WY and Alaska have a lot in common–both are isolated energy colonies, and both have created a permanent trust fund based on energy extraction. Alaska has 10 times the money in its fund as Wyoming (the Norwegians have 100 times the money in its fund as WY). this is a great survey by the guy who knows the economics of this program the best–Scott Goldsmith. here is his take on the pros and cons of sending a dividend check to each and every citizen in Alaska.
I got to meet him yesterday in his office. WY needs to think seriously about increasing the funds we put in our fund…and we need to think seriously about a state income tax (as does Alaska) for when the energy starts to run down. We cannot depend or rely on the kindness of strangers to pay our state bills forever.