Canadian novelist Stephen Marche (born 1976) writes that his country’s socialism is the reason it out-performs the US.
Canada has pursued a hardheaded (even ruthless), fiscally conservative form of socialism.
Stephen Marche, “Hardheaded Socialism Makes Canada Richer Than U.S.“, Bloomberg View, 15 July 2012.
British journalist and Bloomberg colleague Clive Crook (born 1955) disagrees.
I do think it’s a shame Americans aren’t more curious about what goes on in Canada: There’s a lot to learn, especially from its health-care system. But you can also exaggerate the differences–as people in both countries are apt to do. General government spending in the United States was 41.9% of GDP in 2011; in Canada it was 43.2%. (In 2007, before the recession intervened, the figures were 36.9% for the US and 39.4% for Canada.) I guess that makes the difference between hard-headed socialism and capitalism red in tooth and claw about 2 percentage points of GDP.
Clive Crook, “The Triumph of Canadian Socialism“, The Atlantic, 17 July 2012.
Clive Crook is a columnist for Bloomberg View, in addition to his job as a senior editor of The Atlantic.