Originally Posted by trumptman
Australia is largely on my "happy list" along with Canada. They are both run reasonably well. However I wonder about the ability of any of these economies to not be swallowed by the problems next to them. Canada is clearly next to and largely trades with the U.S. People bring up many of the Norse countries and they basically function as energy and specialized exporters for much of Europe but we all know where Europe is going. There are upper limits to what any country or person can withstand when they have too many bad neighbors or when mob reasoning becomes the rule.
These are definitely the risks facing Australia, Canada and Scandinavia, basically the only developed countries left with a reasonably balanced standard of living. However, here's the crux of the matter for Canada and Australia:
Peak Oil. Peak Gas. Peak Coal. As the rest of the world gradually implodes, China will exert a dominance only the US has seen in recent times. Just like the US commanded the energy, finances and goods of the world, so too will China (it is arguably already on equal footing with the US now).
Particularly, energy. Energy that is only owned by very few countries now that peak oil has come.
In terms of Canada, it will have to service the US as oil goes dry relative to consumption. Australia will have to service itself, but mainly China in terms of energy and minerals to support China's dominance in 2020-2050.
Yes, there are risks in Asia getting greedy and messing with Australia, or the US getting desperate and messing with Canada... intentionally or unintentionally.
But peak oil has come, and peak natural gas and peak coal around now through 2020.
That leaves Canada and Australia in the best possible situation because of controlling the energy and mineral wealth of most of the developed world. Luckily the countries have been administered relatively alright. Population and border control* have been reasonable, because of Canada's isolation (the US bearing the brunt of Central and South America) and Australia's remoteness.
Let's just say that if Canada and Australia screw this situation up and not make the best (not most) of the next 20 years, it would be truly a squandered opportunity.
Maybe someone can share what the feeling is in Canada, but in Australia the sentiment is very strongly now, "Gee, the rest of the world is messed up, let's make sure it doesn't happen here".
*Of course Australia's never ending unresolved asylum seeker issue needs to be sorted out. But in terms of air arrivals, control is pretty tight. Residency Visas ("Green Cards") have recently undergone a massive, massive cull to make sure anyone that intends to live in Australia had better get their ass here and stay.
Edited by nvidia2008 - 6/3/12 at 1:02am