A common demand by many Alaskans and some first-time candidates for state office is that the state budget needs to be cut, largely because of wasted money and inefficiencies. This presentation shows that, contrary to common belief, while budgets can be cut in the short term, as they were in the 2016 legislative session, the trend in the long term is for larger budgets. This explanation is based on the realities of what makes up the state budget, constituent pressure on politicians, and the lack of an organized and sustained political force promoting long-term budget reductions.
Clive Thomas, who taught political science in Juneau for thirty years, is editor of a book just published by the University of Alaska Press, Alaska Politics and Public Policy: The Dynamics of Beliefs, Institutions, Personalities and Power. He is now a senior fellow at the Foley Institute of Politics at Washington State University.
This event is part of the William H. Seward Lecture Series, hosted by the UAA Department of Political Science. The series features timely and provocative lectures at UAA during the academic year on a range of subjects dealing with current politics, public policy and Alaska. Lectures are free and open to members of the general public.
Note: Clive Thomas will also speak on “Alaska and the World: Past, Present and Future” at the UAA Campus Bookstore on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 5-7 p.m.
Save the date: The next lecture organized by the Department of Political Science, the second lecture in the Chartwell Lecture Series for the 2016–17 academic year, which focuses on subjects in the humanities and the liberal arts, will be on Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 7:30–9 p.m. Our lecturer is Christopher Hebb of Vancouver, British Columbia, speaking on the geopolitics of the Pacific, with a focus on Canadian and American relations with China in the twenty-first century. We are grateful for a grant from the Elizabeth Tower Endowment for Canadian Studies that has made this lecture possible.