03 October 2013

Before The Talking Heads Bloviate

about Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend, I should tell you the whole story.

Back in the 1970s, when the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was nearly ready to transmit crude oil from the North Slope to Valdez, our Governor had a thought.

The Alaska constitution says that We the People own the natural resources of the State; we're one of the only (if not the only) owner-state in the country. The oil and natural gas are ours, and the oil companies pay us for every gallon or cubic foot that they remove from the ground.

Those monies go into the Permanent Fund, which is then reinvested in real estate and many other industries.

The interest on the Fund, which is now worth some $46 billion, is split between the State's "rainy day" account and the permanent residents of the State.

This year's dividend is $900; we've seen it much higher, but not much lower. So before your local or national talking heads begin to blather about how "Alaskans get paid to live there" or whatever, you should understand what's actually happening. (And I should point out that one smallish check a year is hardly a living wage.)

But it's our oil, and the State is passing along our share of the profit.

* * * * *

On a personal note, yesterday was the 10th anniversary of our arrival in Alaska. It's a move which has benefited us greatly; we're thriving here, and can't imagine living anywhere else.

Thanks for stopping by, friends; have a great Thursday!


armedlaughing said...

Good for you!
and Happy Anniversary!


Rev. Paul said...

Thank you, Guffaw. :)

drjim said...

Alaska is a beautiful state, but I don't think I have the internal fortitude to live there, although seeing Alaska is definitely on my Bucket list.

Just curious....what's the highest payout the Permanent Fund has ever made, and is it the same amount for all citizens?

Rev. Paul said...

Jim, the largest ever was $2,069 in 2008. That's to every permanent resident (lived here at least two years) who applied to receive it. Families with many children love it.

Noobs & transients aren't eligible.

Chickenmom said...

Wish I could have lived there. Keep posting pics of my favorite place!
Happy Anniversary!

Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, Chickenmom. :)