Why does Portland love taxes?


By Richard Leonetti,

One big reason for lack of opposition to new local taxes is a feeling by some that their vote does not matter. In 1998, bond measures for the Convention Center and Light Rail were defeated, yet both were built in spite of the peoples vote. The Convention Center was a dismal, expensive failure proving the people knew what they voted for even though their wishes were ignored. The taxes continue on.

Another possible reason is the very high proportion of state and local workers and school teachers who live in Portland. Not only do they supply the big money (often the only money) supporting these taxes but they have a direct beneficial interest in passing them. These higher taxes directly make possible their better salaries and substantial benefit packages.

I also wonder about the multitude of tax abatements (see Oregonian 11/9/08) used to support light rail development and for “urban renewal”. A new local bond doesn’t affect those who are paying only token taxes in the first place so it is easy to vote for. How many are there who have tax abatements? Before this last election, over 10% of the property taxes paid by someone living in Portland were for urban renewal. Overall taxes were even higher to replace the abated taxes not levied.

No Republican lawmakers in Portland give the Democratic lawmakers who like more taxes an extra loud voice. It is a lot louder than the 6 voices you might expect on a population basis. In 2000 the very partisan Secretary of State gerrymandered the districts in the Portland area in such a way that Portland effectively has 16 representatives rather than the expected 6. His slice-the-pie concept took Republican suburban districts and combined them with Portland areas in such a way that the Portlanders could outvote them. This gives you 16 people with a public pulpit promoting these taxes instead of just 6.

If taxes continue to increase, and Portlanders wake up to the fact their property taxes are higher than all the surrounding suburbs, they might just start to take a second look at all these increased tax proposals and start asking “Are we getting our money’s worth?”

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    I would think it highly unlikely that Portlanders would ever ask if they are getting their moneys worth.

    When you have a group of people willing to put up with choo choo’s that cost up to $250 Million per mile clearly cost/benefit does not concern them.

    To be sure, a lot or probably most of that money was Federal subsidies. The fact remains though that if you are willing to fall for a boondoggle like that, your eye is not on the ball.

    I am also quite sure that there were no end of Portlanders critical of AK senator Stevens Bridge to Nowhere project. I am also quite sure most Portlanders piled on Palin because she supposedly initially supported the Bridge to Nowhere. I doubt that for one second it ever crossed any of their minds that right in their backyard they had an even bigger waste of money, a Train to Idiocy.

    Spending is not a concern to Portlanders, the power of government for societal architecture is.

    Its the same way down here in Eugene. Endless bonds passed and gas taxes raised because roads need to be repaired. Apparently the question is never asked where the taxes on gasoline etc. which are already in existence are going. No explanation is ever given by government as to where the existing road repair money has gone. Yet people blithely go along with a new tax for the purpose as if the ones they are already paying are non existent. I have yet to speak to anyone who has been able to give me a fiscal break down on the matter justifying their support of new taxes, rather than ire for existing tax money obviously misspent. Given this bind acceptance, it is hard to come to a conclusion to explain the behaviour other than general mental vacuity.

    “Yeah man, we gotta fix the roads man, I don’t like the taxes, but hey, this is ridiculous, we gotta do something”

    “I don’t disagree that there is a problem, but don’t you sort of wonder where all the gas tax money, which is for road repair is going? Have you seen any road repair that could explain eating up the funds?”

    “That’s just it man, there hasn’t been any road repair, and now the roads are falling apart, that’s why we need this tax man.”

    “Yeah, I know, but see we already pay taxes to pay for the repair, and none have been done, and now the roads are really bad, so what happened to the money?”

    “Oh wow man, I don’t know, all I know is we have to do something so if this tax will get it done let’s do it?”

    “Maybe you are right, what about some other problems that concern you hippie man?”

    “Global Warming man”

    “You understand all that?”

    “Yeah man, are you kidding me? You don’t know that temperatures are rising and CO2 is killing us?”

    “Ok, so gasoline taxes are to complex for you, but global temperature variation, C02’s interaction with sunlight and other gasses that sort of thing you comprehend?”

    “Yeah man, I mean don’t tell me you are a denier, Ill lose all respect for you man, I mean its plain as day and if you don’t get it you are in total denial”

    “I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here”

    “Like what man”

    “Well, it seems like so long as government says it, its true”

    “Oh wow man, you are so off base”

    “So has “Question Authority” been replaced by “Napoleon is always right?””

    “Dude, you are so out of it, Napoleons dead”

    “Ok, let’s just pretend I was talking about the pastry and we can be friends again hippie man”

    “OK dude, I love pastry”

    “So do I my scraggily friend, so do I”

    • dean

      Palin did not “supposedly” support the bridge to nowhere before she was against it. She factually supported it. She is on video tape supporting it.

      Portlanders voted to tax themselves more than once for light rail. The suburbs voted the other way.

      Spending is as much a concern to people in Portland as anywhere else. But the majority attitude tends to be to support spending for what people consider worthwhile: open space conservation, parks, libraries, transportation, schools. There seems to be an understanding that one does not get these things for nothing.

      And Rupert…do the math. The state gas tax was set in circa 1993. A 1993 dollar does not equal a 2008 dollar, so the money does not go as far.

      To the original post: “Before this last election, over 10% of the property taxes paid by someone living in Portland were for urban renewal.”

      This is false. People do not pay property taxes “for urban renewal.” The increase in property value from urban renewal areas is set aside to pay for infrastructure within the same areas for a period of time. Sometimes it seems “conservatives” would prefer living in Cleveland or Buffalo….stagnant cities with no success at renewing themselves.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        And Dean, read the post.

        Oh, that’s right, you don’t read, you blather.

        Eugene gas taxes are unchanged since 1993? Wrong.

        Palin was not portrayed as at one time supposedly supporting the Bridge to Nowhere? Wrong.

        Classic Dean, clueless yet willing to blather on anyway.

        Why don’t you stick with the racial stuff? It adds about as much meaningful dialogue as your endless comments based upon not reading what you are responding to. In addition, the racialist rants give you the opportunity to dress up when you post. Get out the old hood and type away!

      • Anonymous

        “Portlanders voted to tax themselves more than once for light rail”

        No, you lying sack, EVERY SINGLE TIME light rail came up for a vote it was voted down by Portlanders.

    • Brassv

      Talk about deja vu. I swear I have the same conversation with my brother-in-law every time we talk. Though he has been programmed to blame everything on George W.

      Dean – Why don’t they put the Clackamas light-rail vote to people? Maybe because they know it will get voted down? You are right about the citizens voting for light-rail. It took three votes on the Interstate Max line. When they didn’t like the answer to the first vote (NO), they had a 2nd vote with a smaller citizen pool. When that was voted down, they did a third vote with an even smaller voter pool. Driving down Interstate Ave. will indicate how that vote went.

    • David from Eugene

      Rupert

      In Oregon a City or County can only do three things with money raised through the State Gas Tax; hold it, spend it constructing roads or repair existing roads. The state distributes a portion of the annual gas tax revenues to Counties based on population. County governments can either spend the money on their own road system or can pass it on the Cities.

      Historically, Lane County has held on to the bulk of the State Gas Tax money, spending some to build or repair county roads, but holding on to most of it. If memory serves me, they currently have around $25 in the Road Fund. With the notable exception of the $4.5 million fund swap in last years budget, in the past when Lane County passed money on to the cities it was for specific road construction projects and not general road maintenance or repair.

      During the last 10+ years Eugene has spent most of the state gas tax money on the construction of roads, these may not be a “new” road but rather upgrading an existing substandard road (in terms of design, construction or condition) to current standards. Little to no General Fund money was spent on road repair. The result is a growing backlog of deferred road maintenance in 2004 the estimated backlog was $90+ million currently it is $170 million the increase has been attributed to two factors, the first is increases the cost of raw materials and construction and second, that an increasing number of unmaintained roads had “moved” from the repairable category to the must be reconstructed category with a major increase in cost. The Public Works Department has a policy of not spending money doing maintenance on streets that are in the must be reconstructed category except for reasons of safety.

      Revenues from Eugene’s Local Fuel tax have been spent on street repairs, but it is not enough to stay even, let alone stem the deterioration of unmaintained roads, hence the need for a Bond Measure.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        I never argued General Fund money was spent on roads, I argued the opposite. My contention is that tax money that is meant to maintain roads is being diverted and you seem to be agreeing with me. You basically are saying money is going to constructing new roads or upgrading ones to current standards. Why does that sound like a bike path to me?

        The point is, you don’t go constructing new roads and bike paths, when you clearly do not have enough money to maintain the ones you already have.

        Basically all of this could be solved real quick by simply lowering road maintenance costs. This could be done overnight on a state level by getting rid of Oregon’s Little Davis Bacon act. Unfortunately this would not apply on most major new construction as there seems to invariably be some sort of Federal component of funding. However it would be a good start.

  • Steve Plunk

    Portland has reached critical mass. There are now enough people in Portland who are employed by the government, have a family member employed by the government, have a business that relies on government work, supplies a business who does government work, believes government will solve our problems, trusts government, hates business, or just plain doesn’t understand economics, to support tax hikes and spending boondoggles.

    We are approaching a time when some will shrug and walk away leaving the unproductive to figure things out. In Portland that day will come soon.

    • Chris McMullen

      Steve, doesn’t that statistic hold true for the whole state of Oregon?

      • Steve Plunk

        Chris,

        I wouldn’t call it a statistic since it’s purely a hypothesis. That said I would say it doesn’t hold for the rest of the state. Rural Oregon contains a higher percentage of those less trusting of the government. I’ve also noticed many of the workers on public works projects are brought in from out of town so that’s an example of fewer people dependent on government for jobs. Us here rednecks don’t fall for the government line of BS like them city slickers.

  • Jerry

    Another reason might be the ignorance of people who believe the government is the solution to all our problems.

    • dean

      Jerry…its not that at all. Some people, most in Portland proper, believe government is a necessary part of solving some problems. There is nothing ignorant about that. It happens to be true. What is ignorant is thinking all government is bad.

      Brassv….yes light rail has failed in some votes and succeeded in others. Sure, Clackamas County voters would probably vote down light rail and have done so in the past. I agree. They (we) also have voted down funding for road expansion and/or maintenance. They tend to vote down most tax measures. Voting no is less a statement about light rail than about taxes in general.

      Steve…I think you are right about critical mass. But the same probably holds for Roseburg or Medford or Bend. Government as a whole is something like 40% of the total economy, so it stands to reason most people have a family member who is a teacher, policeman, fireman, forester, park ranger, zookeeper, librarian, soldier, bridge inspector, sewer cleaner outer, highway engineer, or some such thing. That is even more true in a “conservative”state like Alaska by the way, where 90% of the land is government, as is most of the economy.

      What conservatives have failed to recognize, in my humble opinion, is that most of these government employees are doing jobs we want or need them to be doing. And most of them take pride in their work, raise families, vote, and so forth. Conservatives focus on the cost of government but rarely identify which services they think we all ought to do without, and even more rarely run on a platform of eliminating services.

  • Jerry

    No one said all government was bad.

    You may want and need all these “jobs” you say government workers are so proudly doing, but I don’t.

    You might try fending for yourself without government to help you.

    If all the jobs are in government, who is left to produce anything? Government never produces anything.

    We are doomed to fail if people think this will work.

    • dean

      Jerry…when I take the elevator down to the street I can believe the elevator is safe because it was inspected by someone from government. The street itself is maintained by government. The speed limits are set by government. the stoplights operated by government. The absence of billboards due to government regulation. The clean drinking water that burbles out of the fountains. I could go on.

      How about YOU try going through a day absent any service, pavement, etc. not provided by your government? Write a diary about it: “A day in my life without government…by Jerry. Then extend that day to a week, a month, and so forth. You are a lot more dependent on your government than you want to believe.

      Anyway, no one said anything about ALL the jobs being in government Jerry. Somewhere between ALL and NONE is about 40% in the US, 60% in Denmark. That is a reasonable range to debate about. 0-100% is not.

      • John Fairplay

        The basic problem, Dean, is that I think you have a wildly different definition of “necessary” than most people would if they bothered to think about it. For instance, some neighbors of mine just today cut down some trees on their property that I liked very much – the leaves turned color in an odd and beautiful way each Fall. Some people – such as those that live in your town – believe that government ought to have a role in telling my neighbors whether they could cut their trees, and if they can cut any of them, how many they can cut. While I liked the trees, I would never support the government telling my neighbor they can’t be cut down. Having those trees is not a necessity – no one will die because they are gone.

        Very few things government does are an actual necessity for me. Roads, sure, but only as a convenience – I could get everywhere I need to go if there wasn’t a single taxpayer-funded road. Health care? Nope – I don’t benefit in the slightest. Taxpayer-funded schools? Perhaps, but not with teachers who receive a $1000 a month health care benefit and a retirement plan that pays even a single one of them as much as they earned while working. Billboard prohibitions? No. Elevator inspection? No. Home inspection? No – I’ll have it done privately at my own expense if I want to purchase a particular home. A speed limit? A necessity? No. The 50 percent of government employees whose sole job it is to shuffle paper from one pile to another or whose job exists solely because the government agency they work for needs to get bigger? No.

        You should take a closer look at what is really _necessary._ Things that you could literally not live without, not just things that make life more convenient to prettier – those are wants, not needs. You will find that government doesn’t provide much you can’t do without, in many instance because they are providing it to someone else whom you will never even know.

      • Steve Plunk

        Dean,

        The elevator was built by the private sector, the roads built by the private sector, the car driven was built by the private sector, that lack of billboards may not always be a good thing, and who actually makes those drinking water pipes? I’d more likely make it through a day without government than making it without the private sector.

        Now we can’t do without either one but the real debate is how much government is too much. I think we are past the point of too much and you think we haven’t yet reached it. The logical way to analyze it to look back and see when taxes hold down productivity. I think our lower margins put us ahead of Denmark and allow us luxuries like social programs and National Parks without too much pain. If we go much further I see big trouble.

        Government inefficiency is a proven fact. Knowing it adheres to the law of diminishing returns even the most government trusting soul can understand more taxes will do less good. Couple that with those who take advantage of government waste and you can see why many of us fight against any tax increases.

      • cc

        “Jerry…when I take the elevator down to the street I can believe the elevator is safe because it was inspected by someone from government.”

        You go right ahead and believe, dean. It’s faith like that in government that shows that government really is effective. Effective in reducing people to reliance on its very existence. Private businesses try this through advertising – to convince us we “need” their product. The difference between government and private business is that government has coercive power – taxation, police, regulatory agencies, etc. The brainwashing is much easier with those sorts of resources. Consider yourself cleansed.

        The same human beings populate both worlds and, unless you believe in a “master race” of govenment employees, are subject to the same temptations and failings. To ascribe to government some benevolent motivation and/or superior judgement and ability is just foolish. Shortsighted and foolish. Shortsighted, foolish and dangerous.

        Your fawning little litany is so ridiculous that I’m surprised even you would spout it. It sounds like religious fervor. You really think your elevator is safe because the government inspected it? Try to sue the them if it fails – good luck! You really think that none of this would get done without government actually doing it??? Street maintenance, stoplights, water systems, elevators that don’t fall down – what, it’s too complicated for mere private business mortals?

        Or is it your *faith-based* obedience to your master’s voice?

        Your robotic recitations and childlike devotion will make the Kool-Aid taste reeeeaaallly good, deanie.

        Drink up!

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Would sure be nice to meet some of these conservatives that think all government is unnecessary. I have never met one.

    I wonder where this argument comes from that conservatives are against all government?

    Generally this line of reasoning flows from someone who is making an attempt at a logical construct, reductio ad absurdum. In other words assuming an opponents claim for the sake of argument, and then drawing a logical conclusion from it that is either absurd or impossible.

    In this case however it fails, since conservatives never argue against all government, and thus making the reductio ad absurdum construct really only points to failed logic on the part of the person making it.

    So who does argue for no government?

    That would be Anarchists, not Conservatives.

    Words mean things. A Conservative is not an Anarchist and to confuse the two points to some real misunderstanding of the language as well as some appallingly poor logic skills.

    I generally find when confronted with this sort of linguistic and intellectual ignorance the best thing to do is put on my Yul Brynner Pharaoh voice.

    “Who is this silly gnat person who understands neither language nor logic? Their words illuminate nothing but the cavernous emptiness of their skull and shine no reason upon the argument at hand. Be gone with you.”

    • dean

      Rupert…learn to read. Jerry suggested fending for myself without government there to help me. I thought about it for a few moments and responded. I can’t get from my office to my home absent government, and neither can you or Jerry. I write this by the way, on a computer using BPA generated electricity from federally managed dams via an internet system initially developed by the government.

      I suggested the debate about government ought to be in the 40-60 range….or make it 30-70 if you like. I left anarchists and strict libertarians out. I agree with you that no one, or barely anyone except cc up above, actually believes they could live without any government whatsoever. My observation is that many if not most conservatives spend a lot of time complaining about the COST of government yet rarely suggest what services they think we ought to do without. And those bold enough such as yourself, who suggest doing away with say social security as just one example, could never get elected to do such a thing…in Portland or anywhere else.

      For John F…you make good points. Very little of what the government provides is “necessary” to life. Most of it includes things that make our lives more convenient, easier, better. But MOST of the things provided by the private sector are also not “necessary” to our lives, and I include everything from private cars to Beanie Babies to 401Ks. Western Civilization moved past what is strictly necessary to life a long while back. For me, the debate over the appropriate role and cost of government is about life’s tchatskas….not about life’s necessities. As for health care, you may feel that way now. Try getting private insurance after you turn 65.

      Steve P…the road may be built by private sector contractors, but the road right of way was purchased by tax dollars, and its existence may be predicated on eminent domain. And the car makers would be out of business fast (well…they may be anyway) without a good network of public roads. Maybe we are more productive than Denmark. We are also more crime ridden and a lot less happy with our lives (population as a whole) according to surveys. I happen to think that security is pretty important to well being. Danes are way more secure than we are, cradle to grave. We are more “free” in some respects, free to start a business, free to starve, free to freeze in a homeless camp, but I’m not sure we are more free with respect to things that matter most, like freedom of association, speech, assembly, and so forth.

      cc…it is you who seem faith based. You seem to have placed your faith in a mythical private sector, not the actual one we live with.

      I honestly don’t know if the elevator is safe or not. But I think the odds improve with government inspectors looking over the shoulder of private builders and landlords.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Now that’s a classic Dean moment. Missing the very first line of a post and thereby screwing up the rest of it and then going on to accuse others of not being able to read. Talk about Mr. Pratfall.

      • cc

        “I don’t know how one can attribute 57% not knowing who controls Congress to ‘media bias.'”

        dean, that says it all about your ability to connect dots…

        …or anything else, for that matter

      • cc

        “cc…it is you who seem faith based. You seem to have placed your faith in a mythical private sector, not the actual one we live with.

        I honestly don’t know if the elevator is safe or not. But I think the odds improve with government inspectors looking over the shoulder of private builders and landlords.”

        Ah, in one comment you “believe” the elevator is safe and now you “don’t know”?

        I “don’t know” about your intellectual honesty, dean.

        Well, actually, I do.

        …and please spare us the “I know you are but what am I” responses. My conclusions and observations are based on reality and experience. I collect no government pension to cloud my vision.

        You, on the other hand, are compromised.

  • Bob clark

    Other reasons Portlanders are generally slow regarding government spending. (1) A lot of the spending is being done on credit card, and Portlanders are generally unaware of a growing mound of local debt (about equal to $9k per resident, or $36k for a family of four). Like California, Portland city government continuously goes begging to the federal government for more subsidy. And the rest of the state is subsidizing the gold plating of downtown Portland, too. (2) This subsidizing from other regions to Portland means Portlanders are picking up public goods in some cases for as little as 20 cents on the dollar.

    I’d rather not be a city resident on the hook for thousands of dollars of public debt, that is escalating at twice the rate of inflation. I just hope the day of reckoning can be put off for another generation or so.

  • David from Eugene

    Richard

    Regarding your main point, there is one other possibility you seem to have overlooked, the measures are being approved by the voters because they want what ever is being funded. And the lack of opposition is because the likely opponents believe the amount of public support for the item funded through the additional taxes is so great that opposition is futile.

    As to government going against the will of the voters; it is important to remember that legally Bond Measures are only about approving or disapproving a possible funding method for a proposed project and not the approval or disapproval of the project itself. Thus in a technical and legal sense continuing a project using other funding methods is not going against the stated wishes of the voters. I realize in some cases, during the campaign the Bond Measure is made into a surrogate for a public referendum on a project, which if the project is continued using other funds, creates the appearance that the will of the voters is being ignored when it is not

  • John in Oregon

    The lesson Portlanders learn, voting no does no good, is a powerful motivation indeed.

    I often hear that Portlanders are by nature far left, liberal, Democrat, however one might label it. That has become “conventional wisdom”. Some truth can be found with such simplifications, although, as always, I find simplifications often wrong.

    My own questioning of conventional wisdom came during the California blackouts after California created a state agency to buy power each day on the spot market. During that time Northwest power was being shipped south and many here knew brownouts were possible here.

    I spoke with a number of ordinary Joes on the street. At the time Gray Davis was all over the news with the “evil power company” spiel. But when people learned that California had forced the power companies to dispose of power plants and cancel power contracts they responded “how the hell does that work”?

    That was when I learned that Portlanders aren’t kool-aid drinkers. 1 in 10 still thought the “evil power companies”. The rest could see that a lot of the problem was self inflicted by California. When in position of facts Portlanders can and do think critically.

    Zogby has done a opinion poll that is instructive. That poll taken after the election questioned Obama voters. In the poll Zogby asked two groups of questions. One group was factual questions relating to the Obama ticket, the other relating to the Republican ticket. BTW, my take away is not what you might think. The results.

    Obama ticket questions:
    *O* 57.4 could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
    *O* 81.8 could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
    *O* 82.6 could NOT correctly say that Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
    *O* 88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

    Republican ticket questions
    *O* Only 13.7% failed to identify Palin as the person their party spent $150,000 in clothes on
    *O* Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
    *O* And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house.”

    Some may be tempted to say Obama voters are dumb. There may be some of that but this poll was all high school and many college respondents. Note the respondents were unable to relate Obama facts to Obama and were totally able to relate Republican facts to Republicans. This is not a factor of intelligence of the Obama voter, rather it’s an indictment of the bias of the facts available to the respondents.

    For me this is another example of Portland media bias. Those of us here at Oregon Catalyst can answer these questions. Dean would argue but he could answer. So we think everyone else in Portland should know the facts.

    They don’t. They are ill-informed by our legacy media and they never see the information and discussion that appears here.

    The alternative media is polarized in that regard. We are talking to ourselves.

    The bottom line question has to be how do we get the facts to Portlanders? Facts that will allow them to think and consider options.

    • dean

      John…what Dean would argue in this case is that the information you chose to focus on here was all pretty much irrelevant to the election or governing of the nation. Who cares if or whether Biden dropped out of the 1988 race because he failed to attribute someone in a speech? Who cares if Obama filed a legal challenge against an opponent in his first election? Likewise who cares if Palin could see Alaska from her house or not? We had way bigger issues to consider, so hopefully voters were thinking about the things that mattered, like war, peace, the economy, and energy.

      I don’t know how one can attribute 57% not knowing who controls Congress to “media bias.” Its not like newspapers and TV are not ever reminding us which party controls what. I think this is more an expression of civic ignorance. Many of the same people could probably cite all the stats for their favorite sports team,but can’t name 2 or 3 Supreme Court justices. You can’t force feed “facts” to people John, especially when we disagree over the facts (i.e. global warming.) You can ask, how can we help people become more motivated to be better engaged. But that is a way different challenge.

      Anyway…there is “ignorance” and then there is “dumb.” Not the same thing.

      • cc

        While this comment belongs here, the fact that I accidentally posted above simply reinforces the point:

        “I don’t know how one can attribute 57% not knowing who controls Congress to ‘media bias.'”

        dean, that says it all about your ability to connect dots…

        …or anything else, for that matter

        • dean

          There are lots of dots in the wide universe cc. Trying to connect every one of them to something else is a fools errand.

  • John in Oregon

    Dean you have become so predictable. I wonder why, but not very much. I said you would know those answers and you would argue. You did both.

    Would other questions have been better? Say for example;

    *O* Which candidate lied about supporting the neglect of infants born alive during an abortion? Answer Obama.
    *O* Which candidate sued banks to compel the risky loans that brought down the economy? Answer Obama.
    *O* Which campaign used “truth squads” to chill the free speech advertisements and news reports? Answer Obama.

    The questions here relate to the lack of knowledge about Democrat defects, the abundance of knowledge of slurs against Republicans, and the inability to relate simple day to day facts such as which party is in power.

    But then you knew that didn’t you? I will admit it was a nice application of MB rule 10.0 Confusion is your ally. Any fallacious argument that can be made will help advance the cause and mire the opposition in refutation of your logical inconsistencies.

    Then, on the heals of New York Times falling stock price, now pennies away from a low of $5, junk bond status, the Bloomberg short sell watch list and the just announced 74% reduction in dividendd, comes this little ditty.

    Wilamette Week reports that Arthur Griggs Sulzberger, son of Pinch Sulzberger is leaving his job as a reporter for the Portland Oregonian.

    “A source in Multnomah County government, the beat Sulzberger has covered since he came to The O in August 2006, says Sulzberger revealed several days ago that he’s leaving Portland in late December.”

    “Sulzberger declined to comment. (In case you’re wondering, he was not on the list of Oregonian staffers who took the paper’s generous buyout offer. Even if he was interested, he lacked enough seniority to apply.)”

    Current NYT chairman of the board Pinch Sulzberger policy of managed news has proven a disaster, with earnings plummeting, and the stock price reflecting Wall Street’s understanding of the company’s future value. Or more properly lack of value.

    Perhaps Rupert Murdoch said it best;

    “A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters *simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions.* Let’s be clear about what this means. *This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves.”*

    “It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news-and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened.”

    “The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception.”

    • dean

      Touche John.

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