Big Macs are a Wonderful Thing

with 151 comments

mont-royl with cheese

Big Macs are awsome. They provide millions of poor people around the world the illusion of eating food, they can stop wars (the New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman has demonstrated that two countries that have a McDonald’s franchise have never been at war), and now Big Macs help us debunk one of the Canadian media’s most dearly held myths:

It turns out Montréal is not the most heavily taxed place in North America and that the cost of living is lower in Toronto than in the 514.

Every year the people at the swiss bank UBS publish a ranking of the cost of living in the world’s major cities based on the price of McDonald’s double story fat, sugar and salt delivery device. In 2009 Montrealers had to work an average of 15 minutes to pay for a Big Mac, a full 3 minutes more than those slackers in Toronto. Both cities are way below the world average of 37 minutes.

Another very juicy statistic compiled by the swiss bankers is the share of their salary workers in the world’s cities have to hand over to the governement in the form of taxes, social security, pension funds and medical insurance (whether private of public).

Power up your truth protection shields, Angryphones and CJAD listeners, you are not going to like this one: it turns out Montrealers get to keep 76% of their income for discretionary spending, more that the 75% Torontonians get to keep and even more than the mere 72% the citizens of New York City and Chicago get to take home.

And this would probably also be a good time to mention that Québec currently has a lower unemployment rate and lower corporate taxes than Ontario.

I don’t know about you, but I blame the separatist.

Oh yeah, and I know this one is going to hurt but I strongly recommend y’all take a drive to Ottawa whenever you have the chance. You will able to to witness for yourself that, contrary to what you’ve been told, the road is in much better shape on the Québec side of the border…

Written by angryfrenchguy

August 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm

151 Responses

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  1. How is it in decline ?


    August 28, 2009 at 11:13 am

  2. I don’t think you can have a free market attitude about the French language in Montréal. By free market, I mean leaving it up to the people to decided based upon what is easier or what will make them more money, what is cheaper, etc. For example, I imagine that there is a reason why dairy products cost twice as much here than in Minnesota, and I imagine that reason to be regulation to protect certain industries from other competition (just my suspicion, I am probably too naïve to see the whole picture). If one is going to treat dairy products with such regulation, why not something as dear as language? The two languages are obviously not equal, so that is why, at least in people’s words (and usually not in action), they talk about French having special status. At least in my view. But I think this idea of special status will never be sold to the public at large if Québec does not become sovereigne.

    Au fait, allez voir un film au Festival des Films du Monde! Ça vient de commencer hier soir et vous pouvez me voir au kisosque en tant que bénévole!

    Thomas Dean Nordlum

    August 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

  3. The problem is most Anglophones are under the illusion that the status of English in Montréal, Québec, Canada and the World is just a naturally occuring phenomenon , oblivious to the fact that it was engineered in Washington, Beijing, London and wherever the World Bank is headquartered and that it was one of the most expensive human endevours ever….


    August 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm

  4. As a matter of fact, I do think that the sovereignists’ diagnosis on many of these issues is accurate.

    But there are some of us out there who are seeking a “third way”, somewhere in the small space between the dominant “Canada-is-perfect” and “Canada-must-die” crowds.

    The difference between sovereignists and me is not so much about the disease’s existence, but about which medicine is needed to cure it.

    Or, perhaps it is that I don’t agree with them that the patient is already dead.

    And BTW, I call ’em as I see ’em. I don’t really care who is saying the same thing as me and which side they happen to be on. Just like I won’t stop cheering for the Montreal Canadiens just because people like Howard Galganov and Tony Kondaks are almost certainly fans of the same hockey club as me.


    August 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm

  5. C’est un commentaire imbecile, deplace, meprisant. Il ne faut pas beaucoup s’aimer pour immiger dans un pays et ensuite juger de haut le peuple qui l’a acceuilli:le monde est grand, parait que c’est meme infini: tu te trouveras certainement un endroit ou tu pourra vivre avec ta haine et ton ignorance crasse: fais tes bagages et degage…


    August 28, 2009 at 10:43 pm

  6. Je m’adressais aallophone , pas a Acajak. Merci


    August 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm

  7. “The Chinese are among the most deeply invested in the use of English in the world. They have invested a lot of money in English.”

    How much have they invested in French??

    “But the very real decline of English-speaking peoples will not immediatly mean the decline of English as a world language”

    As I have said, it has become a common denominator between cultures. You would be all for it if was french in lieu of english…right!!

    “Unilingual native anglos, however, will rapidly become as useless and marginalized as unilingual Portugese or French-speakers.”

    Could be..but not likely with the advent of new technologies which will converge and make language of little importance in communication between people. Just look at the language translators available today. Work is being carried out on advanced voice sythnesis which will include accents and intination in real time language translation. At that time it won’t really matter what language you speak. Pipe dream…just wait a while and see. Just in the same fashion that morse code has become but a curiosity as it has been replaced by high speed data transmission in various forms.

    -.– — ..- .– .. .-.. .-.. … . .
    .. -. – .. — .


    August 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm

  8. Je l’avais pas lu avant ce soir, celui-là:

    “Les polyglottes branchées contre le français (hilariously bat-on)

    L’alter mondialiste/écolo/ conscientisé/ artiste/et curieux de tout sauf de la société québécoise

    Merci james!


    August 28, 2009 at 11:40 pm

  9. HMMM…sounds like an attitude of indifferance and non tolerance…you don’t like it get out. I suppose thats what the ROC could say to Quebec but for the greater reason does not.


    August 29, 2009 at 1:09 am

  10. Seems to have naturally occurred…the other …just conspiracy thoery…you must have enjoyed the X files.

    What has been so expensive?

    Of course in Canada the OLA is very expensive, paid for by those who have little interest in the regime.. Who prompted that?


    August 29, 2009 at 1:15 am

  11. The story is interesting. Perhaps you need to further advance your law 101 and ban english entirely so that Quebec can be what you want it to be. Heh, AFG, I am on your side. Vote PQ and get this in motion. Maybe I could send a letter to Marois as a supporter of the french (joual) in Quebec.

    I am tired of trying to learn french in Montreal when ther only speak english with me when I try the french. ;) :).


    August 29, 2009 at 1:39 am

  12. Who’s talking to ban english? We are just talking of respect for the society in which we live.


    August 29, 2009 at 2:19 am

  13. I remember reading a Konrad Yakabuski report in the Globe and Mail on this topic some time ago. He didn’t mention that specific Québec trait, but I suspected it.

    Thanks for providing these very interesting links.

    Pure Laine

    August 29, 2009 at 8:51 am

  14. fermée la. ;-)


    August 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm

  15. Are you talking about legislating respect?

    If so, how do you do that?

    Tony Kondaks

    August 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  16. En democratie, le peuple est roi. Le peuple quebecois s’est donne des lois, dont la loi 101, et ce pour d’excellentes raisons. Si vous n’etes pas d’accord, faites de la politique et changez les lois. Je vous souhaite bonne chance..


    August 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  17. Of course the main sentiment is to reduce the effect and usage of english. Sign laws, open discrimination in education systems etc etc. Now what would you call that…Bill 101 itself is discriminatory against english. For example, the sign law…where french is to be pre-eminant over other languages. Some will argue that this is only pro-french… the reality is that being pro french is in reality anti english.

    Why is it, if this is not the case, that repeated posts on this blog indicate that anglos should speak french…french should be the language of commerce, the language of common service on the island of Montreal etc etc etc. The language of primary education, secondary education etc etc. So much advocacy for the french language is in fact a statement against english.

    I am not saying that in Quebec this should not be the case, with regards to the french language pre-eminance. . Please, however, stop denying that all this is not open discrimination against the anglo minority as is clearly the case.


    August 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm

  18. Are you talking about legislating respect?

    If so, how do you do that?

    It’s done all the time. We legislate respect for human life and limb. We legislate respect for women’s autonomy over their bodies, we legislate respect for the dignity of helpless animals, we legislate respect for the concepts of property and capital (which somehow I don’t imagine you have a such a big problem with). We legislate respect for people and principles all the time. And it’s because not everybody does respect all these categories of people and creatures and principles that we put laws behind them, to protect them.


    August 29, 2009 at 9:03 pm

  19. La loi 101 a ete instituee pour mettre fin a la discrimination a l’egard des francophones par les anglophones: nier ce fait et essayer de nous culpabiliser tient de la mauvaise foi et/ou d’une profonde ignorance de l’histoire recente.


    August 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm

  20. Open discrimination in education system ? I am for one single scholl system in french: then there would be no discrimination. But anglos want their own separate system in english, and the state pay for that system..
    De quoi on se plaint?


    August 29, 2009 at 9:36 pm

  21. Alors, pour quoi ne puis pas de las loi non pemettent aux immigrants de l’ecole leur enfants dans les ecoles anglaise? … Si’l n ya pas a discriminatione contre l’anglais comme tu dis.


    August 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

  22. Les italiens eduquent leur enfants en italien, les chinois en chinois, les americains en anglais, les espagnols en espagnol, les canadiens en anglais et les quebecois en francais. Il y a des immigrants portuguais ici, devrait-on ouvrir notre systeme public a des classes en portuguais? En vietnemien pour les vietnamiens? Comment pourrait -on integrer les immigrants a notre belle patrie? Il n’y a que les anglophones qui refusent d’ADMETTRE CA


    August 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm

  23. Why is it, if this is not the case, that repeated posts on this blog indicate that anglos should speak french…french should be the language of commerce, the language of common service on the island of Montreal etc etc etc. The language of primary education, secondary education etc etc.

    In Québec, yes. Just as english is in the US, the UK or (the rest of) Canada.

    So much advocacy for the french language is in fact a statement against english.

    In Québec, yes. Québec is french, which means it’s not english. So, yes, in Québec, we are against english being forced upon non-englishes.


    August 29, 2009 at 10:21 pm

  24. Although I favor a single French school system for all of Quebec (but heavily dusted with English as a nod to Canada and to practical realism), you go too far here by implying that Anglo-quebeckers refuse to recognize their obligation for self-negation in the interests of social integrity.

    This might be true if English were a insignificant minority in Quebec incapable of sustaining itself without integration, but with a few notable exceptions Anglophone in Quebec really means Anglophone in Montreal where it constitutes 20% of all citizens.

    Asking a 20% minority to recognize its need to vanish in the pubic good is the equivalent of asking the French-speaking population of Switzerland to integrate into the German culture.

    The analogy is not so far off, as there are indeed major pockets of near pure Anglophonie on Montreal Island.


    August 30, 2009 at 8:16 am

  25. Don’t be so fast. There is no 20% of english in Montréal. Why do you assume that immigrants are english???? Because it is the standard federal government practice to anglicize immigrants to minorize the french?
    Oh, and by the way, we’re french; we’re jacobines. We do not admit that people would have different treatment because they are in a given sub-area of Québec (like those rhodesians in their little ghettoes where they pay less than their fare share of municipal taxes). So there is no given percentage of english in Montréal, but a given percentage in the whole of Québec.

    Jean Naimard

    August 30, 2009 at 10:18 am

  26. The 20% are native born AngloMontealers with roots going back generations. Immigrants are another story altogether. Being one of them, I consider myself neither Anglo nor Franco but rather as an unbiased observer. ;-)

    I’m afraid I couldn’t follow your Jacobine statistics which denies that there is a percentage of English in Montreal. In any event the English population of Montreal represents the vast majority of the English population of Quebec.


    August 30, 2009 at 10:28 am

  27. …I would add that a Jewish or Greek family who has spoken English for 3 generations in Montreal is not an immigrant, but rather a Quebec Anglophone. To argue otherwise is to treat a person’s entire life and family history as less important than his or her last name, which is simply racist (in the real sense of the word and not in the self-entitled, culturally deaf franco-illiterate Torontonian living in the plateau sense of the word)


    August 30, 2009 at 10:37 am

  28. I get the feeling that you (and James) are not really here to argue anything anyways: you’re mostly here because you like to read what you’re typing, and because you expect to find a friendly public that will clap their hands at your every word.

    You’ve made this observation before, and I note that the number of words you’ve typed in response to this post exceeds mine, and it just so happens that this is the case for most of the posts on this blog. But whereas the people who disagree with you write for the sheer pleasure of seeing their own prose, your reams of text are motivated by nothing but an unflinching dedication to public service.


    August 31, 2009 at 9:02 pm

  29. It took you 4 days to come up with that?


    September 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm

  30. No it didn’t take 4 days. Believe it or not I don’t read every piece of moron blather you put out the moment it gets posted. You’re not that important.


    September 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm

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