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  #1  
Old 01 July 2014, 09:30 PM
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Canada This is Canada's Top Ten List of America's Stupidity

Number 10) Only in America...could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000.00 per plate campaign fund-raising event.

Number 9) Only in America ....could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a black Attorney General and roughly >20% of the federal workforce is black. While only 14% of the population is black, 40+% of all federal entitlements goes to black Americans - 3X the rate that go to whites, 5X the rate that go to Hispanics!

Number 8) Only in America...could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

Number 7) Only in America...can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

Number 6) Only in America...would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just 'magically' become American citizens (probably should be number one).

Number 5) Only in America....could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as “extremist”.

Number 4) Only in America...could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

Number 3) Only in America...could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public, because the price of gas went up, when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

Number 2) Only in America can you collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion dollars more than it has per year, for a total spending of $7-Million PER MINUTE, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money.

And Number 1) Only in America...could the rich people- who pay 86% of all income taxes - be accused of not paying their "fair share", by people who don't pay any income taxes at all.
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  #2  
Old 01 July 2014, 09:57 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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There are tea baggers in Canada?????????
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  #3  
Old 01 July 2014, 10:02 PM
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The clearly American author of this screwed up a bit in number 8 with "our tax code." Oops. I think you meant to say "their tax code."
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  #4  
Old 01 July 2014, 10:08 PM
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Nope. This is not our top ten list. Guns are on our top ten list, for example. And Imperial measurements. But even then I don't know if stupidity is quite the right word.
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  #5  
Old 01 July 2014, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Number 9) Only in America ....could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President...
Who's claiming the government still discriminates against black Americans? Acknowledging that racism still exists doesn't mean the government is the one doing the discriminating.

Quote:
Number 7) Only in America...can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.
Because other people are too stupid to realize Muslim does not equal terrorist.

Quote:
Number 6) Only in America...would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just 'magically' become American citizens (probably should be number one).
Then why didn't you make it number one? You're the one writing the list.

Quote:
Number 5) Only in America....could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as “extremist”.
Again, who believes that?

Quote:
Number 4) Only in America...could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.
Cashing a check and buying alcohol are not constitutional rights.

Also, don't Canadians spell it "cheque"? As if I needed any more reason to doubt this was written by a Canadian.

Quote:
Number 3) Only in America...could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public, because the price of gas went up
Once again, who is demanding this? Although Americans do like to complain about gas prices.

Quote:
And Number 1) Only in America...could the rich people- who pay 86% of all income taxes - be accused of not paying their "fair share", by people who don't pay any income taxes at all.
But there are other taxes besides income taxes.
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  #6  
Old 01 July 2014, 10:17 PM
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This is so confusing. Where exactly does one find people who both believe this idiocy and consider them crazy French socialist foreigners up in Canada a group whose opinion is worth considering?

-Tabby
the princess with claws
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  #7  
Old 01 July 2014, 10:31 PM
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Using income tax for number 1 is pretty misleading too (and how is "rich people" defined in that?) - as well as quoting the supposed percentage of all income tax, rather than the percentage of their own incomes.

Sales tax (regressive) is far more of an issue for poorer people. In the UK at least, poorer people pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than richer people, because at lower income, sales taxes, council taxes and so on are more significant.

There was an interesting quiz about it in The Guardian a while ago, showing how different taxes affect different income brackets (in the UK):

http://www.theguardian.com/money/qui...t-average-quiz

The answers to the top two questions are most relevant - I won't add them as spoilers, just don't look at the quote if you want to do the quiz!

Quote:
1. What proportion of gross household income is taken in all taxes for the bottom 10% of households [in the UK]?

Correct answer: 43%

2. What proportion of gross household income is taken in all taxes for the top 10% households [in the UK]?

Correct answer: 35%
Again, the reason is that sales and council taxes are much more significant for people on lower incomes. I would imagine the USA is similar, if not worse since you seem even less keen on income taxes over there.
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  #8  
Old 01 July 2014, 11:16 PM
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How can any list of Canadian "top 10" issues about the US not include any of the following...

- weak beer
- too many guns and too much violent crime
- too little affordable health care
- too much emphasis on sports and not enough on education (NCAA sports to be precise)

And no Canadian commentary would make thinly-veiled comments in support of racism (Canada is very multicultural), or against immigration (Canada has twice the net migration rate of the US). The only truly valid points, really, are nos. 2, 8, and 10. Greed is always a good thing to criticize (#10). So is hypocrisy (#8). So is wasteful spending (#2).

I'm particularly irked by #9 - by being a British colony, Canada saw slavery abolished in the early 1800's, without bloodshed or a civil war. The black population of Canada may be only 3%, but there has not been a history of institutionalized racism over persons of color within the last 100 years, as opposed to the US where it persisted - even with violent struggles to keep it in place - in the last 50 years. That race card simply doesn't get played in Canada....
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  #9  
Old 02 July 2014, 01:57 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
And Imperial measurements.
Well, technically, the US uses the US Customary units, not Imperial.

1 Imp gallon = 4.5L
1 US Gallon = 3.8L
(values rounded)

Canada used (past tense), the Imperial system. Canada still uses the Imperial system informally. And the US uses the Metric system informally too. (2L of soft drink, anyone?)

OY
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  #10  
Old 02 July 2014, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post

Canada used (past tense), the Imperial system. Canada still uses the Imperial system informally. And the US uses the Metric system informally too. (2L of soft drink, anyone?)

OY
Not just informally. At least around here while grocery stores do have things like the price per weight of produce given in metric the prominent price marked is still in Imperial. I can remember when metric was first introduced shopkeepers getting fined for using Imperial. Somewhere along the way I guess that got softened.

Anyway, with regard to the OP - the top two stupid things about America that most Canadians agree on is the approach to health care and the approach to guns. And I doubt very much that the average Canadian has any idea who the hell Timothy Geithner and Charles Rangel are.
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  #11  
Old 02 July 2014, 05:13 PM
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The US customary system of measurement is an awkward thing, but it will remain awkward for a very long time, because of the long history of older units. Survey data - some of which has not changed in decades and has no need for being updated - is often in "Imperial" units. It is not fun to convert it. And don't get me started about long, short, and metric tons.

People need to accept that even if the US adopted the metric system for things like, say, reporting the weather, speed limits, or highway distances, people would still probably use feet, inches, and pounds for their own height and weight, house room size, lot size, and so on. Things get difficult for "trade sizes" - even with the more widespread adoption of metric units, we would probably never see a change away from pipe being in inches. Trade sizes extend to things like, say, wire - not likely that we'd suddenly switch to wire sized in mm^2, but that it would continue to be in AWG and kcmil. (I know that means very little to most people, but trust me.)

And then there are hybrid units. Take tires - a tire size like 225/60R15 will include a width in millimeters (225), an aspect ratio or dimensionless fraction (60), and a rim size in inches (15). That won't change either. We just have to live with that.
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  #12  
Old 02 July 2014, 05:51 PM
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Holy massive oversimplification, Batman! Most of these couldnt have missed the point by more if they tried.
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  #13  
Old 02 July 2014, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post

Number 4) Only in America...could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.


If you(g) do not have a driver's license, you(g) can't purchase alcohol or cash a check?
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  #14  
Old 02 July 2014, 07:35 PM
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You can get a state issued ID card to accomplish the same thing. My older brother, who cannot drive due to a vision problem, has such a card. I also had one when I was too young for a driver's license since I needed it for some standardized test I was taking.
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  #15  
Old 02 July 2014, 07:40 PM
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Specific to Texas:
Quote:
Texas state law does not require that a person over 21 provide any identification to purchase alcohol in Texas. There is nothing in the law that declares specific forms of ID as “valid” for an alcohol purchase.

However, a person who sells a minor an alcoholic beverage does NOT commit an offense if the minor falsely represents himself to be 21 years old or older by displaying an apparently valid proof of identification that:

contains a physical description and photograph consistent with the minor's appearance;
purports to establish that the minor is 21 years of age or older; and
was issued by a governmental agency.

The proof of identification may include a driver's license issued by any state, a U.S. passport, a military identification card or any other ID issued by a state or the federal government.

For that reason, since store clerks, wait staff, and bartenders can be held criminally liable for selling alcohol to a minor, they often require a photo ID issued by a governmental agency, to prove that the person really is 21.

A store, bar or restaurant might or might not sell alcohol to a person with an expired driver's license, a foreign passport or other ID. What's acceptable in any establishment is a matter of that establishment's private business policies.

If the patron is obviously over 21, the establishment may not require any ID at all.
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  #16  
Old 02 July 2014, 07:41 PM
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Number 3) Only in America...could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public, because the price of gas went up, when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).
I have no idea if anyone is asking for investigations in the US but I know here in Canada people can get pretty ticked off at the claim that there is no price fixing where gas prices are concerned yet (it seems) like every gas station puts their prices up, and occasionally down, pretty much simultaneously and it is the rare situation where anyone is selling for much less than anyone else.

Aside from which, people need to fill their tanks on a regular, at least weekly for most, basis. How often do you buy running shoes?
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  #17  
Old 02 July 2014, 07:51 PM
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Plus, you can look around and find yourself a bargain in running shoes, for a fraction of retail price. Where are the outlet gas malls?
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  #18  
Old 02 July 2014, 07:54 PM
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Sue, since your description is exactly what you'd expect in a competitive market, I don't see how it provides any evidence for price fixing.
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  #19  
Old 02 July 2014, 08:02 PM
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It may be a competitive market, but at least here in Canada sometimes it is price fixing.

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/e...eng/03079.html

http://business.financialpost.com/20...fixing-scheme/

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/10/27/...x-to-our-pumps
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  #20  
Old 02 July 2014, 09:17 PM
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One thing I don't get - which isn't price fixing exactly but still confuses me - is that sometimes there are simultaneous format or packaging changes across brands, and they all happen at exactly the same time.

For example, washing powders. Most brands in the UK are owned either by Proctor & Gamble or Unilever, I think, so it's not a surprise if all the brands from one competitor change at the same time. But suddenly all of them will go from powders, to tablets, to funny little pouches of liquid in similar plastic containers, and back. Nowadays I think you can get all of them at once, but all of the innovations seemed to me, as a casual consumer of such things, to appear simultaneously across brands owned by both corporations.

Another example is the size of wine boxes. They used to be the equivalent of four 75cl bottles, or 3 litres. Now, all of them are the equivalent of three 75cl bottles, or 2.25 litres. I'm not aware of any regulatory change that would require this. I can understand why one company might have done it - because they wanted to raise prices while pretending they weren't, and the easiest way to do that is to reduce the amount - but I can't understand how it can happen apparently simultaneously across all wines so that 2.25 litre boxes are suddenly the new standard. I know supermarket wines are also controlled by only one or two corporations (... probably they'd all turn out to be owned by Unilever or Proctor & Gamble again if you went all the way up...) but I can't see how that kind of change can happen so quickly across all brands.

It's surely not quite the same as simply adjusting prices to market conditions, which can happen very quickly - there has to be planning involved, and you'd have thought different companies would pursue different strategies if they needed to change.

It almost happened with teabags when people realised they didn't have to be square, but I think somebody cunningly patented the pyramid-shaped ones, and round ones must still be more expensive to produce than square ones, so you can still get a variety of different-shaped teabags in different brands according to preference...
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