Month: December 2010

Press Release: Portland Attorney Gilion Dumas Elected Cascade Policy Institute Board Member

Portland, OR – Gilion Dumas is the newest board member of Cascade Policy Institute. Dumas is a partner at the Portland law firm O’Donnell Clark & Crew. The Cascade Board of Directors elected Dumas on December 10.

“For years, I’ve admired Cascade’s tireless efforts to champion economic and personal liberty,” Dumas remarked. “I look forward to working with the Board and staff to promote ideas for Oregon that foster freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility.”

Cascade’s board members and staff are excited that Dumas has joined the Cascade team. “Gilion’s expertise in small business ownership will strengthen Cascade’s capacity to develop strategies for new job formation – which is the most important challenge now facing the state,” stressed John A. Charles Jr., Cascade President and CEO.

Dumas joins seven current Cascade board members, including Chairman William B. Conerly, Ph.D., Michael L. Barton, Ph.D., Larry W. Dennis, Sr., Jon Egge, David Gore, William Udy, and John A. Charles, Jr.

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Virginia, Don’t Stop Believing in Yourself

Do you believe in Santa Claus? By the time most of us stop believing in a literal Santa Claus, we are well on our way to believing in a figurative one that goes by the name welfare state or big government.

Have trouble feeding your family? Santa State can help. Need affordable housing or health care? Welfare Santa to the rescue.

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Renewable Energy Woes

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

Renewable Energy Woes

by Todd Wynn

Earlier in the decade, the City of Portland and the State of Oregon set goals for the government to reach 100% renewable energy by 2010. Both failed miserably. Portland reached only nine percent and the state only one or two percent. What was the reason for failure? According to state officials, the goal was unrealistic and too costly.

Although fiscal reality blocked the government’s goal, another goal will directly affect Oregon households. In 2007, the Oregon legislature imposed a Renewable Portfolio Standard. Major electric utilities are forced to provide 25% of their energy from renewable sources (excluding hydroelectricity) by 2025. This means all ratepayers are forced to pay for renewable energy whether they want or can afford it.

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“Stabilizing” University of Oregon Funding – At the Expense of Everything Else

Cascade CommentaryGeorge Leef

“Stabilizing” University of Oregon Funding – At the Expense of Everything Else

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By George Leef

Almost everyone has to worry about money. A worker’s income depends on satisfying bosses, clients, patients or even voters. Businesses worry about earning enough to cover their costs—i.e., whether they pass “the test of the market.”

And most educational institutions have to worry about money. University presidents lose sleep over the possibility that enrollments might fall, donations decline or politicians decide to spend less on them and more on other things.

Life would be a lot nicer if you didn’t have to worry about money.

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“Superman” Sets Off Education Debate, But CSF Kids Learn Today

This week, Parade Magazine published its first-ever list of “Personalities of the Year.” Top of the list: “the kids of Waiting for ‘Superman’ Five students who kicked off a national debate about education.” The film Waiting for ‘Superman’, described as an “early favorite to win an Academy Award,” portrays the plight of low-income parents trying to break cycles of poverty and low achievement by sending their kids to charter schools.

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Renewable Energy Failure: Why Government Mandates Don’t Work and What They Will Do to Our Economy

By Torey Holderith and Todd Wynn

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Here is an excerpt:

Renewable energy has long been hailed as the cure-all for Oregon’s economy. “Good policy, good for economic development, good for the environment,” the Oregon Department of Energy declared. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Good public policy enables long-term achievement while also enabling short-term success. The reality of the energy policies coming out of the State of Oregon and the City of Portland is that they do neither. (more…)

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City of Portland and State of Oregon Fail to Achieve 2010 Renewable Energy Goals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Todd Wynn
Vice-President
Cascade Policy Institute
503-242-0900
todd@cascadepolicy.org
www.cascadepolicy.org

City of Portland and State of Oregon Fail to Achieve 2010 Renewable Energy Goals

Download full report here.

Portland, OR, December 14, 2010 – In the last decade the City of Portland and the State of Oregon set goals for the government to reach 100% renewable energy use by 2010.

Nothing regarding the progress of reaching these goals has been released to date.

Why? Because both entities have failed miserably due to the goals being unrealistic from the start and the reality of fiscal responsibility finally setting in. (more…)

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Biggest Bang for Your Buck? A Closer Look at Portland’s $548 Million School Modernization Proposal

Lindsay BerschauerCascade Commentary

Biggest Bang for Your Buck?
A Closer Look at Portland’s $548 Million School Modernization Proposal

by Lindsay Berschauer

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The Portland Public School District held a public hearing December 1 concerning the $548 million School Modernization Bond Measure it hopes to place on the May 2011 ballot.

The District argues that such an expensive bond, the largest local bond in Oregon state history, is necessary to tear down and rebuild only eight of the 85 schools in the District. For those eight schools, they have allocated $372 million. The other $176 million is earmarked for minor upgrades to other schools and paying off previous school improvement debt that the District has incurred. The goal? The District argues that the new schools will increase property values in Portland, improve student achievement and behavior and increase enrollment. But in this down economy, are Portland residents getting the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to the cost value of these “rebuild” schools?

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Get trained by Steve Buckstein on the Oregon Budget!

Below is a Letter from Richard P. Burke

As you many know, the Oregon legislature will be back in session in early January.  But already, our senators and representatives are meeting, caucasing, and feeling each other out on possible budget deals that could be struck in their efforts to deal with Oregon’s $3 billion budget gap.  NOW is the perfect time for grass roots action, when their minds are still open and they have the most flexibility.  Now is the time to lobby them to steer clear of new taxes and reduce government spending.
For this purpose, I have organized a training conference and celebration to take place on Saturday, December 11th at 12:30pm.  The event will last until 8pm and will include dinner.  The conference will be at the Shilo Inn at the Portland Airport, located at 11707 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97220.  I am organizing this event under the auspices of the non-partisan “Committee for a “l”ibertarian Majority” (CLM).  The event is being supported by Americans for Prosperity, the Oregon 9-12 Project, and Cascade Policy Institute.  Full details are in the attached event flyer.

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Help CSF Win $200,000 Award from American Express

Kathryn Hickok

The Children’s Scholarship Fund, the national organization that provides matching funding to Cascade for the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland program, has been presented with a wonderful opportunity.

Support the Children’s Scholarship Fund today by voting online for CSF to win $200,000 from American Express.

All you have to do is join Members Project by registering a username and e-mail address and cast a vote for CSF each week starting Monday, November 29, through Sunday, February 20.  You do not have to be an American Express cardholder to join and vote. After the three-month voting period is complete, Members Project will tally the votes and announce the winners.

To join Members Project and start casting your votes, go to: http://www.takepart.com/membersproject/vote now!

CSF is currently #1 in the education category, but we need you to keep voting to win! And please tell your friends and associates who want to help low-income kids get a head start in life with a good education! Thank you so much!

For more information, check out the CSF blog.

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Health Care Reform: Then and Now

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint12-8-10Steve.mp3]

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by Steve Buckstein

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In 1993, syndicated columnist Mike Royko had some choice words about Hillary Clinton’s national health care reform. Seventeen years later his words seem just as appropriate for Barack Obama’s plan. Here’s an extended quote:

“I listened to much of her testimony about how and why the health care program would be terrific for all of us. And I couldn’t figure out what the heck she was talking about. It was a deadly combination of bureaucratic jargon and legal jargon. And if any congressman claims to have understood it, he has been in Washington too long.

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John Charles on Populations TV

Special thanks to Populations for inviting Cascade to be on the program. Be sure to check out their other videos by visiting their website.

Click “Continue Reading” to Watch the Full Video

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A Free Market Approach to Sustainability

Karla Kay EdwardsQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint%202-7-10Karla.mp3]

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by Karla Kay Edwards

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Using the free market to drive industry change is foreign to many, but it has been proven over time a much more effective way to achieve change than a top-down regulatory approach. Case in point, Walmart recently announced its new sustainable agriculture policy. The business behemoth is the United States’ largest purveyor of groceries, and therefore, one of the largest customers for the agriculture and food processing industries around the world.

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Run Government Like a Business?

Steve Buckstein
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint11-24-10Steve.mp3]

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By Steve Buckstein

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Should we run government like a business? While it sounds nice, it may be impossible.

The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises told us why in his classic 1944 book entitled Bureaucracy. He explained that only through the pricing mechanism of private markets can we direct goods and services to their highest-valued uses.

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A Closer Look at Portland’s $548 Million School Modernization Proposal: Biggest Bang for Your Buck?

Lindsay BerschauerCascade Commentary

The Portland Public School District will hold a public hearing tonight (12/1) at 5:30 pm concerning its $548 million School Modernization Bond Measure.

The District is arguing that such an expensive bond, the largest local bond in Oregon state history, is necessary to tear down and rebuild only eight of the 85 schools in the District. For those eight schools, they have allocated $372 million. The other $176 million is earmarked for minor upgrades to other schools and paying off previous school improvement debt that the District has incurred. The goal? The District argues that the new schools will increase property values in Portland, improve student achievement and behavior and increase enrollment. But in this down economy, are Portland residents getting the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to the cost value of these “rebuild” schools?

The following is the testimony Lindsay Berschauer has prepared for the public hearing.

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Federal Land Management Agencies Hinder Rural Entrepreneurs

Karla Kay EdwardsCascade Commentary

Federal Land Management Agencies Hinder Rural Entrepreneurs

by Karla Kay Edwards

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Rural communities throughout Oregon provide a cultural foundation for entrepreneurs. One of the reasons for this is that folks living in rural areas often find it necessary to improvise when solving a problem rather than running to the nearest store. This necessity to maximize available resources generates small business innovations in rural communities. However, it is often government bureaucracy that stifles the commercialization or growth of many of these small businesses.

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