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Letter to the Editor

PFD isn’t a right

To the editor: In response to the letter in Tuesday’s paper (July 30) suggesting we donate our PFDs to the state to pay for services, I suggest instead the PFD be reduced to a level — approximately $1,000 to $1,500 — that would preclude having to make any cuts to services in the first place.

Most recipients of the suggested $3,000 dividend already have it spent in their minds, and I doubt they would change their plans and try to fund the university system, health care, village police protection or any of the other services the governor wants to ax.

There have been only two instances in the life of the PFD when we received more than $2,000, and that was when our income stream was high. To even suggest we should be entitled to the highest payout ever when our income stream is at its lowest is pure folly.

Those who voted for Dunleavy ignored the simple math: When income is low we cannot give handouts to everyone without cutting their services. Conversely, if we wish to have the services any state should provide to its citizens, we must cut the handouts.

The PFD is a perk for Alaska residents, not a right. It is as “socialist” a program as one can devise. None of us earned it. So let’s face the truth and reduce the dividend so we can continue to live comfortably, safely, as an educated and enlightened populace rather than putting short-term gain in front of long-term prosperity.


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