Free trade debunked?

GDP per capita Mexico=$9000.00
GDP per capita Vietnam = $2250.00

Vietnam should catch up to Mexio sometime around the year 2132 with current growth rates.

Maybe then we can compare the two economies on an apples to apples basis and see which one is better. Maybe until then we can write lame posts based off half assed articles.

Free trade is DOMED!!111!!!

What’s that mean? Out of curiousity, does a fuller merger with the U.S. ever get seriously discussed in Canada?

It means that one of the many subtexts of the new Conservative party is to essentially change Canada into a mirror of the United States. They want to privatize health care, make it harder to get an abortion, tougher crime laws, etc. Basically, if the Conservatives get their way we’ll be Canadian in name only - more so even than we are now.

Outside of Quebec, though, merger with the U.S. is not a seriously-discussed topic. (Probably not within Quebec, either, but I do remember some things being talked about during the referendum.) Canadians are a funny bunch, as there is something almost ineffable about our Canadian identity that sets us apart from you Yanks. Being Canadian is like separating art from porn - I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

I’m sure the EU would be willing to open up membership talks with Canada should you ever feel the need to have some muscle backing you in your trade disputes. I mean, besides the slight geographical inconsistency, it’s a win for everyone.

I’d love to invite Canada into the EU, but to be part of a trading zone you really need to be trading a lot within it, even if you aren’t geographically a part of it. Unfortunately for that idea, Canada does three-quarters of its trade with the USA, and after that Japan and China are bigger partners than any EU nation. We could invite them in with partner status, like Switzerland and Norway, to open borders and improve trade links. We could also sign the freedom of movement treaties, which would allow Canadians to work in Europe and vice-versa. But full EU status wouldn’t make much sense.


What’s that mean? Out of curiousity, does a fuller merger with the U.S. ever get seriously discussed in Canada?[/quote]

Why does President Bush hope Christmas comes a little late this year? Because on Jan. 23, Canada may elect the most pro-American leader in the Western world. Free-market economist Stephen Harper, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, is pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative. Move over Tony Blair: If elected, Mr. Harper will quickly become Mr. Bush’s new best friend internationally and the poster boy for his ideal foreign leader.

Except that will never happen. They’ll reelect the liberals before they elect the conservatives.

Canada (with the exception of Alberta) is like one giant big blue state. A former prime minister even stated on national tv that “If a Canadian politician had stated on the record that God talked to him, he would never be elected for anything.”

So the Conservatives are pretty anomalous for Canada. And it’s a good thing too, like we need yet another bunch of loonies running a first world country.

Yeah, because GDP always tells the whole picture, dunnit? Especially per capita GDP. Know what the “best” nation in the world is by that measure? Luxembourg. LOL!11!!!

GDP growth rate
Mexico = 4.1%
Vietnam = 7.7%

Mexico = 3.2% (25% undermployment)
Vietnam = 1.9%

Population below poverty line
Mexico = 40%
Vietnam = 25%

Mmm, that GDP sho tastes good, dunnit Mexico? That’s distribution of wealth, free trade style!

More? OK!

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 4%
industry: 27.2%
services: 68.9% Would you like fries with that, senor?
agriculture: 21.8%
industry: 40.1%
services: 38.1%

Please sir, may I have some more?

Industrial production growth rate:
Mexico = 3.8%
Vietnam = 16%

Debt - external:
Mexico = $150 billion
Vietnam = $16 billion

But you’re right, it’s not comparing apples to apples, and that’s not fair.

After all, Mexico wasn’t decimated by a major war in the last century, hasn’t suffered decades of embargos, and Vietnam hasn’t reaped the benefits of selling 86% of its exports to the richest nation in the world…

I had thought that Canada had a decent millitary, and did some research. I found out they do not.

However, in several papers I read, there was an interesting analysis of Canada as a world player. They are not taken very seriously by the international community due to its lack of ability to project its force. Right now Canada has very close ties to Washington which causes a lot of resentment. Ironically to seperate itself from Washington and gain much more prominance in the world, it needs to become more like Washington, espeically with respect to millitary and foriegn policy. Such a move, however, would greatly strengthen the relationship between the two countries, although more as equals opposed to whatever it is we have now.

Canada’s influence has been channeled into what has become known as “soft power” - foreign aid, economic influence, its strong relationships with major players like US and UK, peacekeeping, moral authority etc.

International power is about more than military influence after all. Japan has a strong military, but that’s not the root of its power. Canada is taken seriously by a lot of countries, moreso than the US when it comes to environmental regulation and human rights.

The military is pretty terrible though - it’s come to the point where Canada can’t do as much peacekeeping as they traditionally have. Did they ever replace those Seahawk helicopters that kept crashing?


While I won’t argue with your other points, I am not sure why you think this is a bad sign for Mexico’s underpaid. Usually a bouyant service sector is a sign of a healthy, progressive economy. While serving up fries or working in a call center isn’t the most rewarding of jobs, compared to being a labourer in a third-world paddy field it is positively luxurious. I know which job I’d rather do, and from studies I’ve seen of workers in these kind of countries (Vietnam and Indonesia in particular) they are of the same opinion. Vietnamese workers in Nike’s air conditioned factories felt a sense of pride that they were no longer working 12 hour back-breaking shifts, knee deep in sludge, while risking their lives to the life taking snakes that were endemic in the countryside there.

Canada’s military tends to specialize. They are world leaders in areas like surveillance, mine detection and removal, peace keeping expertise, that kind of thing. But in terms of sheer numbers and “projection of power,” yeah, pretty weak.

ROFL! Yeah, because we all know that Dubya’s America really listens to Europe!

All we have to do is cut off the natural gas for a couple of days and see what happens. And we’re already making deals with China over oil. The US is going to have to be pretty careful over how it manages its relations with Canada, if it wants continued preferred access to our oil and natural gas reserves. There are other customers out there, y’know, as the Chinese deals make very clear.

As for the military, the Liberals have been dumping billions into military spending over the past couple of years. You can thank Crouton for letting the military get into such deplorable shape, but there finally seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh, and DeepT – how old are these papers? Because, if anything, Canada’s reputation internationally has soared since telling Dubya to piss off over Iraq. And we’ve also gained loads of credibility by continuing to push Kyoto and openly pressure the US to get on board. Also, Canada hasn’t had “very close ties” to the US since Clinton was in power. Chretien hated Bush, and Martin turned down missile defense and has done little but slam the US the past couple weeks of the election campaign. Relations right now are the worst they’ve been in decades, probably since Diefenbaker was PM in the early 1960s. Which is great, because the US is being run by a collection of lunatics, fascists, and criminals at the moment.

Acutally they are a couple of years old, the only publication date I recall is from 2002.

However, lets not confuse popularity with reputation. Pretty much any countries whom themselves do not have dirty hands can score good brownie points with the international community by telling everyone what fucked up shit the USA is doing.

Oddly this reminds me a dream I had last night, which up until this point I didn’t even remember having. Basically it was about the 2008 election and the rebulicans, lost the majority of thier seats as well as the presidency. I recall the numbers that only 30% of the seats up for grabs made it into republican hands. The media was going nuts about it.

Odd, I never had a dream about any such kinds of things before. I wonder if it is a preminition or just a wishful dream.

I think there are a number of countries that are EU in all but name, adhering to certain economic restraints and operating defacto border policies – so that, when the government can finally swing the entrance referendum, it’s a no-pain entry.

Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are the obvious ones. People have mentioned Australia and New Zealand also, which is both stunningly obvious and totally crazy.

Wait a minute! Doesn’t the E in EU still stand for European? Isn’t there some kind of rule that to be invited for membership that the country be located in the aforementioned continent?

Regardless, Canada doesn’t want or need membership in the EU.

When it comes to international trade the EU can throw a lot of weight around. The US doesn’t have to listen but if they pulled a stunt like that with the softwood lumber then the EU could and would hurt them just as bad. Without resorting to as drastic a measure as cutting off the oil/gas supply.

There probably is, but if there is a compelling reason it doesn’t mean it will stay that way.

Regardless, I was mostly joking about Canada joining the EU.

Well they just said tariffs, not “cut off”, but ya…

If Canada were to cut off the USs supply of oil, we’d be declared to have WMDs and invaded post-haste.

I imagine that if/when enough countries get to this level, the EU will pass some kind of “extended membership” deal which recognizes countries that abide by EU policies while not actually being part of the contiguous landmass. Alternatively , they could change the “E” to “Earth Union”.