally fucked....without irrigation California dries up and starves everyone...aside from a fishing village at LA it be part of the wasteland.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Is that the new TV show you're talking about?

    I couldn't get past the premise in the promos. All the power goes off?

    Haven't these people heard of generators and biodiesel?

    I don't get it.

  • robc||

    Yeah, the plot holes are insanely stupid. It apparently took 15 years for them to get wood burning train engines up and running. Plus I cant stand the main girl.

    Im not sure why Im still watching it.

    But I watched all of Terra Nova too.

  • Ken Shultz||

    How do you turn off hydro?

    I might watch it once. Especially if it's on tonight. Unless Gold Rush is on.

    The only other thing on is, I think, Indianapolis vs. the Jaguars?! I don't think there's more than 3 fantasy relevant players between both teams--and that's including the Colts' defense.

    Somebody bring hockey back, please!

    Oh, about Revolution, though. The premise seems kind of unlibertarian, too, in that the problem seems to be a lack of federal government. It seems from the premise like the climax will inevitably be that everything gets better when the power comes on and the federal government is restored.

    Ugh! But that's just from watching the promos. I'll prolly give it a shot. I hated Lost from the promos too and ended up digging it.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Anyone playing the Jaguars' D is relevant in fantasy. Luck should have a field day.

    Never seen Revolution, but why rip off Dies The Fire instead of just having Sterling write the script? It just seemed way too retarded for me to even begin to get into it, and I usually love post-apocalyptic stories.

  • Loki||

    I think the premise is that somehow the laws of physics that govern electricity just magically stop working one day. So nothing that relies on elctricity works, including generators, batteries, etc. Personally I think it's just a little too far fetched for my tastes.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I, for one, welcome our new Amish rulers.

  • Rasilio||

    It is no magic, they havn't revealed who did it or how it works but someone invents a MacGuffin that caused it to happen.

  • robc||

    Actually, the most recent episode flashed back to the invention of the device.

    Still not entirely sure why it was turned on world wide, by the DOD is involved (it might have been done to prevent the DOD from using it as a weapon).

  • ||

    it might have been done to prevent the DOD from using it as a weapon

    So they kill like 6 billion people though starvation and poverty to prevent the DOD from using it as a weapon?

    Holy mother fuck why I am I watching this show.

  • Rasilio||

    They havn't explained how it works but someone somehow develops a device that somehow prevents all electricity from working across the entire globe.

    Only a very small group of people are aware of this and they have these techno magic USB devices that allow low power electronic systems to function but they keep them very secret.

    That said even without ANY electricity there should have been enough survivors of the initial chaos with the requisit knowledge to retrofit existing deisel engines to run without need of their control computers and since they do not use spark plugs a deisel has no need for an alternator save to power secondary systems.

    one of the biggest problems with the show is it has society falling all the way back to medieval levels of tech essentially when there is no need for it to have gone any further back than the steam era.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Doesn't our nervous system run on action potentials? If there's no electricity, how is anything above a paramecium able to move around?

  • robc||

    there is no need for it to have gone any further back than the steam era.

    They had the option to make a steam punk show out of it. What a waste.

  • Rasilio||

    That actually could be a pretty good premise for a show.

    Have some techno magic reason why electricity just stops working one day the same way that Revolution does but base it further into the future past that event and base it on a society reverted back to Steam power and give it a total steampunk feel.

  • robc||

    Only a very small group of people are aware of this and they have these techno magic USB devices that allow low power electronic systems to function but they keep them very secret.

    Not just low power. In the last episode, the magic USB fired up a lighthouse.

  • robc||

    Speaking of which, where were they?

    The left tOSU a week ago, heading to Philadelphia.

    Large body of water, with a lighthouse on the shore...Lake Erie?

  • ||

    Haven't these people heard of generators and biodiesel?

    They can't. Last episode kind of explained that there is a technology that was turned on that prevents anything electrical from working.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Absurd.

    I can turn a running stream into electricity with some pvc pipe and what I got in my garage.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Unfortunately BC is schizo and swings between center-right and full socialist. They're about to go full socialist.

  • Ken Shultz||

    A lot of that is like it is in California. California isn't as liberal as you think. The voters there are reacting to what's going on elsewhere in the country. Californians react to the South, Arizona, what idiots like Michelle Bachman say, etc...

    BC wants to wait until Alberta has their say, so they can be sure to disagree with it. Oh, and they're miserable becasue the Canucks stink, and they'll never win the cup.

    THE CANUCKS WILL NEVER WIN THE CUP.

  • John Thacker||

    The biggest problem is that it's just too cold for me.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's getting warmer all the time.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Just avoid the Prairies then

  • John Thacker||

    Nope. New York is too cold me for as well. Maryland is practically too cold for me.

  • GW||

    Where will Canadians go for healthcare once our system is totally decimated? The lines are so long I can see them from here.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They've got trees, and mooses, and sled dogs,
    Lots of lumber, and lumberjacks, and logs!
    We all think it's kind of a drag,
    That you have to go there to get milk in a bag.
    They say "eh?" instead of "what?" or "duh"
    That's the mighty power of Canada.

    I want to be where lemmings run into the sea,
    Where the marmosets can attack me.

    Let's go to Canada, let's leave today,
    Canada, oh, Canada, I sil vous plait.

  • ||

    It's 'Canadia', you clueless Murcan!

  • John||

    Hello out there! We're on the air,
    It's Hockey Night tonight;
    Tension grows, the whistle blows,
    And the puck goes down the ice.
    The goalie jumps, and the players bump,
    And the fans all go insane;
    Someone roars, "Bobby scores!"
    At the good old hockey game.

    Oh! The good old hockey game,
    Is the best game you can name;
    And the best game you can name,
    Is the good old Hockey game!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Hello Canada and hockey fans
    In the United States and Newfoundland

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Ouch. Somewhere someone in St. John is shaking a fist at you!

  • Trespassers W||

    It's oil
    It's wheat
    It's soil
    It's meat
    It's BEEF!

  • WC Varones||

    Canada is positively a right-wing Tea Party nation compared to the U.S.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If American libertarians ever do as well as the Wild Rose Party, it'll be a Festivus miracle.

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

  • Cytotoxic||

    From nothing to 35% of the vote in ONE election. It was only disappointing because the stupid polls had the WRA forming government but still.

    Danielle Smith is the model libertarian-conservative. Self-described 'social libertarian'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, we could use a Danielle Smith.

    I'd vote Danielle Smith for president.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Half libertarian, half pragmatic, all MILF.

  • ||

    She is like Canada's Palin.

  • tagtann||

    Adios and good riddance, take that lying sack of crap Romney with you!

    www.privacy-on.tk

  • The Derider||

    "Canada’s course was set in the mid-1990s, when the federal government dramatically reduced government spending. This led in time to a budget surplus, which disappeared during the recent financial crisis but allowed the federal government in Canada, unlike the American goverment, to avoid going deeply into deficit."

    Canada is in good shape now because they pursued a Keynesian anti-cyclical government spending strategy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's ridiculous, but even if it were true? Isn't a counter-cyclical government spending strategy much more palatable when the government isn't grossly in debt?

  • ||

    Ding ding ding!

    Counter cyclical spending requires the government to run a surplus during the growth years. Of course, it never really happens that way.

  • ||

    A " Keynesian anti-cyclical government spending strategy", eh?

    That's a first then.

    In this country it's just full retard, spend, spend, spend, borrow, borrow, borrow, regardless of economic conditions, like there's no tomorrow.

  • Trespassers W||

    That's one hell of a non sequitur. Nice work.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually, we cut spending when it got bad. So wrong again shortstack.

  • Bradley Strider||

    ^^^^^^^^^^^

  • Brett G||

    Okay. This article relies on vaguely defined indexes designed by propaganda organizations. Here is the truth;

    1. Canada greatly improved its debt situation in the 90's. it did this via taxes. A national sales tax of 7%. Would never happen in the USA.

    2. Canada does not have a more free "credit" banking sector. Canada has one of the most boring banking sectors in the world. It is very regulated. There are many discussions of this online for anyone that wants to learn more. Canada avoided the financial crisis mostly because its banks didn't do financial derivatives, which like most risky financial arrangements are not encouraged.

    3. "Embracing" private medicine? BS. There have been some modest changes that are less government in some provinces, but the fact is that even the conservative parties support a system where some minimum level of care is paid for directly by taxpayers.

    Pure socialism. Private insurance companies are banned from providing these services. Does that sound more free?

    If those politicians were in America, they would be far to the left of Obama on health care. Government run health care polls very well in Canada (80%+) and isn't going away anytime soon.

    Sorry to pop the bubble. I just can't believe this author had the brass to write that Canada is a better home for conservatives than the USA.

  • Brett G||

    To add, a recent electoral issue in Canada is whether or not the government should provide socialized, government run daycare to every child in the country. Didn't happen, but that is the discussion.

    Better for American conservatives? Ha!

  • Stevehvh||

    Canada is wealthier per capita than the US now.

    As for that "socialized medicine", it's a single payer system. Doctors are independent business people who run their own practices. Patients present their health card and the doctor bills the government.

    Maybe that's socialist, call it what you like. Thing is, it's cheaper and it works. Canada spends 10% of GDP on healthcare. The US spends 16%. Canadians live 2 years longer than Americans. Why would Canadians want to switch to a system that charges more to die faster?

  • Torontonian||

    Canadians are only "wealthier per capita" than Americans because home equity is still the biggest asset for most households, and our housing market hasn't crashed... yet.

    But Canadian residential real estate (especially in Vancouver and Toronto) has already stalled out and is starting to roll over... How much downside lies ahead is anybody's guess.

  • scottstams||

    I don't know how Canada compares overall to the United States but if we compare Canada to California, except for the weather Canada wins hands down (California's weather is better than the other 49 states too).

    I live in California and can vouch for the fact that our taxes higher, crime is out control here, we have a nightmarish business environment, and multiculturalism shoved down our throats (they have now mandated the teaching of transgender contributions to American history in the state curriculum).

    Worst of all in California and the reason for many of the above problems is our immigration issue. The uncontrolled influx of immigrants from the south and our refusal to force them to assimilate has led the Brazilification of large parts of California, especially Los Angeles, where if you were driving from wealthy Brentwood to say, Anaheim, you would be hard pressed to to find an English speaker in between. In California, if you question the wisdom of immigration and the de facto naturalization of the illegals children, you are branded a racist.

    Canada on the other hand, can afford to be generous because of its demographics. Someone wise once said that open immigration is incompatible with the welfare state. If you don't believe me, go to Los Angeles county. Canada has the USA as a buffer state between them and and Latin America and unless we Californians start fleeing north, they will not have to deal with uninvited masses crossing their borders.

  • Torontonian||

    Canada isn't all milk and honey.

    I live in Ontario. My combined federal/provincial income tax rate is 46.41% on everything I earn above of $128,800 annually. (The newly created top tax bracket is above $500k annually, taxed at 47.97% this year and 49.53% next year.)

    In addition, I have to pay 1.73% of my income for federal Employment Insurance, and 4.95% of my income into Canada Pension Plan (a slightly better version of Social Security, as it's only 85% Ponzi scheme instead of 100%.) Fortunately, these contribution are both capped.

    But that's not all. I also have to pay a $900 Ontario Health Premium for my supposedly "free healthcare".

    After I'm done paying income taxes, I face a 13% combined federal/provincial sales tax on most of the things I might buy (with no sales tax on basic groceries or prescription medication, but much higher taxes on gasoline, alcohol or tobacco.)

    All told, I pay around $100k a year to the various levels of government, or a bit more than 40% of my income. Looked at another way, for every $100 of after-tax purchasing power, I need to earn $210.86 of pre-tax income.

  • North'n Loans||

    This reporter doesn't seem to realize that Canadians' values have changed. He said that our values align more closely with Americans' who threatened to leave when Bush was elected, but today our values have shifted dramatically to the right. Several straight victories for a conservative government including a majority. The US on the other hand has moved to the left in a big way. Canada is quite possibly the "right" place for republicans.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement