Two New America's: Galt's Junction & The Canadian Dream

It’s time to let them go. Over the past few years, it’s become increasingly clear that as long as far-right crazies and ultra-Conservatives in Washington are preaching policies that eat away at the very ideals our nation was built on, the American Dream will remain out of reach for millions of Americans.

So, if we want to have any chance at taking back the American Dream, we should just let those far-right crazies and ultra-Conservatives running around Washington and in the Red States have their dream of their own country. Let them secede and start their own far-right Any Rand-inspired paradise.

Cliven Bundy, Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Ted Nugent, Shawn Hannity and the rest of America’s far-right wingers can all move to west Texas, and create a country of their own, free from the “tyrannical” influences of the U.S. government. They can even call this new Ayn Rand-inspired country “Galt’s Gulch.” They can run around firing off their guns, not paying taxes, and defying authority all they like.

Meanwhile, the rest of us back in America will get back to rebuilding the American Dream that Reaganomics has largely torn apart. But as Nicholas Kristof points out over at The New York Times, we may have to rename that "dream" part, because the American Dream isn’t really the American Dream anymore. Instead, we’d be better off living the European Dream or the Canadian Dream.

Here's why. Just last month, economists announced that, for the first time in history, the American middle-class was no longer the richest in the world. Canada’s is. Part of that has to do with healthcare costs. While Americans still have to pay for health-care costs with after-tax dollars under Obamacare, Canadians are basically getting free untaxed healthcare, thanks to a single-payer system.

And because Canadians have access to lifesaving and affordable healthcare, they’re living longer lives. Similarly, children in Canada are less likely to die than children in America, and American women are twice as likely to die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth than Canadian women. Canadians also work less than Americans.

The average American worker works 4.6% more hours than the average Canadian worker, even though they have a better quality of life and a stronger and richer middle class. And according to a recent report by the OECD, Canadians are smarter and more literate than us too, thanks to a vibrant, well-funded public school and university system.

That same OECD report found that for people aged 16 to 24, America ranks dead last among wealthy and developed nations in math and technological proficiency. The American Dream has always been about everyone having an equal shot at living a comfortable, middle-class life, from a decent job to a decent retirement.

Whether you’re born in an inner-city neighborhood in Detroit, or on the Upper West Side in New York City, the American Dream isn’t supposed to discriminate. But, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has said, “Equality of opportunity - the ‘American dream’ - has always been a cherished American ideal. But data now show that this is a myth: America has become the advanced country not only with the highest level of inequality, but one of those with the least equality of opportunity.” Like Canadian Geese in the summer, it looks like the American Dream has migrated to the great north.

So, after we’ve let all the far-right crazies move to west Texas and establish the world’s newest country, Galt’s Gulch, maybe the rest of us should join up with our neighbors to the north. Creating a new Canadian-American Dream might be the only way to guarantee the equal shots at success and opportunity that the American Dream once promised.

Comments

ChicagoMatt 8 years 12 weeks ago
#1

Although he may be saying this sarcastically, a dual/split system would actually make a lot more people happy. Not different countries per se, but different systems. Simple things, like the ability to opt-out of social security, medicaid, and medicare, would do a lot towards de-polarizing politics in this country. And yes, people would have to live with their decisions.

The easiest way to do that would be to take those systems away from the federal level, and put them on the state level. Don't want to live in a state with social security? Move. But no moving into a state with social security at the last minute, just to collect it. You'd still have to pay in so many years, in order to collect, just like now.

What a lot of people might not realize, or might not want to admit, is that social programs that would benefit people in rural communities/red states are still voted against by those people out of spite or anger towards urban areas. Yes, they are voting against their best interest sometimes, simply because, as I used to hear a lot in the South, "We don't care how you do it in New York."

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 12 weeks ago
#2

Chi Matt -- How many times do I need to tell you that having governments at the state level do not work.

Quote Chi Matt:The easiest way to do that would be to take those systems away from the federal level, and put them on the state level.

It has been tried by the US for the first 10 years of our country, and our founding fathers witnessed the disastrous results. Based on these results, they wrote the constitution. I will admit it was a difficult task for the states to give up their autonomy. The Eurozone is trying the state level type of governance and having many of the same disastrous results. In order to find out the details of these results, just ask any Greek, Italian or Spaniard. That is, ask any citizen of these countries that is not a banker.

One of the key problems with state governance would be with interstate commerce. Tariffs would need to used in each state.

Even with the current form of the US government, the amount of state autonomy is a problem. You need to read about Charter Mongering.

ScottFromOz 8 years 12 weeks ago
#3

What a great idea to gather all the self-proclaimed "makers into an enclave, along with their money (note: only their's, not OURS) wall and lock them in and then wait for them to start eating their money and each other. Most if not all the "makers" are really just passengers in society, socialists when it comes to government protection of their wealth and business interests and Ayn Randers when it comes to contributing to the society that they benefit from. Fine! Let them go off on their own and fend for themselves. They can cook their own food, build their own houses, clean their own sewers and deal with their own garbage...if they can work out how to do that, otherwise they'll probably just starve to death.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 12 weeks ago
#4

Re: today's FCC vote

Obama is complicit in a theft from the commons. It doesn't matter whether it occurs at the federal, state or local level, it's still theft. The corporations win and everyone else loses. Have a good day!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 12 weeks ago
#5

I've heard Randi Rhodes, in some of her rants, advocate for the red states to secede, since they suck up more government money than the blue states anyway... stupid white trash hypocrites that they are! And along with Thom & Randi, I'd say "Good riddance!" to the whole miserable, rotten lot of 'em.

Way to go, Thom! (I like it when Thom gets ornery from time to time...) - Aliceinwonderland

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 12 weeks ago
#6

It's just not right, the Canadian offspring of the god damn Loyalists,"Tories," have ended up better off than we descendants of the rebel army. Talk about the Founders turning over in their graves!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 12 weeks ago
#7

I hear ya 10K. But that's what happens when too many people get too comfortable, take too much for granted and fall asleep at the wheel. They wind up in the ditch, which is where we now find ourselves today. We've seen with our own eyes how a democracy morphs into a plutocracy. IF we manage to de-throne these self-appointed kings and take our country back (a big, fat "if"), things will be hunki-dory for a few decades until people get complacent again, and then, to quote Joni Mitchell: "'Round and 'round we go in the circle game!" - Aliceinwonderland

Palsimon's picture
Palsimon 8 years 12 weeks ago
#8

The subject article and the article which I link below should go viral and be sent to each and every political candidate and current representatives of all government offices in this country. It is urgent, and must be considered by all government officers and workers, and by all voters in America. http://www.opednews.com/articl... Article: The Happiest Countries in the World: Where Does America Rank? | OpEdNews

http://bit.ly/1n1QDcZ It is the receipt for solving all our problems in this country.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 8 years 12 weeks ago
#9

Obviously my Connecticut ancestors -- two of whom were tried as witches in the 1640s and beat the rap -- knew what they were doing when they sided with the Crown 135 years later, even if the king was that mad Hanoverian George III. Of course they were promptly banished, violently so, all their property confiscated and the postwar Loyalist Claims never paid, as the promises made to Loyalists were no more substantial than the promises made to First Nations peoples or the promises of "change we can believe in" made to us by Obama. But alas the lure of money is so irresistable it suppresses even the worst lynch-mob memories, and when my paternal grandfather was hired to design dynamos for the old Alva Edison Company in 1905, back to the states my family came, and now as a consequence we are part of the permanent proletariat.

I heartilly applaud Mr. Hartman's notion of a true North American Union. I would joyfully rise for "O Canada" and even "God Save the Queen." But he must needs speak with the gravest caution of such matters, lest the wealth of Canada prompt our present overlords to conquer it as they are now trying to conquer Ukraine.

Aside to Alice: Ah yes Joni Mitchell, whose LPs are the background music of some of the most pleasurable memories of my 20s and 30s. Likewise the groups Pentangle and Fairport Convention. And then there is Tim Buckley, a true Bard, who might have been conversing with Gaia Herself when he sang, "if you tell me of all the pain you've had, I'll never smile again."

marius@yewtree.ca's picture
marius@yewtree.ca 8 years 12 weeks ago
#10

Yes, you are welcome - in fact we could use some more people who share this sentiment - they ain't coming from the land of Mao!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 11 weeks ago
#11

Palsimon -- I saw a description of US problems by Michael. I did not see any recipe. I saw a bunch of links to blog responses, even at least one by you. I think Michael should have mentioned the key cause of our problems is reagonomics.

I think the movetoamend.org and similar movements is the key to turning things around.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce