Dividend or social services?
Great letter by Gail Phillips in recent ADN regarding inadvisability of enshrining the dividend in our State Constitution.
The primary founders of the Permanent fund were Jay Hammond, Clem Tillion and Hugh Malone. They never envisioned that the dividend was an entitlement, but as an additional benefit for Alaskan residents to share in the new revenue from the pipeline, which is of course tied to the ups and downs of oil prices, exactly what we have been experiencing the last few years.
But recently, the politicians have been using the promise of guaranteed dividends to in effect buy votes, and that seems to be working very well.
The question is, the more money that goes to dividends is less money for the essential services we all need, such as education, police, and health benefits. Is that what we really want?
— Orin Seybert, Anchorage