Here at Centives we’re somewhat afraid of heights and that’s made us moderately concerned about this whole fiscal cliff business. Steven Mufson however was ready to soothe our nerves by offering a solution: Selling Alaska. Highlights of his argument include:
- Alaska’s natural resources mean that it could be sold for anywhere between $2.5 trillion and $5 trillion – as much money as both Democrats and Republicans hope to raise over the next decade.
- Alaska was originally bought for $7.2 million in 1867 meaning that if it sold for top dollar then it would garner over a 6 million % return on investment.
- Potential buyers include the Russian federation which might now regret originally selling it to the United States.
- China is also a potential buyer. Arranging the transaction would be easy as America could offer to give up Alaska, in exchange for China forgetting the debt that the US has accumulated.
- OPEC could offer a joint bid to further consolidate its share of the oil market.
- The idea might sound ridiculous, but it shouldn’t really. In times of budget crises countries are always asked to sell off their assets. Most of the time these assets are state owned enterprises, but there’s no reason that large swathes of land shouldn’t be part of the equation.
- However even if Alaska was sold, it’d only solve the country’s debt problems for the next six years.
Read more about the proposal, the surprising amount of support it receives from the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, why shaming America is part of the idea, and other instances of countries selling land over here.
Source: The Washington Post