North Georgia Dogma interviews DiscountBlogger Michael Demmons, who delivers a sermon against socialism. Noting that he grew up in Canada,

It’s hard, for example, to explain to people the horrors of a healthcare system that is basically free (until you look at your paycheck.) Listen. People here think that if we have universal healthcare, things won’t really change (except that everyone will have insurance.) I have news for you. In Canada, we pay $6.00 for a gallon of milk. $16-$18 for a dozen Budweiser (or any crappy beer.) If you smoke, expect $9 for a pack of cigarettes. Eggs, chicken, meat of any kind is outrageously priced because of marketing boards. There is a nationwide Goods and Services tax of 15% that applies to almost everything. Where I am from, gasoline is about 80 cents a liter. That’s about $2.75 a gallon in US Dollars. And income tax is a much larger portion of your paycheck than it is here. If you want “free” healthcare, prepare for that. That’s socialism and it’s really hard to get that through peoples’ heads.

Worth remembering, certainly.

Amusingly, this response was elicited from a rather unrelated question:

[W]hat’s it like to be a gay male living in America who is more politically aligned with this country’s right than its left?

I found the question ironic given its similarity to the comment spam Max Swift got earlier in the week, which included dozens of posts asking: “Are you a homosexual black man in america today?”

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Demmons’ figures seem to be off. My recollection from my 2002 visit to Toronto is that most things were significantly cheaper than in the U.S., with the exception of gasoline (even that didn’t run anywhere near 80 cents/litre… more like 60-70 Canadian cents–not dirt cheap, but comparable to Los Angeles prices). But I didn’t buy any alcohol or tobacco.

    But the GST, along with provincial sales taxes, is brutal. I can’t speak for income tax since I didn’t pay it while I was there…

  2. Jane Finch says:

    Michael’s bias, not to mention his geographic location, is showing. Here on the prairies, cigarettes are 11 bucks a pack but meat and other groceries are perfectly reasonable, and comparable in price to any American supermarkets I’ve been in in Michigan, Louisiana or California (well, except the Bay Area, but that’s not normal).

    As for health care, who said it was free? Universal, certainly. Free? No.

  3. Paul says:

    I have some friends in Vancouver who would basically agree with him chapter and verse.

    Their healthcare is deplorable but its “free.”

  4. Bob Hawkins says:

    When a politician says something is “free,” he means you have to pay for it whether you want it or not.