After reading Thomas Baxter's letter about the buy-out of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, which in the process makes every Alaskan a millionaire, with $63 billion supposedly left over, I did some checking.
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Unless Baxter is using the word million and billion in the European sense where a billion is the product of a million millions, the cost to make 650,000 residents millionaires would be more than the current fund by a few orders of magnitude. Forget about basic science and engineering, one has to wonder if he'd like to use some of his PFD for a remedial math class or maybe basic economics. It's this kind of thinking that has made the Alaska Legislature and its federal representation suspect in the extreme, though it fits right in with the math skills and economic sophistication routinely seen in the halls of government everywhere.
Instead of trying to get rid of Alaska's PFD, we should be applying evangelical zeal to spread this idea to the rest of the United States. Does the government owe me a living? No, but royalties for using the resources that belong to me and you - and every legal resident citizen of the nation we call home - is a good way to exercise the current interest in seeing us become this so-called ownership society.
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