Exchanges with Canadian youth, only one pissed off at me

The Canadians we have met here in the resort town of Tofino, BC are very chatty, especially when they encounter an American who has some basic knowledge of their country. We did a full day kayak trip yesterday, just us and a young guide, and have also had spotty exchanges with various people – the gal at the book store this morning was especially interesting. A few things we have picked up:

  • Stephen Harper is very unpopular but like George W. Bush manages to hold on the power via various low and high crimes.
  • Harper is doing the right-wing thing, pushing that agenda no matter how unpopular, attacking health care and tax structure, education and the general social support system.
  • Right wingers generally try to get as much done as possible in a feverish push while in power, knowing they’ll be tossed on their ear. Then they rely on an Obama-type to put a ratchet in place and prevent backsliding.
  • So Harper is a short-timer but sadly has been around long enough to inflict huge damage.
  • Most Canadian provinces are happy with Canada as it was. Ontario tends to be the right-wing seat.
  • Ontario, as I remember, is also the place where the Canadian health care system is most stressed.
  • But Canadians do not cross the border for health care. They do not do this in absolute droves.
  • Harper is pushing the national health care system to shut down small local clinics. Apparently they are not cost efficient.
  • That, of course, is a gut-shot at the system – easy access to care for average people throughout the country. He must know this.
  • Canadians don’t have to worry about health care when they travel, and always know their kids are taken care of no matter where they are in the provinces, but not the states below.
  • Our book store clerk this AM said she is being hounded by collection agency people because she did not pay her $800 Medicare premium last year. Note, however, that this does not shut her out of the system. Health care is a right up here.
  • Did she say $800? Gadzooks! Americans spend that much on health care before breakfast, most of it going down rat holes and passed on to rent seekers.
  • I sympathized with her, but she’s Canadian, and so doesn’t know what naked predator capitalism looks like.
  • Until she is sleeping in a gutter and also chased by collection agencies for student loans while dying of an untreated tumor, she won’t know how good she has it.
  • Harper appears to want to Americanize Canada.

Everything is relative. Canadians, especially young ones we have met, are so fresh and unspoiled, friendly and unassuming (and thin and attractive), that it’s a pleasure to be around them. I’ve only pissed off one so far, a barista who thought I said Americano instead of latte. She banged things around and probably mumbled about goddamned Americans as she made the new drink. I couldn’t quite make out her words, but Canadians do swear on occasion, it appears.

About Mark Tokarski

Mostly retired CPA living the life here in Colorado. Formerly Montana, 59 years, which is why so much of this blog is devoted to Montana issues.
This entry was posted in Esoterica, Health Care. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Exchanges with Canadian youth, only one pissed off at me

  1. Big Johansson says:

    Harper is not unpopular and has been re-elected several times.

    “Stephen Harper has his majority government. The Liberal party is in tatters, and the Bloc Québécois is devastated. The NDP, inexperienced in the limelight and leaning to the left, is a reliable target. No one now doubts the Prime Minister’s capacity for raw politics, or his staying power.

    Harper is one of a select few Canadian leaders to have won three consecutive federal elections. When his current term ends, he will have been in office longer than many past titans, including Brian Mulroney, John Diefenbaker, and Lester Pearson.”

    • Tomato Guy says:

      Your links aside, my links told me that outside of ontario, and without timely support from her majesty, who cancelled a VOC vote, Harper would otherwise be cooked. That’s just Canadian kids talking. But I was impressed a how well-informed they were aside their American cousins, and not steeped in fear and hatred.

  2. rightsaidfred says:

    thin and attractive

    Is this the males or females?

    Health care is a right up here.

    But do they have the right for other people to pay for it?

    • Tomato Guy says:

      Male, of course. What else am I looking at? And they pay for their own health care, as Canadians

    • rightsaidfred says:

      I thought maybe that Canadians were so completely post-modern that they realized gender is a social construct; and thus everyone looked the same; there were no genders. We all have the same DNA, don’tcha know.

      And they pay for their own health care, as Canadians

      Hmmm. Looks more like a privilege than a right.

      • Tomato Guy says:

        You sound totally bought-in to the American concept that dying in the gutter is the way it has to be.

      • rightsaidfred says:

        Yes, I’m a total tool, but at least I get an envelope in the mail stuffed with cash. What do you get?

        We spend more money for worse results. That makes us #1. We’re the best. Conspicuous consumption, baby. Bring it on. We are so wealthy, we have a bloated systems that employs lots of people at high wages. What’s not to like? We give illegal aliens four liver transplants. Can the Canadians do that? No way! What pikers. They suck. We’re number 1!

      • rightsaidfred says:

        Slightly more seriously, I don’t mind paying for other people’s stuff, but I would like to know the upper bound of what I have to shell out for what lifestyle.

        • Tomato Guy says:

          If we are talking about risk, which is what insurance covers then we all face the same hazards. Most people don’t make enough to have savings on hand to cover cancer and chemo. So we pool our resources. Teachers, in my mind, contribute far more to our society than bankers, but are paid far less. All face the same risks. They cannot afford to have cancer, and need good,health insurance, which only government can provide.

        • rightsaidfred says:

          And where does the gov’t get all this money?

          Right now every man, woman, and child in the US has a $10,000 bill for health care tied to their toe. I want that bill to instead be $5000, but then some people start to bitch and moan, and those who don’t care (politicians) tell me to keep paying $10,000. How long do I need to keep losing this debate?

          BTW, we don’t all face the same risk. It makes a difference.

          • Tomato Guy says:

            “Risk” is defined by groupings, and not individuals within groups. The group “everyone” is manageable, as every other industrial country knows. That’s why it is so much cheaper everywhere else, and why every other country has better outcomes. That point, that everyone else has a better way, never sinks in.

            Our problem and the reason we are so expensive is the profit motive, with everyone hiding under rocks, trying to dump costs on one another, making up excuses not to offer coverage. Because insurance companies underpay hospitals, hospitals overcharge to compensate, and it creates a spiral. My knee surgery, which costs $900 in Norway, $1,600 in Spain, was $4,500 here, $2,000 of that funny money, or fake costs not paid unless I was uninsured.

            I have a good grasp of the problem, and it is not race-based, but rather caused by rent seekers enclosing the health care system.

          • rightsaidfred says:

            I’m sure if the US adopted the Norwegian model of health care, knee surgery would still cost $4500. If we adopted the Spanish model, knee surgery would still cost $4500. You can take the money wasting society in and out of plans, but it is harder to take the money wasting out of society.

            • rightsaidfred says:

              So you think these things are like lego blocks, where you just swap parts and get an exact duplicate?

              I’ve seen lots of nifty technology and organizational plans from Europe and Japan touted as a great fit for America, only to have them flame out and perform no better than the local product after the locals got done using them in the local way. (Ford diesel engines, calisthenics at work while empowering workers in the Japanese way.) I don’t see why health care is any different.

              • Tomato Guy says:

                Health care is a public utility that cannot be run like a business because doing so puts the public at odds with the businesses who run it. Every dollar paid out in claims threatens a department head’s bonus.

                That’s a universal. We’re not unique, and our health insurance companies thwarted the “public option” because they knew that we wanted it, wold use it, and they would become redundant and have to do something productive.

                VA is top-shelf health care here in our own country, government-owned and run. There’s no secrets. Get profit motive out, the system heals itself.

              • rightsaidfred says:

                Gov’t run entities in this country have another set of problems that are possibly worse than the present system — one reason there is not that big of a push for a public option.

                • Tomato Guy says:

                  That’s an expression of American exceptionalism, nothing more. Public health care systems are wildly successful everywhere else (read about the Taiwanese experiment, the latest to convert). They would be here too, but threaten private concentrated wealth. There was a huge push for a public option, so that in passing ACA Obama’s strategy was to keep the ball in the air, make it appear that he was the guy who was going to make it happen, which allowed him to crush it. He rides in a Trojan Horse, which is why he’s so valuable to Wall Street, why he got his second term.

                • rightsaidfred says:

                  There was a huge push for a public option


                  • Tomato Guy says:

                    70% approval not enough for you?

                    • Tomato Guy says:

                      You’re talking “single payer” while I said “public option.” And anyway, it depends on how you ask the question. Usually mainstream pollsters ask it in a manner as follows: If you knew that single payer health insurance would bankrupt the country, give cancer to everyone, torture puppies and cause women to become lesbians and engage in witchcraft, would you favor it?

                      Instead ask If you knew that single payer was successful in every country implemented, brought down health care costs, produced superior health outcomes and created great comfort in the public, would you favor it?

                      Better yet, just ask the question, do you favor it. The result is positive.

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