Letters to the editor

  • Thursday, September 10, 2015 4:48pm
  • Opinion

The President of the United States, arguable the most powerful person on the planet, earns $400,000 per year, whether he is deemed to have properly carried out his functions or not. The new University of Alaska President earns 81-plus percent of that amount, with a promised bonus of up to $75,000, which would equal the salary of the U.S. president, if he wrings more money out of alumni, improves minority graduation, cuts administrative costs, plus six other unidentified requirements, by 10 percent, all of which are or should be in his employment contract anyway. At the same time, the news media reports that the citizens of Alaska will likely see an income tax again, and potentially a hit on some part of the Permanent Fund Program. The responsibilities of the UA President are worth the same value as the responsibilities of the U.S. president? Really? It appears to me that the Board of Regents is throwing down the gauntlet, and intends to challenge the State Legislature to pick it up. Let us hope that the Legislature does, and promptly and ingloriously unseats the Board of Regents from their runaway stallion, with a resounding clang of bending armor hitting the hard ground of reality.

Phil Nash

Kenai-Nikiski

I recently had the pleasure of driving down Mackey Lake Road through two miles of thick, billowing dust as a considerate, productive member of our community sped alongside the road in his ATV. I was particularly appreciative of him given I’d washed my vehicle just that morning. Back at work I relayed the story to co-workers who regaled me with their stories of having difficulty seeing to turn onto Mackey Lake given an ATV-induced dust cloud, and even having one chip their car’s paint as it kicked up rocks speeding down a K-Beach side road.

Regularly we see these folks speeding alongside the Sterling Highway coating hundreds of cars with the dust they kick up. I’m sure those drivers are as appreciative as I have been, especially as the ATV drives over the taxpayer-funded hydroseed alongside the road.

I write with the hope that maybe upon learning of how they’re adversely affecting so many of us with their activity they might become a bit more considerate.

Mathew Cannava

Soldotna

Milton Freidman was a conservative who loved freedom. He was the greatest economist of his generation. He once explained capitalism does not establish freedom but “competitive capitalism” does. Nothing will change the problems Alaska has until we understand how to build Competitive Capitalism in Alaska.

That starts with money and its purpose. Most in Alaska understand we have many untouched natural resources. If we could only access them we could all prosper. But we also have another resource which we never touch, Money. The world is awash with our money called the dollar. China has trillions of them and has established a Bank called Asia infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

They will use our dollars to help Asian nations build infrastructure.

Alaska has billions of dollars sitting in our Permanent Fund. We could use those dollars to start our own Alaska Infrastructure Investment Bank (also called public Bank of Alaska.) We would have an advantage over China using our dollars. Banks in the USA use cold hard cash to create credit expanding the money supply 10 times greater than the cash they have on hand. A public Bank of Alaska could do the same.

How it would work. Some Permanent Fund money would be placed into this public Bank of Alaska. I suggest 30 billion dollars. Like the Permanent Fund this money could never be touched because it would become part of the banks reserves (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_reserves ) on which new money (credit) would be created. I believe expanding credit 10 times more than the reserve amount is foolish. It is my understanding the only public bank in the nation, Bank of North Dakota, creates only an equal amount of credit based on their reserve of deposits. If our public Bank of Alaska did the same we would have $30,000,000,000 ready to expand infrastructure. Some of which we could start to build the needed gas-line. Others around the world would invest.

Private enterprise would be hired to build the gas-line. Once built we could expand competitive capitalism. Hire the best company who could do the best job for the money. We would establish rules of safety and production levels.

Today’s economic environment revolves around crony capitalism. Too big to fail corporations. That will always lead to monopolies that control jobs and resources. The big banks have plenty of credit to lend. But understand private banks have one fiduciary responsibility, make the most money for their shareholders. If you were a private bank who would you lend to, big oil, too big to fail or some small company who may fail as oil prices drop.

Self interest drives the credit market. Until Alaskans take control of our untouched resource called money we will always have crony capitalism. As a conservative, I believe as Milton Friedman did. With competitive capitalism freedom will abound.

Ray Southwell

Nikiski

More in Opinion

Anselm Staack (Courtesy Photo)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s fiscally irresponsible and deceptive plan

Constitutions are about broad policy objectives and legal boundaries — not about the day-to-day.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink promotes getting immunized with the flu shot this winter. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
Immunize when you winterize

An annual flu shot plus the COVID-19 vaccine protects Alaskans and our health care system, too.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s first act as governor was unconstitutional

That’s according to a ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John Sedwick.

New direction for the Tongass will help grow businesses, a sustainable economy

Now is the time to chart a new course for Southeast’s future.

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.

Jackson Blackwell (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Carbon dividends are the bipartisan climate solution

By levying a gradually increasing price on carbon, U.S. emissions will be slashed by 50% in 15 years.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Dunleavy: Facts Matter

Political opportunists care more about spreading political untruths than accepting the facts.