merbs writes: Alaska’s Permanent Fund was established in 1976, in the midst of a black gold rush; the massive Trans-Alaska pipeline was in the process of being built, and the state had reaped $900 million in revenue from the sale of drilling leases in Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in North America, in a matter of years. In a matter of a few more, it’d spent it. Alaskans soon recognized that their enormous oil reserves were nonetheless limited, so, with a kind of longterm forward-thinking rarely seen in politics today, they voted to add an amendment to the state constitution to establish a fund that would protect a portion of all incoming oil wealth for future generations. In 2014, the net income of the fund was $6.8 billion dollars and the dividend doled out $1,884 to 640,000 citizens, despite a decline in oil revenues that year.
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