Gold for people, not people for gold: what is the difference between Alaska and Kolyma

Gold for people, not people for gold: what is the difference between Alaska and Kolyma
Gold for people, not people for gold: what is the difference between Alaska and Kolyma
22 July, 12:14Photo: Соцсети
In the century and a half that have passed since the sale of Alaska by the Russians to the Americans, this peninsula has become the richest region in the United States.

Ivan Zubov

As you know, in early July, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, half jokingly, half seriously, reminded the country about how Tsar Alexander II sold Alaska to America, and threw, in connection with this, such a remark “we also have something to return.” And Vice Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy proposed holding a referendum in Alaska. The country quickly picked up the initiative of the "people's representatives", and now banners with the inscription "Our Alaska" were hung out in Krasnoyarsk.

Jokes are jokes, but it would not even hurt to return Alaska to Russia. Yes, but the Alaskans themselves are unlikely to want this now. For a very simple reason: for decades, every Alaskan has received annual dividends from the sale of oil. For these purposes, the Alaska Permanent Fund was established in 1982, to which 25% of profits are annually deducted. The amount of payments is not fixed: its size depends both on the amount of funds received by the fund and on the number of residents to whom the funds are distributed. Everyone who has lived at least a year in Alaska is entitled to an equal share, payments are made including children. As of 2018, state residents received $1,600 each. This is the unconditional basic income.

Analyst Ivan Shablov cites some more very eloquent facts, comparing the American peninsula with its "neighbor" - the Magadan region, comparable in size and natural conditions.

Oil allowed Alaska to pay each of its residents $31,186 in dividends over 22 years, raise the average wage ($5,350) and the minimum wage ($1,723).

In terms of GDP per capita, Alaska overtakes the Russian Federation by almost 8 times. The average salary in Alaska is approaching $5,000.

The per capita gross regional product in Alaska is $85,000 (in California it is $70,000, but it’s better not to talk about the Magadan region at all in this sense.

Alaska's revenues are $10 billion a year. In the Magadan region - $ 300 million.

If there are 91 airports in the entire territory of the Russian Far Eastern Federal District, while there are 550 in Alaska!

As well as nearly 3,000 runways for private aviation; all this economy is used to service 12.6 thousand aircraft registered in the state.

EVERY settlement in which at least two or three dozen people live has its own airfield‼️

By the way, Shablov also mentions another Alaskan phenomenon, unthinkable in Russia:

“Everyone remembers Sarah Palin, a resident of Alaska, if in 2008 John McCain became president of the United States, she would be vice president. But another interesting lady lives in the northernmost state of the USA. Lisa Murkowski was defeated during the Republican Party primary by the more conservative candidate Joe Miller. But she did not give up, but flew around many settlements on an airplane, talked with the residents.

And Murkowski still participated in the elections! Moreover, she won them. The voters entered her complex last name by hand. And she became a US Senator."

Political scientist Vladislav Inozemtsev sums up this comparison in a peculiar way: “In Alaska, you can buy a basin and go to any river to try to pan for gold and, if successful, sell it to dozens of commercial purchases; and in the Far East for such an enterprise you will get a real term ... "

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