Browsing Archives of Author »Eric Fruits«

Do student loans cause income inequality?

February 14, 2013

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Do student loans cause income inequality? The distribution—and redistribution of income—is back in the news. The Economist reported on study of the persistence of income distribution from generation to generation, which generated some discussion. Then, Gary Becker and Richard Posner jumped into the debate with some often overlooked observations.  Judge Posner, however, flag a growing […]

The comedy of corporate taxes

December 18, 2012

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You may not have ever heard of Bill McDonald, but you have probably heard his jokes. A profile of McDonald explains that, from his Southeast Portland home, McDonald writes jokes for “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno and for about 140 radio stations around the world that feed McDonald’s quips to their on-air staffs—jokes like these from […]

Like melting Antarctica to water your lawn: Why LIBOR matters

July 12, 2012

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Funny thing about NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered—nobody’s listening, so they spend a LONG time on stories. This weekend, it was a gripping 11.5 minute story of the growing LIBOR scandal. It’s important because there is a very good chance your adjustable rate mortgage is tied to LIBOR is someway. It’s fascinating because of the […]

Millions go missing from the mysterious school district earmarks in Portland’s “Education” Urban Renewal Area

May 3, 2012

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In an earlier post, we asked why Portland’s toniest high school was jumping to the head of the line to get rebuilt out of urban renewal dollars. Now it seems that in less than two weeks, about one-third of that money has been taken away from the Portland Public Schools earmark. The money appears to […]

A curious sideshow in the health insurance reform circus: Portland’s transgender benefits go unused

April 9, 2012

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Some interesting economics issues in this story from The Lund Report. What if you offered an insurance benefit that raises premiums, but no one uses the insured benefit? Last June the Portland City Council unanimously approved the new benefit joining Multnomah County and San Francisco April 2, 2012 – None of Portland’s city employees or […]

Oregonian reports on Portland’s misplaced priorities: Despite record revenues, Portland’s transportation bureau is broke

February 28, 2012

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The Oregonian seems to have picked up on our earlier posts about misplaced priorities and self-inflicted budget woes at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The story so far can be told in four pictures. Record revenues at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “Discretionary” money has almost doubled since 2000. The city’s excuse that there it has […]

New study: A right-to-work law in Oregon would give a big boost to employment and incomes

February 21, 2012

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    In Oregon, employers can have an agreement with unions that make union membership—and the payment of union dues—an employment requirement.  Refusal to stay in the union or to pay dues can result in termination. Right-to-work laws provide job seekers the right to work for an employer whether or not they choose to join […]