Commentaries

What Can Be Learned from Portland’s Smart Growth Experience?

The annual “New Partners for Smart Growth” conference opens in Portland on Thursday, February 11. “Smart Growth” refers to an amorphous planning theory favoring (or requiring) high urban densities, mixed-use development, and non-auto travel. Given Portland’s status as the Mecca for this philosophy, it’s likely that the conference will be a love fest of planners, […]

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Oregon’s Minimum Wage Law Perverts Compassion into Coercion

Picture two Oregon workers. One, a highly skilled and educated woman named Kate, earns well over $40 per hour based on a 40-hour work week. The other—a younger, less skilled, and less educated woman also named Kate—has a job that pays her Oregon’s minimum wage rate of $9.25 per hour. The first Kate happens to […]

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Oregon Legislature Should Continue Open Enrollment in Public Schools

By Bobbie Jager This week marks National School Choice Week, and states across the nation have much to celebrate. In the past decade, choice advocates across the political spectrum have worked to pass legislation including full funding for online and charter schools, education savings accounts, scholarship tax credits for children with disabilities, and open enrollment, […]

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Taxpayers Bear the Risk of a Very Rich Oregon Public Employees Retirement System

By Randall Pozdena The Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) fund is, once again, in the news because of its weak financial condition. The Oregon Supreme Court recently rejected cost containment changes to PERS plans. Also, asset returns have been weaker than hoped. The Oregonian reported last December 1 that PERS’ unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) […]

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Freedom in Film: Nicky’s Family (2011)

As the world approaches 2016, we reflect on what transpired in 2015 and what lies ahead in the New Year. The terrorism we saw recently in Paris and San Bernardino was terrible; but 6,000 people are alive today who witnessed those events through the eyes of 669 relatives who would have perished in the Nazi […]

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Freedom in Film: Becket (1964)

Film and stage legend Peter O’Toole died December 14, 2013, at age 81. Best known for his epic Lawrence of Arabia, O’Toole is also remembered for his dramatization of King Henry II in Becket (1964), for which he received one of his eight Academy Award nominations. What makes Becket particularly special is the dynamic, intense […]

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Uber and Portland: “The Future and Its Enemies” Clash in the Rose City

The Portland City Council has voted 3-2 to let ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft operate permanently in the city. The normally “progressive” council members’ split decision revealed a conflict of visions that does not fall along ideological lines as much as it falls along lines revealing how they view the future. Author Virginia Postrel wrote […]

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Freedom in Film: Mockingjay, Part 1 (2014)

When the first film of the Hunger Games series premiered, Cascade’s Sarah Wolf wrote about the themes of human freedom found in the popular novels by Suzanne Collins. “In a society where rules and oppression define the lives of its citizens,” she wrote, “the fictional Katniss shows that freedom is not completely lost, despite the […]

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Freedom in Film and Fiction: A Cascade Series

Since 2013, “Freedom in Film and Fiction” has been an occasional series of book and film reviews housed on Cascade’s blog Cascade Insider. We’re moving this series to Cascade’s main website. Join us as we explore themes of freedom and timeless truths in literature and art. (originally published February 27, 2013) Great truths come to […]

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That “old technocratic central planning impulse” is alive and well in Oregon

One of the most memorable and talked about lines from the November 10th Republican presidential debate came from Senator Marco Rubio, who said, “For the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.” The fact-checkers quickly came up […]

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