A Chilly Place for the President

(Juneau, Alaska) Up here many folks don't much like President Obama's vision of a big government colossus dictating health care, doling out entitlements, and generally meddling in the affairs of the citizenry. Alaska voted against Mr. Obama by 14 percentage points in 2012, and if another election were held today, the anti-Obama vote would most likely be higher.

This is a tough, self-reliant state. The weather is harsh and expenses high. But there is work. With a 6.1% unemployment rate, Alaska is doing much better than the nation as a whole (7.6%). The median household income in the 49th state is $69,000 – $16,000 higher than the national average.

Historically, Alaska is a place that has attracted those fed up with conventionality. On my trip here, I did not see one person dressed in a jacket and tie. The prevailing wisdom promotes individuality. Alaskans are basically "leave me alone" type people who respect and embrace different strokes.

Maybe it's because nature is right on top of them that the folks don't seem to care much for trends. The weather changes dramatically and quickly, there are far more dirt than paved roads, and wild animals are everywhere. Nobody is really interested in the latest fashion when you can be snowed in for weeks at a time. I mean, who's gonna see you?

With a population of 731,000, Alaska is ranked 47th in size, only beating out North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Of course, Alaska is the largest state in the union by far, so there is plenty of space to get away from the trappings of modern America. Most everybody has a gun – there are big bears around – and the majority of folks are happy not to be dealing with bureaucracies.

So, the Alaska mentality is directly opposite the federal intrusion that is being fostered by the Obama administration. Mention Obamacare and you'll likely get icy stares, even in the summer. And while poor people do receive entitlements, and the oil industry kicks in some money for the folks, few Alaskans are asking for handouts. This is an old fashioned place that still embraces the Klondike mentality: take chances and maybe you'll hit it big, but if you don't – don't whine about it.

Alaska has some of the best scenery in North America but it is the spirit of rugged individualism that I found most interesting. Capitalism is firmly embraced and hard work is the order of the day. I visited a tourist dog-sledding site on top of a glacier where the young employees stayed for weeks at a time. No showers, no computers, no TV. They made some good money but paid the price. And they seemed happy to be up there far away from the BS that is floating around this nation.

There is something to be said for living life on your own terms. Many Americans simply don't want the pinheads in Washington or the various state capitals to be telling us how to live. But we are absolutely going in that direction. President Obama is hell-bent on imposing a bureaucracy that levels all playing fields at great expense in coin and in freedom.

So, visit Alaska if you get a chance. It's far away from everything but well worth the trip. This is America the way it used to be. And the way things are going in the lower 48, the way it used to be is likely gone forever.

  • souvoter

    Alaska is the reason democrats were so afraid of and attacked Sarah Palin! She is the shinning example of what America used to be and most are yearning to return to!!!!!

  • plsilverman

    yeah, Bill….those Alaskans *are* true Americans: they went out of their way to leave the Tea Partiers at the wayside. By the way, is big gov’t okay for the top 1%?

  • Wil

    Residents of Alaska pay no sales tax
    or state income tax. Due to the royalties from oil, the state pays each resident
    an annual stipend of around $1800. Socialism… ain’t it great!

    • steves_59

      That’s not socialism, you twit, that’s the Alaska Permanent Fund. And your numbers are way too high.
      Do some more research before you post drivel.

      • Wil

        Free money from the government. They don’t even have to pay anything to get it. Sorta like, free food stamp money for everyone!

        • Integrity

          Wil, At least 25 percent of all mineral lease
          rentals, royalties, royalty sales proceeds, federal mineral
          revenue-sharing payments and bonuses received by the state be placed in a
          permanent fund, the principal of which may only be used for
          income-producing investments. The free stuff like food stamps comes from revenue sources that are confiscated from people like me who pay taxes. QED

          • Wil

            It’s still free money from the government. BTY. If you don’t want to pay taxes, leave our country… Please!

          • Integrity

            I did not think you were intelligent enough to understand the distinction between the two, but at least I tried. To quote Peter Schweizer, “Liberalism in the end forces its adherents to become hypocrites. They adopt one pose in public, when it comes to matters in their own lives – their property, their privacy, and their children – they jettison their liberal principles and embrace conservative ones.” Honestly assess the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, or Ted Kennedy and prove that I am wrong. You can’t. BTY, you are totally predictable. I already know how you, or others like you, will respond. QED

          • Wil

            Free money for residence, is the same as welfare!

          • Integrity

            No. I will type slowly for you. On second thought, you are too much of a dolt for me to waste my time. QED

          • Wil

            Funny, I was thinking the same about you! BTW, If you don’t work for it….it’s free money, from the state!

          • Integrity

            It may very well be free money, but it is not the panacea that you might think. Sadly, if the liberal policies of the federal government do not change, this welfare, as you like to call it, will implode in about ten years. Thanks Sen Begich! He was not even smart enough to get a Nebraska Kickback for his vote. QED

  • Wheels55

    If I could stand the severe cold, I would love to live there.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      Actually it’s not all that cold in the south of the state. If you look on a map the south tip runs along British Columbia and is exposed to the warm Japanese current. The climate there is little different from Seattle. (just a smidge longer and colder winter, but just a smidge)