Is it worth the number of jobs?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2006

Let's see now. The Kensington Mine is projected to last 10 years and to employ 225 folks. My math shows that comes out the same as 2,250 folks employed for one year.

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The states DOT says the 'pioneer' road to the privately owned Kensington and Jualin mines will cost Alaska $30 million - and we all know how that goes, but let's just use the state's figures for giggles. (DOT's earlier estimate was off by $20 million when the first bids came in.)

Carrying the math farther shows that if the state of Alaska pays $30 million for Murkowski's road, that makes $13,333.33 per job, per year. Or another way of saying this is that each of 225 those jobs will cost the state $133,333.33 Check behind me now to make sure I have these figures right - because I sure am finding all this kinda hard to believe myself.

And, that doesn't count the amount the state will spend to fight the inevitable lawsuits - and it's not even a real road either!

So, the state of Alaska is being asked to subsidize a private mine in Juneau to the tune of $133,333.33 per job? I must have fallen off the wrong turnip boat or something because this sure isn't making a whole lot of sense to me. I wonder just how much sense it will make to the rest of Alaska?

I am not knocking the idea of the mine - but I surely do question the sanity of the Murkowski administration to even make such an absurd suggestion. Putting that failed bunch behind us did not come soon enough to suit me.

Erik Lie-Nielsen


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