Many conservative politicians malign Canada. The reality is by all metrics; it is Canada who is successfully living the American Dream while Americans falsely believe we are the exceptional ones.
Scott Gilmore, a former Conservative Canadian diplomat, and writer wrote a piece in Maclean's titled "The American Dream Has Moved To Canada" that should make every American eat some humble pie. More importantly, it should help Americans break through the misinformation from politicians that continue to support policies that further erode the American Dream with draconian health care policies, education policies, immigration policies, criminal justice policies, social justice policies and much more.
Fareed Zakaria interviewed Gilmore about his piece on Fareed Zakaria GPS. The interview was striking. It reminds one of the "tortoise and the hare" story. While we were not watching, while we were basking in our false sense of superiority, while we were sleeping, while we were fooling ourselves as we accepted the targeted misinformation from our corrupt politicians, Canadians were busy working to make their country a better place for most of their citizens. And then we woke up. Or more realistic, one hopes we are waking up.
Every aspect of the American dream is now more easily found in Canada. In the United States, 46 per cent of the population has been able to obtain a college degree—in Canada it’s 59 per cent. After graduation, Canadians are more likely to find work, with an employment rate four points better. You are more likely to afford a house with a white picket fence in Canada, where home ownership rates are five per cent higher. Canadians also have more time to enjoy their homes, as they work over 80 hours fewer per year—and they take an extra three days vacation.
Compared to Canada, America isn’t even the “land of the free”, anymore. The Cato Institute’s Human Freedom Index considers Canadians to be the sixth freest people in the world, while Americans limp in at 23rd, behind Poland. The conservative Heritage Foundation, based in Washington, ranks Canada and the U.S. seventh and 17th respectively for economic freedom. Free speech? Reporters Without Borders scores Canada 18th for press freedom; in spite of its much vaunted First Amendment, America only manages 41st.
The American Dream promised equality, a level playing field where everyone could pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but that too is more a Canadian thing. Canada’s “Gini coefficient”, a measurement of economic inequality, is significantly better than America’s and has been for 80 years now. In Canada, you are twice as likely to move from the poorest quintile of the population to the wealthiest. Similarly, the link between the income of a parent and a child is half as strong in Canada. ... Not only have we achieved the fabled American Dream, we are arguably among the safest, healthiest, happiest human beings to have ever existed.
Gilmore called out the United States on several issues in his interview. He pointed out that the incarceration rate in the U.S. is many times that of Canada and other European countries. He pointed out that Americans leave college with a mountain of debt, unlike Canadians. He said objectively the Canadian health care system works much better than the United States as their costs are half as much and have much better outcomes as shown in the stats.
Now his article and appearance on GPS were not all roses for Canada. He pointed out the neglect of their native population, about 5% of the people as well as a sort of complacency that is setting in. He also said it is time to open the door wider for immigrants. Maybe many U.S. citizens will take him up on that offer.