Month: November 2007

The Dilemma of a Bifurcated Social Policy

Sreya SarkarCascade Commentary

Summary

The root of the contemporary American dilemma about how much to spend on welfare programs lies in the fact that, in this country, “social security” and “welfare” are manifestations of a fragmented and bifurcated social policy framework. Americans always have been ambivalent about nationalized social provisions, just as they are toward concentrated political authority. (more…)

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Get a raise? Pay more for your latte

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Oregon taxpayers soon will receive checks in the mail representing 18.6 percent of their 2006 personal income tax payments. This kicker refund results from the Oregon law that says if state economists underestimate revenue by two percent or more, the excess must be returned to taxpayers.

Some argue that the kicker money should stay with the state. Why? (more…)

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Kicker Envy

Steve BucksteinCascade Commentary

Summary

Individual Oregon income taxpayers are set to receive a record $1.1 billion in so-called kicker refunds just before Christmas. Whether the kicker law is good or bad public policy, it is an important brake on runaway government spending. Perhaps more importantly, the money belongs to those who earned it, not those who “need” it. (more…)

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Advocate for Ownership

Bina PatelQuickPoint!

Presidential hopefuls, policy wonks and advocates from the Left have given the idea of ownership a bad rap. These are many of the same folks working on poverty alleviation. Unfortunately, they are missing a crucial element to helping the poor: Property rights and possession of assets are instrumental to poverty alleviation. Contrary to claims by critics that focusing on ownership breaks down communities and fosters an “everyone-for-himself” attitude, research shows asset ownership results in greater community and civic participation by the poor. (more…)

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Broadband Blunders in the Beaver State

Cascade Commentary

Summary

The development of municipal wireless broadband networks has been popular with local government officials across the country, including the city of Portland. However, a closer look at a southern Oregon city reveals “Muni Wi-Fi” could be the latest losing gamble for taxpayers. (more…)

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Paying a High Price for "Fareless" Rides

Sreya SarkarQuickPoint!

TriMet has always taken credit for promoting economic development along light rail lines, yet it has been reluctant to take responsibility for the growing levels of unlawful behavior on MAX.

Repeated complaints of crimes on MAX from Gresham to Hillsboro fell on deaf ears until the recent incident of a 71-year-old man being beaten with a baseball bat at the Gresham Central Transit Center. This incident triggered a (more…)

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Cable TV Competition

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Remember when the only telephone service you could get was from AT&T? From 1913 to 1984 the company had a government-sanctioned monopoly. The company argued that telephone service, by the nature of its technology, would operate most efficiently as a monopoly providing universal service.

Of course, we now know how expensive that lack of market competition turned out to be. After deregulation, phone services exploded while rates plunged. (more…)

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Asset Ownership Is Life-Changing

Bina PatelCascade Commentary

Summary

An expansive amount of research from across the political spectrum demonstrates the importance of owing assets, particularly for minorities, women and low-income populations. Owning assets fosters better citizens. (more…)

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