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Old 04-17-2008, 09:24 PM   #16
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Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...EDHF1060SL.DTL
No. I'd say that they're usually stupid.

My general impression of most countries is that the average citizen is generally of below average intelligence and reasoning, and is just as apt to hysteria as "the Americans."

One lovely advantage that many governments are able to employ is that the U.S. is a wonderful target to scapegoat and deflect criticism. I'd like to see Canadians less concerned about the U.S., which they can't control, and more concerned about the fact that you have four major political parties...

1) Two of which have no chance of ever winning.
2) Two of which do, but are consistently ineffectual.

Or how about the state of Canadian capitalism? I'm embarrassed over your cell phone companies and banks. I'm shocked to see high prices for few minutes and things like "voice mail" are still charged separately (!), not to mention that your banks charge an average of $12 a month just have a checking account open. We may not be perfect, but we pay considerably less for most everything here than you do there, even if we consider the PST/GST difference. Hell, for such a large oil producer, how the hell do you end up paying at least $1 a gallon more than the U.S. at any given moment?

Take my advice. We have plenty of American citizens concerned about our presidency and the state of our government. I'd say that you're better off directing this energy to battling the deep-seated problems that are in Canada, and getting other Canadians concerned too. No country is perfect, after all.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:36 PM   #17
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Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

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Originally posted by melon
I'd like to see Canadians less concerned about the U.S., which they can't control, and more concerned about the fact that you have four major political parties...

1) Two of which have no chance of ever winning.
2) Two of which do, but are consistently ineffectual.
I'm assuming you are counting the BQ as a major party which would be silly given that they are actually not a national party so of course they have no chance of getting elected. That isn't their goal anyway.

As for the ineffectual governing, that's pretty much true here, and probably everywhere else. You sometimes see some decent stuff done by a government in the majority, but usually it's the same old tired business (especially since one of our parties seems to be entitled to long runs and serves as the default).

Quote:
I'm shocked to see high prices for few minutes and things like "voice mail" are still charged separately (!), not to mention that your banks charge an average of $12 a month just have a checking account open.
I really have no idea what this is about since I pay nothing for my chequing account and I don't know anyone who does.

I'd venture a guess that the cell phone thing is probably true, although I have no idea about that either since I'm on a corporate plan and don't ever really think about the minutes. My brother pays $35/month for 200 daytime, unlimited evenings after 6 pm and unlimited weekends. This includes the other mandatory charges too. I don't know if this is a good deal compared to the US though.

Quote:
Hell, for such a large oil producer, how the hell do you end up paying at least $1 a gallon more than the U.S. at any given moment?
To be fair, NAFTA sucks ass for Canadians when it comes to oil and the major beneficiary of that deal was the US, per usual. This is why I can't actually believe that either Dem candidate would bring it up, because frankly we'd WANT to re-negotiate and there is not a chance in hell that the Americans would agree to any of it given how patently unfair the current version is.

As an aside, I do wish Harry would give it a rest, because half of what he says has me embarrassed on his and my behalf.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:47 PM   #18
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Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

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Originally posted by anitram
I really have no idea what this is about since I pay nothing for my chequing account and I don't know anyone who does.
What bank do you use? I've priced out all your major banks--RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO, and CIBC--and every checking account states that it costs from $9 (Scotiabank) to around $12 (the rest) a month, just to have one open. And, yes, of the Canadians I know, they all pay it too.

Or do you carry the minimum balance to avoid the fees? Most of our checking accounts these days require no minimum balance at all.

Quote:
To be fair, NAFTA sucks ass for Canadians when it comes to oil and the major beneficiary of that deal was the US, per usual. This is why I can't actually believe that either Dem candidate would bring it up, because frankly we'd WANT to re-negotiate and there is not a chance in hell that the Americans would agree to any of it given how patently unfair the current version is.
I can't see entirely how NAFTA can be blamed here. Gas prices have been consistently much higher in Canada than in the U.S. for as long as I can remember...which predates NAFTA.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:53 PM   #19
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

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Originally posted by melon

What bank do you use? I've priced out all your major banks--RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO, and CIBC--and every checking account states that it costs from $9 (Scotiabank) to around $12 (the rest) a month, just to have one open. And, yes, of the Canadians I know, they all pay it too.

Or do you carry the minimum balance to avoid the fees? Most of our checking accounts these days require no minimum balance at all.
I have TD. In the past I've had two types of accounts. The student account I had did not have any fees of any sort. The regular account (which I have now) requires me to keep a $1000 balance for the purpose of withdrawing $ from the debit machine. Without the minimum balance, I'm allowed 5 transactions per month and after that there is some sort of fee, I can't remember if it's $5 or $7 for unlimited usage. I have never had less than that in my account so I've never had to pay a fee. But that fee had nothing to do with my chequeing account. Neither my roommate, nor my parents, nor my brother pay any kind of chequing fee either, so this is really surprising to me to hear.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:53 PM   #20
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Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I'd venture a guess that the cell phone thing is probably true, although I have no idea about that either since I'm on a corporate plan and don't ever really think about the minutes. My brother pays $35/month for 200 daytime, unlimited evenings after 6 pm and unlimited weekends. This includes the other mandatory charges too. I don't know if this is a good deal compared to the US though.
Our plans, on average, are around 450 daytime minutes, unlimited evenings and weekends after 9 pm, including voicemail, caller ID, nationwide long distance and roaming included for $39.99. Include taxes, and it ramps up to about $45 or so.

I'm on a legacy AT&T Wireless plan, where I had no extra charges Canadian long distance and roaming included for $10 more a month. My Canadian friends, on the other hand, pay more and get roaming charges the minute they leave the GTA.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:56 PM   #21
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I have TD. In the past I've had two types of accounts. The student account I had did not have any fees of any sort. The regular account (which I have now) requires me to keep a $1000 balance for the purpose of withdrawing $ from the debit machine. Without the minimum balance, I'm allowed 5 transactions per month and after that there is some sort of fee, I can't remember if it's $5 or $7 for unlimited usage. I have never had less than that in my account so I've never had to pay a fee. But that fee had nothing to do with my chequeing account. Neither my roommate, nor my parents, nor my brother pay any kind of chequing fee either, so this is really surprising to me to hear.
I should point out that our checking accounts generally have no minimum balances and have always had unlimited transactions. I was shocked to see accounts with transaction limits and account fees.

I think the reason for my $12 a month figure is that that's what I priced for an account with unlimited transactions, which is what I'll probably need when I move to Canada later this year. I make a lot of transactions with my current bank account.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:57 PM   #22
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Regarding gas prices-

Canada's gasoline taxes are 50-60 cents per gallon higher compared to the US.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:58 PM   #23
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

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Originally posted by melon

I think the reason for my $12 a month figure is that that's what I priced for an account with unlimited transactions, which is what I'll probably need when I move to Canada later this year. I make a lot of transactions with my current bank account.
I must make 50+ per month and I have NO FEE. I've honestly never even heard of a fee and so the only thing I can surmise if one exists is that I've always been over the minimum limit as have the people I know...but in that case the limit must be awfully low given the financial state of some of them.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:04 PM   #24
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

Quote:
Originally posted by melon


I should point out that our checking accounts generally have no minimum balances and have always had unlimited transactions. I was shocked to see accounts with transaction limits and account fees.

I think the reason for my $12 a month figure is that that's what I priced for an account with unlimited transactions, which is what I'll probably need when I move to Canada later this year. I make a lot of transactions with my current bank account.
I pay $10 per month banking fees, and while my transaction limits are high (I rarely carry cash, pay for almost everything with my debit card), they are limited.

As well, everyone I know pays in the range you're speaking of for fees, for various banks. In fact, my mom, a senior, was one of the ones who till just recently, had a special no-fee chequing account for seniors. She received a letter recently that they're doing away with the no fee for seniors thing, and they sent along a fee schedule for her perusal. Many banks used to also have no fee accounts for students, but my daughter and I shopped around at various banks last summer for an account for her, and all of them had fees for students.

You're also correct, our cell phone plans suck compared to yours, as well.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:07 PM   #25
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

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Originally posted by VintagePunk
Many banks used to also have no fee accounts for students, but my daughter and I shopped around at various banks last summer for an account for her, and all of them had fees for students.
It seems to me that the only time they're really giving you fee-free accounts for students is if you also have a student line of credit with them. I actually took out a LOC for $75K and then didn't charge a thing to it, but used my free account.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:10 PM   #26
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

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Originally posted by anitram
I must make 50+ per month and I have NO FEE. I've honestly never even heard of a fee and so the only thing I can surmise if one exists is that I've always been over the minimum limit as have the people I know...but in that case the limit must be awfully low given the financial state of some of them.
In case I'm being completely daft here, here's where I got the figures:

http://www.tdcanadatrust.com/account...e_chequing.jsp

At TD, the only free checking account I see here is for students and senior citizens over 60. Unlimited transactions start at $13 a month.

http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/RBC:SAf-...-accounts.html

At RBC, I see that there is an ability to waive the monthly fee for the unlimited transaction account ("RBC No Limit Banking"), but only if you have an RBC investment account, an RBC credit card, and an RBC mortgage (how "generous" of them). Otherwise, it's $12 a month.

http://www.scotiabank.com/cda/conten..._LIDen,00.html

At Scotiabank, it's pretty much just like TD. Unlimited transactions start at $10 a month.

http://www.cibc.ca/ca/chequing-savings/index.html

CIBC is the same. Unlimited starts at $13 a month.

http://www4.bmo.com/personal/0,4344,35649_36619,00.html

BMO is the same. Unlimited starts at $14 a month.

Please let me know if I'm somehow making an error in my research here, and I'll be glad to make a retraction here!
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:14 PM   #27
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


It seems to me that the only time they're really giving you fee-free accounts for students is if you also have a student line of credit with them. I actually took out a LOC for $75K and then didn't charge a thing to it, but used my free account.
I know that RBC had no fee student accounts as recently as 2000 without a LOC. I opened one with them at that point, because the credit union I normally bank with didn't process government student loans. Within a year or two, processing was no longer done at banks anyway, so I went back to my credit union.

As of last summer, student banking fees are considerably lower than they are for non-students, in the range of $3 to $5, but all banks charge students for normal chequing accounts, now.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:16 PM   #28
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Yeah, but those are waived with a specified minimum balance, so they're technically not mandatory. I guess if you're under $1000 you're always SOL but then if you're over $3K you have no fees at all (and admittedly I fall in here and haven't really considered a monthly fee otherwise).
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:30 PM   #29
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Are Americans unusually stupid???

Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
In fact, my mom, a senior, was one of the ones who till just recently, had a special no-fee chequing account for seniors. She received a letter recently that they're doing away with the no fee for seniors thing, and they sent along a fee schedule for her perusal. Many banks used to also have no fee accounts for students, but my daughter and I shopped around at various banks last summer for an account for her, and all of them had fees for students.
How greedy of them, particularly since it is well known that the Big Five Canadian banks are all flush with cash, and have been using it to finance acquisitions of U.S. banks, as of late. TD has probably been the most aggressive of the bunch, in this respect.

CIBC is probably the only one on shaky ground, because they had too much exposure to subprime investments and have very little foreign investment. Even then, it's hard to feel sorry for them.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:04 AM   #30
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Americans aren't stupid the media, the politicians and corporate CEOs think that we are. Americans can be patient and right now our patience is running out.
It's funny because I was discussing places that my son could get a job once he is finished with school and I told him that Canada would be a good idea (my son has dual citizenship Brit./ American).
Canada is rich with oil and water. One reason for NAFTA we want to steal Canada's water. Canada is our biggest trading company and they exported tons of gods to America before NAFTA. At least the products from Canada are safe and not made with slave labor like the Communist China goods.
Canadians have to have a great sense of humor since they live next door to a loud giant.
Oh dear I criticized my country now the thought police are going to get me!
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