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Economic Recovery?
“The State is a lousy parent, a terrible landlord and a bad boss.”

The New Year’s Eve brings out what people want to remember or what they want you to remember. House Democrats tried their best to make lemonade out of a year that was more destructive than good. They claim the COVID-19 vaccinations are bringing some normalcy and stability while Governor Brown extends her emergency order and wants to make masking permanent. They have to divert any success from the economy since Oregon ranks in the bottom ten of U.S. States for after-tax personal income per capita.

House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner said, “Oregon has been able to weather the COVID storm better than most states, and that’s because we’ve all come together to do what’s right.” She is referring to legislating “to prevent thousands of Oregonians from getting evicted, provide drought relief to rural communities, and fund services for Afghan refugees.”

Former House Republican Leader, Christine Drazan reflects on 2021 as a tough year. “Mandates impacted schools, youth sports and businesses. Illness, whether it was COVID related or delayed access to care, impacted families and health care settings, while so many of our friends and colleagues left the state this year in search of more opportunity, greater affordability and a culture of state governance that has integrity with reasonable limits in its scope and purpose, that doesn’t crush hopes and dreams. For those of us who have chosen to stay and fight the good fight, we have seen firsthand that the State is a lousy parent, a terrible landlord and a bad boss.”

Smith Warner lists eleven bills they claim has rebuilt Oregon’s economy in a way that ensures that everyone is able to prosper. It might be helpful if she were to define “everyone,” but one thing is for sure, they do affect everyone. If you aren’t on the receiving end, you are on the giving end. Nearly all have a General Fund appropriation attached whether it is a direct allotment or growing government. Reading through the list one has to remember how many billions the state received in federal dollars that is still waiting to be distributed. She contributes a good economic forecast to these bills:



Perhaps trying to make positives out of negatives works for those receiving handouts, but for a real look at how well the economy is thriving requires a look at the giving end. Two factors contributed to a good forecast that has nothing to do with legislating funding. The reprieve for the economy in 2021 can be attributed to the number of people that are ignoring mandates. The stores and businesses that are thriving are those that may post a sign of the mandates, but leave the choice to the customer.

The second factor is that added operating costs to businesses are passed through to consumers. Oregon’s inflation rate with rising costs of about 8% over a year ago eats up a lot of the extra money and in recent months inflation has begun to outpace wage gains, resulting in less earnings. As long as consumers can support inflation, the economy forecast will likely be positive, but that seems to be changing.

Representative Drazan gives a brighter outlook, “The good news is that we have made it through the worst of it—jobs are plentiful, schools are open and medical innovation has resulted in approved therapies to treat COVID-19. There is light at the end of the tunnel.” Jobs being so plentiful, what was the reason for funding a recovery that doesn’t appear to exist?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-01-07 06:20:41Last Update: 2022-01-06 20:41:08

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