Mitch Anderson in Reasons to be Cheerful:
Like many other nations, Canada is blessed with enormous resource wealth. We are the 7th largest oil-producing nation in the world (Norway is the 15th), with vast forests, mineral deposits and prime farming land. The Canadian province of Alberta legally controls almost 80 percent of the country’s fossil fuel production, has a similar population to Norway yet somehow managed to end up with a $62 billion debt and another $260 billion in unsecured environmental liabilities. Other nations like Nigeria, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia have become even more wretched examples of resource mismanagement, with deplorable human rights records, dysfunctional economies and rampant graft.
Norway is different. Unlike many countries endowed with natural abundance, Norway has somehow avoided the so-called resource curse—where outside interests make off with most of the money and leave behind corrupt and enfeebled institutions.
I had journeyed to Norway to learn how this small country had managed to capture and save over $1 trillion of resource revenue in the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. Norway regularly tops global rankings on happiness, human rights and the best country to be a mother. They also outright own over half of their oil production, they tax oil profits at close to 80 percent and are still rated as one of the most desirable jurisdictions for international investment.