My recommendations, as a self-styled Libertarian, on Oregon’s 2016 Ballot Measures, are as follows:
Measure 94, which amends the Oregon Constitution, and removes the mandatory retirement age of 75 for judges, obviously deserves a “yes” vote. The idea that judges at 75 suddenly become incompetent to rule on cases is absurd. Indeed, jurisprudence is something that probably improves with age, as the judge is exposed to more and more cases. Moreover, there are already ways of removing any judge who suddenly goes “gaga”.
Measure 95 is a vile, heinous measure that would tie the financial health of government universities to the performance of the stock market. Here is another measure designed to give government backing to the price levels of stocks, i.e. private corporations. One can see the damage such cozenage has done to the Japanese economy, where the central bank has been buying stocks for years. Obviously, government entities buying stocks ties an entire nation’s economy to the fortunes of the stock market, and gives another “too big to fail” reason for the Federal Reserve to print more money to “bail out” the stock market, while it dilutes your purchasing power and makes you poorer. Indeed, the Federal Reserve is already preparing the public for such a massive theft by talking about the necessity of buying “securities” — ironically the most insecure investment there is besides buying a government lottery ticket. This measure is designed to defeat the “separation of government and private business”, which has already been defeated at the Federal level. Libertarians believe in separation of business and state, just as we must have separation of church and state, and separation of education and state. The failure to maintain such separations is a major reason for the steady decline of America as a civilization. Vote “no” on measure 95.
I oppose Measure 96, which would earmark 1.5% of lottery earnings for veterans services. While this may be a worthy use of the money, I oppose it for two reasons. Firstly, because I strongly oppose the lottery itself, which puts the State in the position of promoting vice, and destroying the financial well-being of its citizens. So any good-sounding reason for the lottery merely increases its attractiveness to the public. Secondly, the military and veterans affairs are provinces of the Federal Government, not of the State, and any aid to veterans should come out of the Veterans Administration and Federal Funds, not State funds. Any money the lottery players of Oregon save the Federal Government will quickly be absorbed by the next billion-dollar stealth plane the Pentagon builds. So vote No on 96.
Measure 97, the supposed tax on corporations in Oregon, has been well-exposed as another scheme to transfer monies from poor Oregon consumers to the wealthy, well-fed retirees of the Oregon State Pension boondoggle, PERS. Currently there are at least 1,195 PERS recipients receiving at least $100,000/yr as a pension. One receives $55,000/month, and four years ago I counted 12 that were receiving over $212,000/yr. Any funds looted from the public through increased costs for corporate services will surely go into these bloated, immoral pensions, which well illustrate the legalized theft possible under socialist governments like Oregon has had under Governors Kitzhaber and Brown. Vote “No” on 97, unless you believe in robbing the poor to maintain the cushy lifestyles of wealthy retired State bureaucrats.
(Note that in 2014, when I ran for Governor, I proposed a corporate income tax while eliminating the personal income tax. My tax would have begun at 1% for corporations with profits of $10-$100million, rising slowly from $100million to $1billion. Corporations making $1billion or more would have paid 8%, which is the current personal income tax rate on individuals making $30,000.)
Measure 98 is another ripoff you should definitely vote “No” on. It provides $800 per high school student to prevent and discourage drop-outs. The Government schools in Oregon are so lousy that many teens can’t wait to get out from under this royal wasting of the time of their youth. If the schools were really interesting, and had anything truly relevant to a youth’s life, there would be no “drop-out” problem. But children, who can’t vote, are the easiest group to exploit in our society, and the huge bureaucracies that make a fortune running the Oregon School system are not about to lose all that filthy lucre by having their victims drop out of it. Therefore they say let’s throw more money at the problem that their own existence has created. Government schools are a curse on children, and we should vote against any continuance or further financial aid to them.
Measure 99 is another one that indirectly promotes the State lottery and sends yet more private sector funds to the rotten government schools. It would give 4% of lottery funds to provide “outdoor schools” for 5th and 6th graders. (And one must wonder about the logic behind this measure since the weather for outdoor classes is most inclement during the Oregon school year.) Just like Measure 96, it encourages people to play the lottery for what seems like a good cause. I wonder how many children have been left parentless because the Oregon Lottery caused their parents to become financially destitute and commit suicide. The Lottery, besides being Immoral and outside the sphere of Jeffersonian Government, financially destroys the lives of countless people, whose tragic stories never become public. Let’s rid ourselves of this outrage known as the Oregon Lottery.
Measure 100 is an obvious “yes” vote if you consider yourself an “Enviro-Libertarian” as I do. While the measure is flawed, it is basically an anti-hunting measure, and I oppose hunting in all its forms as legalized animal torture.
So in summary here are my recommendations on Oregon State Measures: 94-Yes, 95-No, 96-No, 97-No, 98-No, 99-No, 100-Yes.
—Paul Grad, 2014 Libertarian Party of Oregon Nominee for Governor