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,

Juneau

CONTACT US

  • 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

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

 

More

Protect schools from gun violence

We don’t hear of shootings in the congressional buildings. Congress has great security to protect themselves. At the same time, Congress refuses to take actions... Read more

Loss of auto shop hurts students

All across the country there has been renewed interest in vocational education, now commonly known as CTE (Career Technical Education). Montana recently doubled its annual... Read more

Rude behavior from Alaska Airlines staff to Folk Fest performers

On the morning of April 16, my sister — singer/songwriter Hope Griffin — and her accompanying cellist JamieLeigh Bennett, having traveled thousands of miles on... Read more

Stick with the tried and true

As fishermen, we all share responsibility in conserving our fish resources for future generations.

Read more