When it comes to personal wealth, Canada's finally got us beaten—for the first time in modern history. The average Canadian household's net worth was $363,202 last year, compared to $319,970 in the US, as the Globe and Mail noted. What's more, the Canadian unemployment rate has dropped to 7.2%, while over here we're stuck at 8.2%. In short, "the Canadian system is working; the American system is not," writes Stephen Marche in Bloomberg. Why? It's not just Canada's natural resources: It's good economic policy.
Canada's trick is a sort of "hardheaded socialism," combing the ideas of left and right. The country's success can be traced back to 1990s finance minister Paul Martin, who was strict on banks—forbidding them, for example, from merging. He also cut social programs as well as corporate taxes. Canadians have an "obsession with order" that has served them well, even if its ideas might not fit into any particular ideological mold. Indeed, its economic policy is "neither 'liberal' nor 'conservative' in the American political sense. It just works." Click through for the full article. (Read more Stephen Marche stories.)