Commentaries

More Tax Dollars for College ― Or Prepare Students to Succeed There?

Oregon voters are being asked this November to authorize spending more tax dollars to help some students afford an arguably unaffordable higher education. Measure 86 will create a permanent fund to subsidize certain students, which can be financed several ways including through state general obligation bonds. Any bonds issued under the so-called Oregon Opportunity Initiative […]

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The Elliott State Forest Should Be an Asset―Not a Liability―for Oregon Schools

By Jordan Lofthouse, Randy Simmons, and John A. Charles, Jr. With Oregon’s schools constantly facing budget crises, why are our lawmakers missing out on the opportunity to give more money to our kids? As part of the Common School Trust Lands, the Elliott State Forest has the constitutional obligation to generate money for Oregon’s schools. […]

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It’s Time to Change Our Failed Federal Lands Policy

In 1976, Congress changed its “policy” regarding our public lands (Federal Lands Policy Management Act, or FLPMA). This “policy” change sought to retain public lands in federal ownership―ignoring the 200-year-old obligation of Congress to transfer title to our public lands.

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Conservation Is Not Always the Best Option

The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is considering a request by the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) to allow the Trust to spend ratepayer dollars on certain energy efficiency measures that don’t pencil out. The Oregonian has correctly noted that if the estimated benefits of such projects are less than costs, we should stop spending […]

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Will Parent Rebellion Spell Doom for Common Core?

If one asked most people a couple years ago about the Common Core national education standards, the response would have been a blank stare. Now, Common Core is a front-burner political issue because parents are discovering that their children are struggling under the new standards.

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Will the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Subsidies Be ObamaCare’s Downfall?

By Sally C. Pipes The battle over ObamaCare has shifted to the courts. This time, the president is on the defensive. Last month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 in Halbig v. Burwell that the federal government lacks the authority to provide subsidies to offset the […]

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Eight Out of Ten Oregonians Agree: Let employees choose whether or not to join a union or pay union dues

Because of a deal struck by Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregonians won’t have the opportunity to end forced union dues in the public sector this year. However, a just-released public opinion poll makes it clear that if the Public Employee Choice Act had been on this November’s ballot, most voters likely would have supported it. The poll, conducted for National Employee […]

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A free-market guru with ties to Portland

In honor of Milton Friedman’s 102nd birthday this July 31, below is Steve Buckstein’s op-ed in Friedman’s memory, which appeared in The Oregonian the day after Friedman passed away in 2006. Full text A great champion of human liberty passed away on Thursday at the age of 94.  Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1976, […]

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Is There a More Flexible Way for Students to Invest in Themselves?

State Treasurer Ted Wheeler has proposed a new program intended to help Oregon students go to college in spite of the quickly ballooning cost of tuition. Under the proposed “Oregon Opportunity Initiative,” the state of Oregon could borrow money by selling general obligation bonds and then invest the proceeds. Students could receive grants or other subsidies from the earnings on this investment each year, while taxpayers would be responsible for paying back the bonds.

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The Portland Seed Fund: Lots of Fertilizer, Little Growth

The Portland Seed Fund (PSF) started in 2011 as a joint public-private venture intended to close a funding gap for entrepreneurs attempting to start a business. It invests $25,000 in each selected startup and reserves money for follow-up investments.

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