Educational Savings Accounts: The “Smartphones” of Parental Choice

Yesterday the Senate Interim Education Committee of the Oregon Legislature held an informational hearing on Educational Savings Accounts, or ESAs. The focus of the hearing was the recently passed ESA legislation from Nevada, which will make 93% of Nevada students eligible for ESAs in 2016 and all students eligible by 2027 (at the latest). Educational […]


Oregon Scraping Bottom in State Integrity Rankings

This week the Center for Public Integrity released a report grading the 50 states on governance. The metrics used to measure integrity included the categories of “Public Access to Information,” “Lobbying Disclosure,” and “Ethics Agency Enforcement.” Oregon was ranked 44th among the states, with a grade of “F.” Oregon’s poor ranking was not a surprise […]


Get Oregon out of the Liquor Business

There are still eighteen so-called “control states” in America that exert substantial control over the sale of liquor. Oregon is one of them, virtually monopolizing its warehousing, distribution, and sale through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). You would think that independent-minded Oregonians would have rebelled against such control by now. Next year, they might. […]


Portland Worries About Homelessness, While Metro Makes Housing Less Affordable

The Portland City Council has decided to allocate $20 million to solve a perceived crisis with “homelessness” and another $67 million to subsidize “affordable housing.” As usual with Portland spending, these numbers were pulled out of thin air; they have no connection to an actual strategy. If the Council had done some thinking, it might […]


How Washington Is Disinheriting American Kids

By Jared Meyer and Kathryn Hickok Is Washington, D.C. disinheriting America’s kids? You bet. Achieving the American Dream will be more difficult for the next generation because policies and programs created by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington restrict economic opportunity for the young. The expansion of entitlement benefits and government services places a major future […]


How Would You Spend $100 Million?

How would you spend $100 million? If you’re Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the most successful social network on the planet, you spend it trying to improve one of the most unsuccessful public school districts in America: the one in Newark, New Jersey. In 2010 Zuckerberg donated $100 million to the Newark Public School System on […]


Is TriMet Better Off Than Greece?

Syndicated financial writer Malcolm Berko recently advised a small investor to stay away from Greek bonds or securities. He wrote, “Greece has morphed into a bureaucratic five-star welfare state; but in reality, Greece is a one-star economy. The pensions and entitlements consume 52 percent of government income.” Well, TriMet’s most recent audited financial statement was […]


Scaling Down: The Power of One

Is it truly possibly for one person to make a positive difference in education in America? Darla Romfo has a good answer to this question. She is president of the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which has helped more than 145,000 low-income children nationwide to attend private grade schools. She wrote: “[Children’s Scholarship Fund founder] John [Walton] […]


The Minimum Wage Conversation Never Ends

Oregon and some other states mandate that their minimum wage increase every year with the Consumer Price Index. Based on that formula, last Wednesday it was announced that Oregon’s minimum wage, the second highest in the country at $9.25 an hour, will stay unchanged in 2016. That same evening during the Republican presidential debate, one […]


Tilikum Crossing: More Punishment for Motorists

The new bridge over the Willamette River, TriMet’s Tilikum Crossing, opened for business on Saturday. With beautiful weather and parties at every stop of the Orange MAX line, a good time was had by the thousands of sightseers. Unfortunately, now that we’ve returned to gray skies and normal weekday travel, it’s clear that the bridge […]