Business: Would you live in 1916 America for $1 billion? An economist reasoned that he would not, because in 1916 there just wasn’t many of the things that we now take for granted, like anitbiotics, air conditioning, good dental care, and if you happen to be a woman or a minority, unfettered or in some cases any right to vote. Accordingly, the economist reasoned that he, as a middle class American in modern times, is actually wealthier than J.D. Rockefeller, the early 20th century and very wealthy oil baron.
Law: Oregon has a whole lot of state licensure boards that regulate certain professions from licensed professional counselors to engineers. Among other things, these boards try to keep people who aren’t licensed from holding themselves out as being licensed. Well, Allen Alley, a Republican, described himself as an engineer in his short-lived gubernatorial candidacy in 2016. Alley has an engineering degree and was an accomplished practicing engineer for companies like Ford and Boeing, but he is not a licensed engineer in Oregon. Someone complained, and the board investigated. In the meantime, a separate federal case came out against the board taking this kind of enforcement action, at least in part on the grounds that the board is infringing on the free speech rights of people to say they’re engineers when they are in fact at least arguably engineers. Despite the ruling, a board employee earlier this week sent Alley an email indicating the investigation was pushing forward. Alley objected, and the board has now dropped the investigation and put the employee on leave.
Politics: One of the reasons housing is expensive in certain parts of Oregon, including Bend, is that our land use laws are favorable to those who object to building stuff. Neighbors object to projects, and sometimes those projects don’t get built, and we have less housing than we otherwise would, and what housing we do have is therefore more expensive. Someone’s proposed an apartment building near the river in Bend, and the usual cast of opponents came out to pack a hearing room. But something that’s new is a group that calls themselves YIMBYs (Yes in My Back Yard); they showed up to argue in favor of the development, for the reason that it would help reduce rent prices in Bend. Usually these disputes are developer vs. everyone else, but the YIMBYs change that dynamic a bit.
Et cetera: Between 1939 and 1942 the Portland waterfront was home to a huge and strangely Soviet-looking memorial to Teddy Roosevelt. Critics at the time thought it looked fascist, and with World War II underway, the statue just kind of went away. The statue, which looks like something one might find in Pyongyang, North Korea, also shared a certain early 20th century authoritarian aesthetic with the Oregon Capitol Building, which was built around the same time and of course still stands.
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Jeff started EagerLaw PC to help Oregon entrepreneurs succeed in business. Jeff worked in Washington, D.C. for Oregon Congressman Greg Walden, served as Mayor of the City of Bend, and has been practicing law in Oregon for over a decade. Jeff believes strongly in entrepreneurship and enjoys making the legal side of business transparent and easy for his clients.