Jon Faulkner: Why you should fight for your Permanent Fund dividend



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.


    • Shall means “may” only under certain circumstances, ie., followed by a negative, shall not, when it can then mean “may”. Shall is otherwise an imperative command, a requirement to act, not an equivocal either/or. This parsing of terms is really annoying, a favorite of the leftist mentality used to twist any statement to their advantage. We lose when we fail to force the issue and make them take it back. As others have said, we must be constantly vigilant and fight the unflagging assault on our rights.

  1. I voted for Republicans for 20 years. Not doing it anymore, at least for the RINOs like our current governor. It seems that the moment Republicans are elected to office, they turn into PFD stealing Democrats

    • Dunleavy talks tough on giving the citizens their rightful share; however if the legislature passed the bill he would probably find a reason to veto. Why you ask? Because Dunleavy is a spineless wimp.

    • You think Reinbold or Eastman would have had more success than this guy? Get real. Your beef is with the GOP, and the chamber crowd, all the folks like Stutes, Von Imhoff, et al, but also the stealth RINOs like Revak, Rasmussen, etc. These people have actively worked against the gov from day one, stabbing him in the back while raising money and votes pretending to support his agenda, and every year he calls them back time and time again to hold them to account and get a full PFD, and every year they stab him (and us) in the back, and every year you guys blame the one guy that’s even trying to get a full PFD. You put up a fringe candidate you’ll lose, but even if you won you’d lose because then you would have even the handful of honest GOP polls turn against you. Your efforts would be better spent getting a legislature that you can trust rather than complaining about one guy, who can’t do much of anything on the PFD without support in the legislature but would sign a full PFD tomorrow and one that funded the back payments they all stole, if you had a legislature honest and courageous enough to send him such a bill.

      • Well said, Lawrence. And well said Jon Faulkner. The problem seems to lie in the false dichotomy that the legislature sets up – steal the PFD or pass a broad-based tax. They forget that the real problem is the trickle of oil flowing down the pipeline that could be increased and that during the past when the oil was flowing well they grew the government too much. Fill the pipe!

      • Jon, it isn’t just about the Gov’He want to give more pfd. It is the swamp in congress including JCT from Sitka and Steadman from ketchican. These are both swamp creatures and there many more. To many gov workers and teachers and leaches out number the Alaskan people The unions r to blame .it is not the gov it is the policits and a socialist govt.

    • Jon, your comment reminds me of the old criticism of (most) Republicans: “They campaign like libertarians and then govern like Democrats.”
      I think that this is true more now than ever.

  2. The PFD is a “stock” dividend from oil stocks to help offset the faux high cost of living here. PERIOD.
    Just like the military here get a stipend for “overseas” service.

    • Dot, I think you are mistaken as to just how much it does cost to live here. Even more so about the nature and purpose of the PFD. You’re entitled to your opinion of course, but I strongly disagree.

  3. The legislature is incompetent and totally corrupt. They act outside the law, yet they are the lawmakers.
    There are statutory formulas for the PFD. If they want to change, they need to change the statutes. But they are too screwed up and risk adverse.
    Our state does not belong to state agencies. Yet they intrude into every aspect of life. It needs be downsized by at least 50%. What we are lacking is a competent and vibrant private sector.

  4. Well said, Jon, and thank you.

    We are watching an attempt to take the benefit of oil specifically set aside for every Alaskan and transfer it to state government. The people, 643,000 PFD recipients across the state, will be losrs while 15,000 State employees, whose jobs already come with health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, paid vacations/holidays, sick leave and retirement packages will gain at minimum job security and the many benefits that go with it. This is not equitable and it is not what our founders intended.

  5. The problem is sudden onset amnesia when in office and porking out the state become a priority usually under the very well used guise of “doing whats right”.

  6. We have been. It’s the GOP who hasn’t.
    To fight the entire government of Alaska, executive/legislative/judicial, would require a full blown revolution.

    You willing to go that far?

    • Folks read the law! its the law and it is either a law or it isn’t! just because there is no honorable judges or lawers does’t change the LAW! It is all about corruption and they need to be arrested and brought justice PERIOD! The PFD is for all alaskan people! the State had theirs and have spent it and that is their problem. The congress is stealing the people of Alaska money! someone CALL THE COPS!

  7. This is not true: “We own a direct share of Alaska’s resources.”
    If it was, then you could buy mine or sell yours, it would be part of your estate when you die and it would remain yours if you become a resident somewhere other than Alaska.
    From a practical standpoint, the PFD has consumed most of the political discourse such that everything else receives insufficient attention. The PFD is a goofy idea, hatched by slick politicians. Way past time for it to go. Of course, easy for me to say…I’m a Republican.

    • Good intelligent comment ERAK! I guess we are the black sheep in the Republican flock. As you so succinctly note: there are many false memes spun concerning the “right to a share of the oil wealth”. Yes it is true. But they forget that they are also responsible for their share of the State’s bills. If they don’t like paying the bills they need to elect legislators that think like that too.

  8. Although I agree with him, honestly what can the average Alaskan do about any of this? These thieves are going to lie cheat and steal to get what they want. Our dividend. Regardless of what we oppose or try to stop … How do we fight for it??

    • Voting has become a joke thanks to Dominion and BM2. Even our “conservative” governor consistently fails on the PFD. You know what’s next

  9. Jon, I believe the people are ready to fight for our rightful PFD. However, as with any movement, leaders are needed! Where are the leaders? I don’t understand what we are waiting for. Certainly, the legislature (or at least the majority of them) are not on the peoples’ side!! Im an old time Alaskan and will follow!! Come on Alaska, let’s take back our rights!

    • The moment any Republican steps into Juneau, they become part of the PFD stealing “caucus with democrats” leftist swamp. Only David Eastman and Lora Reinbold seem to be immune

  10. What’s the “fight” look like, Jon? What’s: “say ‘no’ to the unending greed of those in power.”? Those in power pass a law and a tax against your PFD, you’ll say, “no”?
    You have a fight to make your enemy do something, so you better know going in what you want him to do, what you’ll sacrifice to make him do it.
    PFD supporters win, opponents lose, no white flags, no prisoners, Jon?
    Hell of a fight card!
    60 legislators, more than 7 times that number of special interests (which we know of), the half-billion dollar Alaska Municipal League, the judicial third of state government owned and operated by the Alaska Bar Association, an easily corruptible state election system.
    Other corner: DUI’s… Deplorable Unrepresented Individuals whose lives and livelihoods the above-mentioned deliberately wrecked in the name of China flu.
    No rules, last one standing wins, Jon?

  11. Simple fix- don’t pay them for special sessions. Don’t allow them to give themselves pay raises. Set term limits. Any state project larger that a certain amount needs to be voted on by the residents of Alaska. Reduce their per diem rate. No lobbyist support or contributions. Look…. I saved the state millions of dollars and didn’t raid the PFD.

  12. I think your right, Jon. The original PFD formula should be maintained, and if possible enshrined in the State Constitution. I would bet that all of the people who claim they want to reduce or do away with the dividend, nevertheless still file for a PFD check each and every year. Why don’t they just not file and leave more money for the State if that’s what they really want.

  13. This is just one of the weird claims in Jon’s rant, “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”.

    Nowhere in any government document does it state that the PFD is a “right”. “We have a right to set aside revenue so it is beyond the reach of politicians!”. That too is not a right. Its an opinion. This is fluff.

    ASTONISHING that the author would use the words “social justice” and “common resources”! These are the words of socialism that is so despised among the Trump-supporting, freedom-loving, anti-vax so forth commenters here. The PFD is pure socialism. Could not be a clearer example.

    So weird to hear that from a guy who also warns against, “our rights as free people — rights deemed to be sovereign and beyond the reach of government — are disappearing”, “But where is the tipping point where you become a slave? What amount of “taking” is enough? Who stops the powerful?”

    This guy Faulkner is filthy rich in the currency you all trade – hypocrisy.

    • So, should we have the mineral rights to whatever is on our property, like other states, or are you suggesting that corporations and government get it all? Laissez-faire libertarianism is BS peddled by elitists who contribute nothing but misery to the world. Socialism is morally reprehensible, so is exploitation. They can pay the dividend funds they owe, by law, then (and only then), if they want to give mineral rights back to the citizens, I’ll concede future dividends.

  14. I readily agree with everything Mr. Faulkner says here, and he says it very well. However, if we were to have an income tax and still had the PFD then the PFD would become income redistribution, which is indeed welfare. That would be all the more true if any part of the PF or its earnings were used to support government. We need to reduce annual state spending; right now a family of four Alaskans represents over $65,000 in state spending, and no one can possibly believe that is sustainable!

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