Hipsters on Food Stamps: Why You Shouldn’t Hate Them

The Oregonian shined a light on the amount of fraud in SNAP / food stamps qualifications and usage and proposed measures to clean it up – Should Oregon pay $1.5 million to put photos on food stamps, welfare cards? Lawmakers consider fraud reduction options. It just so happens I just finished reading Salon’s Hipsters on food stamps an article that appeared back in 2010 about young, college educated folks who qualify and purchase food that you wouldn’t consider a frugal buy. Continue reading Hipsters on Food Stamps: Why You Shouldn’t Hate Them

Why Cover Oregon Fails is Why Most Government Tech Fails

OregonLive’s Cover Oregon: Health exchange mired in unexpected delays; what went wrong? tries to explain what went wrong with the Cover Oregon website launch. But really, you could do a postmortem on most government web projects and you’d have the same bullet list – changing specifications, out of control budgeting and a lack of real comprehension of real world implementation. Continue reading Why Cover Oregon Fails is Why Most Government Tech Fails

Job Polarization Wiping out Middle Income Workers

The Oregonian article ‘Job polarization’ leaves out middle-income wages: Oregon Politics reminds us what happens when our ideals are so widely different from our goals.

Low cost manufacturing goes away and doesn’t come back. We’ve known about this for a long time, so we need to stop kidding ourselves. There is no avoiding mass production is becoming more and more mobile.  Factories are better able to be retooled to make different things, and there is always more cost you can shave off of production by moving to the lowest priced labor pool. It is a waste of time for Oregon to pursue these because, like the SolarWorld debacle illustrates, just favoring a green focused industry isn’t enough. Continue reading Job Polarization Wiping out Middle Income Workers

Don’t Give Driver’s Licenses to Illegals in Oregon

CAUSA Oregon would like you to think that illegals should be given licenses because Latinos are a growing economic power and that somehow, granting a license will make the roads safer. Let me dismantle their flawed reasoning.

Illegals do not have a legal right to have a residence in the State of Oregon. The state of Oregon is a part of the United States, and federal law determines who has the right to enter or reside within the United States. Not granting someone this legal right does not deny them the right to humane treatment under the laws of the United States. This is the fundamental flaw in the CAUSA argument – but more later. Lets first look at the economic argument, then then the safety argument first. Continue reading Don’t Give Driver’s Licenses to Illegals in Oregon

Smart Machines to Replace Millions of Middle Class Jobs by 2020

According to TechCrunch, CEOs are fooling themselves that millions of middle class jobs won’t be replaced by 2020. This isn’t such a fantasy if you consider how decades of simplified processes and automation have already eliminated many service industry jobs or contributed to decline in salaries, especially of those who were already on the low end of middle class. But if you couch this as being then problem of improvements in technology, then you follow the same sort of fallacious thinking that keeps society in an economic hole.

The technology is coming if we like it or not. The problem is if our work force has the willingness and capability to adapt to the changes technology brings with it.

Oregon Next: Where Are We Going?

Oregon is the 33rd state in the union of the United States of America. It is a beautiful state, with deserts, lush green forests, high snowy mountains, craggy river gorges and deep green valleys. I grew up in an Oregon where people are generally kind, even tempered and fair minded – for the most part, open to new ideas and new people, so long as both do not threaten the generally high quality of life you can have in Oregon.

Even with the best intentions of its people, Oregon is a state of the United States and a part of this world – and with that comes good and bad decisions made. Oregon Next is a commentary for the most part about events in Oregon, but also in a wider context of events in the world. If you disagree with my politics, that’s okay. We have room for differing opinions in the State of Oregon. Just give me the same courtesy I extend to you.