Standard of Living: Canada vs Us

2406 Words Jun 27th, 2011 10 Pages
Problem:
Having lived in the border town of Windsor, Ontario, for over ten years I have happened to observe some differences between the lifestyles of residents living in Canada and the United States; some differences being more apparent than others. To identify these differences, lets first look at the difference between standard of living and quality of life as these are specific terms I will use to identify the differences in lifestyles between Americans and Canadians. Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort and material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area. Quality of life relates to the number and quality of basic benefits provided to all citizens. These
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This can especially be noticed in the Toronto and Vancouver areas where cost of living is higher than other regions in Canada, but salaries are the same or may be only slightly lower. This makes it a real challenge for individuals in these situations to save money and grow their net worth.
Another factor driving up the cost of living in Canada is taxation rates. Taxation is a lot higher in Canada than in the United States (MSN Money, 2010). We can illustrate this with a simple example that can be understood by most Canadians. The lowest sales tax rate is in Alberta where sales tax is only seven percent, which is the federal sales tax applied to the entire nation, however the sales tax rate in Michigan is only six percent and Michigan isn`t considered a state with low tax rates in US! In comparison with other states such as Delaware and New Hamshire where there is no sales tax applied to purchases, the seven percent sales tax rate in Alberta does not seem as attractive anymore (Létourneau, Raynald and Lajoie, Martine, 2000). The Canadian taxation system is a progressive taxation system similar to that of the United States which means that taxation rates increase as your level of income increases in order to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor in order to increase
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