It’s not news that free-market visionaries provide better service than their corrupt competitors, but big government advocates are reluctant to admit it, even when such enterprise benefits their causes.
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft provide cheaper, timelier, and higher quality rides. They better serve those with lower incomes and disabilities. They give Portland residents a local source of income. They also better comply with city regulations.
Uber serves high- and low-income communities equally; taxis underserve poorer neighborhoods. Ride-hailing services connect the disabled with handicap-accessible cars; taxi companies force disabled users to wait and hope for one to eventually pass by. Continue reading
Welcome to Venezuela, where former President (aka dictator) Hugo Chavez’s daughter is its richest citizen with an estimated $4.2 billion in assets. Amazing how that happens—one of the consequences of corruption of power in government.
That reminds me of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Evita” –the story about government corruption in Argentina in the 1950’s. The character/story narrator, “Che,” laments for his country as it succumbs to the corruption of its government. He cries out “What’s new Buenos Aires? Your nation, which a few years ago had the second largest gold reserves in the world, is bankrupt! A country which grew up and grew rich on beef is rationing it! La Prensa, one of the few newspapers which dares to oppose Peronism, has been silenced, and so have all other reasonable voices! I’ll tell you what’s new Buenos Aires!” Continue reading
Metro is asking for a new tax levy this November (Measure 26-178 on your ballot) despite the fact that it already has sufficient funds to operate all its parks.
In 2002, the Metro Council enacted a garbage tax for the specific purpose of funding operations and maintenance of Metro parks. That amount was raised to $2.50 per ton in 2004. Between 2002 and 2015, the garbage tax brought in $46.8 million for Metro parks.
Given that Metro raised all this money for parks, why is Metro asking for voter approval of another $80 million parks levy in the upcoming November election? Where did the $46.8 million in garbage tax money go?
The answer can be found in a bait-and-switch ordinance adopted by Metro in 2006. The Council amended the Metro Code to retain the garbage tax, but “undedicate” its use so that revenues would be swept into the Metro General Fund.
Since 2006, regional taxpayers have paid more than $32 million in garbage taxes that should have gone to parks, but instead went to other purposes. We’ve heard the scare stories before, but it’s time to call Metro’s bluff.
Voters should reject the Metro tax levy and demand that all money from the garbage tax be rededicated to parks maintenance, as promised 14 years ago.
John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization. Allison Coleman is a Research Associate at Cascade.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwest Connection.)
If you’re in one of 16 key states – including battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania – make sure you double-check your ballot… better yet, bypass the electronic voting machines altogether and request a paper ballot.
Why? Because we’ve discovered that the company providing many of the voting machines for as many as 16 states – Smartmatic, has deep ties to leftist globalist George Soros. These machines were used in Venezuela and have been tied to the so-called “landslide” victory of President Hugo Chavez and his supporters, WikiLeaks is revealing.
Over the course of this election cycle we Americans seem to have entirely lost our reason. For example, in the face of a deluge of emails which reveal deep corruption within the Clinton campaign, including wholesale media complicity in debate manipulation and poll fraud among other things, our concern seems to center on the fact that the messages in question were allegedly hacked by “the Russians.” And so many of us have bought the party line, which comes to us direct from Emerald City. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” We must ignore the content of the damning emails, we are told, because they were “stolen.” In law, this is the doctrine that forbids “the fruit of the poison tree.” And it makes some sense when we are attempting to determine the guilt or innocence of a criminal suspect. Though the illicit information may be factual and probative, in law we nevertheless disallow it because as a society we choose not to condone illegal conduct by our authorities in their prosecution of citizens. Continue reading
Sometimes the arrogance of the Multnomah County Commissioners has no bounds. Case in appoint is Measure 26-183 which would give the commissioners the power to control who is going to be the Sheriff. This way if there is any opposition to what they want they can terminate the Sheriff at will and find another one that will be their sycophant, or lackey. An appointed Sheriff has already been tried from 1967 to 1978 with 6 appointed Sheriff’s and it failed miserably. Why you ask? Simple, when the appointed Sheriff opposed the commissioners they were terminated.
The Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said it best in a recent interview, “You don’t abandon democracy but you try to do better. You want the sheriff to be accountable to the voters not be appointed by elected officials that are looking for someone to do their bidding”.
Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has over 800 employees, and a $137million dollar budget. They operate corrections, River Patrol, Search and Rescue in short a very complex organization that must have as primary the best interest of the general public. This may be in conflict with the wishes and desires of the county commissioners but that is one of the best reasons to have that position be elected.
Don’t give up your right and privilege to vote for your Sheriff of Multnomah County vote NO Measure 26-183.
Continued hype and deceit drive climate, energy agenda – clobbering poor families
Despite constant claims to the contrary, the issue is not whether greenhouse gas emissions affect Earth’s climate. The questions are whether those emissions are overwhelming the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate fluctuations, and whether humans are causing dangerous climate change.
No Real-World evidence supports a “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis. In fact, a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect. A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us.
And yet, as Hurricane Matthew neared Florida on the very day the Paris climate accord secured enough signatures to bring it into force, politicians, activists and reporters refused to let that crisis go to waste. Continue reading
In 2006, the Metro Council submitted to the voters a general obligation bond measure in the amount of $227.4 million to fund natural area acquisition. The measure was approved.
In a little-noticed appendix to Resolution No. 06-367A, the Metro Council stated that greenway lands acquired with bond funds would be land-banked with limited maintenance beyond initial site stabilization and possible habitat restoration. The Council noted that it had the financial means to carry out this promise: Continue reading
Proponents of Measure 97 have consistently claimed that if the measure passes, it will generate an additional $3 billion annually for public education and other social services. Judging from the comments I’ve read in various Oregon newspapers, many people are falling for this argument.
Apparently none of the letter writers have ever watched a legislative appropriations hearing. These are the meetings where a tiny group of senior politicians sit in a back room and decide how to spend billions of dollars. I’ve watched hundreds of such hearings, and the most predictable outcome is that politicians will spend money in front of them on whatever they want.
Let’s just take a simple example. Oregon was one of 44 states that sued the tobacco industry in the mid-1990s to recover the health care costs associated with smoking. Plaintiffs claimed that the tobacco industry had long been imposing uncompensated costs on states in the form of health care for smokers who became sick from use of the product.
The suit was settled through adoption of a Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with the four largest tobacco manufacturers. As part of the agreement, each state was to receive payments every year from 1998 through 2025. Continue reading
The New York Times alleges (from Renew America.com 10/3/2016) that “Donald Trump may have legally avoided paying federal income taxes for as long as 18 years because of a $916 million loss he declared on his 1995 tax returns from his failed business dealings… .”
What can we assume from this allegation? We can assume that Trump filed income tax returns for every year from 1995 to the present. We can assume that IRS agents scrutinized his returns. We can assume that the IRS found that Trump’s claimed losses declared on his 1995 returns were legitimate. And we can assume that by the laws of the IRS it was perfectly legal how Trump’s losses were determined, and how Trump’s accountants met all the legal requirements.
Finally, then! We can assume that Trump is not guilty of any illegalities subtly implied by the New York Times…and that the Times innuendo is entirely politically motivated.
So, what else is news. An analogy: Black Bears make a mess by invading the garbage cans in camping sites. The why of this is very simple. Black Bears do what it is natural for them to do. Juxtaposing this analogy to the New York Times, the Times is only doing what the Times does naturally. Continue reading