By Ed Brown
August 11, 2008
Why have our voters continued in their lack of leadership by not showing up at the polls? Will we continue to be out to lunch concerning our resources? Is "giving away the family farm" to be our only legacy?
Wally Hickel calls for us to start acting like we are owners of this state! 100 years before statehood and 50 years since statehood our assets continue to be depleted daily. Reversal of this squandering should be our sovereign state's highest priority.
We can also be good environmentalist by slowly using these resources to bless our state first. And then sharing those blessings with others states by shipping them our finished products. We need either nuclear or natural gas fired power houses to produce enough power to supply these new industries. We have maintained our "one horse town (state)" status by only selling raw products to other states and countries. We have given away so much in 150 years. Are we doomed to continue down this road of being taken advantage of? Yes for 150 years we have been benefitting others. We can still benefit others after we have produced more than just a few raw products. Those finished product jobs should be here for our kids. Pay ourselves first and then we can start investing in our own industries. Start acting like we are the true owner of this state!
Other states and countries continue to sell us their finished products at a much higher price. It should be our responsibility to reverse this squandering of our state resources. For example we need to be more than a tourist trap for someone else's investment. Have you noticed the 90-10 split the outside tourist industry has going with our state currently. They are selling our state's natural beauty while they continue to whittle down that 10% we settled for. Let us make a better deal than that.
We can consider sending the tour industry packing and be money ahead. As an owner state we should develop tourism right here ourselves. People from other states and countries will come here without outside interest garnering all of our tourist industry. Have you noticed how these outside interest get on the boat at the ended of the season. They only reside here seasonally. Give preference to businesses and industries who want to stay here year round.
Alaska has continually given away our mining, fishing, timber, and now our oil and natural gas. We have been "giving away the farm" by not breaking free of the tyranny of regulation and taxation. We can do this by keeping and using much these resources here.
Finally we should sell finished products to them at premium prices. Then and only then have we really reversed the draining of our assets. As a parent, our kids are the greatest asset and leaving for schooling and then not being able to return here. This is only because we produce these raw resources. We should instead be using these raw products to provide industries and finished products that employ our kids here in Alaska.
The legacy we should be offering our kids is also being squandered as we continue to ship products out with no value added. Forget relying on one or only a handful of industries. Build natural gas power plants which in turn attract other industries. Spend PFD money on educating our kids here. Have jobs waiting for them when they graduate. Then in the future their kids will have jobs waiting too. We cannot continue to operate as a blue collar state only. Show our kids that we to can lead by getting out to vote. Make our elected leaders protect our valuable assets.
Let us keep our kids and natural resources here by using our natural resources here wisely. 50 years ago we voted to become a state. That meant we gave up being a territory and being in somebody else's possession. As Wally Hickel stated many times "act like we are owners of this state"!
Received August 08, 2008 - Published August 11, 2008
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