Topics Go Missing From Oregon Business Plan

Chuck Sheketoff

When reading this year’s version of the Oregon Business Plan, prepared by the Oregon Business Council for this past week’s 2011 Leadership Summit, I was struck by what it leaves out. Though it purports to discuss Oregon’s “economic progress and challenges,” nowhere does the document mention:

• income inequality,

• poverty or the poor,

• the 99 percent and the 1 percent,

• the tax cuts that the most profitable corporations got this year with start of the phase-out of Measure 67, or

• the tax cuts that Oregon's wealthiest households are getting starting January 1 with the expiration of the initial temporary rates under Measure 66.

Whatever the cause for the silence in the Oregon Business Plan, a “policy playbook” for the summit, new short fact sheets from the Oregon Center for Public Policy released this week help provide a more complete view of Oregon’s economic progress and challenges — a better View of the State of Working Oregon.

One fact sheet shows that If Economic Growth Assured Well-Being, Oregonians Would be Thriving, while the other shows that Economic Gains Flow to the Top as Oregon Income Inequality Soars.

When those short papers are read light of knowing that poverty is on the rise in Oregon, one realizes the gaping holes in the leadership summit’s playbook for Oregon.

Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at

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    Chuck, I share your concerns about who benefits from Oregon's economy. And I, too, have been very critical of the leadership provided by the Oregon Business Plan folks, but on different grounds. They just are not providing good business leadership. One can read their documents and not know that some foreign markets with rapid growth are offering enormous business opportunities. For several years, I've been critical of them for being "provincial," "insular" and lacking international dimensions (here). They are, IMHO, far too focused on tax advantages and subsidies here in Oregon than on market opportunities abroad. The Oregon Business Plan folks are failing us in many, many ways.

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      They push for increased state spending on education and subsidies but are not willing to pay for that increased spending and instead are comfortable shifting costs for the investments they want to low- and moderate-income Oregonians and cutting public investments that create opportunity.

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    How interesting Chuck. You and yours set up the false higher tax rates and now castigate the higher earners for the 'tax cut' that your Measures codified. Simply amazing.

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    Did you attend the conference?

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