Alberta one of the wealthiest places in the world

Why does it have a financial crisis?

Alberta one of the wealthiest places in the world FREE to subscribers

Stephen Murgatroyd Eye on Alberta
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EDMONTON, AB, Mar 8, 2015/ Troy Media/ – Let us get one thing clear. Alberta is a very wealthy place. Below is a table of GDP per capita for each Canadian Province / Territory and the UK (source Statistics Canada and Gov.UK)

We have more than twice the tax room of the UK, yet our government behaves as if we are “maxed out” on taxation for corporations, individuals and resources.

Inequality rampant in one of the wealthiest places in the world

While all agree that services should be provided as efficiently as possible, almost no one agrees that this should be the only way in which Alberta responds to the incompetence of the present government (which got us into this mess by not thinking clearly about its dependency on royalty revenues).

wealthiest places
Premier Jim Prentice has a chance in a generation to fundamentally change the paradigm in one of the wealthiest places in the world

Part of the problem is that the GDP/per capita figures masks the rising nature of inequality in Alberta. We have a growing number of working poor, poverty is rising and women, FNMI, recent immigrants and those facing energy poverty get hit hard by rising prices and the cost of housing. Those at the top of the pile want to preserve the status quo (and there bankroll the present government), those at the bottom of the pile have no voice.

This is why the current debate about budgets and the role of Government is so important. “Wildrose” Premier Jim Prentice has a chance in a generation to fundamentally change the paradigm and do the right thing. From all he is saying, he will keep the paradigm and reinforce its key idea: let the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and we can screw the middle class (especially the public servants). This is pure Republicanism come to Canada. It is the tragedy that is about to happen in Alberta.

There will be fancy rhetoric, all sorts of doom and gloom and all sorts of promises that “front line services will not be impacted by any of our decisions”. It’s all a smoke screen for what is about to happen. Just follow the money – see who wins and who loses.

It is “trickle down” economics with a touch of austerity and a big dose of anti-professionalism. Klein-Smart. It is the new Republicanism, the new cocktail for the rich. All of which we have clear and compelling evidence will not work and is more likely to make things worse than better.

One of the wealthiest places in the world in trouble

What is interesting is that we have no opposition to speak of. No alternative to vote for in the snap election that “Wildrose” Premier Prentice seems likely to call. This, too, is part of the new Republicanism – we replace monarchy with monarchy and call it something else.

Alberta is in trouble. It need not be. But it is. Will anyone offer to save us from the new “Wildrose” Premier?

Stephen Murgatroyd is a consultant in innovative business and education practices with a PHd in psychology.

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