By JON FAULKNER
We have reached a tipping point where our rights as free people — rights deemed to be sovereign and beyond the reach of government — are disappearing. How does a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” lose sight of what the people deeply desire?
Do you have a right to live free of excessive government debt? Surely you do, for if you didn’t, government could render you a slave — take everything that is yours and force you to pay off the debts of others. Government could print money that renders your savings worthless.
You say, “We are free so this can’t happen.”
But where is the tipping point where you become a slave? What amount of “taking” is enough? Who stops the powerful? Will any court ever acknowledge an “inherent right” of an individual over the rights of government?
Did you know Alaska’s founders anticipated these questions and gave us the power to resist?
Did you know Article I of Alaska’s Constitution states that you have an inherent right that includes “the enjoyment of the rewards of your own industry”? It’s true!
But unless we assert our rights, courts will continue to rule that government can take as much of our income as they want and re-distribute it as they see fit because. Socialists argue that you receive your just reward in the form of government benefits like roads and health care. This is not freedom!
The Permanent Fund dividend is the people’s right, and our chance to resist — to say “no” to the unending greed of those in power. We own a direct share of Alaska’s resources. We have a right to set aside revenue so it is beyond the reach of politicians! Why do we allow politicians to steal this right?
The people deserve 12.5% of natural resource income which is the minimum royalty paid to all landowners. That’s a fact. The historic formula that our current politicians deprive you of equates to 12.5% of resource revenue (50% of the 25% split mandated by statute).
We, the people, own this royalty share. And, we know how to spend it more wisely on our family’s needs than government. We know how politicians love to spend our money to win votes and to rack up debt that chokes freedom and bankrupts our future. The people have recourse — to withhold money from politicians. This is essential to protecting our future.
The PFD is not welfare and not a benefit. It is a right because it rests on the fundamental principles of freedom and equality. It promotes social justice since it distributes a portion of common resources to residents to spend as they choose without burdening future generations
The PFD promotes equality because every Alaskan receives the same amount regardless of who is in power or how “deserving” a person is deemed to be. The PFD’s historic formula is financially sustainable because if left untouched, the Permanent Fund will generate a dividend forever with no new injection of cash from taxpayers.
Homer businesses man Jon Faulkner is a lifelong Alaskan, graduate of Harvard, husband, father of five, and pilot.