Change We Can Believe In: Canadians Now “Easily” Surpass Americans in Individual Wealth

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Economic times here in America are pretty tough, but things aren’t so shabby for our neighbors to the north.

Over the past five years, the net worth of the average Canadian has crept up, overtaking the average American’s wealth for the first time. These days, Canadian households are about $40,000 richer than American ones.

The figures from Environics Analytics WealthScapes, first published in Toronto’s Globe and Mail last month, place the net value of the typical Canadian household at $363,202 versus $319,970 below the border. And, writer Michael Adams points out, “these are not 60-cent-dollars, but Canadian dollars more or less at par with the U.S. greenback.”

Not only are Canadians richer, Bloomberg View columnist Stephen Marche reported on Sunday, they’re also more likely to have a job. According to the latest figures, Canada’s unemployment rate continues to sink down to 7.2 percent while the U.S. has held steady at 8.2 percent.

What’s behind the economic success of the Great White North? It’s not necessarily that Canadians are more industrious and thrifty than their neighbors to the south. The 2008 economic crisis wreaked havoc on the U.S. housing market, sending real estate values plunging. So, Canadians’ houses are worth about $140,000 more than Americans. Canadians also own about twice as much real estate as Americans, and have fewer mortgages.

On a national level, assets like the Alberta tar sands certainly help, but, Marche proposes, it was a policy of “hard-headed socialism” that allowed the banks and the housing market to stay stable and weather the global economic crisis.

A sign of America’s failing system? Perhaps, Marche muses. Iceland, considering abandoning its current currency the krona, has taken note of Canada’s recent success and set its sights on the loonie.

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President Obama’s jobs panel hasn’t met in six months

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This from Politico, of all places…..

President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election.

At this point, the hiatus — which reached the half-year mark Tuesday — might be less awkward than an official meeting, given the hornet’s nest of issues that could sting Obama and the council members if the private-sector panel gets together.

For starters, there’s the discomfort many business leaders may feel in appearing to embrace the president with his reelection bidin full swing.

Then, there’s the fact that some members of the commission have conspicuously declined to endorse him. And that Obama has conspicuously declined to endorse some of their recommendations. And that some of what Obama won’t endorse has been warmly embraced by Republicans, including likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

To cap it all off, several of the companies whose CEOs serve on the panel are involved to some extent in outsourcing — a fact that could undercut the ferocious attack Obama and his campaign are mounting on Romney over his alleged ties to the practice.

One former administration official said the current political atmosphere could be prompting the CEOs and other business leaders to lie low.

“The thing is supposed to be bipartisan, so a lot of times they don’t want to get into things that could be used by either side in the election,” said the former aide, who asked not to be named. “The businesspeople, for the most part, don’t want to get into the middle of political fighting.”

But the January meeting also exposed tensions.

Moments before Obama arrived, one of the board’s two labor leaders, Joseph Hansen of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, publicly abstained from the tax recommendations in the report. The other labor representative, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, skipped the meeting and issued a scathing three-page dissent.

Federal judge dismisses contraception lawsuits

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Unbelievable ! …..In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote, “Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government … (and) whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

A federal judge has dismissed a challenge by seven states to the requirement in President Obama’s health care law that employers must provide contraception coverage to their workers.

U.S. District Judge Warren K. Urbom said the plaintiffs failed to show that a religious exemption added by the Obama administration wouldn’t apply to them, ruling that they had no standing to challenge the mandate.

“In short, the individual plaintiffs have not shown that their current health plans will be required to cover contraception-related services under the rule, and therefore their claims must be dismissed,” Judge Urbom said in the ruling. (Say what? Have not shown proof? This was announced all over the news by Obama and the Secretary of HHS….what is this judge thinking?)

The Affordable Care Act requires employers who provide health insurance plans to cover certain benefits deemed “essential” without charging an extra co-pay.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that list would include all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraception, inciting a firestorm of protests from Catholic and other religious groups—even though Mr. Obama later announced that religious hospitals, charities and schools would be exempted.

The lawsuit was filed by seven Republican attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas, and a number of other plaintiffs including three Nebraska-based employers affiliated with the Catholic Church.

Similar challenges filed by a number of religious colleges and organizations are still pending in other federal courts.

Washington Times