How Canada Has Eclipsed America In the Obama Years
With the first Gulf War and the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1990 and 1991, the United States arrived at the undisputed summit of the world, with dissident students in Prague and even Moscow uplifting themselves by reading aloud the works of Lincoln and Jefferson, and with the surge of prestige that accrued to the United States as its only remaining rival crumbled.
But the United States has fumbled away its gentle overlordship of the world these last 15 years. Huge current account deficits and colossal federal budget deficits arose, and while the United Sates is generally successful in real wars, its habit of calling policy attacks on sociological problems “wars” has led to the conspicuous failures of the wars on crime, poverty and drugs.
The Canadian dollar has risen from 65¢ American to par, and Canada’s comparative standard of living has inched upwards, and its wealth is much more evenly distributed. The jagged nature of American democracy left 40 million African Americans unsegregated but still the subject of institutionalized discrimination, and 70% of people with magnificent (free) medical care and 30% with access to care but on a pretty stingy and erratic basis.
American education has become very uneven, American justice has degenerated into a turkey shoot for the benefit of a prosecutorial class that terrorizes the country and has given America 10 times the average number of incarcerated people per capita of other advanced prosperous democracies. Sixty million basic manufacturing and service jobs have been out-sourced while 20 million unskilled peasants were admitted illegally to the country, and trillions of dollars of worthless real estate-backed securities inundated the world, pumped out by Wall Street and certified as investment grade, almost asphyxiating the American financial industry while trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives were squandered in the sanguinary Quixotry of nation-building in the Middle and Near East.
And now, in an astounding demonstration of national fecklessness, a failed president is running slightly ahead in the polls of a challenger who has a real CV, unlike recent presidents, but who is so politically oafish and plastic, he makes Elmer Fudd seem charismatic. The incumbent has raised the national debt by 50% on what had accumulated in the 220 years of American independence prior to four years ago — that is $17,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States, in just four years. And Mr. Obama’s tocsin is the comprehensive assertion that: “Experts agree that my plan will reduce the deficit by $4-trillion.” These magic 13 words confirm the reduction of the deficit from $1.5-trillion annually to $1.1-trillion annually in the next ten years, in a country that four years ago had a money supply of only $900-billion.
About 70% of the American deficit is “bought” directly or through the banking system by the Treasury’s 100% subsidiary, the Federal Reserve, and the minimal interest paid on it is recycled back through the Federal Reserve to the Treasury, so the cost of borrowing is zero. It is the ultimate Ponzi scheme, the fiscal nirvana of endless, mountainous debt, rendered easily bearable because it doesn’t cost anything. It is a fraud, a mirage. It all possesses the hypnotic allure of the Gotterdammerung — as the Gods ascend to a burning Valhalla.
If this administration is re-elected, Canada, as it has for the entire mighty spectacle of the inexorable rise of the United States, will have the ring-side seat for a disaster. Prudent, hesitant Canada, ran 14 federal government surpluses in a row. We are the pigs in the brick house — it isn’t a heroic position, neither daring nor stylish, but Canadians are peering through the portals of their stout solid home, transfixed and astonished.
The fact that Willard M. Romney is still running almost even in the polls despite his demiurgic implausibility as a candidate, afflicted by a one-person pandemic of foot-in-mouth disease, illustrates the concern of the American voters. Either Romney lucks through and numerate sanity starts to return to American public life, or the most self-destructively incompetent regime since James Buchanan brought on the Civil War, will come back and stoke up a truly spectacular inferno that will purify America in a mighty economic Jonestown. There will be no more tugging at a trouser leg from Canada — either a comradely pat on the back, or a neighborly blast with a fire extinguisher, but this operatic crescendo can’t continue for one more full act.