Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Thinking about the Permanent Fund Dividend.
Each year when the Gov. announces the amount the Permanent Fund Dividend that each of us Alaskans will be getting, I am struck by the unmet needs that exist in our state and the possibilities of what we collectively could be doing with that money. The oil that generates the money isn't ours, the resource doesn't belong to the current citizens of the State of Alaska, it belongs to future citizens as well.

I grew up in Texas. The burbs of Dallas. Texas has a Permanent Fund too. But in their Constitution they set up a Permanent Unviversity Fund. The University of Texas System and the Teas A&M system are both in part supported by the money generated by this fund.

These two Universties are top notch institutions, education and research. The endowment the PUF has created will keep these universities going long after the wealth from the resources has been exhausted. Future generations will have access to education and will economically benefit from the research produced by these institutions. We will all get to pay off our credit cards, pay from some oil for the heater, or use all kids PFD's and buy a snow machine.

A study on the impact of a strong University system reports,
"For every $1 dollar the state invests in UT System higher education, that dollar serves as a catalyst for, and ultimately results in, an additional $24 dollars of gross work-life incremental earnings that go into the Texas economy."

I can't find any research on the impact of the PFD, but I am sure that is big as well, but too what end?

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