Oregon Needs a Free-Market Makeover

By Eric Fruits, Ph.D

“What’s the one thing you’d do to fix Oregon?” That’s a tough question, because there’s no single fix for all of Oregon’s problems.

Every single issue the government touches in Oregon is in need of free-market reform.

Despite spending more than the national average, our schools have some of the worst achievement and graduation rates in the country.

Oregon has some of the worst housing affordability in the country because we make it so hard to build new housing.

We have a homelessness crisis because we have some of the highest rates of untreated mental illness and substance abuse.

We have a shortage of hospital beds because state law makes it virtually impossible to build new hospitals or add to existing ones.

We have some of the worst roads in the country because state and local leaders have waged a decades-long war on cars.

We’re facing a 30% chance of widespread power outages because state policy is focused on reducing the state’s carbon footprint at the expense of grid reliability.

Each of these crises affects the day-to-day lives of most Oregonians, and none of them can be solved with one quick fix. We need long-haul, top-to-bottom free-market reforms to bounce back to being the Most Livable Place in the Country. As you’re filling out your ballot this week, cast your vote for the candidates who are willing and able to carry this off.

Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Comments 1

  1. Avatar for LAWRENCE


    11:15 am - November 7, 2022

    I couldn’t agree with Eric Fruits more on each of the issues raised in his short piece above. It would certainly make things easier, however, if the people who might be willing to deliver a free market makeover didn’t also carry the baggage of being Trump supporters, election deniers, January 6 apologists and almost to a person, people who would make abortion illegal in Oregon if given the chance. The Republican Party used to be an organization to which one could turn in order to stop the Democrats from carrying out their lunatic ideas. Now it is simply a second unacceptable option which, if chosen, comes with all its own lunacy. It is appalling to me that Betsy Johnson is polling as badly as she is when in fact she embodies the ideas and positions that this state needs to pull us out of this quagmire created by so many years of Democratic rule. The people of this state need to remove their ideological blinders and start electing people who want to fix the problems that Dr. Fruits has correctly identified above without introducing unnecessary garbage into the political mix.

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