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Letter to the Editor

Public sector jobs

To the editor: Mr. Bruce Tangeman, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue, wrote a Community Perspective on Aug. 3 entitled “Private sector dollars drive an economy.” The implication is that it is the private sector, not the public sector, that’s most important. It’s true that the private sector is an important and perhaps major part of the economy in many states, but in Alaska it’s less so. In part, it has to do with the required infrastructure in a large state with a widely dispersed population.

If you add up the jobs in the public sector, including state employees, those in the education system from kindergarten through the university, federal employees and the military, you will find that the private sector amounts to only about one-third of all jobs in Alaska. This doesn’t mean that the private sector is unimportant, but consider what would happen if a large percentage of nonprivate sector jobs were lost. And it looks like this is what our governor is trying to accomplish, suggesting many of them are not needed.

The private sector depends on all residents of the state to buy services and retail products. If the population is reduced by the draconian vetoes that will cost many public sector jobs, who will purchase the services and products provided by the private sector? The result will be a dramatic reduction in the need for private sector sales and services, which means many private businesses will suffer a notable decrease in income and many will fail. I’ll leave it to other readers to correct other misleading comments in Mr. Tangeman’s Community Perspective.

In a recent Community Perspective, I outlined what I think is presently happening in this state with regard to Koch Industries and our complicit governor. For those of you who may have doubted my speculation, there is now a book written by Christopher Leonard titled, “Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America,” which details how Koch Industries works. It should be required reading for all Alaskans, especially those who still support our governor.

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