Forcing people to be good

Michael Barton, Ph.D.Cascade Commentary

Summary

Proponents of new and more extensive laws against discrimination seem to lack the courage of their convictions. They want to ban only certain kinds of decisions based on racial or other characteristics but not others. While there is no shortage of lofty sentiments expressed by those advocating enforceable civil rights for every group imaginable, these same advocates are strangely reluctant to apply their legal remedies broadly to Oregonians and American society generally.

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A License to Kill (Competition)

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Occupational licensing boards often make licensing requirements arbitrarily difficult, limiting the competition within a profession. This drives up prices and keeps qualified individuals out of certain lines of work. Oregon should adopt a system of occupational certification, which give consumers the freedom to choose between certified and non-certified service providers.

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Oregon Unemployment Insurance Overpayments

William B. Conerly, Ph.D.Cascade Commentary

Summary

Fraudulent unemployment insurance claims cost Oregon taxpayers $76.3 million in 2003, or 9.5 percent of all claims paid. Oregon’s fraudulent claims rate is higher than average, and it spends significantly more on processing claims than most states. Oregonians should demand better accountability from their Employment Department before spending more on this flawed system.

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Must this Teacher be Fired?

Michael Barton, Ph.D.Cascade Commentary

Summary

Oregon’s teacher certification process keeps accomplished individuals from teaching their subjects in our public schools. Rather than providing information and methods needed to teach, it acts more like a gauntlet that discourages those with other options from entering the teaching profession.

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Deconsolidate Oregon’s School Districts

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Consolidating school districts sounds like a good idea, but in reality costs actually go up and efficiency actually goes down. Bigger districts suck power upward and away from parents and students. Accountability declines and special interests, including teacher unions, gain more power. To control costs and improve student performance, Oregon should go in the opposite direction and deconsolidate districts.

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Price Gouging is Not the Problem

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Imposing price controls to protect consumers is one of the worst things government can do in an emergency. Rapidly rising prices signal those outside the affected area to conserve scarce products, and they signal producers to ship more of those products into the affected area quickly. Price controls short circuit such signals, turning a natural disaster into a political one.

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Public School Monopoly Fails Latino Children

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Both nationwide and in Oregon, Latino students score far below their white classmates on standardized tests and are also much more likely to drop out before finishing school. Latino parents understand that education is one of the keys to achieving the American Dream, but our public school system is failing their children. School vouchers are an effective, empowering and democratic reform that will help Latino families achieve their dreams for their children’s futures.

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Job Seekers Need Wheels to Wealth

John A. Charles, Jr.Cascade Commentary

Summary

Many public policies are designed to “get people out of their cars,” but recent research has shown that owning a car greatly increases a poor person’s ability to find better-paying work. Over the next year, Cascade Policy Institute’s Wheels to Wealth project will study the travel patterns of low-income families in Portland and educate journalists and policymakers about the value of private car ownership.

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Better, Cheaper Health care for Oregonians

Steve Buckstein

Cascade Commentary

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

 

As the last decade ended, healthcare spending by Oregon’s state and local governments was 57 percent higher than in demographically comparable states. This startling statistic, from Cascade’s just-released report, How Does Oregon Government Spending Rank? should energize policy makers to look for better, cheaper ways to deliver healthcare services to Oregonians.

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