Monday, November 5, 2007

Krugman dosen't convience me

In Paul Krugman's interview (pg. 126) with Rolling Stone he cites that Canada spends twice as much non-health care dollars on social programs than the United States. Despite this I'm not convinced that the Canadian poor have it better than their American counterparts. Americans give more to charity, about $2000 more per person. Also, Canadians pay higher taxes for liquor and gasoline as well as a higher sales tax. These taxes fall more heavily on the poor than progressive income taxes. Likewise, I believe taxation is a better way to distribute income than social programs because they don't require paying for a bureaucracy. Canada also has a generally higher unemployment rate than the United States, this is probably due to the increases unionization north of the border. I would attribute Canada's greater equality mainly to the unskilled labour shortage created by the high demand in Canada's energy sectors.

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