Sunday, July 4, 2010

Some More Oregon Stuff

by Pa Rock
Road Warrior

Oregon has a few things going for it besides the awesome scenery. The state began buying back all of its oceanfront property a couple of decades ago, thus bringing all of the beaches and shoreline into the public domain. People who had oceanfront property before the law went into effect could keep it for life, but it wasn't transferable to their heirs upon death. They also had the option of selling - to the state. Wouldn't the teabaggers love that!

The state of Oregon has no sales tax. They fund government through property taxes (which is much more equitable than regressive sales tax), income tax, and sales of lottery tickets. So even though the state still sticks it to the poor with lottery sales, the poor don't have to pony up a significant portion of their limited incomes on sales tax for groceries, pharmaceuticals, or daily necessities. (Arizona couldn't make it through the weekend without picking the pockets of the poor through sales taxes!)

Oregon does permit green funerals, real green funerals that are more environmentally friendly and don't don't transfer so much of the deceased's estate to the maggot funeral directors. (A funeral director in rural Missouri told me a few months ago that green funerals are not any less expensive than regular ones. He's a liar.)

Customers do not pump their own gas in Oregon. That crafty law did something very significant for the state's economy - it gave jobs to thousands of people. As a former paid gas-pumper from several decades ago, I like that law a lot. The people who pump the gas often wash windshields, for which a tip is appreciated. The lady who filled my tank this morning was very fast, running between several cars in order to give prompt, yet courteous, service. She also found time for some friendly chatter and help with directions.

All of that is not to say that this state is nirvana. Poverty is apparent in certain areas, and there are also derelicts in semi-abundance. But it is nice to know that even with many of the problems experienced by other states, Oregonians have kept they focus on the future and have not sought refuge in the greed and hate-mongering that have infected other states - Arizona, I'm talking about you!

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