There Seems To Be Some Foolish Liberal Antipathy To Alaska
Twice in the last several days, I've received messages from liberals complaining that Alaska is a sponge on the rest of the country, the recipient of too much in federal funds.
This strikes me as utter hogwash. It sounds like the nuts who said Seward's $7.2 million purchase of Alaska from Russia, in 1867 was "Seward's Folly."
Anyone who doesn't realize the inestimable benefit to the rest of the country of the state of Alaska needs to realize that in mineral wealth alone this state has returned its value a thousandfold to the union. This was the smartest thing Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State, ever did, his purchase of Alaska.
Now, as is customary, whenever a state ends up with members of Congress who build tenure, and are successful in pork barreling, there's jealousy. There are always many whiners who feel that for every dollar paid by a state in taxes, a single dollar ought to be returned in benefits, and not a penny more.
If that principle were followed through, there'd be no money for defense of the whole.
But, surely, some states do better in Congress than others because they've elected the same members time and time again. Washington state, with Magnuson and Jackson in the Senate, was a good example a few years ago. When the eruption of Mt. St. Helens occurred, the result was that the federal government paid the full cost of dredging the Columbia River and all the other volcanically-caused damages.
But this was not wrong. It was a benefit to Washington and Oregon, true, but we all benefit indirectly when any one or two states benefit. The new federal budget contains hundreds of millions of dollars to start a new bridge which will allow Anchorage to expand. I say, hooray. Maybe next year, it will be Los Angeles' turn for subway funds.
Alaska is a huge state, one fifth the size of the whole Union, and, naturally, it needs more money for roads and other public works than small states. But a prosperous, well-developed Alaska will return many times what it is given.
There is a short growing season here, and a short tourist season. The economy has special needs. It is not easy to do business here.
But this is not a lazy state. Far from it. Alaskans by and large work hard at developing their state. They deserve every bit of support they get.
To each according to his needs. From each according to his abilities. It sounds like a Communist slogan, but it's important in any developing state. There's something peculiar about liberal views these days. It seems they don't want to do the things and spend the money to continue our tradition as a great country.
It's the same idea that you hear in Los Angeles that Southern Californians shouldn't contribute to a new Bay Bridge in San Francisco. Let the North pay for it, some say.
But this is the same kind of bunk we now hear about Alaska. If you have a state, if you have a nation, everyone contributes, and at times some places get more aid than others. That's what a state or nation are all about.