Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oregon friendly to business

For some reason, the media in this state love to report the falsehood that Oregon isn't friendly to business.

They do this, apparently, to shore up the argument for corporate interests to extract more concessions from taxpayers.

This recent Tax Foundation study shows Oregon is friendly to business.

Okay, we have slipped to No. 14 on the list of state's most friendly to business. For many years, Oregon ranked in the top 10. Still, we're just one spot down from Texas, which the GOP considers the poster state for pro-business climate. 

Texas, which has terrible land-use laws resulting in urban sprawl that puts California to shame, is really a mess with its Republican-controlled government.

In fact, Texas has one of the biggest budget deficits in the nation. Texas' deficit represents 31.5 percent of its budget. That's worse than California's 29.3 percent and Oregon's 25 percent.

Oregon has no sales tax while Texas has no income tax.

But, Texas has oil and Oregon does not. Texas also has far more federal dollars flowing its way through the military and NASA.  It has 57 Fortune 500 companies based there. Oregon has two. 

In other words, Texas is one of the richest, most mis-managed states in America.

With all that wealth, Texas has one of lowest-rated school systems in the country. We all know about their battles to re-write history with their new textbooks. But, Texas was the model for "No Child Left Behind," which, in true Orwellian fashion, means exactly the opposite. 

In many ways, Texas is a mirror of what has gone wrong with our country. It's all me, me, me instead of us. When you have the rich starve their state of needed resources to run it properly, you have a state headed downward. No wonder some there want to secede from the Union. Actually, these wanna-be secessionists believe Texas would be better off as its own country. I say, good-riddance.

Yes, we have serious budget problems in Oregon, but it's not as bad as what you read in the newspaper when compared to other, more "stable" states.

Business is expanding here, not contracting as newspapers claim would happen when we passed tax measures by comfortable margins last year. In fact, true progressive states know that when the going gets tough, everyone, including the rich, must chip in to help out. Oregon gets this. Texas does not.

Oregon will never be one of the "richest" states in the nation. But, if we invest more in education and alternative energy, while maintaining our respect for the environment, we will attract more businesses.

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