Lars Larson: Portland's downward spiral

By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host

What does it tell you when any city becomes so toxic that the world’s largest bricks and-mortar retail company simply packs up and pulls its stores OUT?

Walmart made the decision to close its last two stores in Portlandia.

The company offers a polite but vague explanation of “many factors, including financial performance” and the like.

We all know why it’s happening.

Portland’s failed leadership has made the city a dangerous sewer.

Mayor Ted Wheeler promised to solve homelessness by 2018.

As they say in “Bull Durham,” “Just a bit outside.”

He voted to defund police and encouraged Antifa rioters…and now both residents and companies are fleeing.

Voters approved legalized hard drugs, and that drives crime to feed the habit…and Walmart’s stores have lost millions to “shrinkage”.

The DA refuses to prosecute hundreds of criminals.

Now, thieves just load up shopping carts and roll out of stores, and they know for a fact nothing will happen.

So, Walmart abandoned Ted Wheeler’s Titanic ship of state…six hundred workers lose their jobs, and citizens lose access to inexpensive merchandise and food.

As Jason williams at the Taxpayers Association of Oregon points out; In 2018, Portland approved a big 1% tax on national retailers while in 2019 Oregon passed one of the nation’s only gross-receipts tax (Corporate Activities tax) which hit businesses on revenue (instead of profits). This follows a closure of other individual stores like BJ’s, Stanford’s, Starbucks, Fred Meyers and Cracker Barrel –often over crime crime as well.  NIKE closed one of the main stores over crime as it experienced nearly a daily shoplifting problem and sought to hire off-duty Portland police but none were available due to the police shortage.

You’d have to be blind not to see the downward spiral.