Discussing the S&P downgrade with a young person today, I mentioned this chart, showing the 18 countries with better credit ratings than ours.
When he heard that Canada was #3 on the list, he said, “wait…then…how can we joke about Canada anymore? It’s no fun at all if we make fun of you know, their basic Canada-ness, and they can come back with, ‘ayeh, well what aboot yuer credit rating, eyah?‘”
[Saskatchewan] joined an elite club of provinces on Tuesday when Standard & Poor’s upgraded its debt rating to triple-A. The only provinces to share the triple-A honour are western neighbours Alberta and British Columbia.
The new rating caps off a dramatic turnaround for a province that was a fiscal mess in the 1980s, and in more recent years saw skilled workers leaving in droves for oil-rich Alberta. But no longer. Saskatchewan is now home to everything from potash to grain and oil, and the money from these resources has made balancing the provincial budget far easier.
Rather than quickly spending its newly-earned wealth, the provincial government has put its tax revenue toward paying the bills. S&P gave special credit to Saskatchewan for its “low-and-declining debt burden.” . . . Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate is also extremely low by national standards, sitting at 5.2 per cent, the best of any province. And the data suggests that workers are returning to Saskatchewan. The province’s population rose 2 per cent in 2010, the highest annual increase in more than two decades.
One of Insty’s readers gets the money-quote. And it’s no joke. Check it out.
If you’ve been thinking — and I know some have — that America needed a humbling, this may be aboot how it starts. Hopefully, the national psyche can take it.