Trump’s apprenticeship message to young adults: “There is dignity in every honest job”

By Kathryn Hickok

President Donald Trump stressed the dignity of work in a speech last Friday promoting his Apprenticeship Initiative for young workers. “Today, this is the message I want every young American to hear: there is dignity in every honest job, and there is nobility in every honest worker,” Trump said.

This is a timely message. According to a recent report by the American Enterprise Institute, the workforce participation rate for men 25-54 has dropped from 96% in 1967 to about 88% in 2016, an all-time low. Young men, especially with less education, are increasingly opting out of the workforce, and not just due to a weak economy. Other causes of unemployment among men include “a lack of postsecondary education, dependence on benefit programs, opioid dependency, the rising prevalence of criminal records, a lack of available jobs in economically distressed areas, and weakening cultural norms [that expect able-bodied men to be working].”

Public policies and government regulations should make it easier—not harder—for young people to develop marketable skills and experience. When young adults at the point of entry to work lose the belief that earning a paycheck is better than the ease of drawing a benefit check, the human cost is significant. Renewing a moral sense of the value of labor can refocus policy makers onto solutions promoting gainful employment, the pride of accomplishment, and financial self-sufficiency over dependence on government programs.

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director and Director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon program at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

Where Did President Obama Stay in Cuba?

This week, Barack Obama became the first U.S. President in nearly 90 years to visit the country of Cuba. While security concerns may have prevented him staying in a private home rented through Airbnb, he would have had some 2,700 such homes to choose from in Havana alone.

The amazing thing is that Cuba is a communist country, yet it allows short-term room rental services to operate, while some major American cities such as Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles do not.

While the American President likely rode through the streets of Havana in his own armored limousine, he apparently could have ridden in one of those iconic 57 Chevys if the driver had one of the still rare and expensive Cuban email accounts. Such ride-sharing services are also allowed in Havana, while Uber and Lyft are still fighting powerful taxi monopolies in some American cities.

We can have legitimate disagreements about normalizing diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba; but we should applaud the movement toward private home ownership and use, and the entrepreneurial opportunities its communist government now allows.

It will be ironic if Cuba comes into the modern free-market era at the same time that some American politicians try to impose more government restrictions on the very economic freedoms that many Cuban refugees risked their lives to achieve by coming here.

Economist Mark Skousen Reveals the “Hidden Forces” Leading to Economic Growth and a Higher Standard of Living

Cascade Policy Institute

Professor Mark Skousen

named “one of the top 20 most influential living economists

as he reveals

What Hidden Forces Lead to Economic Growth
and a Higher Standard of Living?


Why are some countries rich and others poor?


Friday, August 14, 2015
11:30am – 1:00pm

Ernesto’s Italian Restaurant

8544 SW Apple Way (just off Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy)
Portland, OR 97225 (directions)

Full Lunch Buffet and beverage

$18 complete cost including gratuity

Reservations and pre-payment required by August 12th


Mark Skousen grew up in Portland and is returning to talk with us before attending his 50th high school reunion at Sunset High School in Beaverton. His view of what leads to economic growth may surprise you—and dramatically alter your perception of how the world works. You can watch his 2005 talk for Cascade, “1776…The Triumph of an Idea,” here.

He earned his Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University and has taught economics and finance at five colleges and universities, including Columbia Business School and Columbia University. Currently, he is a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University in California. For the past 35 years, he has been editor of the award-winning investment newsletter “Forecasts & Strategies.”

Dr. Skousen has the unique distinction of having worked as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, as President of the non-profit Foundation for Economic Education, and for several for-profit companies. As a former columnist for Forbes magazine, he interviewed some of the world’s top political and business leaders, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Presidents Clinton and Bush. He has authored over 25 books on economics and finance; and as a sixth-generation direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin, he finished Franklin’s Autobiography in 2006 with The Compleated Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin.

Mark Skousen may be best known currently for being the producer of the “the world’s largest gathering of free minds,” FreedomFest, held every July in Las Vegas. 2,500 people attended this year to watch columnist Paul Krugman debate Stephen Moore, the keynote speaker at Cascade Policy Institute’s 20th Anniversary dinner cruise in 2011.

Mark Skousen’s websites are:;;

Click here for the event flyer!