Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposal to give all qualified Alaskans a $5,000 Permanent Fund Dividend is not only worthy of consideration but a brilliant idea that needs to come to fruition sooner rather than later – meaning the PFD needs to be distributed early, like in 2020, as opposed to waiting until October.

Today’s stock markets are in the midst of a huge, record-breaking speculative mania that has driven asset prices to insane heights. A precipitous crash is likely in the short to mid-term.
The Permanent Fund has benefitted terrifically from this incredible speculative fever, but this will inevitably revert into an even more violent deflationary spiral and crash as history has demonstrated again and again (remember the 2000-2001 market crash and its 80% decline). Rather than mindlessly ride this hysteria to its inevitable collapse, why not give Alaskans a substantial portion of their accrued wealth – before it is vaporized in the coming economic storm.

This would yield incredible benefits for individual Alaskans and their families. Many, if not most, will pay down or pay off stubborn debts, make needed home improvements, facilitate down payments on first homes, pay for college tuitions, bolster retirement savings, pay for needed medical procedures or increase household emergency food stores when facing an uncertain future.

Just think of all the good those PFD checks would do here and now as opposed to leaving the funds on the roulette table to be lost. Many refuse to face the reality that the stock market is insanely over-valued – a house of cards awaiting collapse. History will repeat. Financial assets will violently correct and sky-high asset prices will fall back to earth. Can we not learn from the past?

Of course no one knows what the future precisely holds for markets, but the smart money has already quietly taken their chips off the table, realizing huge profits before they are lost. They are also keeping a sizable portion of those monies on the sidelines waiting to snatch-up stressed assets for pennies on the dollar after the speculative collapse and carnage they well know is coming. This is an economic cycle the uber-wealthy have long mastered.

Dunleavy’s proposal needs a timely hearing – not just in the legislature but on Main Street, Alaska. Let’s use a generous portion of the PFD’s wealth productively and let each Alaskan family discern how best to utilize it.

Additionally, Alaskans should not forget that our PFD payouts over the last several years have been needlessly “capped” by previous Governor Bill Walker’s illegal fiat, and abetted by an uninformed, complicit legislature. A $5,000 PFD in 2021 is but a down payment toward repaying what Alaskans were legally owed from the start and righting a very stinging, and not forgotten, wrong.

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OPINION: Dunleavy’s $5,000 PFD proposal deserves a fair hearing before it’s too late

Toby Burke
Toby Burke is an ornithologist and long-time resident of Kenai where he and his wife are raising their family. He has worked as a biological technician for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.


  • Sammy says:


    • Sally Pollen says:

      Thank you for that great article, Toby Burke!
      What is a “proposal”? Is it anything official like a bill or is it more like wishful thinking tossed out as a suggestion? I will ask my senator if this has hope of seeing the light of day . Thanks, AK Watchman for excellent articles and journalists.

  • Lobo says:

    I second that motion !!

  • Robert Redlinger says:

    So many people are clueless on this issue.

  • Jean says:

    Thank you for the information. It makes sense even to someone like me who tends to get that glazed over look when talking about such things. I hope the right person who needs to act on this will read what you wrote and get to work:)

  • John J Otness says:

    If the criminal DOMINION machines are not destroyed and fair voting reestablished then we could be offered 10 million dollars and it would still be just a trap. Those who installed Dominion must be charged and arrested as enemies of our Republic.

  • Andrew says:

    I could put the new roof on my house

  • Fred Lee says:

    Looks like a bumper year for snoemachine dealers in the valley!

  • Timothy Jenkins says:

    I really like it payments to natives and people here in Alaska

  • Lani w says:

    Call Juneau tell them to pass this immediately! Flood the phone lines people make this happen….call Juneau call the news stations call the radio stations, call your representatives Do it today! We the People …our voices need to be heard !

  • bgoodson says:

    I 100%agree with you John J Otness!!! The Dominion voting machines need to be removed!!! I don’t remember voting to spend over $4 million on fraudulent voting machines. Voter integrity needs to come back to Alaska!! Keeping Prop2 and Dominion in place will forever silence honest voting!!

  • Miss says:

    Another story I saw is stating if we do the larger payout at all Spring & Fall payouts would leave nothing for future generations…. most of the whole article states this as a reason not to cap PFD payouts but at the end of the article they add in the Federal funds that may help with a larger payout.

  • Daniel E Moore says:

    1982 a lie was perpetuated to The Alaska People. There is no Permanent Dividend Fund . Never did the People receive an annual Audit. Nothing plus nothing equals , guess what?