Paying Dividends, Episode 2: Betting the Farm

Last time on Paying Dividends, we explored the ways that Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration could make good on its promise to pay full PFDs. And now we know that in order to do that, the governor is proposing steep cuts to the state’s budget.

And along with those spending cuts come job losses. Depending on which economist you ask, the state could lose anywhere from 600 government jobs to at least 12,000 jobs in fields like education and healthcare .

But Dunleavy is also proposing to inject almost $2 billion dollars back into the state’s economy through a larger PFD, arguing that the PFD and private sector will make up for job losses that come from spending cuts.

Host Rashah McChesney talks to reporter Nat Herz, who traveled to the Mat-Su Valley for a recent story and talked to someone who is passionate about the agriculture industry in Alaska — whose state support is on the chopping block — and a small business owner who is just as passionate about the potential economic benefit from a large Permanent Fund dividend.

To get the Dunleavy administration’s view on the budget’s impact on the state’s economy, Rashah sat down with Ed King, the state’s chief economist. He works for the Office of Management and Budget, giving the administration economic advice and analyzing the impacts of policy changes.

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