10.05.2005

vancouver number one

Certain New Jersey residents, take note.

Longtime wmtc reader RobfromAlberta pointed out that, once again, Vancouver has been rated the world's most liveable city. From the CNN story:
Vancouver is the world's most desirable place to live, according to a new survey, while Papua New Guinea's Port Moresby is at the other end of the scale.

The Canadian city, nestled on the Pacific coast, was one of four locations in that country to rank at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit's livability survey, which looked at conditions in 127 cities.

The other top-ranking Canadian cities were Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

Australia also fared well in the survey by the London-based group, with Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney scoring high marks along with Vienna, Austria, and Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland.

The EIU study assessed nearly 40 indicators in five broad categories -- stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
ALPF supplied me with a link to the EIU itself, which goes into greater detail about how cities are ranked. About Canada and its neighbour to the south, it says:
With low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism and a highly developed infrastructure, Canada has the most liveable destinations in the world. With a rating of just 1% (as a result of a small threat from petty crime) Vancouver is the highest ranked city of all 127 surveyed. A further two Canadian cities (Montreal and Toronto) feature in the top five with ratings of just 3%. All 4 cities surveyed score well in all respects.

Although higher crime rates and a greater threat of terror puts US cities below those of Canada, US cities are still among the world's most liveable. Cleveland and Pittsburgh are the joint best scoring cities in the United States (7%), in joint 26th place in the global ranking. A lack of availability of recreational activities and certain infrastructural shortfalls put Lexington as the least liveable US city surveyed, in 56th place - although its rating of 13% is still low.
So according to this ranking, three of the top five most liveable cities in the world are in Canada.

56 comments:

hemlock said...

I like Toronto. I don't know if I'd choose to live there (unless I could live in the "beaches" or "Leaside"), but I love visiting.

I'm a little far from T.O. now though. Hopefully not for much longer. Growing up an hour from Toronto, I became accustomed to being close enough that I could visit anytime.

L-girl said...

Hi LeafGirl77. Welcome to wmtc!

James said...

One interesting thing about this survey is that it was published by the same people who publish The Economist -- hardly a group of radical leftists -- and yet apparently felt that Canada's "socialist" programs (health care, education, etc) were more positive than the US's "capitalist" programs (low taxes, lack of corporate regulation)...

L-girl said...

I think The Economist is the closest thing to truly objective reporting that I've ever seen. They're not at all knee-jerk conservative. Generally a very trustworthy news source.

RobfromAlberta said...

One interesting thing about this survey is that it was published by the same people who publish The Economist -- hardly a group of radical leftists -- and yet apparently felt that Canada's "socialist" programs (health care, education, etc) were more positive than the US's "capitalist" programs (low taxes, lack of corporate regulation)...

Sorry James, that's not the criteria by which the Canadian cities came out ahead. From the EIU press release:

"Although higher crime rates and a greater threat of terror puts US cities below those of Canada, US cities are still among the world's most liveable."

Crime and the threat of terrorism, not health care and education were the deciding factors.

mkk said...

Thanks, Laura! This Certain New Jersey Resident has duly taken note.

L-girl said...

Crime and the threat of terrorism, not health care and education were the deciding factors.

All four of those factors are among the criteria.

RobfromAlberta said...

All four of those factors are among the criteria.

All four of those factors were among the overall criteria in the survey, yes, but social programs were not cited as the reason why Canadian cities rated higher than US cities. The UIM specifically mentioned crime and terrorism as the reasons why US cities scored lower.

Expat Traveler said...

It's also a factor of feeling secure where you live. Switzerland was right up there in that count too. :)

L-girl said...

The UIM specifically mentioned crime and terrorism as the reasons why US cities scored lower.

Right. It actually says the "threat of terrorism", which is a slippery factor. Crime is obvious - there is a lot more of it in the US than in Canada. But there's really no way to measure the threat of terrorism, unlike health care or crime or other factors. Many of us believe that the US's foreign policy increases the risk of terrorism, both inside the US and elsewhere, but how would we accurately measure that? It's not really possible.

L-girl said...

It's also a factor of feeling secure where you live.

That speaks to what I'm saying. If Americans don't feel secure, it's largely because their govt doesn't want them to. If TWOT propaganda would cease, Americans could feel a lot more secure.

RobfromAlberta said...

L-g, I agree with you about this question of the threat of terrorism. With the possible exceptions of NYC, DC and LA, there is virtually no threat of terrorism whatsoever in the US. Is Pittsburgh under a greater threat of terrorism than Vancouver? Not a chance. I don't know how they weight each criteria, but the fact that they even include something so unquantifiable makes one wonder how relevent the results are. Of course, it looks good on the tourist brochures.

L-girl said...

With the possible exceptions of NYC, DC and LA, there is virtually no threat of terrorism whatsoever in the US.

I agree, although the threat in those three cities alone might constitute something much greater than you'd find in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

And of course there's what happened in Oklahoma City - the home-grown variety. But how on earth would you factor that in?

but the fact that they even include something so unquantifiable makes one wonder how relevent the results are.

I agree.

G said...

Given that it's the Economist making the report, my guess is they don't factor cost of living into it.

Vancouver is a wonderful city ... great culture there ... though for it to be "livable" for this kid I'd have to be living there in a box.

Maybe when I write the Great Canadian Novel someday, I'll be able to live there full-time. Shoulda stayed in Economics, I guess, is the moral of this story - could be living there now. ;-)

emily0 said...

ha ha, i knew a girl who grew up in Port Moresby. she knew how to handle a gun quite handily - as a young girl in a family grocers, she apparently routinely "returned fire". (yes, they have korean grocers in port moresby.)

now that she had been living in boston for a while, she did not wish to go back, needless to say.

Lone Primate said...

I think The Economist is the closest thing to truly objective reporting that I've ever seen. They're not at all knee-jerk conservative. Generally a very trustworthy news source.

I agree. I pick up The Economist from time to time, and I'm always surprised just how much I agree with it. I would hardly think it was conservative, nor particularly socialistic. It just seems to lay it out plain.

Lone Primate said...

All four of those factors were among the overall criteria in the survey, yes, but social programs were not cited as the reason why Canadian cities rated higher than US cities. The UIM specifically mentioned crime and terrorism as the reasons why US cities scored lower.

You disdain for the country shines through in everything. The point of the article wasn't about how Canadian cities were more liveable than US cities per se -- though that's the spin it's getting here, not surprisingly. It's about the overall liveability of cities worldwide. Our cities score high. While this is not a repudiation of US health care and education, it is certainly in no way a repudiation of ours, either. In the broadest possible sense, it's an endorsement: they work -- they contribute in a positive way to our standard of living. Were it otherwise, they'd indicate that.

L-girl said...

The two people I know who have always read The Economist regularly are both very progressive. That's how I got introduced to it.

It's about the overall liveability of cities worldwide. Our cities score high.

That is truly how I meant this entry: that Canadian cities are considered very liveable. Nothing more, nothing less.

Surely many American cities are also very liveable when one thinks globally.

L-girl said...

Maybe when I write the Great Canadian Novel someday, I'll be able to live there full-time.

From one writer to another, if you're contemplating writing a novel, plan on either the box or the less expensive city. Just don't plan on the novel making you rich.

Although I'll be sure to do my share by buying many copies.

L-girl said...

Hi Emily0!

RobfromAlberta said...

You disdain for the country shines through in everything. The point of the article wasn't about how Canadian cities were more liveable than US cities per se

You're chasing shadows, lp. You really need to relax. I was responding to James who made the comparison between Canada and the US, not me.

Mitch said...

As a proud Vancouverite, I'm not above a little self-indulgent bragging about Vancouver placing 1st...

Vancouver is an amazing place to live, visit, and to work. We tend to get overlooked by many in Corporate Ontario, but it really is a different lifestyle on the West Coast...

To those who says it rains all the time, yes, it does - but we rarely get crippling snow storms or nearly the amount of smog... Drugs and homelessness are serious problems here, along with the petty crime associated with junkies attempting to get their fix.

However, despite not enjoying my time spent in Ontario, it is a beautiful place with much more going for it than most British Columbian's realize, including some of the most amazing opportunities for camping and hiking anywhere.

Lone Primate said...

You're chasing shadows, lp. You really need to relax. I was responding to James who made the comparison between Canada and the US, not me.

I think you're the one who needs to relax, Rob. You have such a perverse dislike for your own country that you can't let the most trivial compliment paid it pass if you think it's in even the slightest way unwarranted. All James did was state the obvious... but because it was in the context of the States, you felt obliged to dump on it. He's not at all wrong in what he said. Canadian cities were judged, by people who don't live here, as -- generally speaking -- better places to live, life for life, than US cities. Okay, subjective; matter of opinion... but it's there, all the same. Now it doesn't all boil down to terrorists and crime; there's more to it than that: the article explicitly speaks of our "highly developed infrastructure". James is simply fleshing that out. One of the things you're always praising Americans for is their pride in their country. Why can't you manage to dig down deep and find that attribute in yourself if you find it so laudable, instead of denegrating Canada every single chance that comes along? It's one thing not to be cocky and arrogant -- I think we all agree on that -- but quite another to have such an inferiority complex you can't ever accept a compliment -- to the point of calling the judgement and objectivity of the EIU into question for doing so. Seriously, man... take a sec and examine your motivations.

G said...

Man, it's fun to watch you two go at it ... all we need is ring and some gloves, and we'd have a hell of a show ...

RobfromAlberta said...

You have such a perverse dislike for your own country that you can't let the most trivial compliment paid it pass if you think it's in even the slightest way unwarranted. All James did was state the obvious

What I took exception to was the characterization that Canada's "socialist" programs were better than the US's "capitalist" programs. You have taken the US vs. Canada theme and run with it. I was arguing against socialism, not Canada, but you get so hysterical about anything I say that you no longer even know what I'm talking about.

RobfromAlberta said...

Man, it's fun to watch you two go at it ... all we need is ring and some gloves, and we'd have a hell of a show ...

Personally, I've lost the enthusiasm for this death struggle, but lp has a way pulling me back in.

L-girl said...

In this corner, wearing Orange trunks, carrying a copy of Das Kapital, we have Lone Primate...

Liam J said...

keep in mind that Canada's "socialist" programs help contribute to the high level of infrastructure, and low levels of crime. When you reduce poverty, crime is reduced. That is a quality of life issue for all, rich and poor. Hey L Girl. How's tricks?

L-girl said...

Hey LiamJ!

When you reduce poverty, crime is reduced.

Something the US just can't seem to grasp. Easier just to build more prisons.

Lone Primate said...

You have taken the US vs. Canada theme and run with it.

If it weren't such a consistent theme with you, Rob, there'd be nothing to talk about. But I mean, we're at the point now where you call the objectivity of the organization offering the measurements into question because they dare to suggest the country you're living in just might be on the right track, at least relative to most of the other tracks out there. What's with that? If it's not about subordinating Canada, then where does that come from?

The change in the US due to the increased risk of terrorism is quite quantifiable, in many ways. People are not as free as they were, demonstrably. And not just in airports. Cases, laws, policies, the subversion of habeas corpus and standards of the treatment of prisoners; the responsibility of banks to track and report the financial activity of their clients to the US Treasury Department... these are real changes in people's lives that impact their standard of living -- the far more "real" flipside of the remote possibility of being blown up taking pictures of the Lincoln Memorial or Liberty Bell. But you combine them both -- the fear of being killed by terrorists at odds with US foreign policy, however remote the possiblity -- and discomfort with the Orwellian policies that have grown out of obeisance to that fear -- and you have something that makes life in the cities affected less attractive. There's nothing "irrelevant" about these issues.

RobfromAlberta said...

keep in mind that Canada's "socialist" programs help contribute to the high level of infrastructure

Socialism has nothing to do with infrastructure. The old Soviet Union had loads of socialism, but not much infrastructure.

But I mean, we're at the point now where you call the objectivity of the organization offering the measurements

I said nothing about objectivity. I'm sure the EIU was completely objective in its application of its criteria. I simply question the validity of one of the criteria. I suggested that the threat of terrorism is not quantifiable, but I retract that. In fact, the threat of terrorism is quantifiable and it is negligible. The total number of Americans, both civilian and military, who have been killed by terrorist attacks in the last 20 years is less than that killed in auto accidents in one week (maybe even one day). Thus giving any weight at all to the threat of terrorism in this study is illegitimate.

Lone Primate said...

Socialism has nothing to do with infrastructure.

Who builds the highways, sewers, and hospitals in your part of the country? Perhaps they're the largesse of the rich -- the equivalent of Carnegie Libraries -- in your part of Canada, but I can assure you, elsewhere, the vast majority of the infrastructure is socialistic in genesis and maintenance.

I suggested that the threat of terrorism is not quantifiable, but I retract that. In fact, the threat of terrorism is quantifiable and it is negligible.

I'd entirely agree. However, the ends to which the fear of it are being put by the US government at home and abroad are not. As stated previously, these have real ramifications for the liberty, mobility, and potentials of the lives of real people, every day.

L-girl said...

However, the ends to which the fear of it are being put by the US government at home and abroad are not. As stated previously, these have real ramifications for the liberty, mobility, and potentials of the lives of real people, every day.

This is very true. I said the fear of terrorism is not quantifiable, but I wasn't thinking of it in these terms.

What Lone Primate says above re society being less free is very tangible evidence of what the fear of terrorism does. Fear of being spied upon, of the govt tracking your movement and purchases, security checkpoints everywhere, freedom of speech being curtailed, among other examples, are all from the govt playing the fear-of-terrorism card. In that sense, the differences in cities and cultures are very noticeable.

Allan registered at a temp agency recently; their offices are in a huge office building in downtown Toronto. When he came home, he remarked on how he just walked in the building and sauntered into the office. In NYC, you stop at the security desk, they call upstairs to check if you have business in the office, you get a pass, and your bag is searched or at least looked through.

I used to wander into various office buildings in NYC that I knew had great lobbies, with cool architecture or art, or public plazas. Can't do it anymore. Can't bring a backpack to Yankee Stadium. If you carry a backpack on the subway, you might be subject to search. They're all just minor changes, but there are a million of them, and they do add up.

RobfromAlberta said...

Who builds the highways, sewers, and hospitals in your part of the country? Perhaps they're the largesse of the rich -- the equivalent of Carnegie Libraries -- in your part of Canada, but I can assure you, elsewhere, the vast majority of the infrastructure is socialistic in genesis and maintenance.

Ok, so by your definition, anything built by government is socialistic?

Lone Primate said...

Ok, so by your definition, anything built by government is socialistic?

Unreservedly. I've always felt the limitation of the term to dialectic like "the means of production" to be twee on the part of the left and self-serving on the part of the right. It's rhetorical nonsense. Anything constructed by government as a function of society as a whole fits the bill for me. Building a highway? Socialism. Wading ashore in Normandy? Socialism. Going to moon? Socialism. The only difference in the process between us and communist countries is that private pockets get lined in our system. The ends and the actors are the same, however.

RobfromAlberta said...

Fair enough. Of course, that means every country is socialist, so the distinction isn't very meaningful.

Lone Primate said...

What Lone Primate says above re society being less free is very tangible evidence of what the fear of terrorism does. Fear of being spied upon, of the govt tracking your movement and purchases, security checkpoints everywhere, freedom of speech being curtailed, among other examples, are all from the govt playing the fear-of-terrorism card. In that sense, the differences in cities and cultures are very noticeable.

Yes. Terrorism per se is not the real issue here. It's control. It's maintaining the buzzwords of the Roman Republic while Caesar officially refuses the kingly crown. We've seen it before... notably with communism as the foe... but I don't think to this extreme. Technology has reached the point where you can bleed liberty white while retaining the illusion of a healthy complexion. I don't want to pretend this is impossible in Canada by any means... but I do, quite honestly, believe we have not gone down that road, or at least not as far. We're not driven by the same fears -- fears of terrorism, fears of loss of influence and hegemony, fears of economic diminishment at the hands of people overseas -- and I think that's been instrumental in the widening gap of perception between most Canadians and most Americans (at least, those Americans from whom Laura and Allan found themselves estranged enough to emigrate). I hope the gap isn't permanent and that the US will recover. But I want to stand firm on our side of the gap. We should not be the ones to move to close it, because to do so means surrendering more of our civil rights, our expectations and birthrights as Canadians, and those few things that even Rob would have to grudgingly admit are the foundation of our identity.

Lone Primate said...

Fair enough. Of course, that means every country is socialist, so the distinction isn't very meaningful.

Ah, but for the purposes of our discussion, it is. James evoked our health care and educational systems, relative to the ones in the US. Both of these in Canada are widely more socially-funded than they are in the US. University tuitions here are much lower because the cost of them is partially defrayed by provincial governments. Consequently it's easier for lower-income Canadians to get a better education in the hopes that their natural abilities, wedded to that eduction, can promote upward social mobility. In the US, this often falls into the lap of charities... or not at all. So coming back full-circle, there's merit to James's point.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

I think you're all reading way too much into a press release.

They don't say what the indicators that make up the broad categories of "stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure".

Unless you purchase the full report, you don't really know the details of the rankings.

Rob: They mention terrorism and crime, but they don't give any details as two how Canada and the U.S. would have compared if those two factors were discounted. Maybe Canada would still have come out ahead.

LP and James: Likewise, we don't know the factors whether it was government programs or not that were deciding factors. I mean Tokyo's subways and trains are almost completely privately owned and operated, but would probably considered "excellent" infrastructure by the EIC.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

As an FYI, I found this from a Hong Kong government report. It's slightly off-topic, but it's interesting discussion on various health care models used in Canada, the UK, Germany, Singapore, Australia, and the U.S.

_________________________________
National Services Model (UK). UK emphasizes universal and equal access to health care. To achieve this goal, UK primarily funded its health care by general tax revenues. The health budget is apportioned to each region according to a formula that takes into account the population’s need. Every citizen has equal access to the services provided by UK’s National Health Service. Total health expenditure is managed through the political process where funding for health care has to compete against other national needs such as education or defense. UK prioritizes its spending for health care by the cost-effectiveness of provided services in improving the population’s health status. Everyone has easy and quick access to primary care, but less cost-effective procedures such as hip replacement are in short supply. They are rationed by waiting time. The 1989 reform introduced an internal market to improve efficiency and quality of health care which is undergoing refinements to make the internal market work more effectively.

The strengths of the U.K. system can be characterized as most equitable, cost-effective, integrates together primary care, specialty and community services. and free choice of GP’s. Moreover, U.K. has been very effective in managing its health expenditure inflation. On the other hand, the amount of funds for the National Health Service is insufficient to satisfy patients’ demand for certain specialty services which results in long waiting times.


• National Health Insurance Model (Canada). Canada also gives priority to universal and equal access to health care. This is accomplished through a national health insurance scheme where every citizen is covered for free medical services (dental and outpatient drugs are excluded). The federal and provinces jointly fund the cost of NHI but the program is established and administered by the provinces. The provincial health insurance plan must meet certain standards set by the federal government: coverage must be universal, comprehensive, portable, and cover “all medically needed services”. Patients have complete free choice of physicians and hospitals. Physicians are paid on a fee-for-service basis. Expenditure inflation is managed by establishing global budgets for hospitals and for physicians services. In most provinces, physician fees are set by the provincial medical associations through an internal bargaining process among different specialties, aimed to satisfy the global budget cap. To manage the volume of services, Canadian provinces rely on monitoring the total quantity of services delivered by each physician. Since all claim payments are paid through one centralized agency, it makes it feasible for the provinces to have a complete practice profile on each physician and hospital. Medical associations then are given the responsibilities to monitor and discipline aberrant physicians.

The strengths of the Canadian system can be characterized as most equitable, reasonably cost-effective, low administrative expenses, free choice of providers, and able to manage health expenditure inflation. Equally important, Canada has been able to balance demand and supply with only occasional significant waiting time for elective surgeries. The major problem in the Canadian system is its fee-for-service payment method for physician services which causes expenditure inflation. When the provincial health insurance plans impose measures to control the inflation, physicians organize political protests.

• Social Insurance Model (Germany). The German health care system gives priority to social solidarity where the financial risks are pooled through a mandatory insurance system. Every worker with earning below a certain level ($45,000 in l996) must enroll in a sickness fund. Basic benefit is uniformly defined for all sickness funds and patients only required to pay very small amount of cost-sharing. Patients have freedom of choice of providers. Premium is set as a percent of the wage bill. Until July 1, l998, expenditure inflation was managed by global hospital budgets and regional global budgets for physicians services and pharmaceuticals. These global budgets were established through negotiations between the sickness fund association and medical association of each region. The changes made on July 1st replaced the negotiated regional budgets for physician services by a fixed fee schedule and targets for volume of services. Regional spending caps for pharmaceuticals have been abolished and are replaced by practice-specific soft targets. At present, it’s not clear as how the 1998 changes could manage expenditure inflation. Many experts expect Germany will revert to its previous strategy of global budgeting to manage health expenditure inflation.

The strengths of the German system can be characterized as quite equitable, and
was capable to manage health expenditure inflation through negotiations, free choice of providers, and demand and supply are balanced. The major shortcomings include inefficiency and separation of primary care from specialty and hospital care which causes discontinuity of medical care.


• Social Insurance with Voluntary Private Insurance (Australia). Unlike UK, Australia emphasizes universal access only to “adequate” inpatient and outpatient specialty services provided by the public hospitals. Patients have no choice of physicians and face long waiting time for elective surgery in public hospitals. Public hospitals are funded by general revenues from the commonwealth and regional governments, plus payments made by a compulsory national health insurance (NHI) system funded by wage tax. Most GP services are delivered by private practitioners, but the NHI covers their services and pay the GPs according to a fee schedule. Government encourages the higher income people to purchases private insurance which covers services beyond the “adequate” level. Private insurance gives the patients a choice of public or private facilities, pays higher class of accommodations and additional amounts to physicians beyond what’s paid by the NHI. Hence, the providers would favor the privately insured patients. In establishing this system of two-tiered health care provision, the government tries to create a vehicle that could reduce the pressure on government to fund and provide “better” quality of health services. However, Australia lacks coherent policy on national/regional responsibilities, and coordination of public/private sectors. As a result, the system is unstable. For example, when public hospitals improve their services, people cancel their private insurance and rely on the public health services. Hence, the hospitals pressure the regional governments, which manage the public hospitals, for more funds. However, the regional governments rely on the commonwealth government to finance approximately 50% of their hospital budget, while the central government has little motivation to increase its funding.

The strengths of the Australian system can be characterized as assuring basic medical services to all its citizens, and patients can choose different “quality” levels of services. The system has several shortcomings, including separation of primary care from specialty services results in inefficiency and discontinuity of care, a pluralistic financing system where public and private insurance duplicate each other, central and state governments’ shared responsibility not clear define which results in conflicts, and hard to manage expenditure inflation.


• Voluntary Health Insurance (USA). The USA emphasizes individual freedom and choice and gives low priority to equity. As a result, it relies on voluntary private health insurance to finance health care. To prevent adverse selection, most private health insurance are employment-based and thus leaves the elderly, unemployed and the poor uncovered. Eventually, the government had to finance these groups who were left uninsured; they also tend to need more health care. Federal Medicare coverage is available for the elderly and states funded Medicaid to cover the poor. Under this pluralistic system, there are still approximately 45 million uninsured individuals in the USA. Meanwhile, private health insurance enhances the ability of the medical providers to earn monopolistic profits and accelerates health expenditure inflation. To balance the market power of the purchaser and seller large business firms adopted managed competition, designed and advocated by Alain Enthoven. Managed competition requires complex and sophisticated organizations to manage medical practices. The administrative costs can be substantial. Furthermore, it is not clear that managed competition can manage health expenditure inflation in the long run, in spite of its success in the early years of reducing the over supply of hospitals in the USA.

The strengths of the US system can be characterized as consumers can choice different levels of services, a nation that offers the best and advanced medical services side by side with mediocre services, most patients have significant freedom to choose their provider, services are mostly patient-centered, rapid organizational innovations which sometimes improve efficiency and quality, and consumers have most information about technical quality of medical services among all advanced economies. On the other hand, American do not have equitable health care, 45 million (15%) of Americans are uninsured, expenditure inflation is hard to manage, and close to 25% of the premium is spent on administrative expenses rather for health care to the patients.


• Medisave with Catastrophic Insurance (Singapore). Singapore emphasizes individual reliance and responsibility, which is reflected in the structure of their health system. The government mandated every worker to save 6-8% of their wages for their inpatient hospital and expensive outpatient procedures. The amount is deposited into an individual’s savings account (Medisave). For many, these savings were not sufficient to pay for their hospital expenses. In response, the government introduced a catastrophic insurance plan where the premium is paid from the Medisave account. To assure everyone has access to basic health services, the government hospitals divided its wards into classes A, B and C. The cost of B and C ward services are heavily subsidized by the government, with the patient paying the remainder. To control health expenditure inflation, the government decided to use market competition by carefully designing competition between the public and private hospitals. Unfortunately, the two sector competition was unable to moderate the inflation and the government had to revert to planning and regulation to manage the health care costs

Anonymous said...

"At October 06, 2005 10:08 AM, RobfromAlberta said...

Socialism has nothing to do with infrastructure. The old Soviet Union had loads of socialism, but not much infrastructure."

The basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of the community, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools, post offices, and prisons.

L-girl said...

interesting discussion on various health care models used in Canada, the UK, Germany, Singapore, Australia, and the U.S.

Kyle, this is interesting. I'm going to read it more carefully tomorrow. Something to stare at with my morning coffee.

Wrye said...

Dear God, no, drink the coffee first. I'm up at 5:30 providing tech support for all you easterners, and I assure you, you'll need coffee in you before *yawn*....you...proceed...zzzzzz

Lone Primate said...

I mean Tokyo's subways and trains are almost completely privately owned and operated, but would probably considered "excellent" infrastructure by the EIC.

So? In Canada, they're not. You don't need the report to know that, and the point is non sequitur. They mentioned our infrastructure, James equated it with government spending and planning, and so it is, QED.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

So? In Canada, they're not. You don't need the report to know that, and the point is non sequitur


And I quote:
and yet apparently felt that Canada's "socialist" programs (health care, education, etc) were more positive than the US's "capitalist" programs (low taxes, lack of corporate regulation
Ignoring healthcare, things like roads and schools and stuff are "socialist" in the U.S. too.

My point is that this report wasn't a discussion on the merits of public vs private services, tax rates, or national priorites. The above quote was reading too much into it, which I think was Rob's original point. Although, Rob's counterpoint also sounded like it was reading too much into it, as though the U.S. cities would have ranked better if it weren't for so-called terrorism threats. Of course, you picked up on this and off it went into yet another fruitless debate. You and Rob should just let it drop, since these debates are falling into the standard internet-quality debates where everybody's yelling and noones listening.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Dear God, no, drink the coffee first. I'm up at 5:30 providing tech support for all you easterners, and I assure you, you'll need coffee in you before *yawn*....you...proceed...zzzzzz

"Interesting" might have been a poor choice of words.

L-girl said...

You and Rob should just let it drop, since these debates are falling into the standard internet-quality debates where everybody's yelling and noones listening.

Kyle has a point. Without placing blame, I'd say we should all just keep an eye on this tendency, a sure way to ruin an otherwise friendly atmosphere.

I gave up playing blog police several months ago - I realize I never should have gone that route in the first place - but let's give over the needless sniping.

L-girl said...

"Interesting" might have been a poor choice of words.

Well, I had to call it something. ;-)

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Actually, I meant my own choice of words, where I said:

"...but it's interesting discussion..."

L-girl said...

Oh! I thought you meant my comment re your post about the different health care systems. Oops. :)

Lone Primate said...

Ignoring healthcare, things like roads and schools and stuff are "socialist" in the U.S. too.

Ignoring post-secondary schooling as well.

You and Rob should just let it drop, since these debates are falling into the standard internet-quality debates where everybody's yelling and noones listening.

You are, apparently. :) Or has Rob got you strapped to a chair à la A Clockwork Orange? Rob, you stop that right now! Kyle shouldn't be forced to read stuff that's so boring!

My point is that this report wasn't a discussion on the merits of public vs private services, tax rates, or national priorites. The above quote was reading too much into it, which I think was Rob's original point. Although, Rob's counterpoint also sounded like it was reading too much into it, as though the U.S. cities would have ranked better if it weren't for so-called terrorism threats. Of course, you picked up on this and off it went into yet another fruitless debate.

Kyle, I agree a lot of this is subjective... said so early on, in fact. But this is your take on it; it's not mine. I see the matter differently. You don't have to take issue with how Rob or I are hashing it out -- you're free to if you want to. But I take umbrage at your attempt to invoke closure, no matter how hand-in-glove. Rob's a big boy; if he wants to counter what I'm saying, he will. And you can read it or not read it as it suits you.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

You are, apparently. :) Or has Rob got you strapped to a chair à la A Clockwork Orange? Rob, you stop that right now! Kyle shouldn't be forced to read stuff that's so boring!

But I take umbrage at your attempt to invoke closure, no matter how hand-in-glove.


As you wish. I won't stand in your way, but it is my opinion that you're debates with Rob are getting too combative and personal.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Off topic:

I wonder if Blogger would consider adding "edit" to their commenting engine. I wish I could correct my typos after I've hit "submit".

RobfromAlberta said...

Although, Rob's counterpoint also sounded like it was reading too much into it, as though the U.S. cities would have ranked better if it weren't for so-called terrorism threats.

How could I interpret this:

higher crime rates and a greater threat of terror puts US cities below those of Canada

any other way?

it is my opinion that you're debates with Rob are getting too combative and personal.

That is my opinion too.

Lone Primate said...

I wonder if Blogger would consider adding "edit" to their commenting engine. I wish I could correct my typos after I've hit "submit".

That would be a boon, wouldn't it. :)

L-girl said...

it is my opinion that you're debates with Rob are getting too combative and personal.

That is my opinion too.


Mine as well.

We all wish for a comment editor...! But I'd settle for Blogger's photo editor to function properly on the first try.