Publications

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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A Prescription for Affordable Housing in Portland

A new issue faces Portland. City Hall is considering waiving development fees for developers of market-rate housing in the Old Town Chinatown district.

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Oregon’s Prescription-Only Cold Medicine Law Needs a New Look

In recent years, Cascade Policy Institute has tracked and analyzed the effectiveness of a 2006 Oregon state law that requires all citizens to obtain a doctor’s prescription before buying pseudoephedrine-based cold and allergy medication. Overall, our analysis found that the law produced a minimal impact on the state’s methamphetamine problem, based on the fact that […]

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U.S. Has the Worst Health Care? Not by a Long Shot

Few complaints about the U.S. health care system are as common as the claim that we spend too much on health care and get too little for all that spending in return—especially compared to other industrialized nations.

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Leave Lodging Alone

On July 2, the Portland City Council held a hearing on proposed amendments to the Zoning Code concerning short-term rentals. The council chambers were packed with citizens who support legalizing renting one or two bedrooms from a primary residence.

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Portland Public Schools’ New Ombudsman Should Be Independent

In response to parent complaints, Portland Public Schools will create a new ombudsman position. An ombudsman is a person within an organization who provides accountability and investigates complaints.

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Milton Friedman’s Education Savings Accounts: The Future of Oregon Education?

The “father of school choice” accurately predicted the modern voucher programs in Ohio and Wisconsin would spread to other states as vouchers demonstrated their effectiveness. Evidence, anecdotal and empirical, from such programs have ignited the interest of parents nationwide to demand similar opportunities for their children. Two decades after Friedman’s prediction, there are 51 school choice programs in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

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The “Sharing Economy” Benefits Homeowners, Guests

By Everet Rummel An emerging sector of many local economies is “homesharing,” or renting space in your home to strangers for a short term, usually a few nights. Smartphone apps such as Airbnb allow owners to list their homes for renters to see. Homesharing is controversial because it remains informal in most places and challenges […]

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Seattle’s Giant Job Killer

By Erin Shannon The city of Seattle made history last month with an ordinance that will force every employer in the city to pay every worker a $15 per hour minimum wage, which is the highest in the nation. But before progressives in Portland try to hold up Seattle as a model, they should watch […]

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Common Sense this Independence Day

I’ve taken two tours of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Though it was full of vivid history about the signers of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration, I don’t recall seeing much about a relatively unsung hero of the American Revolution, Jefferson’s friend Thomas Paine, who stirred the new nation to action. In the months before our country declared […]

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