Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Saturday, May 13, 2006

“Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” – Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven

The New Boy, who is getting his fill on his birthday. Seems like he didn't want to get frosting on his fingers (too messy) so he figured out another way to plop the cake down his gullet.

The Mrs. and I were talking the other day about what we would do with a sudden windfall of cash. Besides paying off and fixing up our house, we came up with nothing, which more-or-less mirrors our bank account. The point, though, is that we don’t have a large number of desires for stuff floating around our head.

I guess we just wouldn’t make good politicians.

In the recent wrangling over the gas pipeline that we’re (fingers crossed) going to put in, several people have referenced the state constitution, which encourages “development of its resources by making them available for maximum use consistent with the public interest.” In this case, the political folks seem to think that means getting the most money possible for the state out of the people doing the work and taking the risk. What about the jobs? Don’t they count in there somewhere?

If the gas pipeline is ever built, it will be built by welders, by guys and gals driving big excavators, by guys and gals (in general) making tons of money. That money will flow to the local economy, people will buy houses, go out for dinner, buy new cars, and purchase iPods and iPod accessories, like the iPod backpack for poodles. The economic impact from the construction of the pipeline alone will be immense. Beyond that, the company running the pipeline after completion will be employing people for decades to come drilling for natural gas and purchasing massive amounts of whatever magical fairy dust keeps a gas pipeline running.

These jobs are of far more economic value than the taxes would ever be.

I imagine that any gas pipeline will also lead to additional infrastructure up here, which will make it easier to move about in Alaska, and hence even more available for commerce. The gas line means an economic boom to Alaska before the first cubic foot of natural gas hits market or the first tax dollar hits the cash register down in Juneau.

And we're wasting time quibbling about a tax. (For the record I have no opinion on the tax. Just figure out how to start building, please.)

Alas, the cash register in Juneau will never fill up. Given the high price of oil this year, you would have thought that we’d have paid down a mortgage or two and saved a few hundred dollars for a rainy day. Instead, the legislature funded just about everything that came before it (“Ah, yes, a study on the movie-viewing habits of unwed, same-sex walrus,”) and then some. It was an orgy of spending.

I suppose that, given time, The Mrs. and I could thing of something to spend a huge wad of cash on. Maybe we’d have a gold plated Pez dispenser custom made to look like our poodle wearing an iPod. In which case, maybe we’d be good politicians, after all.


Blogger Al said...

As I read the Alaska on-line newspapers, it is clear that even if ALL the gas pipe line revenues went into the Juneau piggy bank, some people would not be happy.

Another check for Alaskans....reason number 8, in my attempt to sway the wife, on why Alaska would be a great place to live.

Good luck with the pipe line. Save some iPods and Pez dispensers for the lower 48.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

I'd be glad to help you with that spending list. Ironically, the money would be used to fill up the truck.

7:39 PM  
Blogger John said...


The check is nice. We'll not buy up all the Pez dispensers and iPods. Yet.

Heh heh. See the vicious cycle? Can we start drilling now?

5:58 PM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

Sometimes, for some people, nothing is enough. Both meanings apply.

4:35 PM  

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