Oregon, the 10th largest state in the Union, stands proud and tall, from her high deserts to her majestic mountains to her lovely Pacific coastline. She is inhabited by the rarest and smartest of intellects — something so rare as to deserve its own name — Oregonium. We know how to think, we know how to create living wages, we know how to empower unions, we know how to educate, to pontificate, and to ruminate on all the issues. We are Oregonium — socialist, left-wing, utopian – where everyone is above average and all have a living wage.
But wait, even though we have almost as many Starbucks as Washington, something is very, very wrong. We have the second highest unemployment rate in the nation. We are ranked 49th in education according to the Education Week studies. Our unions control the legislature. Our city council spends more time on a sign from a company that left us long, long ago than it does promoting business.
You would think that Oregon, with all its intellectual might and good intentions, would surely fare better than some backwater state full of country bumpkins like, say, Missouri, but you would be wrong. Missouri has more Fortune 500 company headquarters than Oregon. How about Kentucky, where moonshine is still a popular industry? Surely Oregon is ahead of those rubes. Sadly, not, as it has more Fortune 500 company headquarters than Oregon. What about Arkansas? We can’t be behind those people. Aren’t they the ones who all smoke cigarettes and have refrigerators on their front porches? Wrong again, as Arkansas has twice as many Fortune 500 company headquarters as does Oregon. What about Kansas, whose state motto is “Something still may happen”? We HAVE to be ahead of them, don’t we? Nope, as Kansas has more Fortune 500 company headquarters than Oregon.
The suspense is killing us all, right? Oregon has two Fortune 500 company headquarters. Two (2). Texas, where all those gun-crazy cowboys buy their boots and hats at WalMart, has sixty-four (64). That’s right, thirty-two (32) times as many as Oregonium, the worker living-wage, oh-so-very smart paradise.
Texas has no personal state income tax. Their cost of living is 10% below the national average. It is a right to work state. Could it be that simple? No, of course not. We need a special commission appointed by Teddy K to solve this problem. Nothing dramatic, just a nice, slow change of course and those businesses will come to Oregonium — rarest of all the business-friendly elements.