The Reason Alaska Still Doesn’t Have a Fiscal Plan

Alaskans have long been aware that oil production would not always pay the bills. Nearly every political text from the 80s and 90s includes some reference to a “long-term fiscal plan” required to offset the eventual decline in oil revenues. Record high oil prices masked the problem from 2006 to 2014. But, when oil prices[…]

How to Turn Alaska Blue

For decades, political pundits have reliably put Alaska’s three electoral votes in the Republican count well before our polls even open. Yet, Alaska has elected several Democratic candidates over the years. The Democratic Party has controlled (with some help) at least one chamber of the state legislature for the last decade. We’ve elected a few[…]

A Quick Look at the Different Proposed Amendments to Alaska’s Permanent Fund

As Alaska continues to work through falling oil revenues, changes to its Permanent Fund appear inevitable. There are currently six resolutions up for debate that would adjust the way the Permanent Fund functions. This article takes a high-level look at the differences and similarities between those proposals. The Current Language Before we look at what[…]

The Death of the Permanent Fund Dividend

Alaska is blessed with natural beauty and natural resources. In many ways, our State is the envy of governments around the world. People from outside spend thousands of dollars to enjoy what we see every day. Meanwhile, we pay no income or sales tax, plus receive a dividend check each year. Unfortunately, that last sentence[…]

The 3 Opposing Views of the PFD

The legislature is currently debating the future of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). The operating budget has passed, without a PFD. A separate appropriation bill for the PFD has failed on the Senate floor. The House minority tried to stuff the PFD into the capital budget, but didn’t have the votes. And now, a “PFD[…]

3 Takeaways from Analyzing the PFD

One of the downsides of working alone, is the inability to bounce ideas off others. There is a lot of information gained from seeing brows furrow, lips curl, and eyes glaze over as you speak. Getting challenged to clarify a point or getting another perspective is tremendously valuable. For that reason, I am very grateful[…]

How Important is the PFD to Alaska’s Economy?

In about a week, a total of $1 billion will be deposited into bank accounts across Alaska. Over 600,000 Alaskans will receive $1,600 each to spend however they choose. You will see just about every business in Alaska competing to capture a share of that bump in income. Clearly, the PFD has a positive impact[…]

Alaska’s PFD – Handout or Income?

  Technically, the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) is a distributed share of the earnings generated by the Permanent Fund. But the dividend has been called a lot of things lately. Some people call it compensation for the sale of resources owned by Alaskans. Some people think of it as a government entitlement program.  Some[…]