US vs. Canada (sorta)

One of the news feeds I receive pointed to an article titled "America’s middle-class defeat: How Canada shamed the wealthiest nation on earth". I read the article and found it worth pointing to from the Canada forum on I bring it up here for a couple of reasons:

  • We have some active Canadians here who can help interpret what is said in the article (for those who are not going to understand).
  • We hear how Nicaragua is doing OK has to do with it following "the US model" rather than "the Venezuela model".

The second point is what needs to be addressed. First, because there are a lot more models, all of which are different. I offer Bolivia and Ecuador as two different models that seem to be working fairly well. They even differ substantially from each other with the exception that they both say that the natural resources belong to the country, not big corporate interests. Important in that it is the most common complaint about Venezuela.

Let me suggest that Nicaragua may be closer to the "Canadian model" than the "US model". Clearly, Canada is ahead of Nicaragua in such things as health care but it really has a lot more to do with where they are in a financial development cycle than in intent. If Canada had been trashed by a superpower up until 25 years ago, it probably would not be where it is today.

Trying to compare country X to country Y is a big job. We are not going to do that in this post but maybe we can at least appreciate how big a job it is rather than just making wild assertions based on seeing one small example where something "looks better". Particularly where "looks better" is measured in income vs. quality of life.

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Good for you fyl

Recent posts here have pointed out that the stuff you post here that has nothing to do with Nicaragua is destroying this forum but you just can't contain yourself and continue. You found another opinion with a sensational headline that tries to trash the US - Highlights of your life that make you feel good inside so it just had to be shared even though again it has NOTHING to do with Nicaragua.
Worse yet - An intellectually honest discussion would start with a critique of the contents and their validity but as usual you discuss the junk you post as if it were proven facts.

Statistics... The results are based upon the data field:
...rural slums...Because of that, Canada never imported slaves, and never created an economic structure whose success depended on the permanent exploitation and marginalization of an ethnic underclass...we don’t have large-scale concentrations of poverty,...American immigration policy is focused on controlling the flow from a much poorer nation on our border. Because of its geographic isolation, Canada is able to pick and choose who enters the country...
Obviously this segment of the data field distorts "average" and "median" statistics and this has nothing to do with US middle class.

Yes as claimed the US probably falls behind in education and I wonder why - Is it because my son who has 2 years of college makes 3 times the income of a doctor and 5 times the income of an engineer?
Dope dealers in the slums make more than a teacher?

My completely non-scientific statistics learned from all the Canadians I have met is that the middle class in both countries is still doing fairly well but the artificial housing wealth of the US middle class and job opportunities have gone down. We don't have huge factories in many fields of $30/hour (including benefits) human assemblers or bank tellers etc... because automation has replaced them.

I am amazed that Canada is not doing much better. A huge land area with natural resources and a smaller population comparatively. None of the social problems mentioned above. Canada still speaks English/French because of the the huge US defense spending earlier and still freeloads off of the US. This allows those saved $$ to be spent for healthcare as the article mentioned.

American arrogance has caused the world (including Canadians) to hate us and I don't have an answer for that one.
Much of the hate is really due to jealousy and envy for the US living standard and that is why the US has the immigration problem today.
Remittances to Nicaragua from the US compared to remittances from the rest of the world tell the whole story!

Freeloads off the US? Give

Freeloads off the US? Give me a break, the reason we we still have french language enclaves is that it's their constitutional right and they are protected as a "distinct society". Kind of like the US and their guns. I'll live with having to take french in school over shooting rampages any day As for defense spending we keep it low by not trying to cram our version of democracy down anyones throat, when there is a just millitary action required,Afghanistan, not Iraq (see how that works?) we respond and have always aquitted ourselves well. We also know when to leave as we have no ambitions of empire. The world doesn't hate the US but it seems that way at times due to the intolerance of a society that for the most part is incredibly uninformed of what goes on outside their own borders, hell a lot of the time uninformed about what goes on outside their own stae or county. That is where the phrase ugly American comes from, it's is nothing to do with financial staus.

Different approaches

It is pretty clear that it is not just the US that is trying to run the world but not everyone uses the same approach. For many if not most cultures, the US approach explains the Ugly American perception.

An article titled The US and China: A Difference in Approaches offers an interesting comparison. If you have ever played Go, you will immediately get it.

Freeloads off the US?

JohnS - Canada still speaks English/French because of the the huge US defense spending earlier
was a reference to out huge US disproportionate spending in WW2 compared to other countries including Canada or we all would be speaking German or Japanese.

Today I was referring to the facts in the source fyl referenced:
Canada also benefits just by sharing a border and a language with the United States. We spend 4.2 percent of our GDP on the military — one of the highest rates in the world. Canada only has to spend 1.3 percent of its GDP on tanks and bombs, because we’re not going to tolerate an invasion of our next-door neighbor (and No. 1 source of oil).
Without the high defense sending of the 800 pound gorilla (less than 800 pounds now obvioudly) to keep the world a little orderly it would be a different place. Yes a lot of that money is wasted on stupid wars but not 2/3.
Yes in both cases the US costs were/are disproportionately high and Canada gets a free ride just like the quoted source stated.
Worse in earlier times was Japan the defeated country. We prohibited them from having a military, spent our $$ protecting them, and thus they put that money into their industry buried us in financial competition.

A partial free ride would have been more accurate but the point is the same.

I thought "ugly American" originally came from describing obnoxious rude American tourists but maybe not. Today it seems to be a general term to describe an American you don't like.
An argument about stupidity or ignorance is futile - There is plenty of that going around to keep us all happy.
You know the old trite reply that describes all of us smart people - If you are so smart why aren't you rich?

Oh well

This certainly didn't go the way I had anticipated. I actually thought people might compare how things are done in Nicaragua (health care being but one example) to how it is done in Canada (and optionally the US). I haven't done this (because I don't know enough about Canada) but I would expect to see Nicaragua come out more like Canada than the US.

But, you managed to convert this into a dissertation on what I was trying to do.

You know how hard we try to stay on subject.

Even a blind pig finds a truffle now and then.

Actually we continue to speak French because

back in 1967, we signed a 50 year contract with "Mais Oui" a Rosetta Stone like language learning system.

We signed the historic deal "Sur le Pont d'Avignon".


Most of us Canadians do not Speak French...Vast majority is in Quebec of course and in small pockets throughout Canada......And I don't think most Cdns hate the USA.....we tolerate them very well,lol Actually I have dual citizenship (married An American) and really not a lot to be jealous about the USA. Not sure why Americans think everyone hates or is jealous of them.

Yes hate was the wrong word

Sorry - You are right but many Canadians are not thrilled with the US trying to control the world and I hear a lot of negatives about that. In general a somewhat negative opinion of Americans even for those of us who don't like that either.
Actually in Nicaragua most people from different countries usually get along pretty well.
Example - From Canadians
we tolerate them very
is in fact a joke we hear a lot.

People from around the world seem to "resent" (maybe is a better word) the "ugly American" probably somewhat because they believe that Americans are rich & have undeservedly higher incomes. Wikipedia wikis for median & average income claim that (including significantly higher incomes than Canada). I find those numbers hard or impossible to believe though.
I can't imagine how anyone could come up with the reliable solid facts to do a comparison of real income & living standards.

If you believe Mr Google most people here who want healthcare are covered (even pre Obamacare) but at twice the cost of the Canadian system which to me is a disgrace.
Conservatives are against any kinds of universal care so that is life - We ended up with Romneycare (Obamacare) which may be a disaster.
Prior to that Nicaragua and all its poverty had better free public healthcare than the US.
(I learned from fyl to use a comparison statement like this to claim content about Nicaragua)


I was in the Cdn Military fr nearly 15 yrs...moved to the USA...back to school and I'm a RN......Being a Cdn military member we had almost private health care, and being a healthy person---rarely ever saw a Dr or hospital! My father on the other hand has seen many a Dr--as he has had multiple heart surgeries and for the most part has received excellent medical attention back in Sask. is it free, oh no, one pays a lot of taxes, and do some people receive slow medical attention? yes. Could it be better, of course it could be.

Is the health care better in the USA--hard to say again. In many cases if one has the insurance you can be seen a lot quicker, but not always the case. I as a RN have come across stressed out patients that have no clue on how they are going to pay for their treatment as they have had no or very little insurance.

Many reasons for the high medical costs in N.America....Salaries.....Medical insurance plays a huge part as well. Always enjoyed going into a patients room and there is the family member with a notebook----taking notes of everything one did..what time you came and left..just waiting for one to make a mistake----so they could cash in

I have used Metropolitan in Managua and received very good medical attention----just an ingrown toenail, so nothing that crazy....Was around $300. If I had used my insurance back in the USA, would have been cheaper.

But I can argue about Nica having better healthcare----maybe for the wealthy or insured yes-----but for the common Nica----well not so sure! our gardener, who has INSS sat in one of the public hospitals for nearly a week and nothing was done but given a nasogastric tube for feeding. It took us and other people who employed him to fork over more $$$ so he could get a catscan to get a DX of a brain tumor...and they did not do much after that...I think if you asked him and his family about the healthcare they received, they would not be too happy! While I as in the hospital ( close to Huembes) I saw a lot of very sick people, in a lot of pain, receiving very minimal treatment------not what I call very good treatment at all.

Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas (HMVP)

is investing US$18 million in a five-story extension to the existing hospital building and will devote 10% of the new space to medical tourism whose average spending is between US $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 per day.

HMVP is pleased with the results of their push into this area and the Hospital Board is seeking to meet a growing demand.

In the US, the new “Obama-Care” system is creating many opportunities for HMVP as the cost of many medical procedures here are less than the deductible on the same procedure in the USA.

In addition to the North American clients, many Europeans also visit HMVP for medical services.

The new hospital will also have a pediatric ward to cater to the growing number of children attending the facility.

Of the 400 or so patients per month that require hospitalization, about 30% are children.

Reference the *whole* sentence to see what I meant:

JohnS - Prior to that Nicaragua and all its poverty had better free public healthcare than the US.
There is no *FREE* public healthcare in the US except for emergencies and you are billed later for that. So the statement was correct but I agree there is a lot more to it than that.
No one in his right mind would say Nica free healthcare is great and I did not imply that but my claim is that it is better than nothing.(OK - usually)

My experiences here have been the opposite of yours and treatment (setting a broken arm for example) was immediate where in the US it took me all day (with good insurance) to get my grand daughter treated and by then the muscles were frozen and it required an operation.
We have taken several patients with emergencies to Rivas and they received immediate care. The people here in SJDS (locals & tourists) can walk to the central Salude and are usually treated immediately for things that don't require a hospital. And the medical problems go away but that might have happened if they had never seen the doctor.
But we all hear plenty of true stories like yours and they may be actually be more frequent than good care. Free is never gonna be great in a poor country with a very limited source of funding.

Yep in the US everybody has their fingers on the pot - The worst are malpractice lawyers. And maybe insurance companies.
But I still don't understand why things are so expensive - An MRI machine must cost more to import here and yet an MRI in the states is reported to be in the $1,500 area and here it can be $250-350.