After this week's revelation that Canadian households are richer than U.S. ones, Americans are in for the ultimate humiliation: Canadians are actually pitying us. This week's charade was triggered by data compiled by Environics Analytics, which found that in 2011 the average Canadian household was worth about $40,000 more than the average U.S. household ($363,202 compared with $320,000). As the story gained traction in the blogosphere, conservatives blamed Obama and liberals found the data to actually underemphasize how much wealthier Canadians are. Either way, it was disquieting blow to America's exuberant sense of superiority. But now, Canadians won't even pat themselves on the back and move on. It seems their provincial sensibilities call on them to empathize.
"While such conclusions deliver a pleasurable bit of schadenfreude, revelling in America's fall from the top is ultimately un-Canadian," says Canadian Douglas Haddow, writing in The Guardian. "Being richer than an America that has seen its blue-collar cities gutted and its middle class begin to hollow out is a rather empty sort of victory. Especially when you begin to suspect that we're not actually winning, we're just losing more slowly."
The cloying "niceness" was repeated elsewhere. "I don't think we should be too smug," writes Amguada Kickboote, a commenter at Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper. "Last year, the number of Americans receiving government assistance or employment went over the 50 percent mark. In my books, that means they have reached the basket case indicator ... Things down there are pretty dire."
Rulein Hades at The Globe and Mail is also finding it impossible to celebrate. "We're not suddenly that much richer - our American cousins are suddenly that much poorer," Hades writes. "Not something we should have any schadenfreude over."
Truly a dark day in America.