Economic Fairness

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The Wealth Disparity Crisis Laid Bare

It's impossible to ignore. Our country is facing a crisis of wealth disparity that has only gotten much, much worse since the recession. Put simply, the ultra-rich are getting richer, and everyone else is getting poorer.

And some of the most tragic victims of this crisis are Oregon's children.

Read more at The Sockeye blog.

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Measure 84 through cartoons

Two light-hearted ways to deal with a heavy-hearted subject: Measure 84, the latest bad idea from Kevin Mannix.

First up, Meet Alice:

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Want to improve the economy? Reduce income inequality

The New York Times reported yesterday on the growing body of economic research that suggests that income inequality may be the root of America's economic woes.

Findings point to income inequality as not just a path to an unequal society, but also a direct route to "less stable economic expansions and sluggish growth."

As reported in the Times

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The Oregonian: Spreading Trickle Down Economics for the 21st Century

In their Sunday editorial, the Oregonian spent more than 700 words to say one thing: We should cut taxes for the rich.

Of course, you won’t see those actual words printed plainly anywhere in their editorial, but there’s no other conclusion to draw from their screed.

Ostensibly, the editorial is about reforming Oregon’s business tax system. To their credit, the writers acknowledge the obvious, that we have low taxes on large corporations.

They fail, however, to point to the findings of a recent, widely cited report from the Council On State Taxation, showing that Oregon is tied for the lowest business taxes in the entire country. Let me say it again: The lowest business taxes in the country. That’s down from our ranking as the 5th lowest just one year ago.

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Media Watch: Once Again, PolitiFact Redefines the Word "Fact"

In their relentless pursuit of the truth (so that they can run it over and call it untrue), the folks over at PolitiFact Oregon have once again redefined what a “fact” is.

This time, they’ve taken on the Democratic Party of Oregon’s statement that Republican State Senator (and candidate for Labor Commissioner) Bruce Starr cast a vote that “would have thrown 6,000 Oregonians off unemployment.”

The bill in question is House Bill 3483 from 2009, which provided a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits. It passed overwhelmingly (because, well, duh), but got a few No votes, including one from Sen. Starr.

If Starr had gotten his way and the bill died, it’s true that at least 6,000 people would have lost their unemployment benefits.

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"Fewer, poorer, gloomier"

“Fewer, poorer, gloomier.” No, those words aren’t descriptors of sunny days in Oregon, as we move into fall.

That’s the subtitle to the latest report from the Pew Research Center – and they’re describing America’s middle class.

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Income inequality: actual versus perceived

The Atlantic has a great article this week on income inequality in America.

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Media Watch: The Five Dumbest Things You’ll Read Today, Courtesy of the Oregonian Editorial Board

If you’ve read the Oregonian at all in the past couple of years, you know that they’ve embarked on a crusade against the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). This began when the paper was taken over by conservative publisher N. Christian Anderson III and intensified when they hired Erik Lukens to run the Editorial page. (See our series on his right-wing views here.)

They’ve spent an inordinate amount of newsprint slamming the pension system, despite the fact that it’s one of the best-run, best-funded public pension plans in the country. Today, the Editorial Board made their big play, calling on the legislature to make PERS reform a priority in the next session.

It’s no surprise that they’d continue beating this horse. But what is surprising is the extent to which the Editorial Board has decided to insult the intelligence of their readers in doing so. Here are the five dumbest things you’ll read today, all courtesy of the Oregonian Editorial Board:

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The High Cost of Low, Low Business Taxes

The corporate-backed Council On State Taxation released their latest annual report on state and local business taxes, showing that Oregon is now tied for the lowest business tax rate in the nation.

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What do voters want?

Pew Research Center conducted a national survey this month and discovered that the public overwhelmingly supports raising taxes in order to help our economy and make the tax system more fair.

Check it out:

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