A GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED RANT
Once Alaska was home to the toughest, most adaptable people on the planet. And then the white folk showed up.
Since then it’s been pretty much all downhill, starting with the barely audible flow of a meandering river that braids into gurgling riffles that become roaring rapids until finally all that water turns into a massive waterfall of whine.
Some residents of the north now think Alaska is going to “die” because Gov. Mike Dunleavy cut about $400 million of the approximately $4.4 billion of state spending the Legislature approved for fiscal year 2020.
That’s a cut of about 10 percent. It’s a big cut, a painful cut, and a particularly difficult cut for the University of Alaska which took a $135 million hit – by far the biggest loss suffered by any state entity.
Of course, it’s never going to recover. How could it when it’s dead?
Now here’s some free advice if you believe this nonsense: Leave.
Leave now. Abandon the rotting carcass of Alaska while you can. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. The state has grown a surplus of whiners and wimps.
Go. You won’t be missed in the least.
Meanwhile, if you decide you’re going to stay, shut up and get to work.
This is what Alaskans used to do. This is what was called “the Alaska spirit.”
If you think the cuts are going to hamstring state government, as some do, go find yourself a good candidate to run against Dunleavy in the next election and start organizing a base of support to get her or him elected.
Some free advice on that, though.
Broad-based support is what wins elections, and you don’t build it by calling everyone who disagrees with you in the least dirty names.
There are likely to be a fair-sized number of Alaskans living in the zone between “Dunleavy went too far” and the “Legislature didn’t go far enough.”
The state led the nation in per capita state and local government spending last year at $20,688 per person, according to USA Today. That’s a pretty amazing figure considering the state per capita income is only $35,065, according to the U.S. Census.
Let’s all give thanks that a significant amount of state spending comes in the form of shared federal revenues.
Then let’s consider why we spend so much – about twice what the liberal state of Minnesota spends – and no, it’s not those “shipping costs” because of the state’s remoteness.
The reason is that we have the second most public-sector jobs in the nation. Only Wyoming – another state that got wealthy off hydrocarbon resource wealth and grew government without much thought to costs – has more, and it’s not far ahead.
Almost a quarter of the workers in Wyoming – 24.9 percent – hold government jobs. Alaska is at 24.6 percent. California, for comparison sake, is at 15.2.
As the fifth largest economy in the world, California is lucky to boast a lot of private sector jobs. Alaska has a high percentage of public-sector jobs in part because there hasn’t been much business growth despite relatively low taxes on businesses and workers.
Read the rest of this column at: https://craigmedred.news/2019/07/12/whineland/