In 2014 Peter Zeihan, a prominent American geopolitical strategist, caused a bit of a stir when he released his book, The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder. It included a chapter arguing Alberta would be better off joining the US.Although the book dealt primarily with explaining how the US became a major world power, it also explained the continual transfer of wealth from Alberta to central Canada would lead to pressure for Alberta to move towards independence.Zeihan pointed out in 2012 Alberta paid $16 billion more into Canada than it received. Over time, Alberta’s contribution would increase and become even more disproportionate.In his words, “As the demographic and financial disconnect between Alberta and the rest of Canada grows, these younger, more highly-skilled, and better-paid Albertans will be forced to pay ever higher volumes of taxes to Ottawa to compensate for increasingly older, less-skilled and lower-income Canadians elsewhere in the country.”Alberta’s financial relationship with the rest of Canada is complex, but “Economic and political trends are pushing Alberta out of the Canadian mainstream just as surely as they are sucking it dry.”Zeihan accepted the fact Alberta would be much better off if it separated from Canada, but he didn’t think it should become an independent country. Instead, he argued Alberta should join the US.In his view, doing so would solve many of Alberta’s problems and bring it significant economic advantages. It would be the richest state in the union.However, The Accidental Superpower was recently updated as The Accidental Superpower: Ten Years On and the new edition takes into account the substantial changes in the world since 2014.In his update on Alberta’s situation, Zeihan is less optimistic about Alberta statehood.In fact, he writes, “I’m the most positive on all things Canadian that I have been in my entire professional career.”He believes Justin Trudeau’s government has been doing such a good job of managing Canada’s long-term financial prospects, especially because of its large-scale immigration policies, that Alberta’s situation has improved.“Such successful management,” Zeihan writes, “has reduced somewhat Canada’s financial dependence upon all things Albertan and so has taken a bit of the sting out of the cash transfers from Alberta to Canada as a whole. Alberta is still getting screwed, but not with quite as much gusto.”To summarize his argument, then, in 2014, when Stephen Harper was prime minister, Alberta was getting “screwed” really bad and should have left Canada to join the US. But now under Justin Trudeau, things have improved so the pressure for Alberta to leave has eased up.If this analysis doesn’t undermine his credibility, I don’t know what will. Obviously, he doesn’t read the Western Standard.But the bottom line is that Zeihan now sees the case for Alberta statehood as remote. He’s not much of a salesman for that cause any more. Even if he still favoured statehood, though, he failed to consider some significant political factors.Most importantly, if Alberta were to join the US, it would immediately lose some of the powers it already exercises within Canada. State governments have much less power within the US than provinces have within Canada.Canadian premiers have much more power in negotiating with Ottawa than American governors do in negotiating with Washington.Although the American system was originally designed to be decentralized and to provide considerable power to the states, over time, and especially since the Civil War, the US federal government has dramatically extended its power at the expense of the states.Some of this transfer of power from the states to the national level has resulted from the success of the American system in representing local interests within federal institutions. The same cannot be said for Canada.This strengthening of federal power and reduction of state power has been going on for several decades.Joining the US would result in Alberta being suffocated by a powerful central government based in Washington, DC. Alberta’s future would be in the hands of a distant and uncaring political elite. Therefore, if Albertans want to control their own destiny, they must choose independence rather than statehood. This option would put Alberta’s future squarely in the hands of its own citizens.