Here’s some stuff you might like.
Business: One of the themes of the Bend Business Roundup has been that we’ve been enjoying some of the best economic conditions in Bend’s history in recent years. Rapid growth, almost nonexistent unemployment, lots of opportunity. At some point, the party has to stop, and the Bulletin’s recent Central Oregon Business Index has turned negative for the first time since 2011. That index measures a bunch of indicators of economic activity, like Redmond airport boardings and the amount of garbage deposited at Knott Landfill, to provide a quarterly measure of economic activity in Bend. It’s possible some of this downturn was related to the heavy snow in the first quarter of the year, but it may also be an indication of a broader economic slowdown in Central Oregon.
Law: Have you been to the M&J Tavern on Greenwood? It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve been, but last I knew the place was a lot more pre-roundabout Bend than post-roundabout Bend. More pool, less cornhole. More denim, less puffy. Anyway, the humble M&J recently found itself in the cross-hairs of the national performing rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. for allowing artists to play songs the rights to which BMI was tasked to enforce, without paying for that right. Well, the M&J has reached agreement with BMI, under which the tavern will apparently pay a fee, and so now may resume its weekly live music show.
Politics: The Oregon legislature is considering a bill that would require businesses that emit greenhouse gases to pay a lot of money to the state for the right to cause those emissions. The bill, commonly called “cap and trade” because that sounds more appealing than a “big tax hike” would dramatically increase the cost of gasoline (21 cents a gallon more just in 2021) and natural gas for the purpose of deterring consumers from buying those nefarious substances. The result is $1.3 billion in new revenue (don’t call it a tax though) to the state, and a bunch of new state positions, and higher prices for everyone in Oregon who drives a fossil fuel-powered vehicle or heats their home with natural gas. The upside is that Oregonians will surely be spared the worst effects of climate change because the climate is not global and is notoccupied by polluters in places like China, India and Russia, who are outside the jurisdiction of the Oregon legislature and whose carbon output makes Oregon’s total carbon output a rounding error by comparison. Or something.
Et cetera: You probably noticed that yesterday was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs commemorated the occasion by tweeting that the landing of U.S., British, Canadian and a smattering of other countries’ troops on the French coast was “not a game-changer,” and anyway, the U.S. and U.K. “dragged out opening the second front” for three years. The real heroes were the Soviets, you see. Except that the Soviet Union was, well, ya know, an ally of Nazi Germany until Hitler broke the deal and invaded Russia in 1941. Prior to that time, the USSR stood by while their Nazi allies invaded Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France, heavily bombed the United Kingdom, and invaded Greece and Yugoslavia for good measure. But for Hitler’s insanity, Stalin would presumably have been happy sharing Europe with his fellow genocidal murderer. It was the bravery and sacrifice of the western Allies (the U.S. had not been invaded or even attacked on its territory by Hitler) that helped prevent that, both by beating Hitler, and by standing up to and outlasting Stalin and his successors during the Cold War. Here at BBR, we’ll stick with this account of D-Day.
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Have a great weekend!