Month: October 2008

Voting by Mail: A Dead Issue?

Jeff Alan
Cascade Commentary

Summary

Cascade Policy Institute commissioned a study of registered voters in Oregon, comparing the Social Security Master Death List to the Oregon Voter Registration List, and shared our findings with the Oregon State Elections Division. As Oregon votes entirely by mail, a clean list of persons legitimately entitled to vote is crucial to the integrity of elections in Oregon. (more…)

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Portland Children’s Investment Fund: Taxation Is Not the Same As Charity

John A. Charles, Jr.Cascade Commentary

Summary

The proposed renewal of the five-year levy that created the Portland Children’s Investment Fund (PCIF) in 2002 is on the ballot this November. While the non-profits receiving grants from the PCIF may have worthy missions, this program attempts to act like a private charitable foundation without actually being one, raising issues of accountability, among other problems. (more…)

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Let the Free Market Decide When Oregon Is Ready for More Wind Power

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

Summary

Wind power advocates claim that wind power is a cost effective source of energy. This is true at present only with market distortions caused by state and federal governments. Instead of imposing renewable energy technologies on consumers ahead of their time, let supply and demand guide their development and adoption by consumers. (more…)

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Voting by Mail: A Dead Issue?

QuickPoint!

Ten years ago Oregon became the first state to vote exclusively by mail. How is it working? Cascade Policy Institute commissioned a study of registered voters in Oregon. We compared the Social Security Master Death List to the Oregon Voter Registration List. We matched first and last names with dates of birth and last known Oregon zip codes. We excluded any duplicate names and any questionable results.

We found 6,142 people on the voter rolls who were reported as (more…)

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Can Social Insurance Be Reformed?

Sreya Sarkar Cascade Commentary

Summary

The financial liabilities of social insurance programs in the United States in the near future are staggering, but the Wall Street meltdown has many Americans worried about “private” solutions. Around the world, other countries are replacing traditional pay-as-you-go schemes with hybrid arrangements of government social insurance programs and individual-based accounts, which may be a workable solution to the crisis. (more…)

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Private Schools Are “Invaluable,” Says U.S. Dept. of Education

Kathryn HickokQuickPoint!

The U.S. Department of Education has released a report entitled “Preserving a Critical National Asset: America’s Disadvantaged Students and the Crisis in Faith-based Urban Schools.” Since 1999 nearly 1,200 faith-based urban schools have closed, displacing nearly 425,000 children.

The report states: “[T]he disappearance of these schools is having a tragic (more…)

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Why the Credit Unions Still Stand

Sreya SarkarQuickPoint!

There was a time when large national banks were considered more stable and reliable than local financial institutions, but that is not always the case anymore. With a string of blockbuster acquisitions transforming the banking landscape, a huge share of American consumer deposits are now consolidated in three banking giants: Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Consumers today are feeling uncomfortable about these big banks and have started shopping around for alternatives—like local credit unions. (more…)

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Can Pay-for-Performance Work in the Classroom?

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Absent serious structural reforms such as school-level competition, paying for performance in the classroom may be the best way to stimulate higher academic achievement among our K-12 public school students. (more…)

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Paying for Performance to Improve K-12 Student Achievement

Introduction and Executive Summary

This report examines the potential for using performance incentives to improve the K-12 classroom education experience. It uses principles derived from economic theory to identify what type of incentives might work and what form those incentives should take. The limited literature on performance incentive applications in K-12 education is then examined to see if the evidence is consistent with the economic prescriptions. (more…)

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Was the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis Caused by Lack of Regulations?

William B. Conerly, Ph.D.Cascade Commentary

Summary

Did lack of government regulation create the subprime mortgage crisis? Most likely, more regulation would have increased the problem. (more…)

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