If I were King of Oregon

By Brian Fuller of Portland, Oregon. Brian is a local film and video producer.

If I were King of Oregon, (or running for the job), I would lean back in my throne and proclaim that henceforth my court would replace the word “Recession” with “Depression” in every official communication, so all my subjects east of the mountains would feel that their King knew what was really going on in their lives. And I would make a big deal of it.

Next, I would decree that the representatives of the people, all my Princes, Princesses, Dukes and Duchesses undertake a study of all of the businesses and industrial capacities in their fiefdoms, and mandate them to work the phones, calling every business in their preserve to besiege them to use Oregon venders and suppliers whenever possible.

I would make a spectacle of this process, a full-blown media campaign, even televised like a telethon, so that all of my subjects see my representatives doing everything possible to boost Oregon job creation. An explanation of this campaign and request to join in would be included in every communication I sent to my subjects so that they felt a part of the effort and understood my message to be about the welfare of all of Oregon, not just of the King himself.

Let no naysayer say the King is out of touch, for all my subjects might look and answer back, “I see all the King’s horses and all the King’s men on television binding the land together and bringing loud marketing benefit to the companies that help out, for all your words, naysayer, what the hell are you doing for all of us?”

I would devise a reduced tax rate on certain qualifying business transactions, like raw materials and industrial components purchases and business to business services, and name this rate “The Oregon Dollar”, (calculated to equal the exclusively-instate economic activity multiplier so it was generally state revenue neutral).

Let no usurper claim the King’s royal tax collectors were anti-business or stalling the state’s recovery. Instead, let my subjects answer the critics “You would starve the recovery by pretending that all taxes the King collects are burned in some kind of state furnace, never to enter the economy again. The Kingdom carries no capital reserves as private business would, so when the King spends, less money stays on the sidelines, which leverages greater economic activity. Doesn’t the King show greater wisdom by orchestrating the tax system to promote recovery while refusing to starve his people?”

A monarchy would have to quell the people’s worries and bind them together in effort and identity. The people would have to see obvious, concrete efforts on their behalf. The King and his government would have to understand the peoples’ situation and tirelessly fight to improve it, lest they foment revolt.

But then, I guess we’re not a monarchy.

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    Perhaps an even wiser King would tell his people: "It is not enough that we try to keep every dollar we spend in Oregon. That is good but not enough. We must go out into the world and sell our goods and services. And it is not enough to just go out into the other 49 states of the US. Yes, as you say economic conditions there are bad. The US may be lucky over the next ten years to grow at 2% per year (down from recent 3.3%). But I see international markets, especially emerging, big markets, like China, Brazil, India and others growing at 6%, 8%, and even 10%. We need to find ways to sell our goods and services in those markets and to bring the money back to Oregon. That's where our opportunities are."

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    I find it unsettling that the first time the "D" word was used during the current economic troubles, was by the last President when the markets tanked. That was notable because the CEO of America, Corp. never does that. I'm one that thinks the far right want an economic panic. EOs allow the Prez to take control in an economic crisis and run ever last civil level of gov out of the White House. We're stuck aren't we? If we don't admit that it is what we've got, we don't address it adequately, and if we do, we might lose the whole shootin' match.

    I guess that's what happens when one party decides to market itself as two brands. You get what they've planned for you to get either way. Perhaps the King should put to public labor all those that voted against their conscience so that their voted wouldn't be "wasted"!

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    How about every local and state government be required to use Oregon vendors as well. Heck, I would rather see the government pay a small premium just to keep the money in the local private sector.

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      The hats worn by ODF employees were made in China. Why can't we get some Oregon made ball caps?

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      FWIW, Rep. Brian Clem has been a champion of buy-local rules at the state level.

      The challenge, of course, is that the traditional rule is that lowest-bid wins -- even if there's a slightly-higher bid that would generate tax revenues because it's a local employer.

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