By John Morton
I just returned from the Canadian Rockies, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I was equally impressed with the friendly, helpful, and reserved people. The highways and bridges were in better shape than those in the United States even though Canada has a population of 36 million and the second largest land area in the world. Canadians tend to live within 100 miles of the United States. I was surprised at how few luxury cars I saw.
However, anecdotal observations can be misleading so I spent some time researching life in Canada vs. the United States. Canada is a rich country but poorer than the United States. Its 2016 GDP per capita (PPP) was $46,400 compared to $57,400 in the United States. Although GDP per capita is an important statistic in determining a country’s living standards, it doesn’t tell the entire story. The website “If It Were My Home” (http://www.ifitweremyhome.com/compare/US/CA) is used to compare two countries. If Canada were your home rather than the United States, you would:
Be 83.09% less likely to be in prison.
Spend 35.46% less money on healthcare.
Be 63.16% less likely to be murdered.
Experience 28.67% less of a class divide.
Live 2.11 years longer.
Be 23.66% less likely to die in infancy.
Because Canada has a single-payer healthcare system, Bernie Sanders might say Canada shows that socialism works. But he would be wrong.
The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, has been measuring economic freedom around the world since 1970. Countries with high levels of economic freedom have more personal choice, more voluntary exchange coordinated in markets, more freedom to enter and compete in markets, and more protection of persons and property from aggression. In the latest report, the United States ranked 16th in economic freedom; Canada ranked 5th.
My analysis makes me want to move to Canada, but it’s too damn cold, and I really don’t enjoy ice hockey.