The announcement of the amount of the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend this year has brought grumbling from some people for its recent drop. Keep in mind, folks, it's free money.
A more common-sense approach would be to look at how the dividend is calculated. A few years ago the board of trustees of the Permanent Fund proposed adopting a Percent of Market Value (POMV} payout method. This method is used by over 85 percent of the public endowments in this country. They suggested a 5 percent payout amount. This would protect the principal of the fund, including inflation-proofing.
If this proposal was adopted, our $42 billion Permanent Fund would have set aside $2.1 billion for dividends. This would translate to a $3,200 dividend while protecting the fund for future generations.
I think revisiting the POMV proposal makes sense, especially for rural Alaskans dealing with their higher cost of living.
-- Michael Henrich