Friday, November 21, 2008

Sarah Palin, the Alaska Wealth Sharer

Gov. Sarah Palin has returned to Alaska, thank goodness.

Yet the former high school basketball player and beauty queen hasn't quite disappeared. Indeed, news reports out this week say that Palin has been offered a seven-figure book deal, which means the Lower 48 will see plenty of her when she (or, more accurately, her ghost writer) publishes the book. In the meantime, we'd like reconsider Palin's dubious "redistribution" charge against Barack Obama.

We bring this up because we saw Hendrik Hertzberg's piece in the November 3 issue of The New Yorker. Hertzberg points out that Palin presides over a state where the resources are owned "collectively," to put it in Palin's own words. Moreover, the state has no income tax or sales taxa nice deal, if you can get it.

As it happens, the state levies huge fees on the oil companies, enough to pay the state government's bills. Plus, there's a surplus that the state pays out to its residents, a windfall that Palin increased by $1,200 this year. No wonder she was popular up there.

The total this year for every man woman and child in the Great North: $3,269 each! "[W]e share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs," Palin told the magazine.

Hertzberg say this might be called "socialism with an Alaskan face."

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