SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


The price of gas and public officials
By Craig Moen


December 12, 2006
Tuesday AM

Sometimes we forget what drives the price of goods and services, and that is the market with the good old supply and demand equation, plus what it costs to produce and deliver those goods and services.

Gas is currently at $5.29 a gallon in Kotzebue, and is $1-$2 higher when you go further out in the Bush. In Fort Yukon you can spend $9 on a large cabbage, and $10 on a 12-pack of Pepsi, to a large degree because there s only one store. The thing is, however, that you just don t buy those things as often, and you walk a lot more or drive a 4-wheeler instead of a monster SUV. If people were serious about the price of gas, they d buy smaller cars for one thing, or drive a moped at 100 mpg.

Executive compensation is another thing most people really don't understand. I personally wouldn't take the job of governor of Alaska for $125k per year - there's easier ways of making a buck. I read the same article about the UA president's salary at $300k, but read on to see that larger university systems in the lower 48 pay $900k+. No doubt about it, that's a lot of money. But certain professionals can be no real cost to an enterprise because they either bring in or save more than they're paid. Hire a UA president worth $125k and it will cost you more than the one worth $300k. That's another market truism - you get what you pay for.

Maybe if we paid our public officials a market-based salary, they'd be more inclined to conduct business in a way that better served the interests of their constituents, and less likely to be tempted into making side deals that are self-serving and cater to special interests.

Craig Moen
Ketchikan, AK

Received December 10, 2006 - Published December 12, 2006

About: "lived in the Bush"




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Ketchikan, Alaska