Canada Day

Since today is Canada Day, this is an appropriate time to thank that nation for giving us most of the greatest Boston Bruins players, including Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Ray Bourque, and Rick “Nifty” Middleton (my favorite player when I was little). I even rooted for Canada more than the US in the 1984 and ’87 Canada Cup tournaments, because Bourque and other Bruins stars were on the Canadian team (also because the US had no chance of winning).

On a (slightly) more serious note, Canada also deserves credit for surpassing the United States on both the Cato/Fraser Institute and Heritage economic freedom ranking. This is partly due to serious backsliding by the US over the last decade. But it is also the result of Canada’s impressive success in getting its government spending under control in the 1990s and early 2000s. Canadian-born economist David David R. Henderson tells the story of that achievement here. Hopefully, the United States can imitate Canada’s achievement in this field, though I’m not optimistic it will happen quickly.

Despite some ongoing problems and periodic secession crises, Canada is also a good example of the use of federalism to reduce ethnic conflict and empower ethnic minorities.

None of this will prevent me from hating the Montreal Canadiens when the next NHL season starts. But in the meantime, Happy Canada Day!