July 27, 2009

The Difference Between a Handout and a Share in a Common Resource

Monique Chartier

... is pretty obvious and substantial, actually.

About Sarah Palin's resignation, David Frum has made this observation.

Sarah Palin’s most notable achievement as governor of Alaska was to increase the payout from the state’s energy tax take by $1200 per resident. Isn’t it odd then that she would use her farewell address to warn against the danger of government handouts?

A handout is obtained involuntarily from other residents/taxpayers. The source of the $1,200 sent to all Alaskan residents is Alaskan oil. A judgment must be made as to who will receive a handout. More often than not, the recipient is a political crony or preferred special interest. (The list of these occurrances in recent months has grown quite long.) The government, then, has taken from one resident/taxpayer and given to another, often with dubious effect and motive.

Contrast to the latter, where no resident pays but rather all share, rightly so, in the revenue from a common resource. These are two utterly different actions by government. One is desireable and appropriate; the other is usually neither.

Apples and alligators, David Frum.

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The Governor and the Legislature of Alaska are spreading the wealth.

Posted by: Phil at July 29, 2009 11:34 AM

Of course she enjoyed great popularity while the price of oil afforded Alaskans such a rich bounty. Now that the state has a $1 billion plus deficit she exits to let the underling have the worrisome details.

Love to have seen her popularity in a state such as California or even our own RI where tax revenue hasn't been so easy to come by.

Posted by: doughboys at July 29, 2009 8:24 PM
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