Letter: Alaska doesn't have to be a one-trick pony

Is Alaska a one-trick pony, as one participant in the recent discussion at Centennial Hall about Alaska’s fiscal challenges said?


Various countries come to my mind — Singapore, Iceland, Republic of Ireland and Bermuda.

Singapore is a leader in several economic areas. It has very few, if any, natural resources but concentrates on providing financial, shipping and ship-related services.

Iceland has diversified into manufacturing and service industries. The country has also increased its commitment to renewable energy.

The Republic of Ireland has transformed itself from a predominantly agricultural to a modern knowledge economy focused on high technology industries and services.

Bermuda is an offshore financial center with minimal standards of business regulation/laws and minimal direct taxation on personal or corporate income. It has one of the highest consumption taxes in the world. Its financial success is measured by the fact that GDP per capita is the highest in the world.

Alaska has depended on oil for most of its revenue for more than 30 years. With the stark decline in such revenues, it is time to think of alternatives and to consider:

• Technology and financial services

• Shipping and ship-related services because of the expected openings in the far north shipping routes.

We need to realize that dependence on natural resources will continue to leave us at the mercy of fluctuating prices, over which we have no control.

I recognize that the nations I have mentioned have differences from Alaska, but I’m suggesting that we concentrate more on our intellectual, informational and geographic strengths than on our natural resources for future revenues and security.

Sara H. Willson,



  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback






Fri, 01/19/2018 - 05:58

Legislators should put the issue of life first

As the session kicks off, I’d first like to thank all the legislators and representatives for their hard work in serving Alaskans.... Read more

Please help the Dreamers

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaskans have not yet given up on one fight you have championed: protecting Dreamers with permanent legislation so they can continue to... Read more

Protect the Permanent Fund

When I read today that our dividend is going to be taken away completely it became clear that our legislative reps were not paying attention... Read more

On rescinding Obama-era marijuana enforcement guidelines

Marijuana by U.S law is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. I extracted the information below from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official... Read more