Here’s some stuff you might like:
Business: If the 2019 Oregon legislative session has taught us anything, it’s that the folks in charge believe good intentions (and electoral success) trump everything we think we know about economics. You may remember a few legislative outrages ago, the legislature passed rent control, which in addition to controlling rents, crucially, made it a lot harder for landlords to evict tenants. Opponents argued that the measure would dry up investment in rental housing, and make quality rental housing more scarce and more expensive. Well, the first data point is in and it turns out since rent control passed, investment in multi family rental housing in Oregon plunged 38%. Economics 1, legislature 0.
Law: As I write this edition of BBR perilously close to the 11:15 Friday deadline, the Oregon Senate Republican delegation is reportedly out of state to deprive Democrats of a quorum to vote on a cap and trade bill that would reduce carbon emissions in Oregon while driving up gasoline, diesel and natural gas prices. The Republicans are asking for changes to the cap and trade bill in exchange for their return. One such change is to remove the emergency clause of the bill. The emergency clause means the bill goes into effect immediately upon the governor’s signature, rather than 90 days later. The important difference here is that, absent an emergency clause, opponents could cause a referendum on the bill, which would halt implementation until after Oregonians get a chance to vote on it. With the emergency clause in place, opponents would be forced to employ the initiative process, which would allow implementation of the bill to proceed pending the vote of the people.
Politics: Last week, we discussed a City of Bend poll that showed a big majority of voters preferred bigger roads and more of them to fix congestion, rather than more bike and pedestrian paths. Apparently this finding was not to the liking of at least one member of the City Transportation Advisory Committee (“CTAC”), who emailed other members of CTAC that the committee should publicly reject the poll and terminate the consultant responsible for conducting the poll. This response sure isn’t going to help the city pass a big transportation bond, as it fuels the perception that bond-funded projects are being influenced by folks who care more about their own preferences than those of most of the voters.
Et cetera: Like I think a lot of people, I’ve had a weird curiosity about what happened with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the Boeing 777 that just disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. The initial searches were unsuccessful, and the whole thing has remained a bit of a mystery. Well, the Atlantic has just published a long but fascinating look at the state of things now, including a guy from California who decided to go look for debris on beaches around the Indian Ocean to help piece together what happened to the plane. It’s worth a read if you have time today or over the weekend.
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Have a great weekend!