Opinion: The grasshopper, the ant and the PFD

We will all rue the day we frittered away our financial resources.

I appreciate Dick Dau’s letter about the PFD and his concern for the needs of a young family with two or three children. I grew up in a house where we had to stretch every buck to make ends meet. My family didn’t have enough money for luxuries. So I had to get jobs and pay for my own bicycles, cars and other things. I agree we shouldn’t make things harder for working families.

This reminds me of a parable from Sunday school — the story of the grasshopper and the ant. If we, like the grasshopper, slash the budget and get a PFD, for a time, the money will come in handy. What’s to worry while the sun is shining? The wise ant knows it is better to save those funds for fall and winter.

[Opinion: Alaska’s budget must be brought in line with our ability to pay for it]

Soon children will be old enough for school. What will happen if Gov. Mike Dunleavy slashes education funding? Forget about school sports. The governor wants to kill the Alaska Marine Highway System during the school year. Requiring teams to fly instead of taking the ferry will cost a fortune.

What if our children want to go to college? The governor’s budget could very well cause the University of Alaska Southeast to close up shop. Paying for the children’s schooling down south will cost a whole lot more than helping kids study at home.

[Opinion: Alaska needs a smaller, sustainable budget]

What about our parents and grandparents? The governor wants to slash funding for the Pioneer Homes. If grandma doesn’t have a lot of money, she’ll either need to move in with her kids or grab a blue tarp and head for the underside of Douglas Bridge.

The sugar high bigger PFDs for a few years will quickly fade — like the sad grasshopper. In the fable, we will all rue the day we frittered away our financial resources. Like the ant, let’s show some discipline and invest for the longer term. A few years down the road, we’ll be glad we did.

Robert J. Welton Jr.,

Douglas


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.