So, today is the day I hate being an 'Alaskan'. Of course I am not an 'Alaskan'. Not really. Neither apparently are my girls. Nor my wife who is raising them here. Today is the day I get to see people who arrived here after me get their PFD. People who I goddamned well know will leave before me. I own two houses here. Am going into my fourth winter. My second child was born here. Kadee has not left Alaska soil since arriving at six months old. I spend my life energy fighting for the rights of Alaskans to be free from the Government. On the smaller scale I fight for the freedom of individual Alaskans every single day. I pay the highest gas prices on the road system of anywhere in the United States. I pay property tax. Sales tax. Car registration fees. In every measurable way I am an 'Alaskan'. I put up with all the disadvantages of Alaska. But. I also love this place. I enjoy it and use it in ways that not even many of the people here do. I feel privileged every day to be here. 364 days a year that is enough to keep me in awe. I mean this is Alaska for God's sake!. But on the day that the PFD checks arrive, I feel bitter. Oh, I understand the legal reasoning of the Supreme Court in Andrade. I get it. But let me be honest. $5200 would change my family in ways I can't measure. That amount will take me years of work and saving. $5200 would take us from living on the edge every month to a certain level of comfort. How sad. $5200. The purpose of the PFD is to encourage settlement of Alaska. Hell, I am settling. But the response from the State is this: Well right back at ya Alaska. You will pay my girls.

Comments

Anonymous said…
The legislative intent was for Alaskans to be Americans in order to apply and receive the PFD. Granted your children are Americans and when they are of the age of majority their claims should be honored. The State socks away money for these future claims. Kids that were entitled but their parents did not apply, or screwed up the child’s application, still have a claim for one year after they turn 18. Look at this as Trust Fund for the children, they will get their due. Unfortunately I do not think they will get any interest earnings
Ummm, wrong. My kids will never, ever get their PFD's for the years 1-18 under the current interpretation of the law by the Division. And it is not required to be an American to get the PFD. I am just in the wrong visa class. I am afraid your knowledge is incomplete.
Anonymous said…
I'd think the easiest solution would be to naturalize. As much as you write about how much living in Alaska means to you, why not just apply for U.S. citizenship?
Dan said…
I will ALWAYS support you Ben in your fight against injustice. GO GET 'EM!
Anonymous said…
what are your liberal views about the abolishment of prohibition in Kotzebue?
My 'liberal' views are that if that is what the people want, that is fine. Clearly prohibition is not working. I have seen that first hand. I think it would be good for business in Kotzebue.
kotzkop said…
yea, it will be great! maybe instead of 9 out of 10 police incidents being related to alcohol, we can go for a perfect 10/10 you racist bastart...
Dan said…
kotzkop - Ben's not being racist; he's being flippant. I see no need for him to apologize for recognizing that, when people get what they want (in this case booze), they reap what they sow. if Kotz or Bethel (my former town) wants booze, so be it. the voters need to recognize (and I'm sure they do because they've seen alcohol destroys thousands of lives) that there will be an added financial, physical, mental and spiritual cost.
Hmmm. not sure how that translated into racism. If people want to drink they will. Regardless of race. And in Kotzebue, they drink, regardless of it being a damp town. If the people there want the booze, that is their choice.
What is the PFD? From one PD to another?
You mean generally what is the PFD or how much was it this year? $1305 per person. And, generally, it is a share of the oil revenue. It is more complicated than that but that is an easy way to understand it.

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