Biodiesel has hit center stage in the Northwest, and proposals for government support of the fledgling industry abound. With corporate subsidies everywhere, it’s easy to see why alternative fuel advocates would step up to the trough. But biodiesel really needs less “help” from the government, not more.
The biggest obstacle for biodiesel is an insufficient (more…)
Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo decided last week that a key element of the state’s long-running school reform experiment should be scrapped. The Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM) was supposed to demonstrate that 10th graders had mastered a certain degree of knowledge from their first ten years of schooling. It was earned by taking tests in basic subjects and completing classroom work samples. The 12th grade Certificate of Advanced Mastery (CAM) was never even implemented.
Cascade Policy Institute and others have opposed (more…)
Several studies on global climate change fall short on empirical data, relying instead on speculative scenarios about the future and often utilizing flawed methodology. (more…)
Now that Oregon’s economy is finally showing signs of life, we are again hearing arguments against the so-called “kicker law.” The law states that whenever personal or corporate income tax collections are more than 2 percent higher than state economists project, the excesses are rebated to taxpayers.
Those who think government can (more…)
Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday. We learned in grade school that it evolved from celebrations the early Pilgrims held to commemorate their bountiful harvests at Plymouth colony in the 1620s.
Can states solve their public education problems by directing a higher percentage of spending into the classroom? That’s the goal of a nationwide movement known as “the 65 percent solution.” It aims to pass a law in every state requiring school districts to spend at least 65 percent of their operating budgets in classrooms “for the benefit of teachers and kids.”
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, Oregon spends (more…)
Remove Portland’s Business Income Tax to improve the city’s economy
The City of Portland is widely perceived as being anti-business. Stubbornly high unemployment rates and higher business taxes than surrounding communities feed this perception. Phasing out the city’s Business Income Tax (BIT) will do more than anything else to (more…)
Proposed legislation against “price gouging” is a bad idea. Rising prices in the wake of a disaster help to ration scarce resources and prevent shortages. Businesses that raise prices too high will lose customers, while bureaucratic attempts to fix prices are counterproductive and immoral. (more…)
The Portland Development Commission is close to spending millions of public dollars to subsidize a new Convention Center hotel. Cities around the country have been paying private developers to build such hotels on the theory that they will bring more visitors, thus turning losing convention centers into profitable businesses.
Two years ago my family began making our own homemade diesel out of used fryer grease. Now we are watching with interest as the biodiesel movement gains momentum in the Pacific Northwest.
Seed crushing and biodiesel processing plants are opening or planned in multiple Northwest cities and bills to advance the alterative fuel have been hot items in state legislatures and Congress. Legislation has focused primarily on financial incentives and use mandates.
While well-intentioned, policy-makers are on the wrong track (more…)