Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Pact between Alaska Airlines, Era keeps competitors away

The one subject about Era Aviation that is never brought up is its agreement with Alaska Airlines. Other air carriers can't compete with Era and Penn Air because they have a monopoly with Alaska Air.

I work on the slope on a two-and-two schedule. I quit flying Era and now drive. Many of the guys I work with do not fly any longer and also drive. Era doesn't care. It just jacks the rates up to make up the difference. If it wasn't for the Alaska Air partnership, we would have other successful carriers competing. Maybe you can investigate this subject for a story.

My two cents,

Brett Evans


Libertarian candidates have lots of ideas worth considering

Recently at the Palmer fair an informal poll was taken at the Libertarian Party booth. The question was: How would YOU solve the state's "fiscal crisis"? Choices available included 1) income tax, 2) sales tax, 3) permanent fund, 4) spend less, and 5) none of the above.

Of the 592 respondents, the overwhelming favorite was "spend less" (320) followed by adding a sales tax (118). The rest were close together with none of the above at 56, income tax at 53 and permanent fund at 45.

While it certainly wasn't scientific, it was a good cross-section of the fair-goers -- they were picked at random and the nature of the booth wasn't immediately obvious. Sixty percent went on to complete the "World's Smallest Political Quiz" which reveals their political philosophies. The group was diverse: Liberals and conservatives each made up 17 percent of the total. Authoritarians* comprised 11 percent. Centrists -- "middle of the roaders" -- were 24 percent, and libertarians were 31 percent. Consequently, the poll should represent a pretty fair cross-section of the population. (*Authoritarians are those people who are comfortable with more regulation in their lives than most. An extreme authoritarian would be a totalitarian dictator.)

Most Alaskans would like to see state spending brought into control before alternate revenue streams are explored. Al Anders, the Libertarian candidate for lieutenant governor, has a great idea: Since the state currently spends roughly $12,000 per man, woman and child, let each resident "spend" that money when they fill out their permanent fund dividend application.

Put all the budget items on the application, and let each person allocate their $12,000 as they see fit. The totals would be tallied and all the Legislature would need to do is to fine-tune it. Special interests would no longer wield enormous power. The people of the state would determine which programs are desired.

The Libertarian Party, like all third parties, is used to having their good ideas taken by other groups. Here are some other good ideas from Al Anders: Allow people to register to vote up to the day of the election. The current deadline of 30 days before the election is outmoded in today's fast world of electronics. Campaigns go into high gear the month before election day, and seek to create enthusiasm --except if you aren't already registered, the spark is doomed to wither and die.

Another idea: Forward fund the budget --only spend what we already have in the bank, not what we hope we will generate in the coming year.

How about having a two-year budget? No bills can be added in the session that creates the budget, although you could eliminate laws.

In the next year, the non-budget session, the legislature could add laws.

Folks, if you think these ideas have merit, vote for the Libertarian candidates. Use your vote to signify something for a change. As for the other parties, feel free to steal these ideas. We'd all be better for it.

Vicki Pate


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