Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jim Cramer Loves Canada

Jim Cramer, the madman of MSNBC's "Mad Money" was on Tim Russert this weekend and I was blown away by his over the top endorsment of Canada. Right on the money. Canada is doing well because the politicians there are worried about substance. In America we are worried about whether Mitt Romney believes in the Lord Jesus or whether the Bible is inerrant or whether Obama is Osamas adopted child or whether Rudy Guiliani supports the concealed handgun law because "guns dont kill people, just rednecks with guns"....:) - you know...the important stuff. Here is the transcript.

RUSSERT: You also mention a country—Canada. Buy Canada.
CRAMER: These are always hard for Americans to admit. Canada was a stepchild for a long time. The dollar used to be king. The loonie, as they call it in Canada, is king. Any Canadian mineral stock, oil stock or bank stock is—I hate to say this, Tim—better than American.
CRAMER: More fiscally conservative country, a country that has very little inflation versus its tremendous resource base, and a country that is very supportive of the stock market. Everybody’s invested up there, and their stocks are assessable, they look like ours, but they’re—most of the companies are better run. The Canadians finally are being recognized for what they are, fabulous capitalists.
RUSSERT: Why? It’s right across the border. How could they be so much better?
CRAMER: Well, they’ve got a government that is much more prudent than our government. They are a country that is not addicted to debt. They are not letting others pay their bills for the government. We do all these things. They don’t have a big deficit. They’re us in 1955.
RUSSERT: Prudent.
CRAMER: They’re prudent. We’re not.
RUSSERT: Why aren’t we?
CRAMER: We are unwilling to raise taxes. They raise taxes all the time. No one gets fired or gets unelected because they raise taxes.
They are not afraid to pay for their own bills. They have courage. Their politicians have courage. They are not afraid to stand up and say, we’ve got to pay for it ourselves.
RUSSERT: You’re not going across the border are you?
CRAMER: No, no. But I think people should recognize there’s a reason why the Canadian dollar is worth more than ours. They have politicians who bite the bullet. We don’t. No one is willing to take any sort of responsibility here. Up there, it’s responsibility, prudence and a notion that we’re reckless. And I’ve got to tell you, they’re pretty right.


Blogger Ravee said...

All paens to Canada, especially in comparison to the United States, ignore some fundamental issues. Canada is a tiny country in terms of population. Canada's relevance to world affairs, and in general, to anything, is measured only in terms of how it compares with the United States. Yes, they live in an enlightened, highly informed, socialist utopia, that depends incredibly much on its largest export market for much of its financial relevance. Canada...gimme a break...we might as well talk about Belgium, Switzerland, and Holland - also civil societies with incredible wealth and tons of hypocrisy to spare...

5:24 AM  
Blogger Dr. Reason said...

Yes Canada is a small country and globally irrelevant and yes it depends on the US for its existence. But the US also depends on Canada altho the US dependence is not existential. The US imports more oil from Canada than it does from anywhere else and New York, New England and parts of the Midwest would be dark without Hydro Electric Power from Quebec. Therefore I dont think Canadians are hypocrites because the relationship is symbiotic ie mutually beneficial. They are not existing out of the kindness of the US.

Also are we forgetting on the most important decision of the 21st centruy vis a vis Iraq, Canada was right and the US was wrong.

Additionally Canada has a Conservative Govt now in power and are doing responsible things in Afghanistan for the last 5 years as a peacekeeper and nation builder. (Of course a Canadian Conservative would be a Democrat in the US).

Lester Pearson (A candian PM in the 60s and Nobel laureate) said dealing with the US is like sleeping with an elephant. The elephant calls the shots. It is true. Canada is overshadowed by its larger, richer and more bellicose neighbour and this has led to some resentment. Its probably natural.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Ravee said...

Saying that Canada was on the correct side of the "Should we invade Iraq?" decision is about as meaningful as saying, "Poland supported the invasion of Iraq". Neither country's opinion on the issue really mattered in the end. The reasons for invading Iraq came down to a massive policy and philosophical debate in the U.S., that was hijacked by uninformed partisan policymakers, about how best to respond to 9/11 in a way that strengthened the U.S.' strategic posture around the world. Was Iraq a massively incorrect decision? Unequivocally, yes. Did Canada have anything to do with it one way or the other? Absolutely not. Canada did not even vociferously disagree and work to actively undermine the U.S. rush to war as France did. As much as there is to dislike about French foreign policy, at least they were backing up their rhetoric.

On the issue of mutual dependence, there is much to be said for the fact that Canada is the U.S.' largest trading partner. But pointing to the hydroelectric power supplied to the U.S. northeast by Canada and saying this is an obvious dependence ignores the basic perishability of all electricity generation. If America did not buy this power, it wouldn't exist.

The reason I say that Canadians and a lot of Western Europeans are hypocritical about the U.S. is that whenever there is "heavy lifting" to be done, the rest of the world turns to the U.S. and says, "Please Help". Whether this applies to WW I, WW II, the British/French invasion of the Sinai, the Balkan conflicts of the 90s, Tsunami relief in 2004, or Pakistan's earthquake relief in 2005. Like any other nation, the U.S. will further its own interests and its own worldview. The fact that it has more resources than anyone else to do so, shouldn't be an automatic reason to criticize it unconditionally across the board as many European countries and Canada are wont to do.

In my opinion, a Canadian Conservative would be more analogous to a centrist Democrat or a moderate Republican. A Canadian Liberal would be more akin to a traditional U.S. Democrat.

For a more thorough exploration of American foreign policy from the early days of the Republic to the 21st century, and to better understand why "bellicose" may not always be the best term to use in describing it, read "Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World", by Walter R Mead, Richard C Leone.

There is no denying that America is imperfect, downright venal, and just plain wrong in many of its actions, inactions, and societal attributes, but it is no more so than almost any other country on the planet.

10:41 AM  

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