Saturday, August 16, 2014

Maybe the best column ever ...

Amanda Coyne yesterday published a killer column that explains a lot in a few short paragraphs ("Yes or No on repeal, Alaska’s got a big government problem').  Its stuff I try to say a lot of different ways, but she goes to the heart of it quickly.

 If you haven't read it, you should. It begins like this ...
The IBEW and the Alaska State Employees Association—both of which represent thousands of government workers–have endorsed “Yes” ballot measure 1, to repeal the oil tax. Meanwhile, four trade unions – Teamsters Local 959, Plumbers & Pipefitters United Association Local 375 in Fairbanks, Operating Engineers Local 302 and Laborers Local 942 –have urged voters to vote “No” on the repeal. Those unions get substantial amounts of work from the oil fields. 
The debate is complex. Production curves. Rates of return. New versus old production. Legacy fields versus non unitized areas. Personalities and conflicting numbers. All of these things and more add to the stew that’s makes up the oil tax debate. 
But the public union endorsements add to my suspicion that at its heart, the most recent incarnation of the fight over oil taxes—a fight that the state has been having since Prudhoe was discovered in 1968—is really more simple than all of this. When you get down to it, the biggest elephant in the room lives in the state coffers, where it involves, among other weighty things, public employee versus private sector jobs. And that’s an elephant that few, at least in government, want to talk about. ...
There's more, lots more, but you need to go to her blog to finish it ....