You don't have to live in the United States to know that the American middle class is shrinking. Analysis from The New York Times confirms the slippage.
Based on 2010 numbers for after-tax middle-class incomes, Canada is in a tie with the United States. The headlines about Canada's middle class with a higher income stem from indicators that U.S. middle-class income has fallen further since 2010. Canada was significantly behind the U.S. in 2000.
Those who are middle class in Canada (or think they are) aren't doing cartwheels over this news since the gap is due more to the troubles south of the 49th parallel than successes to the north.
Food and gas are way more expensive in Canada and the middle class in Toronto and Vancouver are dealing with continuing housing bubbles.
The study also shows that Canada's poor are better off than the poor from the States. Again, this isn't saying much.
Brad Katsuyama is the central character of Michael Lewis' newest book, "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" about high-frequency trading on the stock market. Unfortunately for us, high-frequency trading is not a made-up system by an author. Fortunately for us, Brad Katsuyama is a real person.
Katsuyama, who is from Ontario and used to work for the Royal Bank of Canada, woke people up to the phenomenon of high-frequency trading, where traders could make considerable amounts of money by conducting slightly faster stock transactions by milliseconds.
Katsuyama ends up explaining what is going on to traders who knew something was off but didn't understand why.
You can learn more by clicking on the video (above) from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
In response to the disadvantages of high-frequency trading, Katsuyama formed the IEX exchange.
Those in the States especially have gone cynical over Wall Street antics. The fact that someone from the inside stepped forward was pretty amazing. The fact that the person turns out to be Canadian reflects a positive stereotype of caring more about the world around them. Perhaps that is coincidence, but you hope some of the positive stereotypes are indeed true.
We are just learning about an 18-year old woman taken to the hospital for severe intoxication after a party at 24 Sussex Drive, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper lives.
Harper's son Benjamin turned 18 on Saturday, the day of the party in question.
The drinking age in Ottawa and Ontario is 19. Across the river in Quebec, the drinking age is 18.
There will be some political hay on this issue, especially given Harper's stance on marijuana, attacks on Justin Trudeau, and numerous get tough on law and order legislation.
The backlash could also intensify depending on the significance of the severe intoxication.
We have another delay in the Keystone XL pipeline from the White House.
The U.S. State Department cited the recent Nebraska Supreme Court ruling about the route of the pipeline. But we know what is really going on. The midterm elections in November will be the last time President Barack Obama will be affected by an election.
One alternate plan for a Northern Gateway pipeline talked about refining the oil before taking the finished product to the Pacific Ocean.
Some of the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline as well as the Northern Gateway pipeline and the reversal of flow of an active pipeline to Saint John, NB is what is in the pipeline. A refining plant in Alberta would add jobs to Canada and help ease fears in the United States. Somehow, the subject has never come up.
The Enbridge spill in Arkansas showed Americans the impact of sending the raw product in a pipeline, and people weren't impressed.
Given that the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline is being built, once the Nebraska solution is finally reached, a positive decision should be forthcoming.
But we are all getting tired of waiting, no matter which side you are in this divisive battle.
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was an American boxer wrongly convicted of murder who recently died at the age of 76. Carter's story has been captured in a Bob Dylan song and a film starring Denzel Washington.
But what you may not know is that Carter's life after being released from prison was spent in Canada.
Carter received a letter in 1980 from Lazarus (Lesra) Martin, a young American teen living in a Toronto commune. Martin and his Canadian family moved to New Jersey and helped gather evidence of prosecutorial improprieties.
Carter was finally released in 1985. He moved up to Toronto and started the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC), which he ran from 1993-2005. Carter stayed in Toronto until his death.
video credit: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart/Comedy Central