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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    ........I've never understood why so many people in the state seem to have a bullseye on the oil industry as it's the industry that runs the state, and everyone benefits when the industry is healthy.
    Many people have been conditioned through environmental propaganda to hate the industry even though it has been the goose that has laid a nest full
    of golden eggs for this state over the past 40 years.

    I actually have a couple of other reasons why I like the current economic climate and the potential collapse of the industry in Alaska. First, a collapse of prices means cheaper energy for me as a consumer. True, those savings won't equal the bonanza of a permanent fund dividend or meet the costs of new taxes, but it helps. More importantly, I clearly remember paying the Alaska School Tax and Alaska state income tax before oil. It wasn't all that bad, in retrospect, especially considering the fact that our population was half what it is today. Every time some moron tells me that they'll leave if the state takes the PFD away or levies taxes, I pray that the state will take away the PFD and levy taxes.

    In fact, I repeatedly lobby for precisely that on a regular basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTaylor View Post
    Many people have been conditioned through environmental propaganda to hate the industry even though it has been the goose that has laid a nest full
    of golden eggs for this state over the past 40 years.
    Or it's the other way around. Alaskan oil has provided the oil industry with a nest full of golden eggs. Remember, that oil belongs to the people of the State of Alaska (on State land), and to the people of the United States (on Federal land). That oil does NOT belong to the oil industry. They buy the rights to take it, pass along nickels and dimes (comparatively) to the Alaska PFD, and claim they're being generous. Perhaps they are, compared to how they act in the rest of the world. But let's acknowledge that if the State decided to extract it's own oil from it's own land, the Alaska PFD would be ALOT higher than it is now. Perhaps by several orders of magnitude.

    But that's what happens in a socialist economy. That is, the natural resources of the State are extracted for the benefit of the people of the State, not for the benefit of multi-national corporations and their stockholders. Somehow, alot of folks believe socialism is wrong. I'm not one of them.

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    Socialism isn't "wrong". It just results in economic and political disaster.

    The oil era in Alaska has resulted in a much greater socialist state than the gold rush did. This socialist economic era is beginning its conclusion. It won't be as horrid as the Venezuelan disaster for a number of reasons, but it will be painful nonetheless. For political reasons as well as economic (like the end of the gold rush), more oil (gold) will not be forthcoming. The inevitable economic ratchet effect will result in greater and greater political struggle. Unlike Venezuela, people here can leave. And they will.

    When the easy money dries up in Alaska, the economic parasites leave. As long as Alaska remains an American frontier, it
    be so. I'm looking forward to fewer leaches in the future.

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    The economic pain from socialism is no different than the economic pain from capitalism. If you doubt that, just ask the auto workers from Michigan, or the steel workers from Pittsburgh, or the textile workers from around New England, the aluminum workers in the Pacific Northwest, or the manufacturing workers from just about every State in our country.

    I’m not saying socialism is great way to organize an economic system. I’m just saying there are advantages to socialism. It ain’t all bad. The downsides to socialism are clearly evident in places like Venezuela, as you correctly point out. But the social upheaval in Venezuela gets on the front page because of the very fast downturn in their economy. The long, slow degradation of the working class in Middle American doesn’t get the same attention, but the effects are no less devastating.

    The discontent amongst the working class gave rise to the political situation we see in Washington DC. Which brings us back to the title of this thread……..

  5. #65
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    QUOTE....". But let's acknowledge that if the State decided to extract it's own oil from it's own land, the Alaska PFD would be ALOT higher than it is now. Perhaps by several orders of magnitude. " UNQUOTE

    That statement is so laughable it isn't even funny! Our govt trying to run a business successfully. Ha, ya right! Like our postal service, or our vet health care system, our OUR health care system. Need I go on?
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!
    WWG1WGA! QANON

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    You should probably pick three examples that support your claim. The postal service ran very successfully for over 150 years. Profitably even, its only been in the last 20 or so that it has struggled. And that is by the choice of Congress to not compete with private enterprise and the rise of electronic communications. Our Vet healthcare system is grosly underfunded. Its not that its being poorly managed per se, although I'm sure that there is room for improvement. The biggest problem is that we as a people love to thank a vet one day a year in September, however the other 364 days we would rather buy a new weapons system. And lastly, OUR healthcare system is not government run or provided. It is a privately run system driven by greed, not need. We would be far better of on the whole if we did have a government managed basic health system. Like every other developed nation I can think of.

    While I understand your argument and even partially agree, I just think that the support for the argument should be relevent. A better argument for government mismangement of programs could be made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    The economic pain from socialism is no different than the economic pain from capitalism..........But the social upheaval in Venezuela gets on the front page because of the very fast downturn in their economy. The long, slow degradation of the working class in Middle American doesn’t get the same attention, but the effects are no less devastating.…..
    I agree that economic pain to individuals feels the same regardless of how it originated and who is blamed, and I also point out that the economic cycle is inevitable regardless of economic model, especially with regard to commodities like oil, but I also again posit that an economic collapse in a socialist state is universally more difficult to deal with than one in a capitalist society. Comparing the current situation in both Alaska and Venezuela with the Great Depression in the United States as analyzed by Robert McElvaine (citation below) in his outstanding work shows those differences very well. Another more current day example would be Norway, a nation remarkably similar to Alaska in many ways in terms of resources, climate, economy, and geography, but so different in government, social attitudes, and ethnic makeup.

    I also agree with cod regarding the manner of resource extraction. A state run industry, like that of Venezuela, Mexico, Nigeria, Iran, etc, would be a recipe for the same types of disasters such regimes are famous for.

    https://www.amazon.com/Great-Depression-America-1929-1941/dp/0812923278

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    The 40% of us slobs who work need to be prepared to hire an accountant, if any of the House tax proposals get through. Not just payroll taxes but taxes on unearned income (investments, mutual funds, etc), gas taxes and tax whatever moves. If you are unemployed, retired (and poor, see my first sentence), in jail, urban outdoorsman, live someplace with no work, real young or real old, you get a cookie and are off the hook. Hope there's enough of us to pay the bills for the rest of you. Back at school I seem to remember my Econ 101 professor say raising income taxes in a recession wasn't too smart, but looking at the Legislature in Juneau explains everything.
    Right now the state does not seem to be a good place to risk capital, which explains why the Caleus project is on hold.
    From a purely selfish prospective I can understand wanting an economic collapse in our state, as long as you have yours. How do you explain this to your kids?
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mkay View Post
    ........From a purely selfish prospective I can understand wanting an economic collapse in our state, as long as you have yours. How do you explain this to your kids?
    1) I have zero power over the actions of the Legislature, governor, or the collective actions of the masses, so my hope that 20% to 30% of them go away is prudent.

    2) The economic cycle can no more be eliminated than the laws of physics, so my hope that 20% to 30% of the masses leave during the next downturn is still prudent.

    3) The majority of those who leave will be precisely those who we all want gone; freeloaders, shysters, fast-buck artists, etc who will flee to the next socialist mecca in another part of Amerika........likely Kalifornia, which looks like the next Venezuela.

    4) My family, including my children, have already weathered multiple Alaskan economic depressions. This is nothing new for us. It's just going to be bigger and noisier than those of the past. And they are not young kids yet to seek opportunity. They are middle aged adults already seasoned in the workforce with years of experience, contacts, etc.

    5) We take care of each other. We're going to be quite fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KantishnaCabin View Post
    You should probably pick three examples that support your claim. The postal service ran very successfully for over 150 years. Profitably even, its only been in the last 20 or so that it has struggled. And that is by the choice of Congress to not compete with private enterprise and the rise of electronic communications.......
    The choice of Congress not to compete with private enterprise with delivery is the perfect example of the point. The only area where the USPS has a stronghold is in the unprofitable (or socialist) area of delivery, ie, where they deliver first class mail for $0.49 to Sleetmute, which postal customers in Boston subsidize when they pay the same $0.49 to deliver a check to the local cable tv company. And as electronic bill paying takes over, the USPS will desperately try to stiff Sleetmute, and Congress will be forced to appropriate socialist delivery monies.

    ........Our Vet healthcare system is grosly underfunded. Its not that its being poorly managed per se, although I'm sure that there is room for improvement. The biggest problem is that we as a people love to thank a vet one day a year in September, however the other 364 days we would rather buy a new weapons system.......
    Better weapons systems mean fewer veterans as cannon fodder, which reduces the number of veterans burdening the veterans health system. I'm a veteran, and I don't qualify for VA health benefits for two reasons: First, I didn't hurt my knee playing tennis while on duty (yes, I know someone who did), and secondly, if I did hurt myself on duty, I'd lie to stay out of the system. The very last thing on Earth that I want is to be shackled to a social health system. I learned that early on, and the lesson sunk in deep.

    .........And lastly, OUR healthcare system is not government run or provided. It is a privately run system driven by greed, not need. We would be far better of on the whole if we did have a government managed basic health system. Like every other developed nation I can think of.......
    Some nations have a fairly well run system, and others do not. I'm sure we're going to end up there. In fact, since Medicare is mandatory at age 65, I'm there, even though I much prefer my private health insurance. But we'll all be there soon (if big government doesn't collapse or radically change beforehand, which is also an inevitable reality........see the citation below), and it will eventually be to our detriment as a society.

    The good old days are gone, and that truth will eventually consume every facet of life.

    https://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Soci...+jared+diamond

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTaylor View Post
    ........Another more current day example would be Norway, a nation remarkably similar to Alaska in many ways in terms of resources, climate, economy, and geography, but so different in government, social attitudes, and ethnic makeup........
    I felt it important to expand on this reference. I refer to this 2010 economic brief:

    http://www.economywatch.com/world-in...y-oil-gas.html

    ........A latest update on Norway oil and gas industry reveals that more than $286 billion has been kept aside by Norway in a fund invested abroad to evade overheating of country's economy.........


    Alaska created its own Permanent Fund for completely different reasons, it is quite a bit smaller than Norway's investment fund, Alaskan oil wealth has way, way, way overheated our economy, many in Alaska didn't think that overheated situation was hot enough, many want it continued (even though that is quite impossible), and reversing that situation here is proving to be politically impossible.

    In fact, legislators are repeatedly told by economists that the reduction or elimination of the Permanent Fund Dividend will do great damage to "the economy" even though it may save our state budget. My own legislator repeatedly tells me this. I point out the truth, and she doesn't want to go there. I don't blame her: it's going to be painful. But the reality is that we're going there regardless of what she thinks they might do as a legislative body.

    The PFD will prove to be a disaster every bit as ill conceived as Hugo Chavez's free refrigerators..........maybe worse. It has created a huge false economy in Alaska, it cannot be sustained, and it will fall like a giant house of cards.

    A better way would have been to put more money into our infrastructure, particularly our roads. An example would be the Glenn Highway between Milepost 66 and Milepost 89. This section of the Glenn is an embarrassment. It borders on political crime that the main highway from the population center of Alaska to the rest of North America is in such condition. There are no shoulders whatsoever on this 25 mile section of highway, and it has been virtually untouched since its original construction some 70 years ago.

    Had we paid to have this section upgraded/re-routed, the workers would have still distributed that money into our economy like PFD money, but we would have gotten something for it instead of an unsustainable entitlement.

    The PFD is socialist insanity of the highest order.

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    Yep, the Glenn Highway turns into a fairly dangerous stretch till it breaks out past Lion's Head.
    My main grievance against the PFD is that there were no provisions to encourage savings and investment versus the annual October Crack High it induced. One of our big problems in this country is lack of savings. The PFD should have been paid out as a form of IRA account, not a cash disbursement.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Imagine how much PFD money has been spent on dope and alcohol, or that has been carried to and spent in places like Hawaii, Washington, and California. What an incredible waste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KantishnaCabin View Post
    You should probably pick three examples that support your claim. The postal service ran very successfully for over 150 years. Profitably even, its only been in the last 20 or so that it has struggled. And that is by the choice of Congress to not compete with private enterprise and the rise of electronic communications. Our Vet healthcare system is grosly underfunded. Its not that its being poorly managed per se, although I'm sure that there is room for improvement. The biggest problem is that we as a people love to thank a vet one day a year in September, however the other 364 days we would rather buy a new weapons system. And lastly, OUR healthcare system is not government run or provided. It is a privately run system driven by greed, not need. We would be far better of on the whole if we did have a government managed basic health system. Like every other developed nation I can think of.

    While I understand your argument and even partially agree, I just think that the support for the argument should be relevent. A better argument for government mismangement of programs could be made.
    Not sure of your position. Sounds like you're saying.... "it is someone else's fault that these 3 areas mentioned are failing". And, duh, if only they could squander a few billion more of our tax dollars from working Americans, THEN, they could maybe run them right! .....(suckerrrrr!) Good grief. 19 trillion plus in debt, still growing, and STILL some people don't figure out the obvious.
    The point is, they didn't run them successfully (regardless of the reasons) and they were initiatives of the govt bureaucracy.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Or it's the other way around. Alaskan oil has provided the oil industry with a nest full of golden eggs. Remember, that oil belongs to the people of the State of Alaska (on State land), and to the people of the United States (on Federal land). That oil does NOT belong to the oil industry. They buy the rights to take it, pass along nickels and dimes (comparatively) to the Alaska PFD, and claim they're being generous. Perhaps they are, compared to how they act in the rest of the world. But let's acknowledge that if the State decided to extract it's own oil from it's own land, the Alaska PFD would be ALOT higher than it is now. Perhaps by several orders of magnitude.

    But that's what happens in a socialist economy. That is, the natural resources of the State are extracted for the benefit of the people of the State, not for the benefit of multi-national corporations and their stockholders. Somehow, alot of folks believe socialism is wrong. I'm not one of them.
    Thanks for the laugh. If you were to look at the numbers you'd see that the oil companies have been the ones making the nickles and dimes. Their profit is what is left after paying their employees, after they pay operating expenses and after they pay taxes. The state always takes their share. The PFD would be much larger if the state wasn't subsidizing people to live in parts of the state that have no economic reason to exist, and no tax base to pay for schooling, police, water, septic, electricity, etc., as well as the various state programs that subsidize people who won't rather than can't work.

    Even though oil companies are inefficient and have quite a bit of overhead that adds to the price of projects, that's nothing compared to the costs when a government runs a business.

    In the past couple years thousands of jobs have been lost in the oil industry in Alaska, an economic reality of low oil prices. In that same time period where the states income from tax royalties has tanked, there have been no real job losses for state workers, for socialistic reasons. If we had a state run oil company one would reasonably believe for political reasons the state would not cut jobs in a down oil market and those would be facing additional budget shortfall.

    The smart thing for a government to do is higher experts who know how to efficiently produce oil, let them do their job as they know how, and create a stable tax structure so that they can make prudent investments to develop the fields and bring oil to market. There is nothing wrong with that company making a profit, and if they figure out how to run more efficiently, good for them, they earned it.

    Socialism is great for those who aren't willing to continually improve themselves to gain skills that are in demand and be well compensated for those skills. On the flip side it punishes those who seek out those skills and are compensated for those skills by taking the fruits of their labor and distributing to those who feel entitled to receive unearned rewards.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Not sure of your position. Sounds like you're saying.... "it is someone else's fault that these 3 areas mentioned are failing". And, duh, if only they could squander a few billion more of our tax dollars from working Americans, THEN, they could maybe run them right! .....(suckerrrrr!) Good grief. 19 trillion plus in debt, still growing, and STILL some people don't figure out the obvious.
    The point is, they didn't run them successfully (regardless of the reasons) and they were initiatives of the govt bureaucracy.
    The premis was that the three programs were used as an argument that government involved in business is always a failure. Point in fact, the USPS has been extremely successful in its stated government mission. And has been for close to 200 years. It's current problems are not due to a poorly managed system, rather they are due to a changing marketplace and an unwillingness by Congress to compete directly with private enterprise. (A position I agree with, fed-ex and brown do a fine job there.) However, there is and always will be a need for traditional mail service.

    The VA and healthcare system are just completely not supportive of the argument at all. They are irrelivant to the discussion. The VA needs more funding not less. We should keep our promises to our veterens, period. If that means masive cuts to defense spending, then so be it. And the failing American healthcare system is a privatly operated system and not a government program at all. If your argument is that Medicare/Medicaid is a failing program then that is what you should say. Although, they are expensive programs, I doubt you could make the argument that they are failing or bad. Try and take away medicaid from the elderly and see what happens.

    If you are angry with how expensive government is then stop electing the big spenders. Each side of the isle has them, our own Reps in congress
    are responsible with massively contributing to that burden. The problem with that is, every American has his/her own pet project and expectation. Personally I would like to see a massive reduction of the military budget, 60-70% reduction. And a single payer healthcare system. Do I have all the answers? No, just opinions.

    Democracy by deffinition is an imperfect system, its designed for compromise. When working properly nobody will get exactly what they want and there will always be the dissatisfied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KantishnaCabin View Post
    ...... And the failing American healthcare system is a privatly operated system and not a government program at all........
    I argue that American medicine is the best in the history of mankind. I clearly remember medical treatment in the 1950's and 1960's, and I'm exceedingly relieved that I'm growing old today. Within my lifetime, under American leadership, the scourge of mankind (smallpox) was eradicated from the face of the Earth. Think about that for a moment. Add to that thought that, the very year after smallpox was officially announced as gone (a feat never before accomplished), polio was officially eradicated from the United States.

    Let's talk about tuberculosis in Alaska. It used to wipe out entire villages in a single winter season as recently as the 1970's. Now? It's still out there and a potential threat, but it's pretty much just a bad historical memory.

    ........Personally I would like to see a massive reduction of the military budget, 60-70% reduction.........
    The incredible technological advances of the past half century, including those of medicine, are directly attributable to spin-off technologies originating from massive military spending starting with the Space Race of the 1960's. Ronald Reagan understood that and, despite the opposition from the REAL problem with the United States (cultural and ideological warfare), created yet another technological leap forward with Star Wars. That move ended the Cold War and led to the amazing computer/phone in my hand that I'm typing on right now.

    Our problem isn't a failing medical system. Our problems are ideological propaganda, cultural and political warfare, and unreasonable demands.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTaylor View Post
    I argue that American medicine is the best in the history of mankind. I clearly remember medical treatment in the 1950's and 1960's, and I'm exceedingly relieved that I'm growing old today. Within my lifetime, under American leadership, the scourge of mankind (smallpox) was eradicated from the face of the Earth. Think about that for a moment. Add to that thought that, the very year after smallpox was officially announced as gone (a feat never before accomplished), polio was officially eradicated from the United States.

    Let's talk about tuberculosis in Alaska. It used to wipe out entire villages in a single winter season as recently as the 1970's. Now? It's still out there and a potential threat, but it's pretty much just a bad historical memory.



    The incredible technological advances of the past half century, including those of medicine, are directly attributable to spin-off technologies originating from massive military spending starting with the Space Race of the 1960's. Ronald Reagan understood that and, despite the opposition from the REAL problem with the United States (cultural and ideological warfare), created yet another technological leap forward with Star Wars. That move ended the Cold War and led to the amazing computer/phone in my hand that I'm typing on right now.

    Our problem isn't a failing medical system. Our problems are ideological propaganda, cultural and political warfare, and unreasonable demands.
    WOW, are you now arguing FOR the massive government spending that was behind the research in the smallpox, polio, mumps.... etc. Those were all government funded research programs run by the department of health. And just a second ago you were arguing that the massive government debt was going to sink the country. The benevolent Mr. Reagan piled on 2 trillion to our national debt you so elequently said was going to implode our country.

    Please don't get me wrong, I really do understand your premis. But, the debts have to be paid, that is our burden. We spent it already and people hate to loose their favorite program. Whether it be healthcare or defense.

    Sorry, I hate when I get sucked off into the weeds in a hopeless political rant on a non political forum. I'll stop now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KantishnaCabin View Post
    WOW, are you now arguing FOR the massive government spending that was behind the research in the smallpox, polio, mumps.... etc. Those were all government funded research programs run by the department of health......
    With the result of the eradication of killer diseases? You bet I am. I love success. It's wasteful entitlements we don't need.

    ........And just a second ago you were arguing that the massive government debt was going to sink the country......
    They will, especially entitlement spending. And the eradication of both smallpox and polio weren't massive investments. In 1967 the World Health Organization (not the United States government........the Smallpox Eradication Unit was formed under the leadership of American Donald Henderson) boosted the program with $2.4 million annual contributions. The effort was completed within 15 years.

    Entitlement spending never ends.

    ........The benevolent Mr. Reagan piled on 2 trillion to our national debt you so elequently said was going to implode our country.......
    That $2 trillion was a bargain considering what we got compared to the $10 trillion we've added to the national debt over the past 8 years. What has that bought us? Any technological spinoffs? New weapon technologies like defensive missile batteries? An end to any wars?

    .......But, the debts have to be paid, that is our burden........
    I'm happy you feel that way. I don't believe the rest of society agrees.

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