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NAFTA'S Loopholes


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Speaking for myself, I complain because of why they're higher, which is government interference in the so-called free-market - helping the rich get richer.

Effing bastards.

The rich should get richer...that's why we call them "rich". Don't Canadians like to pay more and get less to support the social welfare state ?

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Then why do so many Canadians complain about higher prices compared to those in a foreign country ?

I use to just chalk that up to the commonly held belief that many Canadians are just very frugal cheap, who they blame on the Scots. But it is more nuanced than just skinflint spending, it is an economic neurosis born of oppressive taxes on top of taxes and higher prices.

If one doesn't live in the United States, why would someone expect a similar cost/price structure for consumer goods in Canada ?

Goods are only cheaper in the US because payment is partially defered until a later date. The only reason your taxes are lower is because you dont collect enough to fund your government. Its a little like saying that a person who buys something on a credit card pays less... less today maybe, but overall they pay MORE.

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Still doesn't explain why so many Canadians complain about higher prices and taxes compared to those in a foreign country.

It starts to getting pretty annoying when certain Canadians want a large social safety net with all the fixin's like "free" health care, but at the same time want cheap food and energy, and housing etc like in another country. For some reason they don't think that there's a cost to those things.

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It starts to getting pretty annoying when certain Canadians want a large social safety net with all the fixin's like "free" health care, but at the same time want cheap food and energy, and housing etc like in another country. For some reason they don't think that there's a cost to those things.

Again thats not the reason things cost more up here. Things are cheaper in the US because the welfare of American consumers and businesses is subsidized by the rest of the world through the extension of credit. Eventually Americans will end up paying the full cost of all those goods.

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Again thats not the reason things cost more up here. Things are cheaper in the US because the welfare of American consumers and businesses is subsidized by the rest of the world through the extension of credit. Eventually Americans will end up paying the full cost of all those goods.

No that's just not true.

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One of the main reasons things cost more here is distance between consumers. We have far higher transport costs per average good simply because of average distance between consumers, and incredibly high road cost per capita that gets a large share of our gdp. Health care is also expensive, but hey , we take care of our own. Anybody bitching about higher prices compared to the States is missing the fact that that lowest price at the register doesn't necessarily save money in the long run, that low price may have hidden and huge long term cost. Is it worth it to decimate your local retail industry to achieve a few percentage points short term savings at Walmart or similar? Is it worth it to crush small farms by moving the whole system into superfarms to create economy of scale savings?? Never, but people get sucked in by the sticker price.

i would welcome more debate about credit based expansion as per dre's post. This is one of the root driving forces of the current U.S. economy as far as i know, and much hinges on the value of U.S. bonds. The consequences can be excellent or catastrophic when that much credit is held by China for example.

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Canadians don't pay higher taxes than Americans overall. Period! If goods are cheaper in the US then there's some obvious reasons why that is so. I would contend that chiefly it's because US companies keep their overhead down by paying workers less. That provides the social consequences in which Canada doesn't want to get involved.

In fact, we don't want to start comparing ourselves with the US in any way because what they give up in social conditions, we aren't willing to give up for a little bit cheaper big screen t.v. or a hamburger at mc.d's. Our comparisons need to be made with European countries that are totally aware of the social responsibilities of government.

All Canadians need to ask themselves, do we really want anything that the US now has? We can have that cheaper big screen t.v. if we want to accept the corruption that they have gladly accepted for short term and meaningless gain.

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One of the main reasons things cost more here is distance between consumers. We have far higher transport costs per average good simply because of average distance between consumers, and incredibly high road cost per capita that gets a large share of our gdp. Health care is also expensive, but hey , we take care of our own. Anybody bitching about higher prices compared to the States is missing the fact that that lowest price at the register doesn't necessarily save money in the long run, that low price may have hidden and huge long term cost. Is it worth it to decimate your local retail industry to achieve a few percentage points short term savings at Walmart or similar? Is it worth it to crush small farms by moving the whole system into superfarms to create economy of scale savings?? Never, but people get sucked in by the sticker price.

i would welcome more debate about credit based expansion as per dre's post. This is one of the root driving forces of the current U.S. economy as far as i know, and much hinges on the value of U.S. bonds. The consequences can be excellent or catastrophic when that much credit is held by China for example.

You've got it! The only difference in the truth you tell and that I tell is we just approach the issues from a slightly different perspective. That's mainly because everything can't be addressed in one post.

The common message is, we don't want to become like the US. And we must recognize that Harper is leading us in exactly that direction.

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No that's just not true.

Yes its completely true. Look at gas taxes for example... they are more than twice as high in Canada. If we reduced them goods would get cheaper but we would run big deficits like the US does. If the US could not fund its government by borrowing, it would have to fund it by raising taxes and the cost of goods would go up.

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Canadians don't pay higher taxes than Americans overall. Period!

Yes they do. The tax burden as a percentage of GDP is 6% higher. 25% for the US and 31% for Canada. Government exenditures however are the same at 41%. The difference is we raise more of our government revenue by taxing our economy than they do... and that makes stuff cost more. We could cut taxes and fund more of our government with borrowed money, and stuff would be cheaper, but thats a short sighted approach because in the end you still have to pay.

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Methinks it runs deeper than just the cost and availability of consumer goods / services. Many Canadians believe that the benefits of NAFTA and just plain old "Canada is better" attitude should translate into a markedly superior experience than in the USA....for housing, transportation, food, clothing, health care, entertainment, etc. They find themselves watching and seeing an American experience that doesn't always match those expectations. American things dominate their lives, but at a higher cost/price. How can this be ?

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Methinks it runs deeper than just the cost and availability of consumer goods / services. Many Canadians believe that the benefits of NAFTA and just plain old "Canada is better" attitude should translate into a markedly superior experience than in the USA....for housing, transportation, food, clothing, health care, entertainment, etc. They find themselves watching and seeing an American experience that doesn't always match those expectations. American things dominate their lives, but at a higher cost/price. How can this be ?

Thats really just a caricature of an imaginary group of people that lives inside your head. You have this wierd obsession with Canada so strong that devote thousands of hours per year on it... and you project that on Canadians and assume they must have the same reciprocal obsession.

Theres nothing exotic going on in Canada...

As for the nonsense about Canadians thinking they are superior... All patriots and nationalists believe their country is superior... Patriotism and nationalism are forms of mental retardation that certainly do cloud peoples judgement and make honest introspection nearly impossible... but to suggest this specifically a Canadian problem is just more of your usual tripe.

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Thats really just a caricature of an imaginary group of people that lives inside your head. You have this wierd obsession with Canada so strong that devote thousands of hours per year on it... and you project that on Canadians and assume they must have the same reciprocal obsession.

No more weird than your obsession with "Nixon Shock"...I believe he was American too.

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Yes they do. The tax burden as a percentage of GDP is 6% higher. 25% for the US and 31% for Canada. Government exenditures however are the same at 41%. The difference is we raise more of our government revenue by taxing our economy than they do... and that makes stuff cost more. We could cut taxes and fund more of our government with borrowed money, and stuff would be cheaper, but thats a short sighted approach because in the end you still have to pay.

No, Canadians don't pay more in taxes overall. The jury's still out but there are many sources that are claiming that Canadians are paying less. And then when benefits are taken into consideration, there's little doubt you're better off in Canada.

http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0411/do-canadians-really-pay-more-taxes-than-americans.aspx

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No, Canadians don't pay more in taxes overall. The jury's still out but there are many sources that are claiming that Canadians are paying less. And then when benefits are taken into consideration, there's little doubt you're better off in Canada.

http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0411/do-canadians-really-pay-more-taxes-than-americans.aspx

That article talks about the ammount that individuals in various brackets pay. That does not change the fact that the aggregate tax burden as a percentage of GDP is higher, nor is it contrary to anything else I said. If the US did not run such a big deficit it would have to tax its economy more and prices would go up.

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That article talks about the ammount that individuals in various brackets pay. That does not change the fact that the aggregate tax burden as a percentage of GDP is higher, nor is it contrary to anything else I said. If the US did not run such a big deficit it would have to tax its economy more and prices would go up.

It's too close to call. Give it up because the difference isn't significant. The biggest problem the US is experiencing is that the upper quintiles aren't paying enough. That's substantiated by the huge income inequality. If the American people don't want to correct that and claim their piece of the pie then they deserve what they are getting.

Talk of revolution amongst the teabaggers is cheap. It will probably remain talk though because they haven't yet figured out why they are getting the short end of the stick. They probably think the black people are stealing all their money or something like that. Not that I'm not optimistic of there being some meaningful gunplay though!

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