Demand destruction is a phenomenon that is often referred to when oil prices rise high enough to harm the economy and reduce its ability to purchase fuel.
I have another example of demand destruction: getting rid of ferry service to Alaska communities because the state budget has been mismanaged, which will result in a self-inflicted wound to the economy. These small towns have ferry docks; how much was spent to build these docking facilities? Should that investment be, in hindsight, a waste of resources?
People bought land from the state of Alaska, moved to these remote locations and built homes and businesses with the understanding that there was what amounts to public transportation and access. Will the state now fail to maintain the Alaska Marine Highway System and let these people and their businesses suffer? This amounts to a harmful bait and switch over a budget squabble.
Yes, the ferry system is subsidized by public monies and likely always will be. But the ferry also provides an economic positive in Alaska, which is not easily measured but is fed back into state coffers. It seems silly to waste all of the long-term investment and energy expended on the ferry system for a short-term budget battle.
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.