I’m Sure There Is A Gaming Analogy Here Somewhere..

Regarding the current credit crunch, I did some digging and learned some lovely little nuggets about Canada.

Less than 25% of house loans in Canada are securitized (by someone else, other than the banks) meaning over 75% are on the the banks balance sheets, making the banks accountable. The higher risk sub prime mortgages account for right around 5% of the Canadian market (compared to more than 25% of the USA market). Canadian housing prices are forcasted to contract by only 10-15% (whereas the USA has already fallen by 24%, and expected to fully correct in the 35%-40% range).

Canada has the lowest debt relative to its GDP, and the only G7 country to enter into this recession with a budgetary surplus (with “free” health care to boot.)

All of this really points to lenders not shutting their doors to Canadian consumers and businesses, regardless of what is going on in the global market.

While the financial conservatism of Canadians will help us through these global tough times, I can’t help to still be remiss that we will have negative impact to us at all – I mean, we kept our house clean, why should we face the negative consequences of irresponsibility elsewhere?

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I have no debt other than a very modest mortgage, and I’ve been saving carefully and building up food storage. Why should my tax dollars (I’m in the U.S.) be spent to bail out those who made a very fine living screwing people over? Why should a sizable chunk of my paycheck go to tax to idiots who will fritter it away on social reform (that I voted against), or another chunk go to a failing Ponzi “Social Security” system?

    I have no voice that counts. Living prudently and carefully will be punished in a world where the gamblers and criminally greedy control the lawmakers.

    We shouldn’t have to support the leeches of society, whether it’s the crack addict on welfare, the golden parachutes of spectacularly failed companies, the politicians who want to carve their name in history, or the “investors” who count on the Ponzi economy to fuel their retirement.

    We shouldn’t, but because we don’t actually have control, we will. We have no choice.

  2. Ah, Tesh my good friend. You would be better off living on an island! You can control all factors, and enjoy the true fruits of your labors without outside interference.

    The difficulty is community. My community hasn’t been as responsible as other communities in my country (itself, a collection of communities) so we have in a way dragged down the welfare of other communities.

    Yet we did, and because the sum of the whole of the communities is good, we all get to “prosper”.

    I do wish Americans could spend a couple of years in my country to see that social reforms aren’t all bad. Growing up with it my whole life I couldn’t live any other way. Sure, my tax rate may be a bit higher (and it is only a “bit”) but I haven’t had to pay for a visit to a doctor, or worry that the doctor who was treating me was pushing a drug to get funding from a pharmacy company, or in a rush to get me out of there to make “profit” on my visit. In fact, my province of Ontario is now taking advantage of your medical system.

    A friend of mine needs an operation. It isn’t life threatenting by any means, and as such he is low on the list – surgeons time and the facilities needed are prioritized on need. It will probably be 6 months before he can have it. His quality of life will not suffer in those six months, and there is no threat of additional issues if it doesn’t happen in those six months. OHIP, the provincial government branch that pays for all health services, realized that because of the competitive nature of medical services in the USA it can be done cheaper and faster there. The doctors in the USA Hospital where my friend is going (1 month wait, instead of 6 months wait) are bumping American surgeries to fit him in. WHY? Why would they do that?

    OHIP pays up front. The surgery is needed, so no hassle, here is the money, go get surgery.

    American Insurance companies take weeks, sometimes MONTHS to pay, so the hospital is better off servicing Canadians in their facility, instead of well insured Americans. Why? Profit.

    The history of Social reforms in Canada, while FAR from perfect (and far from being abuse proof) has created a certain culture here that recognizes for all of its faults, no matter what happens in your life, you will have food, shelter, health care, and all other essential services for living. I wake up every day not afraid of what will happen to me if something went horrible in my life, but comfortable in knowing I will be okay no matter what. I sleep better at night because of it.

    Of course, I pay into that system, but it is well worth it for the peace of mind for the small cost.

    I do have to say that the sum of your life experience within a system completely changes your perspective on it. Many Soviet’s still believe they were, and would be, better off under a communist system still. Even after the disaster in the USA that my friends from the south are going through, most still can’t imagine living in a non super-capitalist system – even after seeing what happens under that umbrella.

  3. Regarding the flaky health care, I see insurance as the problem. Then again, I see insurance as the problem in any instance where it’s applied. I’m not against health care for all, but when it comes with a stupidly high price tag because of insurance or monopolistic government bloat, I see the cost as being too high. (That’s true whether it’s the Canadian system or the litiginous U.S. insurance system.) *shrug*

    Got an island for me?

  4. Insurance is the problem. That is why having the government run that wing of the insurance is key in having the health care system work. Our health care system costs us about $4800 per person. What would $5000 get you in a hospital in the USA? =)

    Anyway, The island I have for sale is cheap, has enough farming area for you for self sustainability, a small freshwater lake, and will have internet access in 2010.

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