Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Anti-Americanism in Canada

I was born and raised in the U.S. I moved to Canada in 1971, delighted that the best job offer I received was from a school in a country I was considering fleeing to if drafted. In short, I was very happy to move to Canada.

However, I have always felt there was a... je ne sais qua... an edge in my relationships with many Canadians, as if my being American made my views less worthwhile. Well, Nora Jacobson nails it pretty well:

For me, it's been one of almost daily confrontation with a powerful anti-Americanism that pervades many aspects of life. When I've mentioned this phenomenon to Canadian friends, they've furrowed their brows sympathetically and said, "Yes, Canadian anti-Americanism can be very subtle." My response is, there's nothing subtle about it.

In general I hear attacks on Americanism as attacks on policies designed to require that people take more responsibility for the results of their decisions. Canadians seem to want to have a higher social safety net than Americans do. An hour or two listening to CBC gives a sharp edge to this divergence in views.

And so, as Jacobson says, (thanks to Jason for the pointer)

The anti-Americanism I experience generally takes this form: Canadians bring up "the States" or "Americans" to make comparisons or evaluations that mix a kind of smug contempt with a wariness that alternates between the paranoid and the absurd.

Of course, that's in Toronto. In the west (and in most of Canada, it turns out, according to a poll done for Global Television), Canadians are more upset with the U.S. because of its trade restrictions on beef and soft-wood lumber.

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