excerpts from the American Thinker article:
"In two significant ways, Alberta is unlike the rest of Canada. First, Alberta is energy-rich. Thanks to a several-decade-old energy boom, Alberta has a high per capita income. This results in the central government in Ottawa sucking taxes out of Alberta. For every dollar Alberta sends to Ottawa, it gets back only about 65 cents in return. This means that Albertans pay $21.8 billion more in taxes than they get back. And it is the aging population of Quebec that benefits the most from this income transfer.
To make matters worse, neighboring provinces have blocked landlocked Alberta from building pipelines for its oil and gas. As for the Trudeau central government, like all progressive administrations, it is enthralled with the green movement and is anti-fossil fuel in all forms. Jenkins writes that this means that Alberta oil has to be shipped to markets by truck or rail, an expensive proposition either way, causing Edmonton's oil to sell at barely $10 a barrel – an 80% discount to world prices. Having to subsidize the rest of Canada while at the same time other Canadians try to squelch the province's energy industry has rankled many Albertans....Landlocked as it is, Alberta could not make it as an independent country. But joining the Union has many advantages, such as alleviating much of Alberta's labor shortages in technical areas, privileged access to the U.S. market and transportation system, unlimited access to the American capital market, and inclusion in the U.S. currency zone.
Why would the U.S. entertain the entry of Alberta into the union? Economics. Unlike, say, Puerto Rico, which is (and will continue to be) a welfare state and where Spanish is the native language, Alberta is vibrant, wealthy in energy, and English-speaking. Culturally, Alberta is more in sync with America than is Puerto Rico. As a state, Zeihan claims that Alberta would be per capita the richest."
The American Thinker article develops a well thought out argument. However, it does engage the subject matter as a clever salesman: from the perspective of `how can we get something for a fantastic deal', and free is an unimaginably fantastic deal. The truth is, we don't need to simply "join" the USA. We can have them purchase us, as they did with the Louisiana purchase or the Alaskan purchase. The truth is, Alberta would greatly benefit the USA. There is no reason to simply give our prosperity (and resources) to them when we can negotiate a purchase. And by "we" I mean Albertans, for the purchase price would be distributed to Albertans. So if the USA offered Albertians 1000 dollars per Albertian, and we agreed (via a referendum), we would become the 51st state of the United States of America. Alberta only has around 4 million people. So if the USA paid us $100,000 per citizen it would cost them 400 million dollars. And considering that the USA's annual budget is around 4 trillion dollars, and they would gain longterm oil independence, they might bite at that bit.
The truth be told, a purchase is more likely to get the deal done. People inevitably are led by self-interest and greed. So while there may be many in Alberta that are adverse to this new union, they can be led by a carrot to conformity.
That said, the article is flawed with its declaration that Alberta can not separate without joining the USA. As I have always maintained, Alberta can separate and form a new nation and be prosperous if Saskatawan and Nunuvut joined with us (Nunavut would give us access to the ocean). And if things go sour with this new nation-state experiment, then we would always have the option to join the USA (for free).
So at this embryonic stage, the discussion should be on whether to accept a purchase offer from the USA or to found a new nation ourselves. We don't want to give up the baby with the bathwater.
full article here.
full article here.