About John Charles

President and CEO

Anaheim, a Free-Market Laboratory

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

The massive cost overruns on the aerial tram have been a source of much embarrassment to the Portland city council recently, but problems with the South Waterfront project go far beyond the tram. The city also has a major funding shortfall for other infrastructure projects in the district, including the greenway, road improvements, subsidized housing and the streetcar extension. As local elected officials stagger from one crisis to the next, it’s clear that they don’t have a solution.

Fortunately, we can learn a few lessons by

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Time to Sell Off the University System?

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Kirby Dyess, vice president of the State Board of Higher Education, stunned her colleagues last week by suggesting that the board sell or close one of Oregon’s seven state universities. The proposal was made in response to ongoing financial problems with the higher education system, caused largely by the skyrocketing cost of employee health insurance and retirement benefits.

None of her fellow board members voted to support the

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Public Schools: They’re Not Really Public

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

One of the biggest challenges for parents is deciding where to live in order to ensure a decent education for their kids. They can guess which neighborhoods have the best public schools, but if they guess wrong, it’s not that easy to just buy another home. This leads to large-scale gaming of the system by parents, who frequently send their kids to live with relatives or rent an apartment near the preferred school while maintaining their “real” home elsewhere.

The Portland school district is cracking down

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Retail Discrimination

John A. Charles, Jr.QuickPoint!

Walgreens wants to open a drugstore in Sandy. Some local residents are opposed because Walgreens is a large, successful company with over 5,000 stores. Opponents feel that a chain drugstore would undermine the “small-town” feel of Sandy and threaten the economic viability of existing stores.

This is part of a growing trend of intolerance by

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