Many Alaskans, myself included, have been puzzling about why our governor is doing his best to destroy the economy of our state. If you don’t believe this is already happening, you haven’t been paying attention.
The temporary “budget director,” Donna Arduin, who has previously destroyed the economy of Kansas and other states, admits that no consideration whatsoever was given to the impact of the governor’s draconian vetoes. Her only real talent appears to be wielding a red pen. Because there seems to be no obvious plan to what’s being done to destroy our state and communities, how can we figure out what’s going on? In a case like this, it may be a wise choice to follow the money.
So far, we don’t know where the money is hidden. Someone or some entity needs to do some serious investigating. The state attorney general is unlikely to look too hard because he is a governor’s appointee. The logical entity to investigate what’s behind this disaster is either the state Senate or the House of Representatives. Another option, though not generally known to most of us, is a grand jury, which I believe has the power to investigate possible corruption at the highest levels. I heard this years ago from a retired judge, who said that any grand jury in the state has the power to investigate anything it wishes, including corruption in the state’s highest offices.
I’m not generally a fan of conspiracy theories, but we need to start looking for the hidden reason — money — behind the governor’s plan to destroy Alaska’s economy. Below I outline a possible scenario that, while speculation, is likely real. Perhaps someone reading this can come up with a better answer.
Let’s say you are an oligarch looking to add to your overflowing bank accounts, like any oligarch would naturally do, in order to have more money to make changes in laws and regulations that will further benefit you and others like you. And then you come across a resource-rich state with a relatively small population that might be convinced or coerced into selling out.
How would you proceed? Perhaps by helping to install a shill to help you in your quest, possibly a gubernatorial candidate with few scruples. Then what? Well, that person, if elected, might be directed to destroy the state’s economy in order to encourage as many people as possible to move south, literally, to greener pastures where they might find a community that valued the things we Alaskans have enjoyed. Places that value education and are willing to pay for it through taxes, if necessary. Places where the arts are a valued part of their society. A place that would welcome their expertise to help build their community. After the people with useful, highly sought-after skills, including the well educated, leave the state for the better life they used to enjoy here in Alaska, the governor could then offer payment — perhaps a large, unsustainable PFD? — to those remaining to keep them quiet and compliant.
With the remaining folks willing to be paid off, the oligarch who sponsored this plan could “encourage” the governor to further minimize the state government, ostensibly to make it cost effective, but really to get rid of as much government oversight as possible in order to privatize the state so that resources could be extracted and sold for the benefit of the oligarch, with some crumbs falling to the shill for his assistance in the scam. What I’ve suggested here might be speculation, but I believe it is happening now.
David Nebert lives in Fairbanks.