Alaska’s budget dilemma

Alaska is continuing its nearly two year long discussion to balance the budget. There are essentially four alternatives (a) sell more oil at low prices, treat receipts are revenue; (b) reduce expenditure; (c) raise taxes, especially introduce an income tax; and (d) raid the Permanent Fund. The discussion has now centered around either an income tax or raiding the Permanent Fund.

Alaska’s budget woes

We’ve been inspired by Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend. With its current budget crisis, we can witness in real time how politicians will try to steal from future generations. Our member, Rahul Basu, writes on how Alaska should view its problems. We hope their Permanent Fund Dividend is restored.

Permanent Fund Defenders

The Alaska Permanent Fund and Dividend is under threat again from the politicians. Alaska only deposits 25% of their money from oil into the Permanent Fund. The balance 75% is the largest funding source for the budget. The commodity boom resulted in a large increase in the budget. Expenditure increased with a lag from less than $3 bn in 2005 to …

The Navajo Permanent Fund

The Navajo people have established a Permanent Trust Fund under Navajo Tribal Law. Here’s a short history of the Navaho Permanent Trust Fund. In 2014, the Navajo Nation won $554 million in a settlement with the US government over mismanagement of their natural resources. We have already reported on Mendha-Lekha and the Alaska Native and Regional Cooperatives. Will other indigenous peoples set up …

Can Norway learn from Goa?

Our movement has been inspired by the permanent funds of Norway and Alaska. In a norwegian article titled “With Oil Fund as a model“, Kenneth Bo Nielsen describes the Goenchi Mati proposal, and considers whether there are aspects for Norway to learn from. The Norwegian newpaper, Bergens Tidende, has published the article.

What can we learn from Alaska

Alaska is the global role model for a Citizen’s Dividend, and we have copied Alaska as well. However, there is another lesson to be learnt from Alaska: how much should we deposit into the Permanent Fund. We have argued in an earlier blog post that the only solution is to deposit 100% into the Permanent Fund. This avoids consumption of …

Village cooperatives and basic income

Village cooperatives around the world seem to be getting to the idea of a basic income. Mendha-Lekha in India is a famous example of a village cooperative with their own Permanent Fund. Similarly, Alaska has a series of Native Regional and Village Cooperatives, many of which pay out an annual dividend, in addition to the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend. In China …

Why should all mineral receipts be saved in the Permanent Fund?

There are a few reasons we recommend that mineral receipts be saved only in a Permanent Fund as the new non-wasting asset. First, by insisting on all amounts being saved in the Permanent Fund, we are insulating the budget from the boom & bust commodity cycle. When prices are high, revenues expands, and politicians expand expenditure to match. When the prices crash, so …

Is Jay Hammond having the last laugh

Alaska’s Permanent Fund and the Permanent Fund Dividend was the brainchild of Jay Hammond. The origins of the idea was from the sharing of the income from salmon runs (a renewable resource) in the area he lived. It was extended to the creation of a Permanent Fund from the receipts from oil (a non-renewable). His intention was to keep the oil money …

Why did Alaska legislate the Permanent Fund and Dividend

Rachel Waldholz explains in the Alaska Public some of the reasoning behind the Permanent Fund and Dividend. Some quotes from Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond (who was responsible) “You’ve got to remove the money” “Put it behind a rope, where you cannot utilize it for flamboyant expenditures.” “I wanted to transform oil wells pumping oil for a finite period, into money wells pumping money for …