Month: September 2006

Testimony before the House Select Committee on Education

Steve BucksteinThe Oregon House Select Committee on Education, chaired by Representative Linda Flores, is meeting to consider possible education reform legislation for the next legislative session which begins in January. On September 27, 2006 the committee heard from the Washington Scholarship Fund, which administers both a privately funded and a publicly funded voucher program in Washington, D.C., followed by testimony and discussion with Steve Buckstein and Matt Wingard of Cascade Policy Institute on the concept of school choice. (more…)

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Ending Hybrid Welfare

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Federal tax credits for hybrid-electric vehicles manufactured by Toyota will be cut in half this weekend, because Toyota has reached the ceiling of 60,000 subsidized vehicles that Congress established in 2005. The tax credit for the popular Prius will drop from $3,150 to $1,575, and in April 2007 the credit will be halved again to $787. After October of next year, no federal tax credits will be available for the Prius, though they will likely still be available for other brands such as Ford or Chevrolet.

This is a welcome phase-out of wasteful subsidy. (more…)

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Prevailing Wage Laws: Legislating Inequity

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Prevailing wage laws discriminate against one group of workers in favor of another, mandating wage rates which should be determined by the market. They limit employment opportunities for lowerskilled workers and inflate the cost of government construction projects at taxpayers’ expense. (more…)

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Prevailing Wage Laws: Legislating Inequity

Oregon Economic Opportunity Project

Introduction and Summary

“Prevailing” wage legislation requires that a particular wage rate be paid to laborers working on government construction projects. The rate is determined through government surveys and is usually found to be substantially higher than the market rate. Many politicians and unions argue that paying the “prevailing” wage rate is beneficial and fair because it provides a just wage for hard-working families, results in quality construction and provides a responsible example for construction firms paying lower rates on private projects.

The federal “prevailing” wage law was adopted in (more…)

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Should government invest in wave machines?

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

When the Oregon legislature convenes in January it will be asked to spend almost $40 million to help certain “innovative” industries. The request comes from the legislatively-created Oregon Innovation Council which is trying to “identify Oregon’s top innovation-driven growth opportunities, maximize the state’s competitive advantages and establish Oregon’s niche in the global economy.”

The Innovation Council recommendations include funding for certain (more…)

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It Starts With a Quarter

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Metro recently decided to impose a $0.25 tax on all Oregon zoo admissions, beginning January 1. The money will be turned over to a private organization, the Zoo Foundation, to spend on wildlife conservation projects. The tax is estimated to cost zoo-goers $102,000 next year.

These tax revenues will not be spent on the (more…)

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Term Limits are an American Tradition

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

This week an Oregonian letter writer objected to a measure on November’s ballot which would re-impose term limits on our state legislators. Commenting on a statement made by the measure’s chief spokesman, the letter writer said that “Regular rotation of citizens in office doesn’t sound like anything I remember from American history.”

This is more a statement on the sad state of affairs in America’s public schools than (more…)

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