Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Alberta Venture

Today in the National Post, Michael McCullough, editor of Alberta Venture (ironically a fairly anti-free market magazine—"business is good but it needs regulation and a grant structure to keep it fair for the common man") wrote an editorial titled the "Myth of the Alberta advantage" recounting his move from BC and citing examples of free Vancouver library cards, cheaper dog walkers, no healthcare premiums and higher food prices.

Well I want to respond…

The Alberta advantage does not specifically entail more riches for governmentally subsidized writers working at provincially subsidized magazines.

The Alberta advantage entails unlimited opportunity. The "advantage" says nothing of guaranteed riches. It offers people limitless opportunity for people that choose to pursue it. Like the gold rush—treasure is not guaranteed.
Alberta is a place where high school dropouts can up to $140,000 in the dynamic oil patch as skilled labor. Alberta is a place where tradesmen can choose their employer, work as many hours a week they choose. Alberta is a place where workers can earn enough to support their families comfortably and with dignity. Alberta is a place where entrepreneurs come to risk their savings and start their own businesses because of the access to money, skilled labor, and low tax rates. Alberta is a place where immigrants choose to settle starting their own restaurants, hotels, service stores due to high demand and limited bureaucratic red tape. Alberta is a place where unemployed geologists and engineers from Ontario come to operate million dollar forest and gas operations. Alberta is a place where teachers earn the highest wages in the country. The Alberta advantage signifies opportunity to everyone, regardless of race, religion, education or past mistakes that chooses to pursue it not to some specific elite group.

You see your employer is a second tier manager with government ties and thus a centrally controlled subsidized budget (not 100 % but subsidization is there). Where you live will not affect your static pay rate. The pay rate for editors at subsidized magazines is probably the same in Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta. Your wage can only increase with more government intervention which is exactly what would kill the Alberta advantage.

The bureaucratic vision of the Alberta advantage entails even higher wages for regulators, academics, union workers, artists and so forth. But higher earnings for the aforementioned groups come at the expense of those who the Alberta advantage specifically helps— the average working productive citizen.


At 7:47 PM, Blogger Clinton P. Desveaux said...

Enjoy my post on Alberta and Harper!


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