Alaska: Our Wacky Socialist State

by Will on October 17, 2010

Back when New Deal liberalism was riding high, before Goldwaterites put it on the defensive, politicians frequently advocated a Guaranteed Minimum Income. A proposal for such a policy was introduced to congress in the early 70s by president Nixon’s aide Daniel Patrick Moynihan; it would have sent everyone in the country a check for $10 thousand a year. It died in congress, and instead we got the Earned Income Tax Credit.

But in one state, they have implemented the Guaranteed Minimum Income, and it is politically untouchable. Alaska, by dint of its huge oil wealth, gives all of its residents a cash payment of over $1000 every year. Strangely, this devilish interference in commerce, this crime against the free market, fails to produce the idleness and bumming around that libertarians would predict: the unemployment rate in Alaska stands today at 7.1 percent, far lower than the national average.

That’s not the end of the story about Alaska’s wacky experiment with socialism in one state. Alaska’s deft representatives in Washington manage to secure for the state $13,508 per person in federal spending per year. That’s well over twice what most other states receive. Despite this fiendish Central Planning, there is among Alaskan patriots no movement I know of to put an end to this state of affairs, to make the state self-reliant, deriving its wealth solely from commerce. Apparently years of being too close to Russia have made Alaskans insensitive to their own enslavement to the Leviathan.

It is a testament to the¬†gullibility of Americans that in our country, the governor of such a profligate, pampered state could emerge as one of the most prominent opponents of “Big Government” and “socialism.” The cognitive dissonance at play when somebody touts Sarah Palin as embodying small-government, free-market values, is a glorious and astounding thing to behold.

Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: