Many countries offer sophisticated medical care and universal coverage and yet have very different health-care models. And, more importantly, several of these countries achieve better health outcomes. To be fair, international health care rankings never offer a consensus on which country truly has "the best" system. But there is one area where these rankings are consistent: they usually place Canada and the U.S. mid to low pack. I believe both countries can do so much better.
Last time, I took the Commission to task for trying to build excitement over the level of cellphone penetration in Canada in their consultation video. Why? Because the only metric that really counts in 2012 is the takeup of smartphones: smartphones do data, feature phones don't. Let's consider penetration in a more meaningful context.
Another sordid example of banksterism -- money laundering -- surfaced this week accompanied, not surprisingly, by a blistering global poll that shows faith in capitalism is shrinking. The HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation), the largest financial institution in Europe, revealed "major internal-control problems" and plans to apologize for its lapses next week to members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee into terrorist and trafficking money laundering.
Our government's heavy-handed interventions in the labour market weaken basic labour rights, and that hurts all middle class Canadians. If workers are left with no outlet to seek fair compensation and working conditions, they will find other means of collective expression. Their frustration could result in spontaneous work disruptions, with a profound effect on productivity.
Predictions for next year, left to their own devices, look pretty bleak. Last month, Christine Lagarde warned of a 1930s meltdown in the global economy. So my wish is that we declare 2012 the year of the unreasonable, establish an unreasonable list and set ourselves some ridiculously ambitious goals.