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.