The whine critic - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, December 9, 2021
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The whine critic

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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.

Along with Alaska dying, the university is going to be “destroyed,” and “the state may never recover,” if an an op-ed in The Guardian is to be believed.

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.

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Latest comments

  • I will have to say may first impression of this post was this racist pig. But after reading the article it has more intellectual thought that most reporters in the state. Thank you for posting this article maybe it is written with lay enough terms that most PHDs in the state will understand the meanings with in this article.

  • Nice whine there, Craig!

  • Great contribution!
    Couldn’t have said it better.

  • More wisdom from Craig Medred and as always so entertaining and well written. Thank you for posting in MustRead! Wow I have been wrong in my constant post of being 2nd in the nation in per capita spending …. I had no idea we were #1 ?. Good grief “We’re #1” is supposed to be something to be proud……. well maybe someone is……?.

  • Yes, this.


    I don’t often agree with Medred, but I’m getting tired of the high pitching whining coming from the general direction of the University. Alaskans are going to stick just fine. The SJWs can use their last PFD for a moving van/air fare. We’ll all be better off for that.

  • Thank you Craig Medred. I have state’s pride. We’re in this together, those of us who did not leave when the oil boom played out. We apparently like each other. I’ve always said “I love Alaskans”. We have strength that comes from driving Alaska’s roads in the dark, on the ice, through the sleet and deep snow. We have strength from dealing with our vulnerability in this vast and dangerous place. I would guess that those of us who stayed have always had employment and made do with the salary we earned, large or small. We were a group of nice people because we need each other. I say “ were”, because suddenly we have a minority population who are stirring up trouble. Do they really have residence here? Winter in Alaska is a great test of strength. Those who leave because this state is broke with added inconvenience of Arctic winter will get out fast enough that the door will not shut on their ass. Thank you Craig for loving this state. This is a tough place to live.


  • We, as a state, and as a people have a tremendous misplaced pride in our go it alone attitude. Most of us rely too much on government, from the state to the federal level. When 1/4 of the employed work for government it is a problem and no wonder that a minor cut to the budget causes so much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • The reason for all those state employees is that every Governor for the last 15 years have invented positions high paying one to help pay off friends. Those positions never got cut. I hope Dunleavy goes thru the staff and cut those that really are not needed. And if he looks at the old charge back system and cuts that we will save even more. One state agency should not be charging another state agency. All that does is drive up a fictional budget. They are all state employees and work for the public why are we double paying that bill.

  • I like his line about the whiners needing to pack up and leave. I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking that way!

  • Soooooo right…..get off your you know what and do your job. That’s what you were elected to do for the great State of ALASKA. YOU MUST PUT AMERICA AND IT’S CITIZENS FIRST. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  • Well put…..Shut up and get to work. That’s THE ALASKA WAY. Thank you. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

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