The U.S. presidential race has been depressing to watch. The portrait of America that has emerged from the conventions and the debates and the attack ads is grim: a country plagued by vast unemployment and a shrinking middle class, where many average citizens can’t pay the bills. For the first time in generations, Americans anticipate their kids will never make as much money as they do. Even the flow of illegal immigrants to the U.S. is slowing; since the economy crashed in 2008, the number of Mexicans sneaking across the border has declined.
Both presidential candidates think they know how to fix the country. Obama believes in sharing the wealth, and Romney believes in the power of the free market. The only thing they agree on is that the American dream is in tatters.
Or maybe it just got displaced. Maybe it moved to Canada. We have our share of economic challenges, as anyone in Stephen Harper’s office could tell you. But compared with many troubled spots on the globe, Canada is paradise. Our middle class is relatively stable, and people from all over the world are desperate to move here. This country, of course, has always attracted immigrants in search of a better life. But Canada wasn’t necessarily a first-choice destination. Now, as Europe experiences extreme economic volatility and the U.S. becomes a place where people are working three minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet, Canada’s status abroad has greatly improved.
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