Socialism is, and always will, be a colossal failure. This is for the simple reason that even the best of men eventually grow tired of getting ripped off. An entire economy based on theft – even legalized theft – cannot possibly work.
We’re always told that the only reason socialism has never worked is that the right people haven’t been in charge. Well, if there were ever a group of men who were the right people to put in charge of an experiment in socialism, it was our Pilgrim forebears.
They were godly, steeped in Scripture, and pure in motive. As Governor Bradford said, these were “good and honest men.” In fact, the entire purpose of their relocation to the New World was for “the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.” (Yes, America was founded as a Christian nation.) Continue reading
Although he was not my first choice for President, I voted for President-Elect Donald Trump because he was far preferable to the Wicked Witch of the East. While it is true that he does not meet all of my high standards for charm, wisdom, humility, and political correctness, I realize that I am probably the only one who does! It is funny how that works.
Of course, Donald’s detractors do not even get that far in evaluating him. Because he is a fabulously wealthy Caucasian businessman from the Republican Party, he is automatically racist, sexist, homophobic, and everything else that Democrats see in opponents but never in themselves. In a word, he and his followers are “deplorable” for opposing their Leftist ideology. That must include me, as I am all of those things (except fabulously wealthy). Such critiques must strike even Democrats as shallow. Continue reading
Having achieved major goals, US should refocus EPA and other environmental agencies
Donald Trump plans to “roll back progress” on climate change, energy and the environment, activists, regulators and their media allies assert. The claim depends on one’s definition of “progress.”
These interest groups define “progress” as ever-expanding laws, regulations, bureaucracies and power, to bring air and water emissions of every description down to zero, to prevent diseases that they attribute to manmade pollutants and forestall “dangerous manmade climate change.” Achieving those goals requires controlling nearly every facet of our economy, industries, lives, livelihoods and living standards. Continue reading
The housing affordability crisis is turning Portland, already one of the whitest cities in America, into one that is even whiter. Census data indicate that, between 2010 and 2014, the number of whites living in the city of Portland grew by 30,500, or 6.8%, but the number of blacks shrank by 4,500, or 11.5%.
Some of those blacks moved to Portland suburbs, but most moved out of the Portland area completely. While the number of whites in the Portland urban area grew by 94,000, the number of blacks shrank by 3,400.
Even before 2010, Portland’s high housing prices were negatively affecting blacks and other low-income groups. Census data show that, between 2000 and 2010, the share of households headed by whites living in single-family detached homes declined by 3.3%, but the share of households headed by blacks living in such homes declined 16.1%. Continue reading
“Making America great again” requires deep-sixing punitive energy and environmental rules
The American people have roundly rejected a third Obama term and legacy of deplorable policies that were too often imposed via executive edicts, with minimal attempts to work with Congress or the states.
This election shows that hard-working Americans do not want their country and its constitutional, energy and economic systems “fundamentally transformed.” They want America to be great and exceptional again. They want all people to live under the same laws and have the same opportunities, rights and responsibilities for making their lives, families, communities and nation better than they found them. Continue reading
There have been many negative comments about the Clackamas County Commission’s choice to study changing the long term zoning designations on three areas amounting to 1625 acres. These areas are currently planned as rural reserve. We proposed to mark them as “undesignated”. The total of these properties are less than 2% of the county’s proposed rural reserve designation and less than 0.5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the county’s foundation farmland.
This proposal is not as aggressive as what the Clackamas County Business alliance and the County’s own Economic Development Commission support. Even the opponents of development agree that if development ever occurred it would be 25 years out. No economic development study was done prior to these lands being designated. Metro says they have no responsibility for economic development. But as a county it’s our responsibility to look out for economic development. Urban rural designations were and experiment to create 50 year rural reserves. It has not played out in any of the other counties in the state. Urban/rural reserves were so screwed up in Washington County that the legislature had to intervene. Continue reading
What is remarkable about our Fall into Winter? It seems inevitable. Our days get rapidly shorter. We get colder. And our winter rains return, with lots of snow in the mountains.
But as soon as you look at the details, you realize that what we think is simple and inevitable is really a wondrous combination of factors. For instance, we cool off this time of year twice as fast as we warm up in the Spring. Every four days, we ratchet down one degree Fahrenheit in average high temperature. That average cooling slows to a crawl by the Winter Solstice (near Christmas), and begins its slow ascent toward Summer on the 6th of January (the Twelfth Day of Christmas).
Yet our coldest day of the year at the Portland airport was February 2, 1950 when we sank to -3 F. Although we have observed a trace of snow as early as October 31, we typically get our greatest snowfalls after the first of the year and can still get significant snow as late as March. Our greatest accumulation of snow at the Portland airport occurred January 31, 1950, just as we experienced our only two days below zero. Continue reading
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.)