Permanent Fund dividend of $3,284 hits checkbooks Tuesday, just the right time for Western Alaska

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The storm in Western Alaska will bring in an enormous relief and recovery effort from the likes of FEMA, the Red Cross, and other disaster organizations. But what families in Western Alaska need right now is cash.

Luckily, there’s some of that coming their way, thanks to the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, which will be deposited in bank accounts starting Tuesday.

When Gov. Mike Dunleavy set Sept. 20 as the date for the release of the dividend, little did he know that families in Western Alaska would be in dire straits after a massive storm hammered the west coast of the state, flooding communities, taking out the power, and making life miserable.

That $3,284 for every eligible resident will allow people a bit of breathing room as they make decisions about how to function in the short-term in places like Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay, Golovin, Newtok and Nome, which are the hardest hit. The amount is the largest dividend in the program’s 41-year history.

The economically insulated in urban Alaska have criticized the dividend amount as being too large this year, because they say that people in rural Alaska drink away their dividends; the implication is that brown-skinned people from villages cannot make good decisions with money. This year’s dividend is a combination of a negotiated amount for the dividend, and an extra amount to help with high fuel costs in Alaska.

Meanwhile, about 20 Red Cross personnel from around the country are flying out to the Western Alaska communities on Monday, and FEMA is already on site in Bethel and Nome with command centers in advance of an expected federal disaster declaration, which will allow a greater mobilization of services and funds.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is expected in Bethel this afternoon after surveying some of the damage in Western Alaska. National Guardsmen are also being deployed to help remove debris and provide other assistance.

11 COMMENTS

      • Uh oh, Reggie, you just went dancing on the ‘third rail’ of Alaskan politics!
        .
        And good for you! Dance away!
        It’s about time that the economic and financial black hole that is Bush Alaska is labeled for what it really is: a rural welfare ghetto.

    • No PFD and an income tax on top to make sure money keeps flowing to their supporters, while impoverishing the middle class. You know – can’t have local citizens supporting unfriendly political causes with their pocketbooks.

  1. “…….The economically insulated in urban Alaska have criticized the dividend amount as being too large this year, because they say that people in rural Alaska drink away their dividends; the implication is that brown-skinned people from villages cannot make good decisions with money……..”
    I don’t think that rural Alaskans waste the money any more than urban Alaskans do. It’s wasted pretty evenly throughout the state. It’s a pretty universal trend that when you give stuff away for free, it will be wasted at a higher rate.

    • At least it is “wasted” on the masses, and not just keeping it in the congressional pocketbooks, where only the select few will squander in on their pet projects and their “friends” of said projects.

  2. “The economically insulated in urban Alaska have criticized the dividend amount as being too large this year, because they say that people in rural Alaska drink away their dividends…”

    Source?

  3. Can’t you just feel the “greed and entitlement” of the people who had their communities devastated?

    Thank God the Legislature has spent the last 6 years saving them from themselves.

  4. Will creditors never cease? Especially when one is hard core unemployable due to race or possibly being deplorable or something in pristine AK? Am I missing something?

  5. Well yes the PFD hit today. But for only those who filed online and did direct deposit. Everyone else has to wait until October. I say bull in false advertising. We did paper and direct deposit. So along with a lot of others we are being punished into waiting as we chose paper applications.

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