Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 192

192 Arctic Yearbook 2014 demands of extraction industries can affect the composition of regional and even national workforces, and can also influence education and development priorities. At the same time, governments can obtain large economic revenues by simply selling the rights to assets ‘in the ground’ to developers, and can win short-term popularity with voters by claiming that they can ‘cut taxes’ due to increased government efficiencies (Karl 1997). The classic paradox as documented by Karl was originally noted in relation to Middle Eastern oil countries like Saudi Arabia, where resource development is often accompanied by abandonment of government responsibilities for regulating industrial labour market standards, risks to lands, waters, habitats, and soils, and reclamation measures. Worst case scenarios see these ‘externalities’ left on the ground for governments with shrinking tax revenues to clean up at some later date, while transnational corporations transfer resource profits to low- or no-tax jurisdictions, and governments may have begun dismantling educational, social service, and other government programs in the name of fiscal efficiencies. Since the paradox was identified, it has become visible in increasing numbers of contexts, not all related to oil and gas production. In the circumpolar context, it has become clear that income inequalities are likely to intensify as the result of these processes. As documented by Statistics Canada in 2006, women in Alberta were the first identifiable group in Canada to experience the most severe forms of inequality produced by the rapid development of Alberta oil resources. The effect of rising demand for male labour saw women’s rates of labour force participation and advanced education falling as rates of early marriage, childbearing, poverty, and economic dependency rose (Roy 2006). Other researchers have found that as resource expansion reduces women’s involvement in paid work, women lose social, political, and household influence. They lose social and political influence simply due to absence from those spheres. They lose household influence because women’s intra-family bargaining power increases or falls with the levels of their outside earnings. Thus de-monetization of women’s work leads to economic dependency on either the state or family members, and less social and political engagement outside the home. As women’s power contracts, government p