Month: April 2008

How Much Does State Government Cost Each Oregonian?

Steve BucksteinCascade Commentary

Summary

Ask even reasonably knowledgeable people how big the Oregon state budget is this biennium, and they likely will tell you that it’s around $15 billion, which is actually just the General Fund. The All Funds Budget is $48 billion—$6,376 per year for every man, woman and child in Oregon. Taxpayers deserve to know exactly how much their government is spending. (more…)

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The high cost of “free” health care

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Those who advocate using the federal Medicare program as a model for “universal health care” in America claim that it only spends two percent of its budget on administrative functions.

But that pales in comparison to what Harvard professor Malcolm Sparrow believes may be the 20 percent eaten up in fraud and mismanagement. Parade magazine recently reported that Sparrow sees $70 billion of Medicare’s 400 billion dollar budget going toward (more…)

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Food or Fuel?

Sreya SarkarQuickPoint!

Last year the Oregon legislature passed three bills (HB 2210, 2211 and 2212) to subsidize and to provide incentives to Oregonians to produce biofuels. Promotion of homegrown ethanol and similar biofuels was seen as an answer to high global oil prices and supply worries. The Oregon Environmental Council predicted 100 million gallons would be produced annually by the year 2010.

Now, a brewing world food crisis has hit the headlines. World food prices have (more…)

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How Much Does Oregon Spend Per Student?

Matt WingardCascade Commentary

Summary

Calculating the true per-student cost of public education in Oregon is complicated, but taxpayers have a right to expect government to be transparent about spending and to provide honest figures — calculated from a taxpayer’s perspective. (more…)

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Clean Air, and Getting Cleaner

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Recently the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the standard for ground-level ozone by 11 percent. Ozone is formed by the mixing of certain pollutants such as car exhaust in the presence of sunlight, and can irritate lungs and damage crops.

Predictably, local environmentalists immediately complained that the reduction didn’t (more…)

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Poverty Is About People, Not Money

Bina PatelCascade Commentary

Summary

Journalist Andrew Gumble recently wrote in The Independent (UK): “Poverty deepens when the wealthy don’t care. Poverty deepens when the super wealthy simply get greedy. No other explanation is possible.” In fact, many other explanations are possible. (more…)

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But Who’s Counting?

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

A recent analysis by two prominent economists pegs the eventual cost of our war in Iraq at a mind-boggling three trillion dollars. Only World War II topped that, at a current dollar cost of $3.2 trillion. For comparison, the Vietnam War cost us only $650 billion, less than one-third as much.

Opponents of the war argue that there are more important things to (more…)

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Taking a Private Route Out of the Workforce Crisis

Sreya SarkarCascade Commentary

Summary

Oregon’s economy will create an estimated 250,000 new jobs over the next decade, and 20,000 jobs are currently unfilled in the Portland area. But employers are having a tough time finding qualified candidates to replace retirees and to fill new positions. The private and nonprofit sectors can help. (more…)

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Change: The Only Constant

Nancy WheatonQuickPoint!

Starting with the beginnings of life on earth, change has been a constant and mysterious catalyst for growth. We humans would not exist if it weren’t for change. The comforts we are privileged to enjoy are results of the quest to make a change for the better. Science and the study of historical patterns can benefit the well-being of humans in myriad ways. The science of agriculture allowed our early ancestors to feed more people without the necessity of a nomadic lifestyle; change that encouraged the growth of culture and community.

We humans embrace the idea of (more…)

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