Canadian model?

At Neo-neocon: The cost of Canadian health care

It’s not just the financial cost, it’s also the suffering cost while waiting for an appointment.

There is no free lunch. There is no free health care. And anyone comparing outcomes in different countries by comparing statistics on infant mortality and life expectancy is comparing apples and oranges. These matters are influenced by much more than a healthcare insurance system.

Among other things, it’s whether you count preemies who die as stillbirths. In the US, it is far more likely they’ll be counted as live births.

Canada the Goof

Jesse Brown may be Canadian, but he’s definitely not forthcoming, eh? Mr. Brown has an Op-Ed in the New York Times:

“There is a certain image that Canada projects to the world, one that is particularly compelling to Americans. It’s the image of Canada as a tolerant, progressive, kind and humanitarian nation, populated by mild-mannered and polite people. The idea of Canada the Good — a Scandinavian-style socialist democracy, with the added bonus of multicultural harmony — is an attractive one, helpful in providing Canadians with some kind of national identity, and left-leaning Americans with a handy rhetorical device for political arguments: Look at what’s possible, right next door!

But it’s worth remembering that this image of Canada, currently personified by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is a relatively recent construction, largely put forth by Mr. Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. “

Justin Trudeau’s father was a snooty playboy who married… shall we say a goofy development-arrested woman 30 years his junior. She was 22 upon their marriage, he was 51.

Justin’s contribution to “Canada the Good” follows soundly in the flower-child traditon of his mother. Just search the ‘net for ‘justin trudeau gaffes.’

I can tell you that many, many Canadians, at least since the 60s, thought of their country as “Canada the Good,” many of them did so in comparison to the ‘US Imperialists.’ The identity being expressed is, “We’re NOT Americans.” Which is tautologically true, if somewhat insubstantial as a national identity.

“Canada is home to many more Jordan Petersons than Justin Trudeaus.”

Debatable. Take a walk down Bloor Street and ask a few people some political questions. Say, about socialized health care, pronouns, CAGW, multi-culturalism or firearms.

“Pierre Trudeau might have technically been a liberal, but he was the kind of liberal who declared martial law in 1970”

Pierre Trudeau’s good friend Fidel Castro might technically have been a socialist, but Castro was the kind of socialist who tortures political prisoners. Pierre Trudeau was not a liberal, despite the name of the party he headed. He was an elitist authoritarian. He was a long, long way from classical liberalism.

“[T]he New Democratic Party, ostensibly the major party farthest to the left, ran its last campaign on a platform of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility.”

That’s like our Democrats saying “We don’t want to take your guns.” The NDP is far left by our standards. Even the conservative party is the “Progressive Conservatives.”

“Not even the Green Party dares to suggest divesting from Alberta’s oil sands.”

No, they just block the pipeline construction needed to sell that oil and are wholly supportive of a punitive carbon tax Justin Trudeau is pushing.

“Canadian conservatism is not brash. It not belligerent, it is not loud. It is not Fox News.”

True, Canadian conservatism is more like Joe Lieberman Democrats.

“The proposed human rights policy that made Mr. Peterson famous is now Canadian law, and no instance of “compelled speech” has occurred as a result of it or resulted in criminal charges, as Mr. Peterson feared. On the issue of legal requirements for pronoun use, things remain the way Mr. Peterson wanted them — the same.”

If things are the same, one wonders why the law was needed.

There have been no charges yet, but Jesse Brown deftly ignores Lindsay Shepherd‘s experience at Wilfred Laurier University, where she was threatened with that very law for showing her class a video snippet of Jordan Peterson from an Ontario public television current events show. While the inquisitors were wrong, they did think the law could be used to compel Shepherd to toe the line. It’s only a matter of time before it’s applied to compel speech.

Health Insurance and Health Care are not the same thing

Most recent data from Canada, where there is universal health insurance: Waiting Your Turn – Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2017 Report

Waiting for treatment has become a defining characteristic of Canadian health care. In order to document the lengthy queues for visits to specialists and for diagnostic and surgical procedures in the country, the Fraser Institute has — for over two decades — surveyed specialist physicians across 12 specialties and 10 provinces.

This edition of Waiting Your Turn indicates that, overall, waiting times for medically necessary treatment have increased since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 21.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment—longer than the wait of 20.0 weeks reported in 2016. This year’s wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey’s history — is 128% longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks.

Unsurprisingly, when supply of a good is bureaucratically rationed, shortages result. When the good is “free,” it’s worse.

Somebody should tell Nancy and Bernie.

Jordan Peterson on Chan4

Never fails to impress, and this is even better than most.

Interviewer (hostile): Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?

Peterson: Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable. […] You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on. And that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.

… a few seconds pass…

Peterson (chuckling kindly): Ha. Gotcha.

Interviewer:You have got me. You have got me. I’m trying to work that through my head. It took awhile. It took awhile. It took awhile.

 

Watch the whole beautiful thing. Half an hour well spent.

And, BTW, Peterson has a new book out. My copy will be here next Tuesday.

Milk Duds Up a Tree

American dairy farmers are complaining about steep cuts in the price of Canadian ultra-filtered milk (mostly used in cheese production). UFM isn’t defined as milk under NAFTA, so while Canada keeps the cost of drinking milk very high, they’ve slashed the cost of ultra-filtered milk. Lowering this price umbrella to world market levels has hurt American dairymen.

If Canada can drastically reduce the cost of an industrial milk product it could also cut the cost of drinking milk for Canadians. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though, because it’s Canadian government that keeps that cost high. In effect, Canada subsidizes UFM by heavily overpricing drinking milk, which it protects with high tariffs.

Canada is a country that doesn’t even have internal free trade. The Canadian Constitution Act of 1867 prohibits internal trade barriers, but Provinces have nonetheless spent nearly 150 years erecting trade barriers against each other and preserving picayune local regulatory prerogatives.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in provincial “supply management boards” dealing with milk, cheese, eggs and poultry. Canadian milk is subject to the precision wisdom of centralized planners – a maze of quotas, price floors, subsidies and entry barriers intended to protect incumbent Canadian dairy farmers from competition at the expense of consumers.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Canada’s barriers to international trade in those markets are even worse. This has attracted the attention of our President, who – visiting the dairy state of Wisconsin – complained about it in almost the same breath as he emphasized his “Buy American-Hire American” policy.

We’ll skip over the question of why Canadians aren’t allowed to have a “Buy Canadian – Hire Canadian” policy for the moment, because many Canadians agree with President Trump about Canadian milk policy; or at least resent the high prices they have to pay for milk.

It’s not as if the American treatment of milk is free of mercantilist shenanigans, but when President Trump says Canada’s milk policy is unfair, he has a point, even though he’s not thinking about how unfair it is to Canadians:

Canada’s dairy quota system has been Canada’s shame since it was introduced in 1970. The quota system makes milk prohibitively expensive for poor families, it denies Canadian consumers the right to purchase diverse cheeses from around the world and it destroyed Canada’s once-great cheese industry, whose many small producers capitalized on milk surpluses to make world-famous cheddars — Ontario alone once supplied England with half of its cheddar cheese imports…

Canada remains one of the West’s great bastions of protectionism, barring foreign ownership of banking and other major sectors and unable to achieve even internal free trade among our provinces, despite 150 years of trying. The provinces themselves don’t accept the provisions of NAFTA, cannot be bound by them and haven’t honoured them.

And he is certainly not bemoaning the restrictions on Canadian diary farmers:

The fact that each individual Canadian dairy producer is told exactly how much milk he may produce, and exactly to whom he may sell it (Hint: There’s only one legal customer and it happens to be a provincial marketing board) is evidence of just how transparently anti-free trade we are in this realm. And a recent agreement struck by Canadian dairy farmers and producers which effectively slapped a new import tariff on ultra-filtered milk (a product used to make cheese and yogurt, among other things), has drawn the ire of Australians, Mexicans, New Zealanders and members of the European Union.

Meanwhile, Canadian consumers pay the price. The Montreal Economic Institute estimates that the country’s supply management system costs each of us [Canadians] $258 a year. Which is not especially surprising, when you think about it. We have official, explicit collusion and price-fixing going, after all. It’s how we’ve chosen to conduct business.

Or, the barriers to entry in the Canadian market:

That governments have been so unwilling to set aside a policy that is responsible for Canadian families paying two and three times the world price for basic food items, all to benefit a dwindling number of wealthy and aging, farmers (young farmers face a formidable barrier to entry, in the form of the cost of quota: more than $25,000 per cow) is one of the great dilemmas of public policy. If we have to enlist Trump to save us from ourselves, so be it.

So, just as our tariffs on Brazilian sugar, Chinese steel and Canadian softwood lumber hurt American consumers and eliminate jobs with manufacturers using those products, milk quotas and tariffs hurt Canadian consumers and Canadian cheese and yogurt making employment.

Not to be outdone by Canada, President Trump has decided to impose higher costs on American consumers by placing an additional 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. The average new house built in the United States will increase in price by around $1,000 and eliminate many thousands of American jobs in the construction, furniture and paper industries.

This is the fifth time since 1982 that softwood lumber has precipitated a dispute with Canada.

Neighbors, we’re sorry

Obama Alienates Canada And Mexico At Three Amigos

On behalf of US citizens who voted against Mr. Obama, and will again, even if the GOP nominates John Huntsman; I apologize to all Canadians. Well, at least to those who didn’t tell some pollster they wished they could vote for Obama.

I also apologize to the government of Mexico for our ill conceived attempt to encourage repeal of the Second Amendment by an act of war known as Fast and Furious.

Our President, who apologizes easily for almost anything, will never apologize for the obvious wrongs he has has done. You’ll have to take my apology as an individual mandate.

NY State Senators: We need Canada’s speech laws

Only 10 times more restrictive.

Proponents of a more refined First Amendment argue that this freedom [speech] should be treated not as a right but as a privilege — a special entitlement granted by the state on a conditional basis that can be revoked if it is ever abused or maltreated.

Refined? That isn’t “refined.” It’s what statist fools mean when they call the Constitution a living document: “It means what we say it means, whenever we say what it means.” It’s Orwell’s Newspeak. It’s Humpty Dumpty from Alice in Wonderland. It’s Bill Clinton expounding on the meaning of the word “is.”

If this…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

…isn’t clear on the subject of speech, then I suggest it is also not clear on freedom from religion, freedom of religion, freedom to publish, or the right to associate freely. All those things are subject to the whims of unelected and faceless bureaucrats.

Get a Clue

Canadian ice shelves halve in six years

No, what’s shrinking is not the little ledge at the back of the penalty box where they keep the Molson Stock Ale, it’s glaciers. There are some glaciers apparently melting in Canada.

Professor Steven Sherwood, Co-Director of Australia’s University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre, thinks it proves the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory:

The real significance of this, in my view, is that this ice has reportedly been there for thousands of years. The same is true of glaciers that have recently disappeared in the Andes. These observations should dispel in one fell swoop any notion that recent global warming could be natural.

Really? Let’s assume this study, unlike many other recent hysterical reports of glacial disappearance, is accurate. (Let’s even pass over what a scientist might mean by the odd qualifier “reportedly,” when giving such a definitive opinion.) Does Sherwood’s contention this melting proves humans caused the melting make sense?

Let’s stack the deck further in his favor before deciding. Let’s assume that when Sherwood says “thousands of years,” he is specifically aware of the state of those Canadian glaciers during the Medieval Warm Period, from about 950 to 1250 AD. And that the plural of “thousand” may have been boyish enthusiasm.

Bottom line? No matter how much latitude we grant, Sherwood’s statement that AGW is proved by melting glaciers in Canada is nonsense. When they assert that if A=B and B=X, then A=C, credentialed Co-Directors of University Climate Change Research Centres deserve no less skepticism than that guy selling Government of Greece bonds. You expect scientists to be aware of such things. Anyway, you used to.

A long line of enviro-hysterics and hucksters – from Rachel Carson to Greenpeace using Bardot in the baby seal ploy – have poisoned the well. Since they abandoned Bardot to the seals and recanted their 1970’s doomsday Global Cooling scenario, they’ve been working on predictive Global Warming models that don’t predict – even when the models are cooked to favor an AGW conclusion. These flip-flops and errors and prevarications and religiosity from the AGW grant-application industry have many of those who believe in the scientific method a tad skeptical.

Co-Director Sherwood had to have been made co-director in order that he might speak PR for the Climate Change Research Centre. His position clearly didn’t depend on his grasp of the scientific method, much less the ability to employ simple logic. He’s the “securing funding” co-director. His PhD is probably in Marketing, if that’s even possible. (After a search, I see that’s wrong. His Ph.D. is Oceanography.)

Lest you think I protest the man’s scientific acumen too much, let me paraphrase him once again:

1. Mrs. Peacock had been stable for decades.
2. Mrs. Peacock is now overly stable, room temperature-wise.
3. It is indisputable: Colonel Mustard, in the Library, with an SUV.

Stephen Harper for President

TOC has skewered Canada from time to time (I lived there for over 20 years), but we’ve also run quite a few “What we can learn from Canada” posts. There are 79 posts (I didn’t count for criticism vs. praise) “labeled” ‘Canada’ going back to 2006.

I greatly appreciate Stephen Hayward’s point at Power Line:

How can it be that after all these years of making fun of Canada for all of the right reasons (its anti-Americanism, its social democratic welfare state, its ludicrous Steyn-hunting “human rights” commissions, its export of Michael J. Fox and William Shatner, etc.), it can now be held up as a superior model to Obama’s America?

RTWT.

What I cannot comprehend is how Hayward failed to mention Jennifer Granholm in his critique of Canadian expats. Then too, he had to be reminded of Celine Dion.

At least Celine Dion’s recordings have the social utility to be used to torture those incarcerated at Gitmo. The real damage to this country was done by Jennifer Granholm. Forgiving Canada for that will take a long time.