Year: 2002

Following New Zealand’s lead

QuickPoint!

The New Year brings promise and opportunity for Oregon. Though we face challenges, we can look to New Zealand, a country of similar size and population, for guidance on turning around a wayward economy.

The Honorable Maurice P. McTigue, a former New Zealand Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, states that his country (more…)

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A sales tax could cost Oregon jobs

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Oregonians have nixed a sales tax nine times at the ballot box, yet at the December 9th Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland some business and political leaders were getting ready to try again. They proposed reducing state income taxes in return for a new sales tax.

Governor-elect Kulongoski and other leaders said (more…)

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An emerging consensus on school spending

QuickPoint!

The intellectual debate about school spending in Oregon is coming to a close. The numbers and analysis in Cascade’s Oregon K-12 Revenue and Expenditures, 1990-2001 were largely confirmed by a report from the Oregon School Board Association (OSBA), done by economic consulting firm ECONorthwest.

Both studies found that (more…)

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Metro "faithful" lose their religion

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Portland’s regional government, Metro, is held up as a national model for how to get local governments to work together on such issues as land use planning. But now Metro Executive Mike Burton has proposed expanding the urban growth boundary to urbanize the 3,900 acre parcel known as the Stafford Basin. This is an area just north of I-205 between Lake Oswego and West Linn, which is surrounded on three sides by upscale suburban developments. The Basin has poor soil but was improperly zoned “farmland” years ago, which has prevented the landowners from building homes the way their neighbors have.

Burton has appropriately concluded that (more…)

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Have a prosperous New Year

QuickPoint!

Here’s wishing everyone a prosperous New Year. That’s not a trite phrase; it’s the foundation for our dynamic culture, a clean environment, and more.

What would you do if you had more money? You might be able to take your family on a vacation. Spend more time with your children. Maybe you would be able to (more…)

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A Thanksgiving story to celebrate

QuickPoint!

Most children are taught that Thanksgiving celebrates the Pilgrims’ first harvest and their sharing it with Native Americans. However, this version of the story suffers from serious omissions.

For its first few years the Plymouth plantation organized farming on a communal basis; each person was expected to work as much as they could, and take from common resources only what they needed. With little individual incentive to produce, colonists refused to (more…)

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Temporary is a long-time in government-speak

QuickPoint!

During the last session Oregon legislators created the current budget shortfall. They added new programs and spent more on existing programs than forecasts showed the state would have revenue to support. This irresponsibility has led to the January election on a temporary three-year income tax increase.

The legislature’s irresponsibility is a red flag about a (more…)

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Improving Oregon’s budget and business climate

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Now that Oregon has a new governor-elect, speculation begins about how he will deal with Oregon’s continuing budget shortfall and poor business climate.

Conventional wisdom says (more…)

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To reduce the influence of money, limit government’s power

QuickPoint!

Every now and then we hear the call for taxpayer-funded political campaigns at the national or state level. Now, it’s even at the local level.

Two Portland government officials want taxpayers to underwrite campaigns for city elections. City Commissioner Erik Sten and Auditor Gary Blackmer contend that the (more…)

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Majority vote does not change wrong into right

QuickPoint!

A sign in a government community center reads, “Exercise your freedom and vote!” This exhortation may sound good, but it should cause one to pause and ask: Is freedom really about voting?

Cato Institute president Ed Crane once remarked that the people in Poland, China, and other such places did not, and do not, rebel against oppression just so they can vote. Rather, they risk their lives to be free to live without (more…)

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