What if the self-proclaimed “City that Works” isn’t working? That’s what Portland residents are saying.
Last week the City of Portland published its most recent survey of city residents. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed are dissatisfied with the city’s response to homelessness and almost two-thirds are dissatisfied with traffic congestion on their daily commutes.
This outrage comes after voters approved hundreds of millions of dollars for affordable housing projects and steep hikes in gas taxes to improve roads. Clearly, more money is not the answer: The more the city spends, the worse things get.
Council’s renter relocation payments, inclusionary zoning, and renter screening rules are shrinking the supply of affordable housing. While the city’s population is growing, it’s reducing its road infrastructure through road diets and replacing automobile lanes with dedicated bus and bike lanes.
Instead of punishing property owners for renting apartments, let’s loosen regulations on building and renting truly affordable housing. Instead of bringing traffic to a standstill, let’s add traffic lanes to foster a safe and speedy flow of auto and truck traffic. These aren’t radical ideas. In fact, these were Portland’s policies when it really was “The City that Worked.”
Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.
He’s an internationally known computer scientist at Yale University – the New York Times dubbed him a “rock star” – but he no longer believes in evolution. David Galernter – whom the UnaBomber tried to blow up in 1993 – was disabused of Darwin’s theory by science and not religion. “The origin of species,” says Galernter, “is exactly what Darwin cannot explain.” (Emphasis in original. Quotations, unless otherwise marked, are from Galernter.)
The first major problem is the utter absence of fossils right where you need them. There are simply no “missing links,” no fossils that are somewhere between one form of life and the next more complex form.
The Cambrian explosion was an “explosion” of new life forms, like umpteen geysers all going off at once. These Cambrian forms should have been preceded by layers and layers of intermediate pre-Cambrian fossils. Instead, “the incremental development of new species is largely not there.” Continue reading
Among the headlines the mainstream media is pushing, hidden in the middle toward the bottom, is the news about the freedom fighters protesting in Hong Kong. Just as with the Green Movement that sought the overthrow of the oppressive Islamofascist mullahs in Iran, the United States has an opportunity to advance freedom in the world by aiding those who are fighting for it.
In 2009, during the Obama Administration, tens of thousands of indigenous (read: Persian) Iranians (the Iranian mullahs are not Persian, they are Arab) took to the streets in what some called the Green Revolution and/or the Persian Spring. They did so to protest the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the extreme oppression of Islamofascist rule. They sought regime change; change that would return their country to a semblance of freedom. Sadly, at that moment in time, the Obama Administration (which turned out to be sympathetic to the mullahs) did nothing but serve up rhetoric as their contribution to the cause. Continue reading
I recently preached a sermon on the subject of stealing in our church’s series on the Ten Commandments. And one of the points I made is that socialism is a form of theft.
I mentioned the ill-conceived slogan going around during the 1960s – ” property is theft.”
But the Bible says, “Thou shalt not steal.” Implied in that commandment is the sanctity of private property – I’m not allowed to simply take it because someone else owns it. And the Bible does not say, “Thou shalt not steal, unless thou art the government.”
Socialism is a form of governmental theft. The government has no money of its own. It simply forcibly takes from Citizen A and gives to Citizen B. But, of course, the one who benefits the most from this socialistic scheme is Citizen C, the government bureaucrat who administers the welfare state. Continue reading
“Mainstream” news outlets dutifully feature climate cataclysm claims that have no basis in reality
Efforts to stampede the USA and world into forsaking fossil fuels and modern farming continue apace.
UN and other scientists recently sent out news releases claiming July 2019 was the “hottest month ever recorded on Earth” – nearly about 1.2 degrees C (2.2 degrees F) “above pre-industrial levels.” That era happens to coincide with the world’s emergence from the 500-year Little Ice Age. And “ever recorded” simply means measured; it does not include multiple earlier eras when Earth was much warmer than now. Continue reading
Governments often try to pat themselves on the back. The minimum wage has long been a tool for this. As I began my trek from Foster Road to Oaks Park Way in 2015, I couldn’t wait to earn my own money! The minimum wage was $9.25 at the time, school was out, and I began working.
Starting off at about twenty hours a week, I was having a productive summer. A year later, I came back to an early Christmas present, the Portland Metro area received a minimum wage hike up to $9.75 on July 1st of 2016, which was just fine with me.
If it wasn’t enough that they retained Valerie Jarrett to run their operations from a mansion less than ten miles from the White House, the Obama’s are now documentary producers. They join the ranks of the Carters and the Clintons in former First Families who stay in the spotlight long after their stints in leadership are over.
Michelle and Barack Obama have formed Higher Ground, a production company that is now partnered with Netflix to deliver several titles. It’s first is called “American Factory” and promotes globalization via a storyline about a Chinese company’s employment of American workers laid off because of the effects of…wait for it…globalization. Continue reading
The New York Times, through what it is calling “The 1619 Project,” has decided to rewrite American history by identifying the date of our “true founding” as August 20, 1619, 400 years ago today. The Times has picked that date because that’s the day when “20. and odd Negroes” (sic) were off-loaded from a Dutch man-of-war in Jamestown, Virginia and slavery first came ashore in what became the United States.
There is no question that slavery was our original sin as a nation, much as abortion is our great and grievous national sin today. Much blood was shed in the slave trade, and the Bible indicates that the only way a land can be purified from the shedding of innocent blood is by the shedding of blood. “You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it” (Numbers 35:33). The blood of 600,000 American brothers, fathers, and sons was spilled on American soil in the Civil War to atone for the sin of involuntary servitude. (It is a sobering thing to think of the amount of American blood which must be shed to atone for the innocent blood of 60 million babies.) Continue reading
“Good in theory, bad in practice.” Sure, it’s a cliché, but it’s a cliché because so often it’s true. It looks to be especially true regarding congestion pricing in the Pacific Northwest.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is pursuing plans to impose tolls on parts of Interstate 5 and Interstate 205. Portland recently announced the formation of an “equitable mobility” task force, with “congestion pricing” as a key component. Not to be outdone, Metro, the Portland area’s regional government, is launching a study it hopes will lead to region-wide congestion pricing.
One would expect that something as big and complex as congestion pricing would require substantial public input. However, Metro has made clear that, at least for its technical evaluation of scenarios, its process does “not anticipate significant public outreach.” This is likely because a key takeaway from a survey by DHM Research concludes tolling “is not a popular idea and residents are skeptical that it will be effective at reducing congestion.” Continue reading
Milton Friedman once famously said that “nothing is more permanent than a temporary government program.” If Friedman were currently living in Portland, Oregon, it is likely he would instead be saying “nothing is more permanent than a temporary Metro tax.” The Metro Council unanimously voted in July to approve funding for planning and development grants supported by the regional government’s construction excise tax (CET) in the 2019-20 fiscal year. This CET is riddled with problems, including the removal of its sunset date and mission creep.
The CET was originally adopted by the region in 2006 as a temporary tax to support development planning for areas newly brought into the urban growth boundary (UGB). The tax is paid by anyone applying for a building permit for construction within the UGB, with some exceptions.
Its original sunset date was slated for 2009 or until Metro collected a certain amount of money. When asked if this was a permanent tax in 2006, Metro responded by saying, “No. This tax takes effect July 1, 2006, and will remain in effect until $6.3 million is collected.” This fund threshold was met and the original sunset date was passed, however, the CET was not allowed to die. Continue reading