Worth re-reading -- Krugman on why Canada is so boring
Good and Boring
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: January 31, 2010
In times of crisis, good news is no news. Iceland’s meltdown made headlines; the remarkable stability of Canada’s banks, not so much.
Yet as the world’s attention shifts from financial rescue to financial reform, the quiet success stories deserve at least as much attention as the spectacular failures. We need to learn from those countries that evidently did it right. And leading that list is our neighbor to the north. Right now, Canada is a very important role model.
Yes, I know, Canada is supposed to be dull. The New Republic famously pronounced “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative” (from a Times Op-Ed column in the ’80s) the world’s most boring headline. But I’ve always considered Canada fascinating, precisely because it’s similar to the United States in many but not all ways. The point is that when Canadian and U.S. experience diverge, it’s a very good bet that policy differences, rather than differences in culture or economic structure, are responsible for that divergence.
But when things fell apart, the consequences were very different here and there. In the United States, mortgage defaults soared, some major financial institutions collapsed, and others survived only thanks to huge government bailouts. In Canada, none of that happened. What did the Canadians do differently?
"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture." -- Pastor Ray Mummert, Dover, PA, during an attempt to introduce creationism -- er, "intelligent design", into the Dover Public Schools.