And, as usual, the Norwailing concerns are at best ahistorical. Norway has, for basically its entire resource history, expected the future to be one with lower resource production and so saving for future times with lower production made sense as an economic policy. 2/N
Furthermore, in Norway, you can make the case that savings today is smoothing the benefit of Norway's resource endowment for current and future Norwegians i.e. the children and grandchildren of current Norwegians. Neither of these has generally been the case in Alberta.
First, let's talk about resources. The problem facing Alberta has always been to unlock the vast, physical resource that exists in the oil sands at competitive costs. If that could be accomplished, it was reasonable to expect both production and rents to increase over time.
This was absolutely not the case in Norway: the expectation was always declining future production and decreasing per unit rents as the physical resource was exhausted. In one case, savings makes sense. You don't save to prepare for a future with higher resource revenues.
Consider Alberta in the early 2000s: you're planning for a world where oil sands production is going to increase 3-4x over the next decade, with massive inbound FDI. Does that scream, "wow, we should really save now because, in 15 years from now, things will be tough?"
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