I keep hearing talk about oil reserves and how the Americans need to find alternative energy resources and not rely on the Middle East so much or at all anymore.
But does the average American, the regular Joe, know where the USA get its oil? Do they think it all comes from the Middle East? I've been waiting..... waiting..... waiting for one of these candidates to state categorically from whence they get their energy.
Have the Americans ever heard of the country just north of them? It's called CANADA!
CANADA is the #1 source of oil for the United States of America!
Here's the list of the top 5 countries that provide crude oil to the USA (from here):
2. Saudi Arabia
These top five exporting countries accounted for 67 percent of United States crude oil imports in July 2008. Canada provided 1.960 million barrels per day!
And here are the top 5 countries that provide petroleum to the USA:
2. Saudi Arabia
And then there's the health care issue. Yes, Canada has universal health care but it's far from perfect. There are good and bad points for each candidate's views. I'd love to have a $5,000 tax rebate so that I could go and choose my health care provider. But does that mean I won't have to wait for a bed in the hospital when I need surgery that isn't life-threatening? Probably not. On the other hand, some people don't like the fact that an employer's contribution toward health care provision is a taxable benefit. Well, it's like that in Canada, too, even though we have universal health care. The employee has to pay tax on the employer's share.
What about gas prices? In the United Kingdom, people have been paying way more for gas than we have and it's been like that for years and years. Canadians are paying way more for gas than Americans and yes, we grumble and gripe, so we cross the border and buy our gas in the border towns of the USA. It's CHEAPER there! Click here and scroll down to "Why is gasoline cheaper in the United States?"
And what about the housing crisis? Egads! Who in their right mind would buy a house beyond their means even if the lender is saying that you can afford it. (Can you just picture the lender stroking his curly moustache?) I agree that what has happened to a lot of people, Canadians included, is criminal. But let's face it, we have to accept some of the fault for buying into the "dream" when we knew we couldn't afford it.
My parents didn't own their own home until their youngest child was in school. We were able to buy our own home when my first child was a baby and I was able to stay home with my children. My "baby" and her husband managed to scrimp and save to buy their first home when their first child was a baby, but she had to return to work full time after her maternity leave was over.
I think it's time to stop and rethink our definitions of "rights" and "privileges." Maybe you can have it all...but you can't have it ALL at the same time. Maybe we need to start prioritizing - needs before wants.
Just my humble 2 cents (Canadian) worth.