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Old 09-16-2015, 09:53 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 676,254 times
Reputation: 618

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As an American who has lived in the USA all my life (Virginia, California, New York City) but who is also a dual Canadian citizen by parentage, I love learning about our neighbors to the north. It's where most of my cousins live, after all. So here are some key differences between the two countries, that aren't a bunch of bizarre and untrue observations as I read here recently ("there are no guns in Canada, and having a satellite dish is a felony!").

In general, taxes are the same in Canada but Canadians get a lot more services for their money. The tax collections go to free healthcare instead of building bombs ("swords to plowshares") along with a zeroed out federal deficit. It's really pretty great compared to the USA, even if Canadians don't always know how well they have it (not an endorsement of Harper, but of Canadian politics in general relative to the USA). This is my rundown for a self-employed person:

Payroll taxes are a major hindrance in the USA for the middle class (between $50,000 and $120,000 in income per household) and in Canada they are 0% in that bracket compared to 6-7% in the USA. In both countries, self-employed people pay double that tax, so that's 0% in Canada for the self-employed middle class versus 13% in the USA. That's a huge difference.

On the other hand, sales taxes are higher in Canada. A few states have no sales tax at all, whereas in Canada it is 13% in Ontario and 14% in Quebec. That's 5% federal and 8-9% in the provinces. Alberta offers Canadians some serious relief, as it is only the federal 5% there (and thus lower than in the average U.S. state).

The national deficit and debt is much, much better in Canada. In fact, people moving from the USA to Canada can ease up on their future generations by not making them pay back so much in overspending and interest. There is even a budget surplus in Canada today, versus a heavy deficit in the USA.

Despite the overall tax burden being roughly equal or slightly less, and the national deficit being eliminated, Canada does offer free healthcare to its citizens. The USA famously does not. Where does the money come from in Canada? A smaller military budget.

There is less crime in Canada, where the murder rate is less than 1/3rd the USA rate. The gun ownership is also 1/3rd the USA rate, so some will draw conclusions there. An alternate (but ugly) conclusion may come from the makeup of minority populations. In Canada, visible minorities have equal average incomes to white Canadians, as they are predominantly Asian (either from India or East Asia). In the USA, minorities have far lower average incomes than white Americans, and they are predominantly Mexican, Puerto Rican, and black (queue the Donald Trump-isms). Perhaps poverty breeds crime?

Just the facts, ma'am:

/////////////////
Budget Deficit
Canada: None
USA: $400,000,000,000.00

Free Healthcare
Canada: YES
USA: No

Military + Veteran spending

Canada: C$1,500 per household per year
USA: $7,500 per household per year

Federal Debt
Canada: C$51,000 per household
USA: $175,000 per household

Payroll Tax Cap (Social Security/Canadian Pension)
Canada: C$51,000
USA: $118,500

Lowest Maximum Combined Income Tax
Canada: 39% on $10 million (Alberta)
USA: 39.6% on $10 million (Texas, Florida, Washington...)

Lowest Sales Tax
Canada: 5% (Alberta)
USA: 0% (Oregon, Montana...)

Murder rate
Canada: 1.4 per 100,000
USA: 4.5 per 100,000

Gun ownership
Canada: 31 per 100 residents
USA: 89 per 100 residents

Minority Groups >5%
Canada: East Asian 8%, South Asian (Indian) 5%.
USA: Hispanic (Latino) 17%, Black 13%.
/////////////////

Discuss.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
9,619 posts, read 6,597,302 times
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Having lived in both countries, and frequenting Canada frequently, I can agree with the comparison.
Were it not for the weather, I'd move back to Canada in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:23 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 676,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
Were it not for the weather, I'd move back to Canada in a heartbeat.
That is my main (perhaps only) problem with Canada, too! Global warming will only benefit Canada and hinder the USA over the next 100 or 200 years, but it doesn't happen fast enough (thank God) to make Canada too much warmer anytime soon.

Alberta is a very sunny place though I've found, especially in the Calgary to Lethbridge corridor. Plenty of winter sun there that is a bit lacking across much of the rest of Canada.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:29 AM
 
449 posts, read 278,940 times
Reputation: 754
I think you may be romanticizing the country a little (I'm not trying to be judgmental; I'm totally smitten by the country as well, so I probably romanticize it too). For example, if I am correct, Canada does build bombs (although not nearly to the extent of the US), and their non-violent crime rate is about the same as the US's. And don't people have to pay MORE taxes in Canada (overall, not just sales)?

But obviously no country can ever be perfect. Overall, I DEFINITELY agree with you and I have to admit, I envy your Canadian citizenship because I plan going to Canada for grad school and staying there, which is not going to be easy.

One thing I want to add is that I like Canada's "mosaic" mentality (multiple different cultures make up one country) better than America's "melting pot" one (people from all over the world come here and are expected to act "American"). And in general, I get good vibes whenever I visit Canada. I'm not sure why; it could just be a placebo effect.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:48 AM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
7,213 posts, read 6,567,148 times
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Canada does NOT have free health care. NOT. Nothing is free in Canada. Okay? Everybody in Canada pays for their health care through a variety of ways be it through the higher taxes, personal premiums, private direct payments, monthly deductions from paycheques, etc., etc.

Each province has its own health care system in place and they're all a little different from each other with regard to what health care premiums are and how they're paid or invoiced but everybody does still pay one way or another.

.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:05 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 676,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halcyon18 View Post
Canada does build bombs (although not nearly to the extent of the US), and their non-violent crime rate is about the same as the US's. And don't people have to pay MORE taxes in Canada (overall, not just sales)?
Property crimes are about 3,500 per 100,000 people in the USA and 2,5000 per 100,000 in Canada. So the USA rate is about 40% higher even in non-violent crime I believe.

And it hasn't been true for a while that middle class Canadians have paid more in taxes than they would in America. Corporations don't even pay more anymore. In fact, that corporate tax rate is 26% to 31% in Canada (including provinces) right now, while it is 35% to 46% (including states) in the USA. The one thing that is consistently higher is the sales tax (and even that is not higher in the province of Alberta).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Canada does NOT have free health care. NOT. Nothing is free in Canada. Okay? Everybody in Canada pays for their health care through a variety of ways be it through the higher taxes, personal premiums, private direct payments, monthly deductions from paycheques, etc., etc.
That's all included in the taxes outlined above, which are not any higher than the US. When I say free, I mean in the way economists say "marginally free." That is, Canadians don't pay per visit like in the USA. And Canadians do not regularly go bankrupt from medical bills as they do in the USA.

And Canadians do not pay higher taxes in exchange for free health care. As I showed, the tax rates are the same or, in the case of the middle class, actually lower in Canada.

Canadians get health care for the money that in the USA is spent on the military. It is not paid for through "higher taxes," and taxes are not higher in Canada.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,670 posts, read 8,737,253 times
Reputation: 7280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Canada does NOT have free health care. NOT. Nothing is free in Canada. Okay? Everybody in Canada pays for their health care through a variety of ways be it through the higher taxes, personal premiums, private direct payments, monthly deductions from paycheques, etc., etc.

Each province has its own health care system in place and they're all a little different from each other with regard to what health care premiums are and how they're paid or invoiced but everybody does still pay one way or another.

.
BC I believe is the only province to have premiums. I believe though, it all balances out with provincial income tax rates...at least it used to.
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:13 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 676,254 times
Reputation: 618
So I looked up the platforms of the NDP, Liberals, and Conservatives going into this election. Interestingly, nothing I care about changes in a bad way under a switch from the Conservatives to NDP. But I am very wary of a Trudeau victory, as he seems to want to change things up in all the worst ways. At least if he wants Canada to remain competitive with the USA for small business owners, etc.

I highly recommend that progressives vote NDP and conservatives keep voting Conservative! Thankfully Mulcair has a small lead in the polls, followed by Harper at the moment. But it's a very close three-way race in which stuff could go very wrong if the Liberals come to power.

Under Mulcair and NDP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blimp View Post

Budget Deficit
Canada: None unchanged
USA: $400,000,000,000.00

Federal Debt
Canada: C$51,000 per household unchanged
USA: $175,000 per household

Lowest Maximum Combined Income Tax
Canada: 39% on $10 million (Alberta) unchanged
USA: 39.6% on $10 million (Texas, Florida, Washington...)
Under Harper and Conservatives:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blimp View Post

Budget Deficit
Canada: None unchanged
USA: $400,000,000,000.00

Federal Debt
Canada: C$51,000 per household unchanged
USA: $175,000 per household

Lowest Maximum Combined Income Tax
Canada: 39% on $10 million (Alberta) unchanged
USA: 39.6% on $10 million (Texas, Florida, Washington...)
Under Trudeau and Liberals:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blimp View Post

Budget Deficit
Canada: $10,000,000,000.00
USA: $400,000,000,000.00

Federal Debt
Canada: C$55,000 per household
USA: $175,000 per household

Lowest Maximum Combined Income Tax
Canada: 43% on $10 million (Alberta)
USA: 39.6% on $10 million (Texas, Florida, Washington...)
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:27 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
430 posts, read 676,254 times
Reputation: 618
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Toronto is south of Minneapolis so i doubt it
Can't always go by latitudes. Minneapolis is way south of Calgary, but Calgary is much warmer (especially when the chinook winds are blowing).
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Seattle-WA-USA
678 posts, read 662,827 times
Reputation: 498
You also forgot about longer life expectancy and less fat and homeless people.

I went to Montreal this summer and didn't see one homeless person during the 8 days I was there, and I scowered the city.

And I personally don't get the belief that the USA is so much cheaper.. At least all the desirable places in the USA are just as expensive, if not more, than the major cities in Canada. They are all expensive...
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