Aug 20, 2014

We own the resources, but the politicians negotiate the selling price

Alaska is famous as an owner state.

The Alaskans own their resources, including oil. A big part of the oil revenue goes into a special fund dedicated for citizen dividend. This has been so for more than 30 years, with a sizable citizen dividend for every Alaskan every year.

Yesterday's referendum on Senate Bill 21 happened because a big group of Alaskans were not happy with the selling price negotiated by the politicians with the oil companies. They thought the selling price was too low.

The referendum outcome is still pending, with a few thousands leading in support of the new selling price but with many more thousands yet to be counted.

This is a situation that can happen in any country.

Are your politicians selling your resources too cheaply? Is there any potential bias? It was reported that politicians who voted on SB21 were employed in the oil companies. Is there any conflict of interest? Do they represent the citizen owners or do they represent the oil companies?
"Even before the votes were counted, one of the leaders of the referendum was back on the streets again with petitions, this time for an initiative to forbid legislators from voting on bills in which they have financial conflicts of interest. Ray Metcalfe, a former legislator, said the initiative would make such behavior a felony." (From ADN, 'No' votes hold narrow lead in Ballot Measure 1)
For now, citizens in other countries may not be very interested since they don't get a direct share of their resources. But they should. First, they should demand a citizen dividend. Then, they will have to decide the selling price of their resources.

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