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Lake Oswego Streetcar & honest cost estimates

November 30, 2011 --

Economist’s Notebook: Lake O Streetcar and Accounting v. Opportunity Costs
By Patrick Emerson
Oregon Economics Blog

An article in The Oregonian discusses the new and improved cost figures for the proposed Lake Oswego Streetcar extension. In it, there is a discussion about whether the cost of the land that was purchased years ago should be included. This is a classic lesson in accounting versus opportunity costs in economics:

The new figure also does not include land owned by the government that originally had been included with capital costs. That alone reduced the price tag now being promoted by $80.3 million.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Poll surprise: Youngest generation most business friendly

November 29, 2011 --

by Sean Hackbarth
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Doug Pinkham, President of the Public Affairs Council, pulled out some interesting nuggets from their Public Affairs Pulse survey about how certain demographics view American business.


More than 60% of Americans have a favorable view of major companies, and 90% have a favorable view of small businesses. Those numbers stand high above the 35% favorability rate of the federal government.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Lawmaker pledges to fix Oregon-Facebook tax mess

November 28, 2011 --

Rep. Mike McLane to introduce legislation in 2012 to protect a growing industry
By Oregon Prosperity Project

Instead of honoring the agreement between Facebook and Crook County, the Oregon Department of Revenue swooped in and notified Facebook that its property taxes would no longer be governed by the terms of the local enterprise zone agreement.  Instead, their property taxes would be assessed by the state.

Why is this such a big deal?  Because the state, unlike counties, assesses property taxes based on “intangible” assets – things like brand value, goodwill, reputation, computer files and patents.  These “intangible” assets massively increase the value of a company, and massively increase property tax bills.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Finally, good news on PERS — State saves $39 Million

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Oregon Treasury saved millions in management costs, comparative analysis shows
— Oregon’s costs were $39.3 million less than expected, based on benchmark of large funds

By Oregon State Treasurer

TIGARD – The Oregon State Treasury saved millions in investment management-related costs in 2010, according to a new independent analysis. The findings from CEM Benchmarking Inc., of Toronto, show that the costs associated with managing the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF) were $39.3 million less than expected for the year, based on the investment structure of the Oregon fund.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Consumer Reports: Nice & Naughty business list

November 27, 2011 --

Consumer Reports: Nice & Naughty business list

Consumer Reports has released their 2011 Christmas list of Nice and Naughty Businesses for consumers during their Holiday shopping.

Below is a video interview by Ann Curry with Consumer Reports on their list.

Read the full article and discuss it »

More revealed about Steve Jobs by biographer

NFIB study: Top barriers to growth

November 25, 2011 --

New Study Finds Economic and Political Uncertainty
— Top Impediments to Small-Business Growth
By NFIB,

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 22, 2011 — A new study examining impediments to growth in the small-business sector reveals that 72 percent of small-business owners would like to expand by adding employees within the next five years, but various impediments are currently standing in their way.

According to Growth – External Factors, a report prepared by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Foundation, uncertainty and weak sales are the two primary impediments to small-business growth.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Three people to thank on behalf of business

November 24, 2011 --

Oregon Business Report would like to thank the entrepreneurs who are leading Oregon into the future, the soldier who protects our freedom and the small business owner who keeps Oregon employed and open for business. Our prayers and respect extend to you all.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Oregon continues modest, uneven job growth

November 23, 2011 --

By Nick Beleiciks
Oregon Employment Department

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in October, essentially unchanged from 9.6 percent in September. The unemployment rate has been below 10 percent for the past seven months, since March, when the rate was 9.9 percent. The recent low point for Oregon’s rate was in May, when it reached 9.3 percent.  In October, 177,350 Oregonians were unemployed. This is 20,761 fewer individuals than in October 2010, when 198,111 Oregonians were unemployed.

At 1,626,400, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment has risen for three consecutive months following a loss of 3,300 in July, reflecting the recent trend of modest yet uneven job growth.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Oregon #1 in Food Stamps

November 22, 2011 --

The Census Bureau reports that Oregon has the highest percentage of families receiving food stamps at 17.8%

Read the full article and discuss it »
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