John Taylor’s appointment seems unlikely

It was great to write last week about the potential appointment of John Taylor as the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve, but that now appears unlikely. After meeting with the current Fed chair, the President declared there are five finalists … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Federal Reserve | 2 Comments

John Taylor for new Fed chair

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump met with Stanford University’s John Taylor on Wednesday to possibly be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. Before this news became public, expectations were beginning to grow that former Fed Governor … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Federal Reserve | 1 Comment

American Exceptionalism: my response to Wim de Vriend

I couldn’t help but notice a pattern in de Vriend’s social strife stories: none of them carried any rational relation to the history and experience of immigration in America. We could also point to all manner of religious conflict in … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Government Regulation, immigration | Leave a comment

The US abortion rate keeps on declining

  The abortion debate has been in a stalemate for a long time, but three years ago a milestone was quietly reached in actual behavior. According to data from the Center For Disease Control, in 2014 the rate at which … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Abortion | 1 Comment

Free-market economics is not an absurd philosophy: my response to Wim de Vriend

If the free-market, limited-government worldview is not valid “in the first place,” as de Vriend suggests, that merely raises the question as to what alternative set of normative first-principles are. The question is not whether or not it’s possible to … Continue reading

Posted by at 07:44 | Posted in Government Regulation, immigration | 1 Comment

TriMet’s funding logic

A strange contradiction in public policy reasoning was revealed yesterday by The Oregonian’s excellent transportation writer. Elliot Njus reports TriMet is mulling a $1.7 billion bond offering that will cost Portland metro area homeowners an average of $150 a year for the … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Taxes, TriMet | 3 Comments

Reduce a good thing? My response to Wim de Vriend

I’m happy to see an Oregon Catalyst reader submitted a reply to my writing on immigration, and I’d like to extend a warm welcome to any other of my readers to do the same on any topic in which they’d like to engage with … Continue reading

Posted by at 12:28 | Posted in Government Regulation, immigration | 6 Comments

How is TriMet spending its new transportation package money?

While it’s not clear yet where exactly all of the expected $40 million Trimet will get each year from the new .1% statewide transit payroll tax will be spent, TriMet has already promised 30% of it won’t be going to … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in TriMet | 7 Comments

The Game Theory of deterring fare evasion on light rail

As I’ve mentioned before, if TriMet builds more light rail capacity, fare evasion will become a greater problem. Buses have a built-in fare inspector as the driver adds little additional marginal cost for inspecting passengers’ fare compliance. MAX however, does … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 2 Comments

Holding the President’s beer in Korea

When the Trump administration was seriously moving toward abrogating the excellent trade agreement the Bush administration negotiated with Korea, it was the policy equivalent of that common meme refrain: “hold my beer,” as if he were trying to top past … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Free Trade | Tagged | 8 Comments

The South Fork Forest Camp saves Oregon money

Oregon is burning. Standing between you and the heat are many highly dedicated people fighting these fires, among them are an elite group from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) called Forest Inmate Crew Coordinators (FICCs). When I say elite, … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Corrections, State Government, Timber | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Folk Theory of Labor Markets

A common mistake I see some conservatives make when embracing excessive government regulation of immigration is the belief that lowering the number of immigrants will increase native born workers’ wages. This comes from a failure to fully understand basic economics. … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Government Regulation | Tagged | 15 Comments

Nice turnout at Portland’s first AFF event.

As if it weren’t already obvious Lydia White has been a great new hire at the Cascade Policy Institute, she has managed to organize a Portland chapter of the America’s Future Foundation in her spare time too. I made it … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Crony capitalism, Portland | Tagged | 2 Comments

The RAISE Act is mighty revealing

The RAISE Act is an anti-immigration bill sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. It contains some interesting ideas about changing our selection process from a family-based system to a merit-based system, but the main … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Republican Party | Tagged | 39 Comments

The trains aren’t running on time.

References to the timeliness of trains are a classic proxy for good governance. The operational vulnerabilities that have come with TriMet’s three-decade strategy to increasingly rely on rail are more than metaphorical. MAX, an already frustratingly slow mode of transportation … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Unskinny Bop Bill

So it’s come to this. Senate Republicans voted last night on a bill they hoped would not become law. It failed because House Republicans could not convince John McCain they would not pass it. Called the “skinny” bill for only … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Obamacare | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Game Theory of Light Rail Platforms

In the tri-county area of TriMet’s service district, the proven reliability of buses is being slowly replaced by light rail, one capital project at a time. How this transformation might change passenger fare compliance is something TriMet needs to carefully … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 4 Comments

Coos County is a key to victory

When I was asked by the Coos County Republican Women to speak at their monthly meeting tomorrow, I was happy to oblige, increasingly hearing how up for grabs the voters are in that part of the state. A strong showing … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Oregon House, Oregon Republican Party | Tagged | Leave a comment

When to and not to tax bicycles

The Oregon Senate passed HB2017 yesterday. Some of the most important projects like the widening of Highway 217 didn’t make it into the final bill, but for the most part, this was a good piece of legislation. Unless you’re an … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Progressivism, Public Employee Unions, State Taxes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Governor signs HB2777 and my fare gets inspected

Something remarkable happened this week. For the first time ever, a conductor on the WES asked to see my TriMet fare. I rode this commuter rail line for the first time five years ago and wrote about it for the … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon House, Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 3 Comments

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