Let's create the right jobs

Leslie Carlson

Conservatives have long believed that environmental stewardship and economic growth are at loggerheads. They see any environmental efforts has hampering the ability of the economy to grow, and thus the last eight years have been a grim series of rollbacks of environmental regulations and a slowdown of incentives for companies producing environmental services and products.

 

Luckily, in Oregon, we have some farsighted non-profits, businesses and advocacy organizations that are challenging this dusty old dogma. The Healthy Climate Partnership kicked off a campaign today for a slew of legislation that will make Oregon homes, businesses and vehicles more energy efficient and will spur the sustainable economy and the creation of green jobs.

 

Simply put, the package of legislation under the "RepowerOregon" banner sets up a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases (also on President Obama's agenda); requirements for all new power plants to be at least as clean as natural gas (no more dirty coal); spurring the development of 17 mw of solar energy (not that high a bar, considering Germany has 2,500 mw); support for non-food biofuels; expansive investment and support for energy efficiency and home weatherization (including establishing a energy efficiency rating for all buildings in the state) and perhaps most interestingly, linking land-use planning and public transit planning into all future transportation projects.

 

Ultimately, of course, all the green legislation in the world won't do a thing if it doesn't address the ailing economy. The good news is, I can think of many kinds of new jobs that might be created out the passage of this legislative package, from energy efficiency experts to engineers to solar cell technicians to managers and clerical staff in renewable energy companies.

 

Let's hope that citizens, businesses and the 2009 Legislature sees the economic benefit of building Oregon's green economy and protecting the climate at the same time. Join in at www.repoweroregon.com

 

 

Comments

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    That's a great paradigm!

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    Cap-and-trade might work, but a substantial, revenue-neutral gas tax would be better. A substantial gas tax also would avoid the need for many of the incentives for alternatives that are components of the Repower Oregon 2009 legislative agenda. Plus a gas tax can be supported on national security grounds (reducing funds flowing to hostile petro-states and lessening the importance of the Middle East) and economic development grounds (bringing home the dollars spent abroad for oil to pay for alternatives at home).

    A gas tax (or a more general carbon tax) compared to cap-and-trade system gives clearer price signals, can be implemented sooner, would be more transparent and better understood, and would be easier to make revenue-neutral by rebating it to the public (the increasing costs of cap-and-trade would be harder to identify). And administering a cap-and-trade program could be a bureaucratic nightmare, opening opportunities for special interest manipulation.

    I’ve posted about a gas tax repeatedly on my own blog (for examples, see here and here for examples).

    I think the politics of enacting either a workable gas tax or cap-and-trade system are daunting. Americans love their cars, hate taxes, and will hate the increasing energy costs that a cap-and-trade system will bring. But because of the stronger national security and economy development effects and arguments, I’d prefer fighting for a gas tax. I’m ok with pursuing both tracks. I think that if Obama does not propose a substantial national gas tax by the end of the 2009 Oregon legislative session that the legislature should refer a substantial, revenue-neutral gas tax measure to the Oregon voters. Pass the Repower Oregon 2009 legislative agenda and put a gas tax measure out to the voters.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    One option would be to design two or three sets of plans for medical/dental facilities for construction in rural areas. This could be accomplished quickly while sites are determined with the cooperation of rural county commissioners who would also choose the appropriate plan. The buildings would be owned by the state and/or federal governments and leased at a minimal fee to doctors and dentists to provide low-cost care to area residents. With a little common sense these buildings could be under construction in a short period of time.

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    seems that mudslides and landslides are plaguing us due to clear-cutting and winter storms. I'd like to see massive tree-planting on all land that's been logged to prevent future slides. since we're the nursery capitol of the world, we could source the saplings locally, and prevent future costs to rural communities when the floodwaters come rushing through as they did this winter. I could imagine this could keep thousands of people employed, protect the environment and clean the air...

  • Econ 101 (unverified)
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    This post is freaking hysterical! You are actually presenting this package of legislation as job creators? Is there no bounds to your economic ignorance?

    Each and every one of those efforts will raise the cost of energy. They will make us POORER as an economy, not richer.

    Will there be some jobs to build solar panels? Sure. But the net jobs will be hugely negative as the ripple effects of higher energy costs for everyone makes its way through the economy.

    I don't understand why liberals can't understand basic economics. It isn't all that hard. Pretending that package of bullshit will create jobs is just ridiculous. What is your profession, anyway? Community organizer?

    Oh wait - you work for one of these "sustainability" organizations no doubt. So you will have some job made possible by the government mandating we all pay more for energy so you can screw up our economy with your ignorance.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    Come on Leslie!

    Quit wasting our time. Honestly, a posting about jobs!?

    The only thing we want to discuss is Mayor ChickenHawk and the latest dirt involving his lying, corrupt behavior.

  • Brian C. (unverified)
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    Carbon trading? Ugh. I tend to concur with James Lovelock's view on that idea. He makes some interesting points about climate change hereas well. Worth a skim whether you're a skeptic or true believer.

  • damon (unverified)
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    Small, picky points about units of power: The unit watt is abbreviated with a large W (because named after James Watt).

    mW would be milliwatt MW is a megawatt, which is 1 million times greater than a milliwatt. Megawatts would make sense here, not milliwatts.

  • Adam Zielinski (unverified)
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    I wholeheartedly endorse the Repower Oregon agenda. And not just because I work for local company that specializes in energy efficiency and renewable energy for homes and businesses. :)

    It's the right thing to do for both our economy and the environment. Contrary to Mr Econ 101's post above, investing in energy efficiency lowers energy bills and energy use, and these investments pay for themselves over time. Using less energy means we avoid having to build expensive new power plants and helps keep rates down over the long term.

    Renewable energy such as solar and wind power are becoming more cost competitive with coal and natural gas. Like any technology, the cost will continue to come down as production ramps up.

    We all pay a hidden tax from using dirty fuels like coal, in the form of increased pollution levels that contribute to haze, acid rain, global warming, and health problems such as asthma. Not to mention the environmental degradation and health problems associated with mining and drilling for coal and gas. Since the cost of dealing with these problems in not included in the price of electricity produced from coal or gas, they seem cheaper than they really are.

    The renewable energy industry and the energy efficiency industry create jobs right here in Oregon, not just in far off lands where coal, oil, and gas is mined and drilled.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Gotta love that commentary by "Econ 101". I remember taking Econ 101: it was all about those idealized supply and demand curves, ideally rational consumers and producers, yadda yadda yadda--in other words, the sort of stuff that's only taken seriously by folks who think Ayn Rand was some sort of great thinker.

    Now, back to Mayor Chickenhawk.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Okay, Econ 101. What do you have to offer to improve the economy? Or do we have to wait until you take Econ 101.1?

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Offering other ideas would do no more good than the many other times they've been suggested. They meet deaf ears and get dismissed immediately.

    But for the record I'll try again.

    The legislature could fast track the not so "express" M49 claims that represent 1000s of homes waiting to be built by the property owners.

    The additional logging on federal lands could be pushed forward.

    The LNG terminal and pipeline could be helped along instead of obstructed.

    And Oregon capital gains taxes could be suspended to spur captital movement and investment.

    All of these would provide jobs, revenue and stimulus to Oregon's economy.

    On the governmental front, officials should be rapidly accelerating the tightening of spending and reduction of costs. Across the board pay cuts must come immediately to spread the pain and preserve jobs.

    Fiscal adaptation such as the Jackson County and Josephine County library sytems must be expanded in fast track mode across the state in every jurisdiction and agency possible.

    The Oregon economy is certainly going to be much worse than it is now. There is now excuse for not acting responsibly, now, with urgency.

    Revenue will continue to plummet for another year at least and those controlling Salem and local governments are in denial as they recklessly ignore the growing problems we face.

    We cannot accept Peter Courtney's, "I don't know what else to do".

  • zull (unverified)
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    One of the most overlooked areas, and possibly the most beneficial immediately to our economy, would be to vastly invest, renew and update our technological infrastructure. With large corporations slashing tech jobs left and right, jobs that generally pay far more than installing solar panels or building electric cars, you'll get a quicker and bigger shot of tax dollars back into the system. For the long term, you get more secure and energy/work efficient computer systems, better responsiveness and reliability for growing demand for services.

    You also prevent the major problem when you have a skilled engineer/technician that goes from making 75-80k a year, to sitting around and losing those skills or making less than 35k a year doing physical/unskilled labor and losing those valuable skills over time. The big problem there for the big picture is that engineer is now paying a whole lot less back into the system, and will probably continue paying a whole lot less back in the long run. If the government allows those technical jobs to vanish, that will turn into a big financial black hole in no time.

    That additional tax revenue gained almost instantly would provide an immediate backbone for environmental/infrastructure projects that could put our a lot of physical laborers back to work. That tech economy is a big part of what drove the US economy in the 1990's, and the obsession for outsourcing throughout this decade is a big part of the reason that a whole lot of educated and skilled folks ended up paying a whole lot less back into the economy (along with being financially unable to pay back remaining school loans!) by losing those incredibly valuable skills. Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer, but tech jobs are far more prolific and end up putting a whole lot more cash back into our system than unskilled laborer or service jobs do.

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    Small, picky points about units of power: The unit watt is abbreviated with a large W (because named after James Watt).

    mW would be milliwatt MW is a megawatt, which is 1 million times greater than a milliwatt. Megawatts would make sense here, not milliwatts.

    Given that I used to work at a utility, you would think I would have learned that lesson. Apparently not. So thanks for the tips.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Leslie Carlson:

    Conservatives have long believed that environmental stewardship and economic growth are at loggerheads.

    Bob T:

    Well, not really. Many of them do, but it's more of a case of them not understanding anything about it.

    Leslie Carlson:

    They see any environmental efforts has hampering the ability of the economy to grow, and thus the last eight years have been a grim series of rollbacks of environmental regulations and a slowdown of incentives for companies producing environmental services and products.

    Bob T:

    I don't know if all of that is true, but yes, Bush had eight years to explain a good alternative to what groups like GreenPeace offer, and he didn't, couldn't, wouldn't, and let opponents define what he was doing. I'm sure he didn't know where to start. In that sense, he made GreenPeace look better.

    Despite what many people think, in a free market you can't dump your pollution in the Columbia River. But when leaders like Bush haven't a clue, people think you can. What else would you expect from someone who thinks that in a free market you can get local government to use eminent domain to get land for you and use tax dollars to subsidize your new baseball stadium (yes, we coulda used one more like Scalia or Thomas in the Supreme Court when the Kelo case was heard).

    Bob Tiernan Un-Affiliated Voter Portland

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Prof. Richard sez:

    They meet deaf ears and get dismissed immediately.

    Because ideas like this have been tried, over and over again, since Ronald Reagan was President, and are largely responsible for the mess we're in now.

    But for the record I'll try again.

    By all means. Like all good Republicans, don't let reality get in the way of a bad ideology.

    The legislature could fast track the not so "express" M49 claims that represent 1000s of homes waiting to be built by the property owners.

    Oh, yes. Private profiteering and destruction of rural lands (not to mention sprawl and the resulting infrastructure costs that have to be paid for by taxpayers) is always good for the economy. Well, I guess it's good for the economies of a very few people... (It is not like there isn't plenty of construction that needs doing. We could start on the backlog of neglected public infrastructure projects and put a heck of a lot of people to work, and lower the cost of doing business for the private sector, too.)

    The additional logging on federal lands could be pushed forward.

    What additional logging is that? The logging that is (a) against the law, (b) destroys last 1% of the original old-growth forests left in the state, (c) increases runoff and landslides, (d) increases the rate of climate change, (e) further subsidizes unsustainable practices by the timber industry, (f) increases catastrophic wildfires by replacing balanced ecosystems developed to be fire-resistant over hundreds of years with mono-culture tree farms? Well, if you answer "All of the above" you'd be right! Johnny, tell him what he's won... (Hint. It's not an improved economy.)

    The LNG terminal and pipeline could be helped along instead of obstructed.

    Ah, yes, let's spend public money and destroy private natural resources so that we can spend more money importing fossil fuels and ship them to California. And create a lovely target for terrorists while we're at it.

    And Oregon capital gains taxes could be suspended to spur captital movement and investment.

    Why? Because the Bush federal tax cuts have worked SO WELL at fixing this economy. Oh, that's right. I forgot. They CREATED this economic DISASTER.

    On the governmental front, officials should be rapidly accelerating the tightening of spending and reduction of costs. Across the board pay cuts must come immediately to spread the pain and preserve jobs.

    Why? We all know the answer. Because government is the source of all evil, and the true goal of all of these policies is to make the wealthy wealthier, screw the rest of us, and, if possible, shrink government to the size to where it can be drowned in the bathtub. Along with any hope we have of living in something better than a banana-republic economy.

    Actually, we all had a chance to express our opinion on policies very much like these. More tax cuts for the wealthy. Reducing environmental protections. Cutting government services and increasing corporate welfare. It was called, let me think now... Oh, yes. I remember.

    THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM

    And we all got together and voted. And we said, loud and clear, in Oregon and across the country,

    NO THANK YOU

    to the failed policies of the last 8 years and really since Ronald Raygun sold us all these lies back in 1980. Didn't work then, don't work now. And enough of us have actually figured that out so that, as we face into the possibility of the Second Republican Great Depression, we might actually have a chance of having our government work in the interests of we the people to prevent it or at least minimize its impact.

    But thanks for playing!

  • D. Ledger (unverified)
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    By limiting the supply of fossil fuels, you are effectively raising the cost of energy.

    For consumers, cap and trade means more expensive gasoline and electricity.

    Even Senator Lieberman himself concedes costs into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

    Increased energy costs act as a regressive tax on the poor.

    Little Environmental Gain

    While the costs of aggressive cap and trade proposals are substantial, the environmental benefits are suspect. This is true even if one fully accepts the claim of man-made global warming. The most ambitious measure to date is the Kyoto Protocol, but even if the U.S. were a party to this treaty and the European nations and other signatories were in full compliance (most are unlikely to meet their targets), the treaty would reduce the Earth's future temperature by an estimated 0.07 degrees Celsius by 2050--an amount too small even to verify.

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    For those concerned about the economic effects of action on climate change, consider the economic effects of not acting.

    Lord Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, found in his thorough review that NOT acting could lead to a 5-20% decrease in GDP, while acting would only cost about 1% GDP.

    An Oregon Climate Institute study, to be completed in the next 2-3 weeks, has initial results estimating costs of climate change to be $5 billion per year for Oregon.

    So please don't say we don't understand economics.

    One basic part of economics is costs AND benefits, and looking at various scenarios.

    We need to act.

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    D. Ledger wrote:

    By limiting the supply of fossil fuels, you are effectively raising the cost of energy.

    News flash. The supply of fossil fuels IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN limited. We are at, or have passed, peak daily production of liquid fossil fuels, which means total worldwide daily output is going down. Meanwhile, demand will continue to climb, despite the respite from the current economic situation (aka demand destruction). Once it does, prices have no where to go but up. But Europe, with its energy taxes, has been banking that money for public purposes, for years. We here have learned that life doesn't end at $4 a gallon. But all our money goes to the oil companies. How smart is that?

    The cost of energy IS rising, no matter what we do. Do we bury our heads in the sand, and act like nothing can sink the Titanic, or do our best to try and plan for a smooth(er) landing. (For another analogy, do you want us to put the plane down on the river, nice and slow, or gamble we have enough to reach the airport--when we don't--and crash.)

    For consumers, cap and trade means more expensive gasoline and electricity.

    For consumers, "Business as Usual" (BAU) means more expensive gasoline and electricity, and a whole lot more! (All bad.)

    Do you want to plan for alternatives to climate change? Alternatives to driving alone to work on $10/gallon gasoline? Alternatives to people freezing, starving or killing each other, because our cheap-oil-dependent system is going to COMPLETELY break down when there's no more cheap oil? (Note to skeptics: We're not running out of oil. We're just running out of cheap oil.)

    If you do, then pull your head out of the sand, 'cause we're going to need everybody's brain power on this one.

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    No, no, no, I agree with Econ 101 man because it is clear that doing things the same old way and denying environmental crises has produced the vital, functioning and sustainable economy and environment that we have today. Oh...wait.

    Great post, Leslie!

  • Richard (unverified)
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    No Evan we do not. AGW is fast unfolding as nothing but the fraud it is.

    "Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fear soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.”"

    Jaybeat,

    You have misrepresented these issues.

    This is how you dismiss good ideas.

    These are specific ideas that would help.

    They aren't "Reagan ideas that are largely responsible for the mess we're in now."

    What nonsense. How does one take such a leap?

    What is your reality?

    The legislature could fast track the not so "express" M49 claims that represent 1000s of homes waiting to be built by the property owners. You label it "Private profiteering"? Apparently you have zero knowledge of these M49 claims and choose to make things up. These "express" M49 claims are mostly 1 to 3 home claims by property owners wanting to pay the entire cost and use them as family residences. There is no "destruction of rural lands" involved. There is no sprawl or resulting infrastructure costs that have to be paid for by taxpayers. You made that up as well.

    This is why we can't get sound policies even when we desperately need them. Because of people like YOU.

    Again those 1000s of M49 claims need NO public stimulus tax money and many people are ready to start construction as soon as stagnant planning departments issue permits. Translation: more revenue for planning departments and other taxing jurisdictions immediately.

    And nothing to do with Reagan.

    Yet you have this distorted either or notion that the backlog of neglected public infrastructure projects would be somehow affected by M49 claims? Ludicrous. And how does expanded government deficit spending "lower the cost of doing business for the private sector"?

    Yes additional logging on federal lands could be pushed forward. The plan is already there and it's for a sustainable yield without ANY of your nonsense. But again you have zero awareness of the issue. This is how good ideas get demagogued and obstructed. Your a thru f is the stuff of a brainwashed Johnny who wins nothing.

    The LNG terminal and pipeline could be helped along instead of obstructed.

    Here you again make false statements about spending public money because you haven't a clue what you are talking about. Contrary to your nonsense these projects would result in windfall for public coffers, lower energy costs while not sacrificing any environmental protections.

    There is nothing wrong with fossil fuels use especially clean burning Natural Gas.

    And Oregon capital gains taxes could be suspended to spur capital movement and investment.

    You obviously know nothing about our Oregon economy or Capital Gains taxes. Capital gains taxes stifle the movement and use of money to generate more and many middle income Oregonians are hobbled by capital gains taxes. On the governmental front, officials should be rapidly accelerating the tightening of spending and reduction of costs. Across the board pay cuts must come immediately to spread the pain and preserve jobs.

    This is not because of the "evil government" straw man you concocted.
    It's because government simply does not have enough money and they will not have enough money. There is no other choice. We're facing enormous shortages. School districts are going to be facing shortened school years if across the board cuts are not made NOW.

    It can and has been done. Vancouver firefighters took across the board pay cuts to save money and jobs.

    Absolutely none of your contrived motives or outcomes came into play. Absolutely none of your contrived motives or outcomes came into play. Absolutely none of your contrived motives or outcomes came into play.

    All 21 Jackson County Libraries would be still closed if your cooked up baloney stood the test of reality.

    I don't believe you have figured out anything at all. Certainly not on land use, economics or Global Warming and the environment.

    With your misguided approach we aren't going to have government working at all. It has simply grown too big to fund and function.

    The massive government expansion underway which pretends to be an effort to "at least minimize its [recession] impact" could not be more wrong headed.

    And with $750 MILLION in the stimulus plan for a "school snack program" demonstrating the new insanity we'll be in trouble for a long long time.

    Oregon could also allow proposed resorts to be built with extensive environmental protection and mitigation. But that's not good enough either.

    Honestly, your take on these issues could not be more absurd and counter productive.

  • Gang Green (unverified)
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    This is interesting! It was stated on a post here weeks ago, but this is a sterling example. Namely, that when someone says "you're only raising the cost of energy", you can be assured they know not the difference between macro and micro economics. Funny how on some level they know this; why else the very accurate pseudonym Econ101? Haven't you ever had a teen that took Econ101 then tut tutted all news long about how policy makers are doing all the wrong things because they confused the two?

    It was stated more bluntly that it is like a game of chess. Some masters see 20 moves ahead, some players see 5 moves ahead; some can only see the next move. Bobby Fischer devastated opponents because his play looked unsustainable, just costly, a loss- sound familiar- 1, 5, 10 moves out. 20 moves anyone could see he was freakin' brilliant.

    That's a particularly apt metaphor. Fischer became a social progressive and let himself get bogged down in arguing with every wingnut on the planet and he eventually became a bitter, vitriolic old, young man. He argued with the assumptions behind every stupid statement and that became all he was known for. No one remembers what he was trying to accomplish. That's a warning for progressives in this area, I think. It will be hard educating those raised on conservative talk radio, who have learned to shout mindless repetitions of mindless dogma and view violence and rude behavior as something anyone trying to improve any one else's life has deserved.

    Every declining empire has had a group of wingnuts that couldn't see that their "back to basics" was hastening the demise of their civilization. Few have been dealt with effectively and most became a parasite to the system, slowly draining the little energy the society had left to repair itself. Our biggest energy crisis comes from the intellectual vampires that suck the life blood of democracy for their bloody existence. The history of 20th century energy use is the history of greedy, narrow minded men that demonstrate none of the principles that conservative talk radio extol.

    Progressive environmentalists need an equivalent of Ghandi's "march to the sea". With a simple act he accurately characterized his resistance to the British empire, and made the issue understandable to the average Indian in a way they could relate to their daily life. Salt is life in India. We can make it ourselves. Why must we be dependent recipients of the British crown, under pain of law, for an essential that we can produce ourselves? By walking the issue was laid out on a timescale that everyone could understand, and the visual image cut across all the religions and linguistic and symbolic divides that describe India. That's leadership, getting people to do what they know they should be aren't doing. Besides good ideas the progressives will have to lead, and not just come up with good ideas, to solve the energy crisis.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    You want energy conspiracy theories? I've lived in 12 states. The cost per kiloWatt hour has been radically different from place to place. Why is it that the total, annual bill, varies less from place to place than a given place does from month to month? There's less than 15% variation between places. In Oregon I use no heat or AC. Maybe heat 10 days of the year, never AC. In Texas the AC runs for 6 months and the heat for 4. My consumption there is hugely greater. SF is another case. Add Tampa, Boston, Colorado Springs; all very different propositions. Yet, every month, when I went to pay the bills, I would have to look at the bill to see where it was from. They are invariably, randomly equal. The only case that ever broke from the trend was SF during 2000-2001 (higher of course).

    My point is that everyone that says whatever is too much meddling doesn't account for the degree of meddling that is already going on. You want to make Oregon economically viable, runaway hot growth, even? Make everyone in the country pay the same per kiloWatt hour. You would dramatically reduce energy consumption and revitalize the rust belt at the same time.

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    Economics is not a science and it is very difficult to sort through opinions to find something of substance. I attended the Governor’s conference on business in Oregon and heard a speaker that offered an idea that stuck with me. Economies that turn inward and sell products only to themselves will wind down from entropy. There has to be a component of making and selling products to others outside the economic entity, Oregon in this case. Products could be sold China or even Arkansas but we have to have some value add.

    It galls me to be fishing on the Columbia and see container ships passing with wind turbine blades from Europe. We should be the world leader in manufacturing of such high-tech equipment as lift-style blades. I look at my 18 photovoltaic cells every day and regret buying them from Japan. I could not get a domestic supplier even though we have knowledge and ability to make break through products. I waited over a year for mine to be delivered so I suspect there is a US market and we ought to be making them.

    The stimulus that makes me excited is one that stimulates a long term market in products where we can apply America ingenuity and excel at supplying a world market. This is not going to happen with tax cuts and lack of vision.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Certainly some interesting ideas Leslie, thanks.

    some questions: 1. How many coal fired electricity production facilites currently are in Oregon? 2. While you promote clener Natural gas fired electricity producing plants, how would you build the infrastructure to supply said plants without a terminal and pipeline? 3. Producing newer plants and photvoltaic cell, wind turbine blades etc all currely face massive time consuming permitting processes. What would you suggest to hasten production and employment while still maintaining enviromental integrity of these facilities?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Jaybeat

    Great job attacking everyone's suggestions that you don't like. Care to post some of your own?

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    mp97303 said:

    Great job attacking everyone's suggestions that you don't like. Care to post some of your own?

    Not "everyone's"--just the failed Republican policies that somehow keep getting advanced on this (supposedly) Democratic board!

    Leslie's ideas all seem good, and I support the President's approach to shift to more local, renewable, sustainable, carbon-neutral sources. I'm a huge supporter of transit, land-use planning and sustainable development, so that people have real choices about transportation.

    Ultimately, when you pay however much for a gallon of gasoline, we aren't paying anywhere close to the total cost. Taxpayers pay. Poor people pay. Dead sea birds pay. Our children pay. Our grandchildren pay. Etc. (See the short film "The Story of Stuff".) Until people's personal pocketbook choices reflect the bigger picture, over the longer term, it is going to be hard to create the kind of change we need. Does that mean we need to figure out how the heck someone on minimum wage can afford to get to work if gas costs $10.00? You bet it does. But since it is going to cost that much one way or another, anyway, I don't see why we shouldn't get started, instead of pretending that it will magically become 1950 again. (Though if you look at the % of taxes paid by the wealthy and corporations, or the # of miles of well-maintained railroad lines, or the % of people who got to work in private cars, or the median income vs. the cost of living, or the % of our energy that was produced domestically, or... then vs. now... there might be some clues as to how to make things better over the next 60 years.)

    Bye for now!

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Boy jaybeat,

    All you got is the boiler plate bromides without any understanding of much at all. When we "buy gas we aren't paying the cost of dead sea birds"?

    Bye Bye

  • dddave (unverified)
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    Jaybeat you are an idiot on Measure 37/49. I own the freaking property, and is "destruction" to recoup losses directly related to being rezoned out of any development at all?? Dork. There are WAY MORE PEOPLE involved in residential construction than fixing school roofs, and it is a net tax revenue INCREASE going forward. You are just a no growth ass and have no idea at all what you are talking about. The neglected public infrastructure you speak of was intentionally neglected and should have been taken care of in existing budgets.
    I suppose we should all look to you to tell us how we should be using our personal property because you have a better idea?? Great, buy my freaking property and YOU sit on it and pay the taxes forever. Unbelievable.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I don't know now how things are with the shipbuilding and repair facilities in Portland but if, as is likely, they could use some business to create well-paying jobs, then I would suggest a project to remodel a relatively new ship in lay-up and convert it to a combination hospital and educational ship to go to Third World countries and provide health services and education to the people living there. Turn it over to the Peace Corps/Mercy Corps/Oxfam/Doctors Without Borders and help redeem some of the respect we lost by the boatload during the last eight years. Come to think of it, make that a small fleet of ships.

    I know, it would take a lot of energy to do that work in a shipyard, but it would pay off in the long run, especially if part of the educational program encourages others to be more environmentally conscious - something that is not usually the case in other countries.

  • gl (unverified)
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    Great Im all for it. uumm.... So what are the "right jobs"? and who decides what are "right jobs"?

  • gl (unverified)
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    Great Im all for it. uumm.... So what are the "right jobs"? and who decides what are "right jobs"?

  • billy (unverified)
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    Let's create the right jobs

    What is the right kind of job? The Japanese tried to answer that question at the end of WWII and decided that heavy industry was their future. Naturally, since Sony was not a targeted industry, they could not get government permission to license patents for making transistors.

    This cost the entire Japanese electronics industry a few years and lost Japan the opportunity to be the first in the world with a transistor radio.

    Why do you think you can predict what jobs will be best for Oregon? You have no crystal ball?

    All you will do is repeat the mistakes of the past that has priced housing out of reach of the average Oregonian, made us first in unemployment and first in - last out in recessions.

    Don't listen to planners - they are simply incompetent.

    Thanks

  • CesDyerne (unverified)
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    Once in the interface you can choose to analyze the hard drives connected to your computer. notebooks ibm pc Laptop samsung

  • Dick Fuld (unverified)
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    That's so true, Billy. The numbers are to keep the public occupied. There is no bottom line difference in doing business from place to place. The numbers you are talking about it like tossing a pebble into a waterfall to see the ripples.

    I'm a case in point. I have received executive compensation in excess of 1/3 billion dollars in the last decade and I can assure you that when my board decided that it was fair compensation for the services I render, they did not consider any of the variables you are discussing. That billion with a "b", and that's upfront cash, apart from stock options and the like. That does include my bonuses.

    Billy has got the pulse. Let it ride. You're not the one behind the wheel. It makes as much sense as members of the public that are going to judge corporate directors' record. How are you going to do that? You have no idea what the game is.

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Billy sez:

    Don't listen to planners - they are simply incompetent.

    Instead, listen to the corporate planners, who are extremely competent. The only problem is, competent at creating what's best for the few. Not always (or usually) what is best for the many. Hardly ever (never) what's best for the most.

  • Jiang (unverified)
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    JK doesn't ever say what he would do in the positive. He's not a libertarian, he's a member of the Inertia Party.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    jaybeat:

    Instead, listen to the corporate planners, who are extremely competent. The only problem is, competent at creating what's best for the few. Not always (or usually) what is best for the many. Hardly ever (never) what's best for the most.

    Bob T:

    Why do you think this is hard to figure out? Businesses don't need to plan what's best for the most. So long as those making decisions for those businesses are held responsible for any negative consequences of any actions, i.e. force, fraud etc., all they have to do is what's best for their market within the framework mentioned above. They are not obligated to "plan" for the most any more than you do.

    Oprah, for example (the billionaire), doesn't plan for what's best for the most, or even half, or even a quarter. Doesn't mean she's harming anyone like me at all (never watched her show or anything). Big deal.

    And Ben & Jerry had no obligation to plan for what's best for the most, either (when they were in charge). In fact, had they been obligated to do so they wouldn't have made ice cream to begin with.

    Government planners, on the other hand, have power over your life that no anti-statist like you should ever want anyone to have.

    Bob Tiernan Mult Co.

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Bob:

    Corporations, acting in their narrow self-interest to the exclusion of all else, have way more power over our lives than all the governments of the world put together. Perhaps because they have bought most of the governments of the world, and use their power to steer those governments to act, whenever they can, in those same narrow self-interests.

    So who is there to fight for the rest of us?

    Only a government of, by, and for the People, not the Corporations.

    We're working on that part.

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Fascinating discussion of a related issue at The Oil Drum.

    And a sobering graphic showing what will happen if the Business As Usual "let the market fix everything" crowd has their way:

    <img src="http://www.theoildrum.com/uploads/244/beyondoilnet_energy.gif"/>

    Popcorn, anyone?

  • (Show?)

    jaybeat writes: Corporations, acting in their narrow self-interest to the exclusion of all else, have way more power over our lives than all the governments of the world put together. Perhaps because they have bought most of the governments of the world, and use their power to steer those governments to act, whenever they can, in those same narrow self-interests.

    So who is there to fight for the rest of us?

    Only a government of, by, and for the People, not the Corporations.

    Overly simplistic, jaybeat.

    Corporations act in the profit making interests of their shareholders, who may constitute tens of millions of people. You might check the holding for the major labor union pensions, just to take one example.

    Meanwhile "government" in this country does not represent "all the people," but a plurality of the voting public, which might constitute 25% or less of the total public in a presidential contest and far less in a congressional or local race.

    There are good corporations and bad corporations, and there are good governments and bad governments.

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    Ah, jaybeat, just can't resist one more--your claim that what is in the self-interest of a corporation is automatically antithetical to the public good.

    There are quite a few corporations involved in producing a new generation of electric cars, wind and solar power, alternative energy, etc.

    Would you agree that these "corporations" (because they are incorporated legal entities) act in "their narrow self-interest to the exclusion of all else"?

    Or can their narrow self-interst and the common interest be in alignment?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @jaybeat:Corporations, acting in their narrow self-interest to the exclusion of all else

    Corporations act in the legally required fiduciary interests of their owners

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    There are good corporations and bad corporations, and there are good governments and bad governments.

    Absolutely.

    The good governments try to do things that will benefit all the people of their country and are accountable to the judgment of those same people if they don't or don't succeed.

    But what is a good corporation?

    Corporations act in the legally required fiduciary interests of their owners

    And the owners' interests may be aligned with the interests of the people, or they may not be.

    Or can their narrow self-interst and the common interest be in alignment?

    Absolutely. But there is no requirement that a corporation work in the public interest. Or even in the shareholder interest, necessarily. After all, it's not "one shareholder, one vote," and it is certainly not "one employee, one vote" or "one customer, one vote." (Even if you buy the hooey that customers "vote with their dollars," some customers have a lot more dollars than others! Plus, I am not allowed to know as much about what a corporation does with "my" money as I am about what a government does with "my" taxes, so my "vote" is a pretty ignorant one.)

    So there's the rub, folks. This corporate, wealth-driven model can deliver results that benefit a lot of us, but there's no requirement that it does so, and no reliable mechanism for the equivalent of "voting the bums out" (as imperfect as that may be). And the more concentrated the wealth (Wall-Street, anyone? Hello!), the less accountability. And now everything is starting to crash and burn, but no one is being held accountable.

    Not even those who said (and apparently are still saying) that "the market" would always fix itself.

    And you and I are left holding the bag.

    Hopefully we won't have to use it as a tent to live in.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    jaybeat:

    Corporations, acting in their narrow self-interest to the exclusion of all else, have way more power over our lives than all the governments of the world put together. Perhaps because they have bought most of the governments of the world, and use their power to steer those governments to act, whenever they can, in those same narrow self-interests.

    Bob T:

    If corporations (of all sizes) could do whatever they want to do, as you seem to imply in general, then there's no need for them to buy or even partner up with government. By tossing government into the mix you admit that they need government as a tool. This is the tool that progressives and many others seem to never want to admit is a problem with government as an entity. It's always the corporation!

    Here's an example using a local issue. Subsidized sports stadiums or arenas. Despite what you might think, a mega-millionaire or group of millionaires wanting to buy a major league baseball team and relocate it to Portland cannot send you a bill to help them build the stadium they need in order to make this deal work. They can ask you and all other Portland residents for this money (let's say, $350 per adult), but you will tell them to go pound salt, and rightly so.

    But these guys go to the local governments (county and city) and then the city council and county commission vote to use your tax dollars to buld this "infrastructure" project which will (as the usual line goes), "benefit the local economy--happy days are here again". And the city and county will get a share of parking fees and so on.

    People will then obey and send in the $350 because they see government as an entity to be obeyed more or less. That's the aspect of government that you guys need to be wary of but are not. Instead, you want to paint businesses/private sector as entities to restrain lest they take your money for their own benefit, all while ignoring the fact that this cannot be done without government, and you don't eant to have to admit this about government so you don't say it or recognize it.

    Regarding the stadium type deals, it should be pointed out that the government plays an equal role in this or perhaps most of it in that local politicians have egos and want their cities to be important. They want to have sports teams to brag about, and convention centers and so on. They are too eager to lure millionaire owners to either re-locate to their cities or to prevent them from leaving. Team owners know this and have been playing into this since about 1925 or so. But can you blame them? The first subsidized stadium deals should have been slapped down by local voters to set the example that it will not be this way, but that didn't happen.

    Sam Adams wants to rob you and I for a two-stadium deal (one renovation, and a brand new one), and most others in local government (elected as well as bureaucrats) will force this on us if they get their way (which could be easy).

    You ended your message by stating that, "So who is there to fight for the rest of us? Only a government of, by, and for the People, not the Corporations".

    So your beloved Sam Adams and most of "progressive" Portland and Multnomah County leaders are going to screw us anyway. So much for the "of, by, and for the people" nonsense. If we get this sport bullsh*t deal, it'll be because of drek like Adams, not because of people like Paulson who has no power over you to get the money (not without drek like Adams doing it for him).

    When are you going to wake up?

    Bob Tiernan Mult Co

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Bob,

    We can get rid of Sam at the ballot box. We can reduce the ability of corporations (like above mentioned sports teams) to influence (buy) politicians and public policies. I personally HATE public subsidies of sports teams. Knowing that it is being considered, I can fight tooth and nail against it, and, to some extent, Sam and Co. will have to listen.

    But if my bank decides to buy another bank (giving their executives huge bonuses in self-congratulations), and then turns around and reduces services and increases fees to pay for it, I'm stuck. I couldn't lobby against it because I didn't have the right to know it was being considered, and they have no obligation to even pretend to listen to me, either with the merger or the fee increases. All I can do is take my money to another bank, with no assurance they won't do the same or worse themselves. And if the bank screws up and goes under, the execs won't have to give back their bonuses, but I might lose my money--except--for the radical, "socialist" government regulations that insure my deposits.

    When are YOU going to wake up?

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    jaybeat:

    We can get rid of Sam at the ballot box.

    Bob T:

    Are you kidding? Most progressives won't do that. Not over being a corporate welfare hack. They'd have to admit that "the first gay mayor of a large city", not to mention "a real progressive", can deserve the boot as much as any other elected crook.

    jaybeat:

    We can reduce the ability of corporations (like above mentioned sports teams) to influence (buy) politicians and public policies.

    Bob T:

    Will you ever admit that increasing the size of government (giving it more powers to regulate, to pick winners and losers etc) is what causes most of the influence peddling we have? When the government has the power to pick winners and losers, and influence in many ways who those winners and loser will be, it's no wonder that the level of contributions from those who want to be winners and avoid being losers has grown.

    jaybeat:

    I personally HATE public subsidies of sports teams. Knowing that it is being considered, I can fight tooth and nail against it, and, to some extent, Sam and Co. will have to listen.

    Bob T:

    The problem is that his mindset has brought him to his current position in the first place. What we need is a mayor and four city council members who won't even consider the possibility of such a project in the first place. Adams & Co. can make this two-stadium deal come about and they'll all be re-elected because "they care about the homeless" or something like that.

    But wait! The dreaded Cascade Policy Institute opposes this project and Sam Adams & Friends are for it -- what are progressives to do!

    We also need to do something about agencies such as the Portland Development Commission which often whips up these ideas and gets the ball rolling so far down the road that by the time we hear of them it's too late. The projects they push should, if they are to be pushed at all, originate and be pushed by the city council so they and not some unelected, unknown and unaccountable people will have to face us from the get-go.

    As for you scenario on the bank, I can't disagree with you regarding the negative consequences of such actions but that is far, far short of describing how corporations and not government have more power over you. First you must start with the fact that banks and the State have had their partnership in place for nearly a century now (under the guise of "protecting the people" or something, yet another legacy of the so-called Progressive Era). The banks we have nowadays are hardly the kind of banks we'd have without the protections they've been getting for decades by the government.

    You still need to address the fact of government as a tool. To claim that you can control it by letting the politicians know you oppose this or that is naive.

    Bob Tiernan Mult Co. Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Billy:

    Why do you think you can predict what jobs will be best for Oregon? You have no crystal ball?

    Bob T:

    That's the problem with those who think they can plan such things. Government people think they are smarter than everyone else and can plan for all sorts of things simply because they are paid to devote the time to this. No one in the private or government sector can predict what jobs can be created.

    Job growth often goes off in directions and more rapidly than anyone could have imagined. A few examples can be seen by studying the growth of the film industry in the Los Angeles area which triggered and fed loads of jobs in the area, not just in the industry itself, and how the growth of the automobile industry triggered and fed loads of job growth here and in Europe [1]. Or more recently the computerization of many countries.

    [1]

    On a side note, the auto interests (drivers, manufacturers) get most of the blame for the move towards improved roads, including inter-city roads across the countryside which led to more auto demand which led to more pavement and so on. In fact, this movement was already underway before the car was a factor and two of the biggest lobbying groups for improved roads everywhere were bicyclist organizations and the railroads.

    Bob Tiernan Mult Co

  • LC (unverified)
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    <h2>At last! Someone else who isn't talking roads and bridges only.</h2>

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