I’ve followed Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s campaign and early actions with alarm. His view of his mandate is out of proportion, being almost exclusively focused on juicing the economy. The pace and scope of resource use must be dramatically accelerated. Taxes are to be avoided, oversight downgraded, social programs shrunk, appointments made from the ranks of industry. In short, anything that stands in the way of economic expansion must go. The economy does matter, but where is the attention to other things that make Alaska and life here special?
I don’t want state government shrunk to a simple facilitator of economic growth, especially if there is no sense of limits. More broadly, I hope to be proud of my state as a leader in global citizenship. I want Alaska to be in the forefront of protecting our natural world, which after all is the basis of our existence. We must devise an economy that does not impoverish these values in the name of short-term growth, one that is selective in choosing targets for emphasis, even shrinking and replacing ones that cause undue harm. In the modern context, this certainly includes reducing fossil fuels.
I urge Dunleavy not to make Wisconsin’s recent Gov. Scott Walker’s mistake. He upset the relative amity and increased the divisiveness of his state’s politics by pushing a polarizing agenda at the expense of all other views. Alaskans need to work together.
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.