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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937


A Just Peace


SIP contract online


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 

Hard Times in Oregon: 


The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   




    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People


    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 


•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.


•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  


"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison


"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx



































RAD Lines

There are 42 housing units for every 100 low income families in Oregon

Housing Needs in Oregon 




#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941


Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 


    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   



     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 

"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams


"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  


“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 


"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals


"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  


"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)


"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln


Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 


“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift


" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor







































     Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has been roundly "booed" for saying that "there is a special place in hell for women who don't support other women."  She's apologized for that remark and Hillary has distanced herself from it while acknowledging that Albright has said this many times over the years.  Clearly the passion of the moment caught Albright and hurt her good friend Hillary Clinton. 

     But the quote aside, what underscores Albright's "unforced error" is a hidden truth not in the comment per se but what speaks to the naivete of youth, male and female in the 2016 campaign.  Albright like other women of her generation fought to get where they are while dealing with the glass ceiling.  Now as highly educated women they have succeeded very well indeed.  And Albright feels Hillary has earned our trust and vote.   

     What women like Albright fail to acknowledge is that most women have not cracked the glass ceiling and like most men are increasingly relegated to the marginal middle class at best.  And young mostly white women of privilege unlike Albirght and Clinton have not had to experience this baptism of fire in as hostile an environment.  Then how many women of power "pay it forward" when given the chance?  

     From what I know of Hillary Clinton as a public figure is that she has "paid it forward" in many ways and in her private life as well.  Having stayed the course with Slick Willie while raising a marvellous young woman by all accounts, Chelsea, Hillary deserves a lot of credit.  Rather than being embittered as the "good wife" she has sucked it up and pushed on with grace and grit.  Kudos to her.   

     Young women need to be reminded but for women like Hillary Clinton their options would be far different today.  But that said, Bernie Sanders is right to point out time and time again that white men and their silent partners who compose the 1% of US society have arrogantly lived in privilege while pursuing a path of endless greed which put our nation and the global economy on the edge of an abyss.   

     But millennials typical of most Americans have no sense of history - all they know is the "now."  And the now is about accumulated college debt which compromises career choices, getting married, having kids and buying a home.  And they are the lucky ones who don't face homelessness, joblessnes, the cycle of addiction of their peers who didn't go to college but ended in the streets or came home from endless war with PTSD. 

     I vividly remember my students of privilege in 1970 at Dickinson College who erupted after Kent State.  Up to then the campus had been largely silent but then hell broke lose.  Why - the men were draft bait, the women had male brothers and/or friends who were draft bait - suddenly the War in Vietnam became very personal.  But once Nixon ended the draft - within a year campus eruptions eroded and on to the next issue we went - the environment.  

      Student debt is personal, tangible so the Bern's promise of "free" public college education is like ending the draft and de-Americanizing the war after Kent State back in the day!  It's an appeal to youth self-interest not altruism.  Education cannot be free - "there ain't no free lunch."  K-12 is NOT FREE ask any Oregon taxpayer!  How can college be "free?"  You expect college professors to take a vow of poverty?  Good luck on that one!  

     I have a very close friend, like a third son, who has a niece and nephew who like the Bern but may vote for Trump if Hillary is the Democratic nominee.  This is a Faustian choice only made possible by a generation who has no sense of history.  How one could vote for a Democratic Socialist in a primary, then vote for a neo-Fascist is beyond belief but exit polls show they are not alone and it's not just an age thing! 

     So my message to youth - do your homework - kick the tires, check under the hood and ask yourself which candidate not only has the rhetoric you like but which one has the resume, the expertise and the common sense to chart a course for all Americans beginning the day they take the oath of office on January 20, 2017?  Your November vote may be the most important choice of your life going forward. 

      I remember being so pissed off at LBJ's damn war and the fiasco of the DNC in Chicago which nominated Humphrey in '68 that I refused to vote for HHH but led a write in campaign in Minnesota for Clean Gene.  HHH won his home state so my abortive anger didn't matter but the nation turned to Tricky Dick and that mattered a lot - 5 more years of Vietnam, then Watergate. 

     Just casting an "I'm pissed off" vote is not enough.  Which of these candidates can get the job done facing what President Obama has faced for 7 plus years - an opposition committed before day 1 to make you a failed president!  Ideals are fine but every POTUS has to have a certain Machiavellian pragmatism to survive the gauntlet of our highly polarized polity. 

    Which candidates have the "competence" to use what Richard Neustadt called presidential "power stakes" to be President?  Of all the contenders thus far - Hillary comes to mind as does John Kasich and Jeb Bush, both former governors.   At this point early on in the campaign, Kasich and Bush look like losers in the GOP trailing The Donald, Cruz and even Rubio.   That leaves Hillary as the one most ready for prime time in the Oval Office...  

     So when push comes to shove why would any young person vote for the flim flam artist Donald Trump, now or in November if the Bern doesn't make it to the finish line in the run for the nomination?  My suggestion to Hillary is make the Bern your VP - problem solved...   Then the youth vote will be more likely yours.  Whatever - young ones - I double dare and triple dog dare you to vote for The Donald.  

     Normally one would be inclined to say "listen to your elders."  But given the climate in this country right now I'm not sure how many "adults" are out there in the voting public.  They barely showed up in Iowa and forget New Hampshire which increasingly has become a political theater of the angry and the absurd.   It's time for youth to grow up and get over themselves.  Not bad for us all...  

      In Oregon we've been distracted by an absurd and tragic melodrama of our own near Burns, Oregon at the Malheur Field Station which illustrates what happens when the paranoid take center stage.  I'm glad it's over before The Donald circus comes to Oregon in our May primary...  

      In the '60s too many sowed their wild oats or just went off to war with blinders on only to find a quagmire.  We must do better than that in 2016 otherwise like in the Reagan years we'll have "buyers remorse" down the road of failed dreams or stupid campaign claims which will make the world even more dangerous than now...  Yeah you know of whom I'm talking the red faced dude who foams at the mouth - the Donald.     

     Good luck, good night...  





     EDITOR'S NOTE:  Now that The Donald and the Bern have turned campaign 2016 topsy turvey it's time to ask the tough questions. 

     The Donald is promising us that "America will be great" again and the Bern is promising free college and single payer...  

     It's a campaign from Right to Left run on the steroids of "promises, promises."  How are they going to deliver and pay for their promises? 

     As they say, the devil is in the details...  It's time to look under their hoods!  


     With the New Hampshire primary fast approaching, you may have noticed the presidential candidates avoiding a particular word – sacrifice.

     Our democratic republic cannot function without shared sacrifice – the notion of each citizen giving up something for the common good. We might debate which sacrifices are appropriate and how much should be asked of different groups, but we cannot deny that some amount of pain and discomfort – whether paying taxes, carpooling to cut harmful emissions, or volunteering to take care of our neighbors – is both necessary and healthy.

      In today’s political climate, asking voters to engage in shared sacrifice has become taboo. But it was not long ago that public servants – liberals, independents, and conservatives – discussed sacrifice as part of a citizen’s duty. At the dawn of World War II, President Roosevelt warned Americans that sacrifices awaited them, although he wisely employed some reverse psychology by saying the “United States does not consider it a sacrifice to do all one can . . . when the Nation is fighting for its existence.”

     President Kennedy famously asked Americans to ask themselves what they could do for their country. And President Reagan agreed to raise taxes to counter budget shortfalls.

     So why don’t politicians ask us to sacrifice?

     For one thing, a presidential campaign might be the wrong time to ask for voters to shoulder any burden. Candidates behave rationally when they avoid invoking the idea of shared sacrifice, saving painful decisions until after inauguration day. Voters do not demand a discussion of sacrifice, so politicians do not supply one. But the marketplace for sacrifice is dynamic. That is, the amount of time our leaders talk about sacrifice – and how they talk about it – affects the electorate’s appetite for sacrifice.

     Unfortunately, talking about shared civic pain has been out of fashion for decades. Perhaps the greed-is-good philosophy of the 1980’s is to blame. Or maybe we became complacent during the booming 1990s. That only a small fraction of Americans have served in the military since 9/11, and that we remain entrenched in controversial wars, further diminishes our interest in sacrifice.

     Whatever the cause, we need a conversation about sacrifice soon.

     Collective sacrifices, regardless of scale, contribute mightily to American ideas of citizenship. Shying away from a discussion about sacrifice weakens our sense of common duty, and promotes atomistic individualism among citizens who are adept at being angry, but increasingly see each other as fanatics who are unwilling to revisit their own opinions or compromise any of their priorities.

     The 2016 presidential contenders have provided plenty of ostensibly pain-free ‘solutions’ to our nation’s problems – carpet-bombing ISIS and raising taxes only on the rich, for example. But wishful thinking and clever sloganeering will not solve our numerous political challenges, which range from mitigating terrorism and climate change, to forging new job opportunities and criminal justice reform. Each challenge and many more will require tough choices and shared national sacrifice.

     Creating an ethic of shared sacrifice depends in part on our willingness to reward politicians who ask us to put our collective nose to the grindstone. If we don’t reignite this conversation, we ultimately will face harder choices than those we face today. We therefore urge citizens of all political stripes to choose any issue, and ask how personal and collective sacrifice could be a part of the solution.

     Only when our elected officials ask us to sacrifice, then and perhaps only then we will be able to understand the magnitude of the challenges that lie ahead of us, and be able to appreciate that making America great again will be difficult work, but work that is worth doing.

     Eisinger is the dean of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences at Roger Williams University.  Brysacz practices law in San Francisco. The views expressed in this piece are solely those of the authors. 



     EDITOR'S NOTE:  As chair of WCCAN and a member of the AQAC I was pleased to see Mike Rogoway’s article about the GNA in Wednesday’s Oregonian/Argus.

     After reading about the reports of cadmium and arsenic exposure in inner SE Portland I was not surprised to find after the USFS reported its findings it took DEQ 8 months to report these findings to the public.  

     RAD:  This underscores why our GNA with Intel is critical.  The public health is too important to leave to DEQ!


from Oregonian/Argus -  Mike Rogoway, Feb. 1, 2016

     Oregon regulators granted Intel an air quality permit for its Washington County manufacturing operations last week, a permit sidetracked in the fall of 2013 over revelations the chipmaker had been emitting fluoride for 25 years without disclosing it.

     No evidence emerged that the fluoride emissions posed a health risk, but Intel's failure to disclose the fluoride emissions worried neighbors and outraged environmentalists. Intel apologized for the problem and spent months negotiating with regulators and neighbors to win a new permit.

     The company ultimately paid a $143,000 fine and reached a settlement with environmental groups that had threatened to sue.

     Though Intel's headquarters are in Santa Clara, California, the company's manufacturing group is based in Hillsboro and the company crafts each new generation of microprocessors at its Ronler Acres campus south of Hillsboro Stadium. The company is wrapping up construction on a pair of massive new research factories, collectively known as D1X.

     Under terms of the settlement, Intel conducted an "air quality risk assessment" that inventories all pollutants from its factories. That assessment, completed in November, is now available online.

     Intel also agreed to third-party monitoring of air quality near its factories, last month, reached a "Good Neighbor Agreement" with nearby residents that outlines terms of future emissions monitoring, emissions levels and dispute resolution.

     With those steps complete, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit to Intel on January 22. The company declined comment but Mary Peveto, founder of Neighbors for Clean Air, called the result a major win for neighbors.

     Intel emissions may not be harmless, Peveto said, but they will be limited and cataloged so people know what they're breathing.  "The risks that Intel poses will be below a threshold we all agreed to," she said, "which is much more stringent than our state or federal government requires."




     I like Bernie and have mixed emotions about Hillary.  That said, I think Hillary will be the most electable against any of the GOP front runners - Cruz, Trump or Rubio.  I plan on voting for The Bern in the Oregon primary but expect Hillary once the circus leaves New Hampshire for hers to slowly but surely put distance between herself and Sanders.  

     No matter how you cut it - this nation will NEVER elect a self-confessed "socialist" as president.  I wish otherwise but otherwise means ignoring the long history of the word "socialism" being vilified in US politics and by the media.  And in the 24/7 clock with super PACs galore on the Right - Bernie will be fodder for the rightwingnuts galore. 

       For most Americans who are totally ignorant and have a Pavlovian response to the subject - "socialism = communism" - the words are un-American even though in fact we practice "corporate socialism" and the social safety net from the New Deal to the Great Society are "socialist" enterprises as are local, state and federal programs from Medicare to highway construction. 

       But aside from the word "socialist" Bernie is simply WRONG on health care reform!  His argument on Obamacare should have been the Clintonesque line on welfare reform (which President Slick dropped the ball on because of the impeachment non-sense) - "don't end it but mend it."  Instead of going for broke Bernie ought to support adding the "public option" alternative to the list of Obamacare reforms.

Health Reform Realities - Should progressives re-litigate Obamacare? There are many reasons to think that it just wouldn’t work. 

     This would accomplish what he wants - to put private insurance in a vice not made by big government but by the consumer market!  Use supply and demand to decide the issue.  Private insurance can't compete with a public option choice which would in fact be Medicaid.  But don't give the R's a chance to destroy Obamacare while we work on adding the public option choice.  You don't move ahead by moving two steps back! 

      But there is a bigger "elephant" in the room for Bernie which came out of the closet in Wednesday's Town Hall in New Hampshire.  When explaining how he'd pay for universal Medicaid Bernie admitted he'd raise our taxes!  Yes he quickly noted we'd save a bundle on health insurance.  But subtly is not an art form or is nuance known in the feverish precincts of presidential politics. 

      The last candidate who said he'd raise our taxes was Walter Mondale in the 1984 race against Ronald Reagan and we know how that ended!  You don't need to give the rabid dogs of the GOP red meat!  

     Two other issues - Bernie is 73...   I'm 73...   I don't care how healthy he is now - being POTUS drains and ages you.  Sorry to be "ageist" but Bernie doesn't look or sound presidential because he's old.  By contrast Reagan was 69 when elected in 1980.  Hillary is 69.  I can tell you personally that 5 years make a difference in energy and mental acuity.   Remember all the jokes about Ronnie in his second term being asleep?  

     The other issue for me is that Hillary is clearly the more accomplished candidate given her resume and experience.  I think she has more staying power against the neanderthals of the GOP who will control Congress.  Bernie's "political Revolution" is a pipe dream.  Incumbents on both sides are insulated from challenges due to rigged districting and the demographics of where red and blue voters live.  

     Neither Bernie nor Hillary will have a "working" majority in Congress.  It will be the same old crowd that Barack has had to contend with.  My bet is that Hillary will be better in the clinches vis-a-vis the likes of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.  But they will no doubt adopt the same strategy for either Bernie or Hillary as they did with Barack - trying to make either a "failed" POTUS.  

     For my left liberal friends, Hillary will be more "liberated" than one might think.  After all anyone who SAUL D. ALINSKY tried to recruit before Hillary went to the Children's Defense Fund with Marion Wright Eldelman can't be totally untrustworthy!  Let's remember the goal is to prevent Cruz, Trump or Rubio from being POTUS.  

     PS:  Keep in mind 52% of the voters are women and in this election those 55 and older will decide the election - that's a demographic that will favor Clinton over any GOP candidate.  Millennials love the Bern - for them it's like voting for grandpa not mom!  In the end class and race not the youth vote will decide who occupies the Oval Office in 2017. 

How Change Happens   - Idealism is nice, but it’s not a virtue without tough minded realism.



     “It is a maxim among these lawyers [and those interests they represent] that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

      While listening to OPB’s “State of Wonder” program on the arts in the City of Roses this morning, a panel discussion by candidates for mayor and city council in Portlandia, it became obvious that everything depends on the all mighty dollar, in this case the tax payer dollar.  Surprise, surprise! 

     But as the candidates drilled down the issue suddenly became very familiar to me, the housing advocate.  As property values and rents go up and up in Portlandia this is driving out a thriving but young arts community, especially millennials who can’t afford the price tag for apartments or workplaces. 

     A young work force attracted to Portlandia because it’s “weird” like many low wage metro area folks are facing the pressure to move out caused by gentrification and the rapacious actions of the developer/real-estate class to boot low rent people out and move in the high rollers who can afford “luxury” rents/prices. 

     How can we end this exploitation of the middle class?  

     What is the underlying cause of this problem?  Some will say it’s the market – with demand up and supply limited, prices will go up.  That’s the low hanging fruit of this poisonous tree.  The other reason is that we rely on property taxes to fund local services – local services, schools and even the arts. 

     But property values and taxes go up no matter if our income goes up.  And many people may be property rich but income poor.  Often people will sell their property to get out of this crunch and take their post-sale equity elsewhere.  But the problem just persists – where they go, their demand will re-create this vicious cycle. 

     How do we end the pernicious and inequitable dynamics of supply and demand? 

     Here’s an idea.  Get rid of property taxes!  Fund local government the way we do state and federal government by income taxes.  This has two consequences.  You suddenly increase the tax base to tap real wealth and you end the myriad tax incentive schemes to shelter property against taxation. 

     Suddenly everyone would pay taxes on their real income, not some artifice of wealth based on property. 

     Tax people and business on their annual real income.  This would decouple property values from taxation and slow the inflation on property values.  I’d go one further step – freeze property values below the current inflated rates.  Until we radically reconfigure the property value system, gentrification will never end. 

     If we reduce property values we can lower land values and the rampant speculation on land which fuels gentrification and raises  the market value of home or rental property.  It’s time to end a property tax system based on an 18th century rural economy, which distorts the market and privileges speculators on Main Street and Wall Street. 

     Expropriate the expropiators!      


  PS:  In the House Human Service & Housing hearing on Monday, February 1 - the line of attack on IZ (inclusionary zoning) by real-estate and homebuilders was the ruse that rents and housing prices are going through the roof in Oregon because of our land use planning laws passed in the McCall era.  This is utter trash talk. 

     At the end of the hearing, I walked out of the hearing room and confronted two lobbyists who are paid mouthpieces for these two industries.  I said if land use regulations were relaxed, there is no guarantee that lower cost housing would be built since the "market" has seldom invested in such housing.  

     Except in a few cases where private developers are willing to go through the complex process of leveraging public/private money for such developments, the private sector would rather build mac-mansions or rental property that turns the maximum profit back to them and their equity partners - aka banks and hedge funds too big to fail. 

     These two cretins of greed, as they were running away to a meeting, claimed that the problem is that local jurisdictions don't want to build such low income housing.  This is utter bullshit.  Forest Grove has the largest percentage of subsidized housing in Washington County but it's not alone!  Sadly it not enough - to cover the 14,000 unit gap in the county.  

     The problem is that developers, real-estate agents and the banks would rather get their 20% of profit by selling high end products and not having to go through the hastle it takes to makes affordable housing possible - which is precisely why HB 4001 is necessary to give local communities another tool in their tool kit to prod the industry to do the right thing!  

     If one got rid of Oregon's historic land use laws, you'd just create an incentive for the industry to glut the market with high end "Mac" mansions, luxury condos and the speculators to buy up prime farm land to make a quick buck.  The industry will not build affordable housing unless it's forced to by government. They'd rather con gullible city councils into subsidizing "luxury" apartments via urban renewal schemes!  

     Another solution is to get rid of Measures 5, 46 and 50 - the property tax limit hoax passed in the '90s.  But you don't see these lobbyists leading the charge on that front either!