I know this is an old report but I doubt the numbers have changed that much. I pull it out everytime some smart pundit or politicians worries that New Brunswick could end up like Alabama or West Virginia (like this op/ed today).
It shows both Alabama and West Virginia ahead of New Brunswick for their average standard of living (page 10).
I know some will question the study (Industry Canada put it together) and others will question whether or not PPP GDP per capita is a good measure. Others will talk about the gap between rich and poor, environmental issues, etc.
The last time I checked, the percentage of persons living in low income in Alabama was lower than New Brunswick (can’t remember the West Virginia numbers).
I don’t know enough about the environmental situation in West Virginia to comment.
But the truth is that on this one measure – widely used to compare economic standard of living – New Brunswick is at or near the bottom in North America. If people like this columnist want to frighten us that New Brunswick will end up like province or state x, they are going to have to find new examples.
Final point. The columnist (along with a litany of others) talks up the potential of tourism – particularly in rural New Brunswick. Do you think replacing forest product mill jobs with tourism jobs will enhance the standard of living of the average New Brunswick?
It’s time we started realizing that “Alabama North” wouldn’t be that bad if you look at issues like income levels, lack of poverty, attraction of new industries like steel and auto, etc. It’s also time to realize we can’t rely on tourism as a primary economic engine for the province.