Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Alberta's Budget

The Provincial budget was just released. I find it disgusting that spending increased by 8.3 %. Albertans are constantly preaching the importance of not relying on our oil for long term wealth and yet these spending increases makes us dependent on $50 oil. If oil dipped below $50 and gas below $7 we would run a deficit.

The Tories are supposed to defend free market principles. Their actions condemn the limited government and fiscally conservative model on a moral level. It’s almost as if they’re saying “well now that we have money we admit that socialism is better—the only problem was funding—liberty is a fraud.”

Roll back spending 3 lousy years and you could entirely wipe out the 5.8 billion dollars collected in personal income tax. Wouldn’t it help the average Joe to pay zero in provincial taxes.

Compare Alberta to Saskatchewan. The difference is due to taxation. Saskatchewan has as much energy as Alberta, but when they took to socialist means in the 1940’s the oil patch up and left to Alberta. Now the infrastructure is in Alberta—a permanent advantage to developing resources from a cost stand point.

Now I know this is going to attract the criticism… another greedy Albertan.

I want to defend that charge…

People believe oil and gas are gifts fostering the idea that we are a bunch of redneck sheiks waiting on our royalty checks. This is insulting. We are a proud, self reliant, hard working, dedicated, and adventurous culture that refuses to be culled as bureaucratic cattle.

Here is what they say…

“Alberta is lucky to have oil.”

This is my favorite cliché, which implies Alberta’s high wealth is solely because of its oil; an arbitrary condition at best.The implication being that oil guarantees wealth. This is a lie or else Nigeria would be one of the richest centuries in the world followed by socialist powerhouses like Venezuela, Iran and the Soviet Union and the poorest countries on the earth would be the free; Switzerland, the United States, Hong Kong, and Japan. Wealth has much more to do with freedom and limited government than it does natural resources.Extracting oil from 3000 meters deep is the exact opposite of luck. It’s as if lefties have an image of oil just sitting in giant barrels on the prairies waiting for someone to turn them on. Developing oil reserves is hard, challenging, intellectual, grueling, demanding, comprehensive and dynamic work especially in a severe climate with many environmental inhibitors. Alberta is the most efficient and productive workforce on the planet, owing to worker dedication, intelligence and drive—things which have nothing to do with luck.

What does it mean to be a lucky “Albertan”?

Today, the rig where I was working, the driller was an Indian from Codotte Lake, the derrickman was from Newfoundland, and one of the roughnecks was from South Africa. The oil patch has a long running joke; if someone is lazy or a welfare recipient, they say “he must be a native Albertan" (meaning born here, not aboriginal, for all of you sic lefties out there waiting to crucify me)” The point of the anecdote being; people choose to come here and now they are being called “lucky” by the people who chose not to come here. The choice was, and still is open to all Canadian citizens.It is no coincidence Alberta’s population has increased 10 fold since Leduc blew in ’47. Nobody’s born in Alberta; just go to a football game when the Roughriders are in town or stroll through downtown FT. Mac. And they didn’t show up just to cash in their lottery checks either. Instead migrants came risking failure (During the NEP it was common to see people walking away from their mortgages), losing their families (distance is hard on relationships, be it friends, children, wives, or extended family), health (oil work is dangerous – last week the industry lost two more men, a derrickman and N2 operator) and they were rewarded with the chance to work back breaking labor, exhaustive hours in a severe climate. Migrants chose to come to the province. Migrants chose to contribute, to be productive, self betterment, and independence. Luck would be to lazily sit at home while a monthly royalty cheque was mailed to you. Alberta’s profits are not locked away in a vault and arbitrarily handed out based on age, gender or race. They are dispersed based on productiveness; an objective scale available to anybody.

Lastly I want to deal with arbitrary claim of fairness that Lefties rely on. Layton and looting cronies appeal to pea brains with “It isn’t fair that only Alberta profits.” To Jack fair would be stealing from one man for the purpose of arbitrarily financing another. Who would do the choosing? The fair and benevolent Jack of course. That type of fairness paradigm is concocted in some ivory tower and manifests itself in the form of famines, war, and the Communist gulag. But in reality fairness has simple and understandable definition; fairness is when compensation matches the work performed. Fairness is equal opportunity. Fairness is open boarders and consequently Alberta is fair.


At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Alberta Girl said...


Check out how much Alberta already sends to Ottawa in both royalties and in equalization payments and it will be obvious that we already share the wealth - the problem is how the receiving governments choose to spend their portion of Alberta's wealth and if the voters of that province get told where the money comes from (which I very much doubt).

I was watching Duffy today as he was railing on about how with a surplus this big how can Alberta not be forced to share - Get real Mike, we already share and share big. If other provinces were to run their provinces like Alberta and not mamby-pamby to the socialists agendas it would be amazing what this country could do.

The very fact that we have Have-not provinces in a resource rich country like Canada says to me that something is not working in those provinces. If the provinces were given control over their resources I believe that any province in this country could be well on their way to being like Alberta.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger ferrethouse said...

Spending during strong economic expansion is inflationary. Any economist worth a damn knows that. Tax cuts and spending should be off the table during this boom time. The money should be invested.

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Aaron said...

Clearly you are more well-read than the avg. roughneck!

At 10:21 PM, Blogger GritPatriot said...

The Alberta Progressive Conservatives are out of control. They can't budget and they are pissing away Alberta's wealth.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not Greedy? What about delusional?

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Scott Hennig said...

In fact the spendng increase is 10%, not 8.3% as the government likes to advertise if compared to the 2005-06 budget.

And program spending is up 40% over the last 5 years, 121% over the last decade.

At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Strip Poker said...

Here there's nothing to be done.


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