As Albertans approach another provincial budget, the usual fables about Alberta's finances often crop up. To inoculate ourselves in advance, let's ponder two myths. Myth number one: "Alberta's wealth is a result of luck." This tall tale assumes that the existence of natural resources automatically results in wealth creation, jobs, and a higher standard of living. That's hardly the case. Plenty of jurisdictions have little in the way of natural resources but prosper, while others have plentiful natural resources yet flounder. Let's investigate myth number two: "Alberta is undertaxed."
Future Albertans, future children and grandchildren of this province call the cops, you have been robbed. Actually, robbed may be too generous a term: this has been no shoplifting offense. You have been victim of grand larceny. This theft is on par with the scam pulled by Bernie Madoff. It makes the Great Train Robbery look like child's play.
The Alberta government is facing a deficit in the area of $4 billion. By now we have all heard the discussions regarding the recommended courses of action that the government should take to make sure that Alberta's finances get back into the black; reform Alberta's taxation system (although the budget saw no such reforms), cut government spending, and diversify Alberta's energy export markets.