Keep our best and brightest at home:
We lose a large part of our high school graduates each year as there is nothing for them here. We will give special tax breaks to construction companies willing to build small temporary houses for this generation on a zero-down contract.
One of Alaska’s greatest problems is that we lose our best and brightest each year on graduation day. Many of these young folks go on to military careers, a thing that is honorable and inspires me. It must be remembered by those who bad-mouth this upcoming generation, that for every young person who decides to make a bad decision, I can name you several who did a good thing, for instance, stepping up for God and Country. Be that as it may, many join the military and leave us, and many others go to college outside of Alaska (frankly, who can blame them? When UAA nearly had “its credentials” taken away, we have much room for improvement).
Many simply leave Alaska to look for gainful employment elsewhere and again, who can blame them?
Many leave the state because they have no way to develop credit here and therefore have no chance of buying a home for many years to come.
Still far too many begin a life of aimless drifting, drugs, prostitution and other vices as nobody bothered to tell them of their immeasurable worth. I know these are high-sounding words, but as I approach 60 and am a grandfather, I see the young folks through a different lens. I am no longer that young person. But I see these young folks and I see my own kids. And some times I see myself at this age.
We will do great things here in Alaska and jobs will be created, but what for the young person just graduating?
I will talk about a thing I wish to do, and yes this is my own idea, but it is not a thing that the government can do. However, again, if you give me the bully pulpit of the governorship, I promise you that I will facilitate this.
Alaska’s youth is made up, by and large, of those who do not wish to leave Alaska. Many have been outside and were not impressed, but they have no real way to get an honest start in life here.
We will give special tax breaks to builders who will do the following, or some variation thereof:
- Take a parcel of land and cut it into one acre plots that are twice as long as they are wide as so many are here in the Matsu.
- Build a small home on the front edge of the property that is within local and borough regulations, for instance, the proper distances from property edges.
- The homes, to my way of thinking would be 16 feet front to back and 24 feet side. The front part would be 10 feet front to back and would contain a small, 10 by 10 foot bedroom, a living, dining, and kitchen facility. The back portion would be 6 feet, front to back and would contain the bathroom, laundry facilities and extra room.
- Of course, electricity, gas, well and sewage facilities would be in place before the homes are built.
- The homes would cost $15,000 to $20,000 to build and even less if built systematically and all on the same pattern.
- The homes are built to be temporary homes that can be later removed easily.
- Any high school graduate with a 40 hour per week job, even at minimum wage, can contract to buy one of these homes.
- The payments, which would amount to about $500 per month would be contracted to come out of the buyer’s bank account automatically at the end of the month, so it is up to the buyer to ensure that the money is in the account at that time.
- If the buyer falls onto hard times, he or she contacts the contractor and the payments roll over to the back end of the payment period (8 to 10 years). If they are habitually late, then they lose the house and the entire investment.
- Once the property is paid for, the buyer likely has obtained more lucrative employment, possibly is married and therefore has a two income family, but now owns his/her home. He/she then begins putting money away to build what will be their retirement home.
- The buyer can certainly build their own home if they desire, but likely will hire one of the builders, possibly the original builder and the builder makes money on that home as well.
I am convinced that this system will encourage our young folks to stay here and help us build a better Alaska. I have talked to young folks, twelfth-graders, who are eager to get in on a deal like this. Alaska can lead in yet another industry… if we just will.
I am further convinced that those builders will see this as an investment of two different types:
- First, it is a clear financial investment. A builder owning 40 acres and subdividing it this way, stands to make a million dollars in time. However, if those 40 buyers on those 40 acres, hire the same builder to build the homes in which they will retire, the builder stands to make many millions.
- The builder is making a true investment in Alaska’s future. True businessmen/businesswomen understand that a rising tide lifts all boats. If your business prospers, your workers will buy my products. Healthy competition helps everyone.