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September 02, 2008

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Hm. Another war in which oil will play no role whatsoever? Thought that was the other party's business...

Good point, CG.

But ... the value of federal largess to Alaskans is greater than the value of the oil revenues to the federal government.

High estimate of federal tax revenues collected from oil and gas companies in 2007: $2.7 bn. (Source: my own estimates from IRS, EIA, and ADOR data.)

Proportion of all Alaskan federal tax payments that come from oil and gas: 29%.

Estimate of net federal spending in Alaska, 2005: $4.4 bn.

In other words, losing Alaskan oil would still leave the U.S. better off by more than $4 billion a year.

Which means that my hard-line stand against Alaskan is motivated entirely by patriotic motives. It's simply the right thing to do.

Plus, I bet they'll greet us with flowers.

Question: What if it's a relatively strong majority of the Alaskan population that favours independence?

Randy, come on, sir. While interesting, that counterfactual --- waaaaaaay counterfactual --- question is not germane to the issue at hand, which is Sarah Palin's patriotism, versus my own.

Well, there is a relatively large constituency of voters for whom the right (TM) stance on a******n and g** m******* seems to be more important than any degree of patriotism - and Palin seems to be rather popular with them. So I don't think this will hurt her chances.

I hope you are wrong. I will love my country no matter what, of course, because it's mine. But I will like it more if it turns out that in the face of economic inequality --- unnecessary inequality --- our voters choose universal health care and social insurance over an entirely hypocritical atomistic individuality.

That, at the end of day, celebrates our country as a non-country. It sees its greatness in an unwillingness to set itself to any sort of collective goal beyond the maintenance of law-and-order and a knee-jerk sense of national "honor" against other nations.

I could understand it, maybe, if it weren't so blatantly hypocritical.

But you might be right. In which case I'll still love my country. I'll just like it a little less.

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