The only way to get economic activity going in Oregon is to bring money into the State. We can export things, or we can keep money here that was going out.
As for exports, the Bonneville Power Administration is about to raise electric rates 15% (on top of the 46% from last year), making nearly everything we would export more expensive. For a long time, engineers ran BPA, and it worked. But then the politicians took over, and now 75% of the benefits BPA was supposed to provide to the Region flow to a handful of investor-owned utilities. And the BPA Administrator who engineered this happy result now works for the biggest investor-owned utility. The Federal Government also attacks the Northwest through bogus “endangered species lists”―at the same time there are so many salmon there are “hog lines” on the River going after them.
If we can’t sell goods to bring money into the State, we could get people to spend their money here. To get any real amount of money in, that means building things. But Salem has its dead hand on development, choking it off. Billions of dollars stand idle waiting to develop properties in Oregon. How do we know this? Because before the bunch of crooks running our state assassinated Measure 7, they estimated that it would cost billions of dollars if the State had to compensate its citizens for the damages caused by not letting them build!
Oregon’s land use system is out of control and a moral stain on this state. Who are we to tell small farmers that they can’t build a second house on their land? Who are we to tell a couple that they can’t build their retirement home? Or even to tell rich developers that they can’t put in a new ski resort? While we throw crazy people on the street for lack of public funds, our Legislature, in cooperation with the cadre of enviro-bureaucrats and nongovernmental co-conspirators in control of our agencies, increased “natural resource agency” funding by 15% in the last two years. Citizens want state police, but legislators want enviro-cops.
Nearly every problem facing Oregon can be laid at the foot of the crowd in Salem or Washington, D.C. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, armies of their officials are “eating our substance”, and if they would get out of the way, the economy in Oregon would improve. But the Salem crowd wants to raise taxes, sign a deal with a major league baseball team, and get their names in the paper. Portland wants to raise taxes and buy PGE. Moving money around inside Oregon lets the politicians skim off their piece, but it doesn’t do a thing for ordinary citizens.
Ordinary citizens are smart enough to know how to let people build things in Oregon without ruining the environment, even if the experts aren’t. Tell your public officials to either figure it out, or get a new job. Unless and until a whole lot of citizens step forward and start getting involved, things are going be getting a whole lot worse.