Views
3 years ago

Becoming Alberta's Next Premier - Institute for Public Economics

Becoming Alberta's Next Premier - Institute for Public Economics

Put it this way:

Put it this way: thinking inside the box is seeing thepast stretching out before us, and who can deny thatthis is what most of us are prone to do. We don’t liketo let go of what we have, because we know and valueit. But that may mean the future stabs you in the back.So what can my government do about this dilemma?One scenario “behind our back” is that the world, ageneration from now, will continue to produceas much energy from fossil fuels as it does presentlyand, in these conditions, Alberta will be a majorinternational energy producer. That may in fact turnout to be the case. But, of course, it also may not bethe case. Do we have “peak” oil? What will be theacceptance of electric cars as their trip range increasesand battery costs fall? How will the reality of climatechange be addressed? What about a carbon tax?Will the response to a fossil fuel price bubble fostereven stronger efforts to reduce the unit cost ofalternative energy sources? Will wind power and solarbecome more cost competitive? These and many morequestions about energy are “behind our back.” So Iconclude that whether it is the most probable scenariois far from clear; what is clear is that it is not theonly scenario.The challenge I face in developing public policy iswhat role government should play as the past stretchesbefore us and the future is unknown? One can beginwith government’s generally accepted responsibilityto lay out possible future directions for the economy:what directions are possible and how might they beachieved? Such an exercise needs to emphasize theuncertainty of the future, to outline alternate sets ofpossibilities, to avoid the trap of simply extrapolatingthe present, and to reiterate that the fossil fuel sectoris a “price taker” very much subject to internationaldemand and supply conditions and to the premiumplaced on alternatives. This cauldron of countervailingforces may produce a future quite similar to thepast but it may not. In what ways might the futureresemble the past, in what ways might it differ?The one thing the government should not do inmeeting this responsibility is encourage citizensto accept that the future will replicate the past—even though that may be what the fossil fuel sectoritself may expect to hear.So, one safeguard against a stab in the back is thecourage to reiterate time and again that the futureis replete with alternative scenarios. What else? It’stime to learn from the vision and leadership of PeterLougheed by once again setting aside a large shareof natural resource revenues in a Heritage Fund—an Alberta Wealth Fund. Currently, 4.7 millionNorwegians stand with their backs against the futurehaving over us$500 billion in a Sovereign WealthFund—and where are we in Alberta? I will settle forallocating one-half of annual resource revenues toan Alberta Wealth Fund, managed independently atarms length, with the remainder directed at humancapital development through education and healthservices. Accompanying these initiatives are actionsto get the provincial tax structure right so that we canavoid the knee-jerk roller coaster of dysfunctionalprovincial budgets, so much a part of Alberta’shistory. The research findings on this are clear and I’mproud to say that I’ve read them. I am going to findthe political will to stabilize revenue flows—gettingrid of the cuts and the splurges—by introducing a 5%sales tax harmonized with federal GST.It is impossible to avoid black swans but I believewith these approaches we’ll be much better preparedas the future looks over shoulders. If the future isto belong to us, we have obligations to our childrenand grandchildren. pbecoming alberta’s next premier | june 2011 | | ted chambers2

MORAL HAZARD IN ALBERTA - Institute for Public Economics
Institute for Public Economics Alberta's Fiscal Dilemma May 16, 2012
CT and MRI Services in Alberta - Institute of Health Economics
Healthy Alberta Communities - Institute of Health Economics
Alberta Diabetes Atlas 2007 - Institute of Health Economics
An Examination of Alberta Labour Markets - Institute for Public ...
ATB Financial - Institute for Public Economics
Paying for Cities: Across Canada - Institute for Public Economics
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
download full publication - Institute of Economic Affairs
Presentation to Alberta Liberal Party Caucus - Institute for Public ...
Bob Ascah - Institute for Public Economics
Public Service - Pakistan Institute of Development Economics
Economic Reforms and Drug Policy - Indian Institute of Public ...
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF. - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute
the full publication PDF - Korea Economic Institute