The Difference Between a Handout and a Share in a Common Resource
Sarah Palin’s most notable achievement as governor of Alaska was to increase the payout from the state’s energy tax take by $1200 per resident. Isn’t it odd then that she would use her farewell address to warn against the danger of government handouts?
A handout is obtained involuntarily from other residents/taxpayers. The source of the $1,200 sent to all Alaskan residents is Alaskan oil. A judgment must be made as to who will receive a handout. More often than not, the recipient is a political crony or preferred special interest. (The list of these occurrances in recent months has grown quite long.) The government, then, has taken from one resident/taxpayer and given to another, often with dubious effect and motive.
Contrast to the latter, where no resident pays but rather all share, rightly so, in the revenue from a common resource. These are two utterly different actions by government. One is desireable and appropriate; the other is usually neither.
Apples and alligators, David Frum.