Commentary

Pocketbook voting

pick.click.giveClearly a significant number of Alaskans are upset about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes.

How about everyone be given the opportunity to vote their pocketbooks to show how many and how upset?

Tell the Alaska Legislature to approve that $3,000 permanent fund dividend (PFD) with a rider attached that extends the state’s “pick.click.give.” program to every state program from which Dunleavy slashed funding.

We could all then become part of one of the greatest experiments in citizen government this country has ever seen.

Somewhere between 600,000 and 650,000 PFDs are expected to be issued this year. At $3,000 each, that makes for a $1.8 billion to almost $2 billion pool of money.

If 20 to 22 percent of Alaskans directed this oil-wealth handout back to state government, they’d cover the full $400 million in vetoes.

Does a fifth of the population – a small percentage – truly care enough about the cuts to give back all their free money?

That’s a question impossible to answer without running the experiment.

Maybe nobody would give back a dollar. Maybe 40 percent would give back half, and the cuts would be zeroed.

Maybe 80 percent would give back $1,000 to fill the hole in the belief the budget cuts cause more harm than good to the state economy as the publicly funded economists at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research argue. 

It would be foolish to think all Alaskans would sign away all or even part of their PFD. Some people have pressing personal needs. Some truly believe less government makes for a better state. And some simply hearts so cold they don’t think government should be helping anyone.

The great, silent majority?

We don’t know diddly about the majority.

Maybe they approve of the Dunleavy cuts. Maybe they don’t. Certainly those who oppose the cuts have been vocal.

Would they be willing to put their money where their mouths are?

It’s impossible to know. They could already be doing so. Alaskans have until Aug. 30 to add or modify pick-click-give contributions.

Were the Legislature to approve that $3,000 dividend, it would only take 7 to 8 percent of Alaskans earmarking their free money for the University of Alaska to solve the budget problem caused by a $136 million cut from the institution’s budget.

The university is already on the pick-click-give list. 

There appear to be a lot of Alaskans unhappy about that university cut. Are there 45,000 unhappy enough donate their PFD to the university to solve the problem? Would 90,000 be willing to sign away half or 135,000 a third?

These things are impossible to know, but it would be interesting to find out.

The worst of the critics of Alaska would say the state’s vile, conservative, self-absorbed citizenry wouldn’t give back anything. I’d be willing to bet my truck that’s wrong.

Alaskans have hearts of varying sizes. For everyone with no heart, there is someone with a big heart. They bookend the populace.

Where the majority of Alaskans exists between these bookends is an unknown. A pocketbook vote as to how much of the PFD’s free money Alaskans want to spend to aid agencies and institutions hit by the governor’s budget cut is sure to graph itself in the form of a bell curve.

The only question is whether the peak of the curve would be centered between $3,000 and zero, or shifted toward one end or the other.

Maybe only Dunleavy and a handful of hardcore Republican legislators want a state with $400 million less government than the Legislature decided was appropriate. Maybe all Alaskans think the Legislature had it right.

Maybe a majority of Alaskans want even more government. Think about that. If 40 percent gave back the whole PFD, there would be money available to increase what the Legislature approved spending.

I have no clue as to what the majority of Alaskans think about these budget cuts, and neither does anyone else.

How about we find out. Give Alaskans that $3,000 PFD and ask them, beg them if you wish, to vote their free money.

 

 

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64 replies »

  1. Fatal flaw, these people claiming pfd’s should be donated to government services don’t care about their pfd because they are planning on absorbing ten times their pfd in government services. It’s all about something for nothing period. Their fairytale finally ends when they absorb all the “other people’s money” and have to get an actually job. Until then they will continue to live the fairytale while spending your money.

  2. Great idea! However, people want their cake, and eat it too. They want everyone to sacrifice part of their dividend, so they gain a benefit and also receive a PFD; never mind that, per ISER, the ones who suffer most from PFD cuts are the poor. I have seen people in the bush struggle without a full PFD. Some of these people go to trade schools, not funded by the state. Some never leave their villages. To take anyone’s PFD away without his/her consent should be a crime.

    However, I have been told by several UA college students that this attitude is selfish, not wanting to give up half a dividend so students can have lower tuition and so UA workers won’t be laid off. Alaska businesses have been laying off for years, and rarely has anyone from UA given a damn. When you take a job at UA, you receive good pay and benefits; however, every year your job depends on state funding. If a UA employee doesn’t know that, he/she needs to take Economics 101; that class is free to employees and their families but “may” soon not be free to Alaska honor scholars. As for the students, use your PFD to reduce any increase in tuition or, like Craig suggested, donate your PFD back to UA.

    I am also tired of this boo-hoo-hoo attitude of UA. In the news everyday: UA “may” do this-or-that if it doesn’t receive full funding. UA is deceitfully playing the public, especially its students, with all of these “may’s”. UA has a lot of options without laying off staff, cancelling a lot of degree programs, and increasing tuition rates; however, everyday it seems to come up with a new scare tactic.

    UA has access to more people with bachelor, master, and doctorate business and economic degrees than most companies. With a budget of $888 million, now minus only $135 million, to serve approximately 30,000 students and 3000 staff, surely UA will figure it out and survive. Otherwise, it should not be teaching business or economic courses. Besides, UA’s budget is bigger than Alaska’s public safety’s budget and public safety serves far more people.

    UA claims that the Alaska economy “may” go into recession if it does not receive an additional $135 million is pure hogwash. Keep squealing for more money. “It is a fine day to be a Sea Wolf; I mean Sea Pig.”

  3. Why don’t we do this for all state expenditures? That way car jackers won’t have to pay for police, illiterate homeschoolers won’t have to pay for education and grandmas who can’t drive don’t have to pay for roads. Everyone wins and the state slowly turns into a Mad Max free for all.

    • Akiceman ,your statement is a good example of what mad max is like . Were you the uneducated homeschooler you presented ? Do you have statistics that show homeschoolers are uneducated or were you just passing gas ? All the stats I’ve seen show average home school graduates grades and college readiness test scores to be higher amongst homeschoolers than average public schoolers when exiting high school. Stats show Homeschool college entrants are more likely to graduate and finish college than public schoolers. Definitely save some money if we reduce public school or utilize vouchers given to parents so they can choose the schools first hand that receive their money, this would create incentives to improve the quality of public school. Privatize all schools is my vote . Save money Ban public school 😉

      • Yes I was passing gas with my snarky libertarian homeschool comment … just as this blog post is blowing hard.

  4. I have given to a non-profit $5000 a year for over 20 years, last year $58,000. I have no intention of giving any money to the state to waste.

  5. FYI. I live in Fairview and frequent the Oaken Keg at 13th and Gambell. PBR primarily. It is always possible that I could get shot like today. I came in the store and there was a security person and the burly manager/cashier. Thinking nothing unusual I grab my PBR 24 pack and stand in line. I am behind in line to one athletic black dude and he goes up and shows a fake id. The manager rejects it and he leaves. His buddy stashed a really nice bourbon in his sweatpants and tried to follow the other dude out the door with both hands in both pockets. They stopped him and this woman security guard had to physically block him from leaving (along with the manager). It was a real standoff and so I yelled: Give It Back! and he looked at me like he was going to shoot me. He said: What? I said pull your hands out and give it back and then run! So he did – he let go of the bottle and escaped the manager who pulled it out of his hand.

  6. Craig, that kind of populist pablum is unfair. You are asking some people to help subsidize the other people.
    The argument is over public policy. Free money is really not free. It is all a holographic simulation.

  7. “Punching above your weight “ I haven’t read that expression in a month of Sunday’s. There is usually a well turned line in any of Mr. Medreds column that is worth the mental effort of crawling over a dry and dusty plain of facts.

  8. Technique means a lot in this. If you want to guarantee no vetoes are overridden, bundle everything together like the legislature did last week for a mass override. OTOH, if you want to discretely address some (and there are some like the Senior bonus, federal fish & game $, and matching road funds that would probably be smart to override), break them down to separate line items.

    Most troubling in all of this is the “and the horse you rode in on” mindset on both sides of the argument – governor and legislature. Gonna be hard to get anything done keeping that intact. Cheers –

  9. Using PCG to fund state government/UAA would be a good mirror on Alaskan society. My assumption … hardly anyone would contrbute. Only a tiny fraction would give their entire PFD. Alaska is a state of entitlement-attitude hypocrites and Bush residents on welfare for life. Not the giving and sharing types.

    • well, there’s a golden opportunity here to find out if that view is factually accurate, James. i’d posit the altruism runs deeper than “a tiny fraction,” but it would be interesting to find out.

      • Total Pick.Click.Give donations are about $3 million per year, which is under 1% of the total dividend amount. I’ve contributed to UAF Engineering for years.

    • James,
      It is not that these people in the Bush are not “giving and sharing”…for they are very generous from my experience (food, lodging and support anytime visitors arrive at their doors) but on the subject of “financial difficulties” there is NO economy or very little E Con No Me in the Bush.
      Giving money away to charity has always been something that those with higher incomes do…
      Manly for more “self righteous” reasons like federal tax “right offs” or bragging rights to dinner friends…not out of the kindness of their hearts.

  10. Hell Craig,
    I was even generous enough to send u a check but it got returned, must have gotten the bx # wrong or they didn’t like CMN as a title.
    Technically carrier has to try to deliver, but if there having a bad hair day, well…
    But I dont fault PO workers having been a carrier in juneau in early 80’s before I landed a comm fish spot.

    cheers’ do yeoman’s work
    dave

  11. I see a lot of folks against the pfd . When you are against the pfd you exercise a fallacy of logic and step into the realm of socialism. You voluntarily give your personal freedom, Choice and power away when you beg politicians to take your pfd . Do you think they know better how it needs spent than you ?? How could they ? Pork and pet projects historically motivates them . Use your dime as leverage. Give it to your favorite cause or spend it on private enterprise how you see fit . – personal responsibility. When you say give it to big government they know how to take care of me – you have entered socialism. Now let’s explore the concept of who’s it really is ? Is this state yours or not ??? Would you shed blood to protect it ?? Direct ownership gives a person a sense of honor , accountability . Sure some folks don’t need it but some folks really truly do . Strengthen those bottom end people give them something to get a hand hold with and let them make personal choices. That strengthens Alaska and it’s families . The pfd is beautiful because almost everyone gets one . It’s not biased rich or poor . It’s something that ties together as a tribe and citizens. If only the poor got it then that’s similar to socialism. Pfd is opposite. It’s profit sharing. Don’t twist it and color to something it’s not . It’s capatitalism and democracy at heart . Very little different than air . Did anyone earn the right to breath air ? No they did not . It’s a resource in Alaska we share equally. We each have responsibility to care for the air we breath . Whoever is anti pfd has been misled. It gives us all a chance to make personal choices equally without bias to who or what we are . It’s all men are created equal. Do not be misled and give your power to government. They will not give it back . Choose how you spend your money . Exercise your power as citizens.

    • Fine, eliminate ALL state services, not just the ones that benefit you. Close the roads, airports, ferries, troopers, ADF&G, education, all social services etc… but give out the dividend, pay it all out, to spend as we wish. Don’t tax oil, timber mining or fisheries because there’d be no government to collect or invest it. Is that what you’re advocating?

      • Joe you missed my point. I have an idea that’s not nearly as simplistic as you imagine. I advocate something different than you imagine.

    • Craig, you are arguing against government at the same to for the right to spend the money the government collects for you. Not going to argue with you on that. I agree that the revenue the state collects on fisheries compared to what it pays out related to fisheries is a wash. BUT this isn’ the case for all fisheries. Actually some are cash cows for the state while others, like the oil industry receive unnecessary subsidies. I’m not arguing against correcting these. But no one talks about that because of “regulatory capture”. What state taxes do YOU currently pay? I’d pay an income tax sufficient to maintain a civilized society. So you want the state services that benefit you, but not the ones that benefit others. That is what Dunleavy’s vetoes result in.

      • Joe: exactly what budget are you looking at? the ones i’m looking at gave the oil industry some credits in order to encourage more oil production to stop the production decline:

        http://tax.alaska.gov/programs/programs/credits/index.aspx

        that worked. oil production stabilized.
        https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mcrfpak2&f=a

        the credits weren’t a subsidy, ie. a grant or gift. they were a credit against future taxes and royalties, or payments in exchange for doing exploration work.

        if the state paid you to go out and catch 1,000 pounds of fish, it wouldn’t be a “subsidy;” it would be a contract.

        i personally think the state paid too much in credits. in hindsight, it appears we could have paid less and gained as much in new oil, but that’s hindsight. the evidence would not support the conclusion that incentives were “unnecessary,” unless of course you wanted the amount of oil in the pipeline to keep going down in which case we’d be in a bigger pickle than we are now.

        and there is no fishery “cash cow.” the whole industry’s annual tax payment to the state for 2019 was $22 million. the oil industry chipped in that much every 69 hours in the same year.

        i, like most Alaskans, chipped in nothing, although as an Anchorage property owner i paid thosuands in taxes that offset what would be another $107M or so in state spending for Anchorage schools. the service doesn’t benefit me, but i think it’s worthwhile.

        i think the same of a lot of other services. i think we have a societal obligation to help people truly in need. but i’m not for unlimited spending, which is what you’d appear to be advocating.

        i’d have liked to have replaced my 20-year-old pickup a decade ago, but i’m limited by only being able to spend what i can afford.

        on a personal level, i’d be happy to give up my PFD just to have this whole debate go away. i’m tired of listening to the whining. but there are two problems with that.

        1.) the economists say that dumping the PFD is economically worse than some of the taxes that have been discussed.

        2.) i have serious fears that the Legislature would do what it has always done and grow state spending to the maximum the revenue stream of the moment will support. that’s fine until the market falters (as markets do) and the interest stream from the Permanent Fund declines. then we’re right back to where we are now.

        in that context, a budget at 90 percent of what is bureaucratically desired subsidized by however much of the other 10 percent the bureaucrats can convince PFD recipients to give them makes more sense than when i first thought about it.

      • Craig, commercial Halibut is a cash cow for the state. The state does nothing but collect fish tickets and tax. The state pays for NO management, research, etc., it’s all done by the IPHC and paid for by the industry through their survey/income generating fishery every year. Yes there are some money losing fisheries, even some that destroy more in bycatch than their landed value. Lumping them all together may be convenient for your argument and winding folks up but it does nothing to improve fisheries management.

      • Joe: i think we have a simple difference of opinion onthe meaning of “cash cow.” last time i looked, halibut and black cod combined were about 5 percent of value in the big picture. the five percent would amount to about $1 million.

        if the money were coming to me personally, or if we were splitting it, i’d say, “yeah, that halibut fishery is a cash cows for us!”

        for the state of Alaska? $1 million in a $4B budget is small enough – 0.03 percent – to be almost invisible. and the state DOES do some management and research. the IPHC wasn’t reimbursing the state for the work Scott Meyer did.

        that said, it is nice the feds pick up a big part of the IPHC tab as part of our treaty agreement with Canada.

      • Joe – we should not be #1 in per capita spending. We are a state of 800,000
        people yet spend more per person in public money than any other state. Forget income tax until we have a budget based on reality. Also, entitlement is a myth and is destructive to a society. It is a strategy of the left. Do you see all the social ills declining? No. Only a steady increase. Why? Entitlement spending has increased right along with the social ills. The structure does not work and there are other ways if the left really cared, which they really don’t. They want big government because it keeps them in power. Entitlement garners votes. It is also going to bankrupt our state while it helps virtually no one. Good read ——- Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton.
        PS – thank you Craig for more great writing.

      • “Entitlement garners votes” As in I’ll repay your $6,700 while lying about not cutting. From Dermot Cole’s July 5 opinion piece in the ADN, “KTVA debate, Aug. 17: At the 36-minute mark, Dunleavy said he would not cut public education spending, the Pioneer Homes, the court system, prisons, Troopers, Power Cost Equalization, the prison system or the University of Alaska.”

    • Whah – oh my god – I love it when criticism of the MOST socialist program ever devised is call socialism!! Holy crap, dude, just replace the acronym PFD in your statement with the word socialism and you’ve got the same thing. Come on, Opinion, usually you post some pretty solid stuff, but when conservatives try to tie the PFD as somehow being free market economics, it just makes them look…. not smart. The only thing that the PFD is is a buyout of your soul from the state to the oil companies. OMG, you can’t drill for oil on your own property?! Welcome to Alaska, here’s a thousand bucks!
      Cheers!

      • Seriously, Opinion, go back and read your comment and imagine that you are a red commie trying to convert a capitalistic pig to the virtues of socialism. You nailed it man! Thanks for the laugh today.
        Cheers!

      • Jack . You appear confused. Pfd = personal ownership and ability to choose how it’s spent a capitalist bargaining chip for our economy . An American democratic ideal . Socialism = automatically giving to government collective for wealth redistribution as the government sees fit without personal ownership choice or responsibility. The pfd is from a fund . It’s not a government entity. Its a tool implemented by voters for voters to fund themselves and government. It’s value dictated by markets then dispersed equally to give power to the people. It gives citizens a chance to control their monetary destiny. Socialism does not do that . There is no ownership or private property in socialism. Please look up definition of socialism in a large dictionary. Ignore the inaccurate internet. As to your mention of being unable to drill for oil on your own property you are incorrect. It’s a layered system of ownership- you have to apply for mineral rights water rights ect . I don’t agree with that method but almost anyone willing to jump through hoops can drill for oil on their own property. I prefer stronger more encompassing property rights but that opens a can of worms thus our current system. Vote for changes if you dislike it . I have . The pfd is in no way is a sale of soul it’s a tool for self empowerment.

      • Jack I’m glad I brightened your day . Please carefully read the dictionary definition of socialism. It will enlighten your day . Renouncing your personal direct Choice and choosing to Renounce personal ownership of your pfd to government for them to choose your destiny is a form of socialism. The pfd is a fund created by citizens and voters to help fund themselves and government. It’s a concept of personal ownership foreign to the definition of socialism.

      • Here’s a quick web definition of economic socialism (Bing): Socialism is an economic system where everyone in society equally owns the factors of production. The ownership is acquired through a democratically elected government. … Therefore, a basic tenet of socialism is that the economic system must support this basic human nature for these qualities to emerge. These factors are valued for their usefulness to people.
        (google): A socialist economic system is characterized by social ownership and operation of the means of production that may take the form of autonomous cooperatives or direct public ownership wherein production is carried out directly for use.

        Kinda sound EXACTLY like the PFD – eh, Opinion? How a supposed economic conservative can say that the arguing against the PFD is socialism is blindly stupid. Do you own the resource – Of course you do – WE ALL DO, COLLECTIVELY!! That’s socialism, my friend. Geez – even Mr. Stine is agreeing with you on this one and he is super left leaning! I’m not saying that the PFD is good or bad, but it IS SOCIALISM and your defending it as anti-socialism like you’re defending the free world. I cannot even conceptualize how you are squaring this concept in your mind. The only thing that makes sense to me is that you probably like your free $ every year more than the idea of being a non-socialist. As my friends and I like to say, it’s easier to talk like a libertarian than it is to be one (just replace libertarian with capitalist)… But, then again, any kind of a black and white argument is ridiculous in my opinion. The world (and this argument) is more nuanced than that.
        Thanks again for the laughs – I do think that normally you provide valuable insight to the discussion, but your logic on this one is stretching my mind to the breaking point. See you on the next article.
        Cheers, sir!

      • Jack smothers first you have to carefully read what’s written. I said find the biggest dictionary you can get ahold of and ignore the inaccurate internet. People write whatever they want with random unproven and sloppy thoughts and often biased thoughts on the internet. It’s a total mess . A real Dictionary is going to be accurate usage of our language with accurate definitions . A lot of work (understatement)was put into its development and it is the basis for usage of our language. You and the internet are trying to redefine socialism possibly with bias . Your definition you present is totally inaccurate. It’s possible socialists are trying to water down the definition on purpose. You appear to be in revolt over the scent of socialism. There is no true ownership in socialism. It’s the antithis of owning. You don’t have options of true ownership. You jack have been misled . Now as to your assine supposition that I’m a self proclaimed conservative – I have never once claimed such ,so you approach the argument back assward with an attempt to cage and smear . A pretty lousy approach. I’m an American. I have some conservative thoughts and some liberal ones but mostly I respect facts and open minded thought. Irregardless of politics or identity. Your idea of using Steve stine label as baseline to be avoided is close minded and illogical you are a direct looser of mind growth when you foolishly consider that in any form . True Information is pure and untainted by where it comes from . Steve often has ideas that are ahead of his time . I’m not saying he’s right or not but it’s anyone’s loss if they alow the source to taint the potential for rich information. That said it’s important to triple check sources as some are more reliable than others. Now as to your assumption that I just like my free dollars . I would ask you are you threatened by rich powerful well informed citizens who don’t rely on you for a job ? That desperately need your wage so you can control them ? So I will let your insult pass of “ just wanting my free dollars” if you had instead asked a question to garner knowledge instead of making an insulting assumption I would have told you I want those dollars for my fellow man so they can take care of their families how they see fit . A direct form of government. Of the people by the people for the people. A financially secure people who can exercise their own choices. Be it for stock investment , for food , or to pay for education or trade school whatever lifts them in life . As to libertarian I may be close but I say it’s foolish to get caught up in identity politics. What I am is a free man thanks to Americans ancestors. You my friend currently appear trapped by your concept of parties and their definition. May you proove me wrong .

    • Opinion,
      I know we have not shared many beliefs on this site, but I agree with you 100 percent on the PFD issue.
      When I first got to AK nearly two decades ago, an old sourdough explained to me how our generation would have to fight for our royalty dividends as the politicians were sure to run out of money as oil revenues dropped.
      You said:
      “The pfd is beautiful because almost everyone gets one . It’s not biased rich or poor . It’s something that ties together as a tribe and citizens.”
      This is exactly what our elected Oligarchs are against.
      They hate seeing the lower classes get any money regardless of where it comes from.
      They also hate things that bring liberals and centrists and Republicans together…their intent is to divide us (just read the biased arguments from some left and right wing news sources in AK).
      Currently the Democrats will not stop with their sights on the PFD and insist on still trying to reverse budget cuts…
      Many Democrats that were in Juneau last week are now in Anchorage crying their same speeches and still will not drive the 35 miles up to Wasilla to meet as a group.
      Without meeting as a group there will be no compromise…Is this actually a “failing Democracy” like Republican Von Imhof suggests?
      If this PFD is garnished again this year, Alaskans should unite in protest and force a citizen’s led initiative to vote (as a state) to take the dividend out of the Legislature’s hands for good.
      Power 2 the People and Unity is our strength!

    • Opinion,

      Lot’s to think about here, definitely a good thought experiment. The dividend shouldn’t be a comparison between capitalism and democracy and socialism because democracy isn’t an economic system, and capitalism isn’t a governmental system, but socialism is both an economic and governmental system. The dividend was voted in using our constitutional republic form of government based on our state constitution that leans towards the socialized size of the spectrum, at least in comparison to other states in our union. We need look no further than land ownership and the heavy hand that our federal masters bear over us to see why our state government tried to restore some power to the people by enshrining state land as belonging to the people. Now, back to our capitalist/democracy/socialist discussion.

      Is it more socialist for a government to seize control of an industry and spread the money (or not) garnered from that industry to the people through services provided (or not) by the state, or to allow private industry to pay a substantial fee for access to the opportunity to develop that industry, and then tax the production at a substantial rate to pay for services provided by the state and also pay a dividend to the citizens? In the first example we have Venezuela, in the second we have Alaska. One uses socialism as both an economic and a government system, the other uses capitalism as the economic system with a touch of socialism in the government system.

      I really liked what you said about how we, as Alaskans, all receive the dividend and our shared wealth. It truly is about equality, we are all equally Alaskans (as long as we qualify) this is the democracy part of the equation. We are a state in a nation made up of 49 others a handful of territories and a district. Or founding documents point us in the right direction, and we as Americans are all equal, but we are also allowed to be different…we are just a little more different here than they are in the lower 48.

      I look at the PF as a way to keep money away from politicians who will spend it, mainly because that is what it was set up for. The dividend is a separate entity to the fund itself and something that I see as a tool for the people to use to keep politicians from spending the fund, an early warning system if you will. When the spendthrift politicians come for the dividend the fund is next.

      Thanks for your thoughts and I look forward to reading more of them as they help me understand and contemplate my own. This is one of the more nuanced discussions that goes well beyond a simple socialism/capitalism/democracy discussion.

      • Steve o you hit an important part . The freedom given to Americans alows them to choose their economic systems / method. Socialism does not alow for that . Democracy/ our republic is shockingly flexible which is key to survival and growth. Thanks for your summery . I will have to consider what you wrote when I have more time .

      • Steve O…
        I would argue with the “Neo Liberal” policies of the last 50 plus years on top of corporate lobbyists and Citizens United that “Political Capitalism” has merged into both a political system and economic system all rolled into one.
        This evolution per se explains much of the policies or destruction of policies that we are seeing today throughout our Government.
        I know you once cited the Cato Institute so I thought you might find this excerpt interesting…
        “Political capitalism is an economic and political system in which the economic and political elite cooperate for their mutual benefit. The economic elite influence the government’s economic policies to use regulation, government spending, and the design of the tax system to maintain their elite status in the economy. The political elite are then supported by the economic elite which helps the political elite maintain their status; an exchange relationship that benefits both the political and economic elite.
        Political capitalism as an economic system was explicitly implemented in the fascist and corporatist economies of Germany and Italy between the World Wars, and as he was leaving office, President Eisenhower warned, in 1961, of the dangers of the military-industrial complex, a manifestation of political capitalism.”
        (Cato Institute)

  12. Interesting I idea. I already intended to give 2/3 away but hadn’t thought of pick-click-give as a means of measuring a call to action.

    • Better yet is to simply not apply for the PFD. If you apply and receive it you will pay federal income tax on it. Pretty sure That giving it back will not be deductible. So the prudent thing that does not end up costing a resident more than the amount of whatever PFD he / she receives is to just not apply for it in the first place.

  13. Craig you hit on my dream idea ! Taxes should be similar! I’ve wanted this for years . Some type of base tax to fund needed items then the rest via pocket book!!!

    • Yeah, I miss Bush too. But, to be fair, I think that it might just be our current pussy-grabber-in-chief that makes Bush seem so awesome in my memories… But, I do like what the Gov is doing. Now we just need him to get rid of the PFD and all the other socialist programs that keep everyone here – then we’d be rockin’ it Alaska style!
      Cheers!

      • Jack, surely you are not offended? You should be tjanking Trump and Graham for exposing that cancer:
        “Graham said, “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country. They’re calling the guards along our border, the Border Patrol agents, concentration camp guards. They accuse people who support Israel of doing it for the Benjamins. They’re antisemitic. They’re anti-America. Don’t get down — aim higher. We don’t need to know anything about them personally. Talk about their policies.”

      • Bryan,
        I know you meant to say that Trump’s comments are racist and hateful and should not be tolerated by a commander in chief…
        Not too mention 3 of the 4 “Squad” members were born in the U.S. of A.
        AOC was born less than 20 miles away from DON in the same dam state.
        Two of Trump’s Ex Wives were NOT U.S. Citizens.
        With that said…
        Do you not know of Sheldon Anderson?
        He has layed plenty of “Bengies” at Trump and the Republican’s feet.
        “The Las Vegas billionaire gave Republicans $82 Million for the 2016 elections and his views, notably staunch support for Netanyahu’s Israel, are now the official US line…”
        “The casino billionaire, Netanyahu supporter and owner of Israel HaYom newspaper won’t be the only Jewish friend and donor invited to the White House election results viewing party.”
        Criticism of Israeli Lobbyists ties with Government officials is NOT antisemitism…
        It is just the Congress doing their job.
        Forgein Regimes should not influence U.S. Political Policy.
        Any good Patriot knows this…think of the Queen of England and our Revolutionary War!

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/08/sheldon-adelson-trump-middle-east-policy

  14. We had year round ferry service to Kodiak before oil. Now zilch from early October till spring. And further cuts to come, the logic being it doesn’t pay for itself. Yet you get to drive the Glenn and Seward Highways and other state roads toll free? And suggest that I give up my dividend? How do I know that it won’t go for more oil industry subsidies? After all they are the current beneficiaries of the legislatures budget and governors vetoes?

    • That’s the spirit, Joe. Concern for your fellow man and blah, blah, blah. Right?
      2 real points: 1) I actually pay for my roads via gas tax as well as paying a substantial amount of Federal Income Tax, which comes back to our state more than almost any other in the country… to build and maintain roads.
      2) what if the state just kept ‘your’ precious PFD to have the ferry run to Kodiak. Would you be satisfied or would you rather have your PFD (that you did nothing to earn btw)? Personally, I would be GREAT if the state didn’t give out a PFD at all and instead spent our money wisely. Wow, I about pee’d myself there laughing so much about the previous sentence…. Too funny!
      Cheers man!

      • How much revenue does the state derive from the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Mat-Su areas? And how much from the resource extraction that comes from the rural areas that take the brunt of the cuts?
        I could care less about the pfd, and didn’t vote for Dunleavy, did you? So speak to your “precious” pfd since that’s what the cuts are all about.
        You really think your gas tax pays for all the state roads on the mainland?
        As I said the state ran a year round ferry to Kodiak pre-oil. So now that we’re rich we can’t afford it?
        You want to play whose dick is bigger on federal taxes? Self employed fisherman pay around 30% of their income.

      • Joe: OK, let’s break this down. the state gets most of its money from Prudhoe Bay. it’s an industrial area. before that it was a rural area home to almost no one. that said, the North Slope Borough to the west has done well by Prudhoe, as it should.

        the state of Alaska has also done well by Prudhoe. i can only ask the obvious question: Should all the revenue have gone to the NSB in Barrow 60 miles to the West or to someone even closer to the resource, and if so, who and how far away?

        60 miles isn’t very far or a very long way depending on how you look at it. if there were a highway, you could get from Prudhoe to Barrow in an hour or so. but there’s no highway.

        hiking across the Slope from one to the other would probably take most people at least three days. you can get on a jet from the Deadhorse airport at Prudhoe in fly to Anchorage in a fraction of the time.

        one can get into a lovely discussion about this rural resource extraction claim, but instead let’s look at the money itself.

        the state’s petroleum-related revenue for 2019 was about $2.3 billion. here’s the revenue report: http://tax.alaska.gov/programs/documentviewer/viewer.aspx?1531r

        after that revenue comes interest revenue, much of which traces back to invested petroleum money. that came to about $2.8 billion in 2019.

        finally we get to the non-petroleum revenue. it’s comparative pocket-change at $880 million and comes from various sources: excise taxes on fuel, booze, tobacco, marijuana, etc. – all of which come to about $150 million – and corporate income tax at $120M. most of this money comes out of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau simply because the most consumer spenders and businesses are found there.

        mining taxes are $54 million; fish taxes, $22M. fines, fees and others are in the mix, but simply put, nobody in Alaska really pays diddly. we basically live on oil money, interest and federal revenue.

        the only “resource extraction” happening in this state that brings in much money is oil – most of it on the Slope but a small portion around Cook Inlet. other than that, we make a little money – little being the word – on the resource extraction of minerals, and we lose money on the resource extraction of fish.

        study after study has concluded that the costs of revenue sharing with fishing communities plus fisheries management, enforcement and promotion puts us in the red on that resource.

        eliminating all or part of the dividend, as Bill Walker did, would get us closer to a balanced budget. the economic studies, however, indicate that in our consumer economy the PFD punches above its weight in terms of economic productivity.

        most, but not all, economists lean toward preserving the dividend but adding taxes or cutting the budget.

        so which do you want to do, and if it is taxes, how much do you want to pay?

      • Oh my, Joe, What a big tax bill you have! Cry yourself a river, I’m a self employed builder with a crew, we pay plenty, want to get into workers comp?. Maybe we can bring some cheese to this whinery? Or, we can roll up into a ball and go work for someone else and let them worry about their tax burden. So were you saying that the state should keep your pfd? I was confused because in your original post, I read your comment ‘And suggest that I give up my dividend?’ to be incredulous dismay of the thought of not having a PFD. I seriously think that as a state, we (the citizens) should be paying for our necessary services – put some skin into the game and quit relying on oil extraction blood money to be our sole sugar daddy (let’s be honest, by resource extraction funding the state, we all know that it’s oil, not fishing or timber that gets the job done). It’s a lot easier to spend other people’s $ than it is to spend your own especially when it’s all ‘for the children’…
        Cheers!
        PS – I did vote for Dunleavy, but I’m not blind to his faults – and running on giving back ‘our’ pfd is one of them…

      • Jack, for some reason the site wouldn’t let me reply to your last post some I’m doing it here. The point of my original post was Craig is asking me to give up my dividend to pay for “my road” but he doesn’t have to give up his dividend to pay for “his road”. The only revenue the state receives comes from resource extraction so “putting some skin into the game” would indicate you’d support an income tax which is something Dunleavy will not stand for. We are doing exactly what Arduin hoped for, arguing about crumbs while the large extraction industries get subsidized. As someone suggested on another site how about giving every Alaskan, name your amount, none of which they can keep but which they can allocate to whatever mix of state programs they choose.

      • Hi Joe, you nailed it with the arguing over crumbs comment. The PFD is a soul buy out from the state. I absolutely love hearing the so called conservatives laud the virtues of the PFD as a not socialist program. Selling their souls cheaply, IMO. Now, if we could just get the state to focus on what’s really important here… which is lining the pockets of friendly interest groups!
        I am against an income tax – because I’m a money grubbing capitalist pig. However, I’m not an idiot who expects oil companies to pay for my state bar tab and then pay me too. I support a limited sales tax system. Exclude food. Don’t want to pay more taxes, don’t buy as much unnecessary crap. Speaking of unnecessary crap, I think that we currently spend too much on it as a state.
        Cheers!

  15. And if 500 Alaskans would sign their whole PFD check over to The Alaska Fish & Wildfire Conservation Fund we could repay John Sturgeon the remainder of his attorney fees for saving Alaska Natives and the state from having the Feds takeover millions of acres of inholding surrounded by National Parks. Or just half hour PFD and it would take 1000 Alaskans.

    • Steve, what a silly comment. My God!!! What do you call MSDNC or CNN? Talk about a steady stream of “bigotry, stupidity, and misinformation”. There you go with your racist views. Come on Steve, you are better than acting like a bigot aren’t you?

      • Bryan,
        Since you are thinking of bigots…how about our “commander in chief” and his attack on 4 freshman democrats in Congress? 3 of which were all born in the USA…
        “It’s important to note that the President’s words yesterday, telling four American Congresswomen of color ‘go back to your own country,’ is hallmark language of white supremacists,” she wrote. “Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans.” (AOC)
        Meanwhile….”Republicans remained largely silent Monday morning about Trump’s tweets targeting the minority lawmakers.” (Wa Post)
        Maybe it was too much Budweiser with Kavanaugh during the confirmation process?

  16. That would be pretty telling as to what Alaskans really think. If the dividend ends up at the much talked about $1600 it would take a little less than 85,000 dividends to restore the UA cuts. It seems like those who have already signed up should do the only honorable thing and put their dividend money where their mouths are. I bet the Pick. Click. Give site is going to crash now.

    • I regularly give away most of my pfd,my way of giving back to the state that has given me so much.
      Unfortunately MOST of the organizations arent listed this yr on the state PFD signup(as of whenever the deadline is).
      So i picked the few that were still there and ended up buying 3 or 5 school funding lotto tics.
      I have no idea if im covered(from unknown PFD amount),or if I’ll be on the hook a few hundy.
      This whole legislative yr starting with the gary kopp move,has been one Big Ginormous Cluster.
      Regardless of which side you lean,peoples futures are at stake without any direction,or recourse.
      Unless of course u get one of those sweet admin spots dished out by the govs office

      • Dave,

        I give away a good portion of the dividend I receive as well, not one dime of it goes to a bloated government system though. The non-profits cherish donations, it turns out they are much better at spending money than government.

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