Living beside the Alaska Highway gives a guy a chance to make some determinations on traffic patterns. The most glaring one: heavy in summer, light in winter, would be difficult for even a man to miss.
Beyond that, there is this: Typically (and this is just a guess), 30 semis pass my door going up the highway in the winter, and many, many more in the summer and doubtless everyone of them is packing a load. Be it tires, grub, diesel, propane, gasoline, LNG, mining equipment, or bombs, some thing is making the trip north at any given moment of any given day.
Now you would think, that in the interests of reciprocity, an equivalent amount flows back down the highway on the backhaul. But this is definitely not the case. I’m guessing, (again) but I don’t believe more than 5 percent of the southbound 18 wheelers are packing anything more than rollled up tarps and bleary-eyed road warriors.
What’s going on here? Money! And a whole lot of it! The Yukon Territory just proudly announced a mere 5 million dollar deficit budget this year on a billion and a half dollar annual “budget”. Wow! Way to tighten the belt guys! That’s just 40 grand for every man woman, pusher and wet-behind the ears, newborn punk who calls the yukon home!
That old guy on the street with his cap upside down on the sidewalk in front of him? 40k. That college kid flippin burgers? 40k. And on and on it goes. And tragically, if my math is right, only 30 percent is being raised here through taxations! In other words, if it weren’t for the nanny state, our taxes would instantly triple in order to keep the cash burning machine smoking!
May I humbly suggest that a population of 37,000 souls should be producing something other than bloated landfills? But lets be fair, there is that toothbrush factory… nope. That clothing factory? Nope. Well then, all those new bicycles we ship south? Nope. What do we actually produce for the world in order to justify our existence?
And more to the pointy end of the stick, what will we do when the country decides we aren’t worth the strain and the struggle anymore and chuck us under de bus? Personally, I won’t blame them a bit but that’s just me.
But to end this on a positive note, maybe we could give some thought to attracting a light manufacturing business of some kind or enhancing our tourism sector by leaving a few old cabins in the bush and letting operators do their thing without the ever-increasing regulation?
Fishermen are the best people!