FoxV wrote:ClassicSpiderman wrote:There will be a time when Alberta will be as you say, but that time is not now. May I suggest you sell your house now and rent for a little while. In a short time, you'll be able to pick up a McMansion for $10K or less (where you'll probably find me as your neighbour )
Well--my house is going to be paid off in 3 years--and that's no exaggeration. I only bought it 2 years ago (before I was peak oil aware). I thought I made the biggest mistake when I started to read about housing bubbles, etc but then job offers started to happen my way.
If I sounded smug--I apologize. I originally come from a very economically depressed area of Canada (Northern Ontario) where unemployment is well over 35%. My Uncle says it best about N. Ontario: "You have to suck c*ck if you want a good-paying job in these parts". In fact, if you guys want to buy a cheap home, go there in the smaller communities (Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, Moonbeam) and it's a buyer's market. You could easily find a home to retire in for only $5000. The only area of growth is Timmins (pop 40,000) and that's because it has a call center with an outsourcing contract to handle American cell phone support and inquiries. People in Timmins are grateful to get a full-time job that pays 'only' $10 an hour. However, the typical home there (1200 sq ft) will probably cost you around $100,000 now (before the call center was opened it was around half of that).
My first job out of community college was to pump gas in -40C weather for minimum wage. And there was BS 'office politics' with bitter part-time workers (also graduates of same community college) who were jealous that I had a full time schedule while they languished with 1-2 shifts per week. I got the hell out of there.
Peak oil may be hurting many parts of America and Canada but it hasn't hurt Alberta--in fact, it only has benefitted. The higher the price of oil, the more money comes this way. Even if there is a bust period (I can't foresee it, the last bust cycle in Alberta was artificially created by the government--Eastern Canadians jealous of Alberta's success basically voted itself subsidized gasoline at the expense of Alberta). I moved to Alberta in 2000 when the price of oil was much lower than it is now and I was able to find a job fairly quickly.
Peak oil will hurt a lot of people in Alberta too--those who aren't homeowners and want to buy one. Those people are basically screwed and priced out of the market. Could I afford a new home right now? HELL NO.
Unlike a lot of people here, I mostly see peak oil as an economic crisis rather than a logistical one. But that economic crisis will mostly be felt by those who rely on energy imports. You may talk about EREOI and the so-called environmental damage caused by tar sands mining in Athabasca (I live far from there, an 8 hour drive, I live in Calgary), but you can't argue about the fact that an inflow of capital means increased employment and higher quality of life for the people who live there. I live within walking distance of grocery stores, consumer electronics, post office and a 20-screen megaplex movie theater. LIFE IS GOOD HERE. It may be the last bastion of middle class life remaining in the world, but I'll enjoy it because I'VE PAID MY DUES. No one gave a crap when I was struggling to get by with odd jobs and min. wage work. It seemed that the generation before me (the boomers) were completely selfish in holding on to their well-paying jobs while Gen-X'ers like me were being lambasted for supposedly being lazy. It was all a bunch of BS. The unprecedented creation of wealth of the post-war era (1946-1974) came to a screeching halt and everyone was too blind or afraid to admit that things weren't quite like they were before.
Yes, I'll agree that the boom of Alberta is also artificial. House prices are going up like crazy due in part to home flippers, speculation but the most important part--desperation. Desperate people trying to hold on to the illusion of the 'American Dream' that their parents took for granted. People always want what they need. And they need the American Dream.