An Economy of Well-being: Mark Anielski speaks to Alberta Greening Government Series

Economist and author Mark Anielski is interviewed by Ted Ritzer, host of the Alberta Greening Government Speakers Series about his second forthcoming book An Economy of Well-being: Common Sense Tools for Building Genuine Wealth and Happiness (April 2018). Mark outlines his vision for a new economic system that ties monetary policy directly to the assets of a province or nation and makes the pursuit of well-being the highest aspiration for economies. This new economic model is particularly applicable for First Nations communities throughout Canada.

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Alberta and UN Sustainable Development Goal #1: End Poverty

Alberta Poverty SDG #1

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In this series of articles I will attempt to present a portrait of Alberta’s performance with respect to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The first UN SDG is to eliminate Poverty. On an international level the UN’s goal is to: By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.’ Of course there are presumably no Albertans earning $1.25 a day or less!

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Alberta’s Progress Towards UN Sustainable Development Goal #2 (End Hunger)

In this series of articles I will present a portrait of Alberta’s performance with respect to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The UN SDG #2 is to achieve zero hunger. On an international level the UN’s goal is to: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Alberta is not a province which experiences hunger or malnutrition as some developing countries.

One of the sub-goals relevant to Alberta that By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

According to provincial food security statistics, an estimated 11.5% of Albertans (the lowest rate in Canada) experience have inadequate or insecure access to food because of financial constraints, the lowest in Canada.

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Habitat for Humanity: Building Equity, Well-being and Interest-free Mortgage Living

Jimmy Carter and RosalynJuly 9, 2017 (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

I’m a big fan of Habitat for Humanity.

In my view, they are the only genuine affordable housing program which provides the benefit of zero-interest mortgage, mortgage payments that never exceed 25% of a low-income household’s income and builds hope and improves well-being of those families most in need. The Habitat model is remarkable as it combines the benefits of 500 hours of sweat-equity of the low-income families, volunteer labor, building materials, financial donations donations, and government affordable housing grant money into a interest-free home equity mortgage for the households most in need because of their low-income conditions (i.e. poverty). No interest is charged on the mortgage saving a low-income household thousands of dollars over time and making more disposable income available to them. The economic benefit to these families is that effectively enjoy the equivalent of a living wage thus solving one the key poverty issues: the lack of sufficient disposable income to live a good life. Habitat has figured out a way to architect a mortgage, cover its operating costs and forgo a profit providing not only low-income households but all of society with a measurable economic well-being benefit.

This week (July 9-14, 2017) former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter are here in Edmonton to help build 75 new homes in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan and Fort McMurray for low-income families in the space of one-short week. This is part of the Carter Build project that will see 150 new affordable homes built in Alberta and Winnipeg in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Continue reading

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What happened to our investment in the Great Canadian Oilsands? Now Suncor?

Great Canadian Oil SandsThere is talk today about the future of Suncor and who should own Suncor shares, as shares are trading at $42.28 today (February 9, 2017), exceeding the $40/share highs of November 4, 2015, with dividend yields of 3.04%. As oil companies grapple with the downturn in oil prices (languishing just above $50/bbl), slashing spending, cutting thousands of jobs and delaying around $200 billion in mega-projects around the world, I believe NOW is the time to pause and remember the historical development of Alberta’s own Suncor going back to 1962 when Ernst Manning was premier of Alberta. Continue reading

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