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May 18, 2021

Crony Capitalism is the Norm In Juneau

The debate in Juneau over oil tax credits has captured the attention of most Alaskans by now. Alaska is paying out over $700 million more in oil tax credits than we get in production taxes. This arrangement where we pay more in tax credits than we get in production taxes is projected to last until 2025. But below the surface lies a much deeper debate over the fundamental nature of capitalism in our society. Capitalism is generally defined as an economic system where private individuals control the means of production for their own profit. A danger of capitalism has always been when…

(UPDATE) Parnell’s California Dream

UPDATE: Gov. Parnell’s illegal appointment has “withdrawn his own name,” the Anchorage Daily News reports. “A state law says board and commission nominees must be registered Alaska voters. Mandell told the Daily News he had not lived in Alaska since 1995. Parnell continued to back him, saying the Alaska Constitution required only that nominees be U.S. citizens.” Apparently the quaint notion that we have to follow state law is beyond the governor’s scope. If only he had some basic legal training. Oh, wait. ************************************** $2 billion a year is not enough. Sure they’re the wealthiest entities ever to have existed…

Parnell Stacks the Deck for Oil. Again.

The muck-raking writer Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” He wrote that after running for governor in 1934. It would seem the business of politics was even more messy than the meat packing industry he exposed. I’d go a bit further than Sinclair. It’s difficult for someone to continue getting a salary if he does understand some things and still acts on them. It’s a bit of a long story, but I’ll give you the skinny. Most of us are familiar with the…

Parnell Pounds the Table

There’s an old saying, “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.” But in Alaska, when it comes to cutting oil taxes, that strategy really isn’t a winner. With all-time high levels of employment and investment on the North Slope, and the oil companies raking in record profits, the facts are definitely not on the side of the Big Oil Tax Giveaway. With a constitution that requires Alaska to reap the maximum benefit for our natural resources, the law…