Thoughts on Oregon's Future (how much, house, unemployed)
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In addition to building 55+ communities, a full plan would also try to include more efforts for employment for those 55+ or 65+ years old and still needing supplemental income. Some 55+ or 65+ can be owners and / or managers and many will be workers, often part-time. I know of past efforts for senior level volunteering but are there work placement firms that specialize in placing older workers? If not, there probably should be / hopefully will be. It may take some extra focus on age related challenges, at least in some cases.
If aggressive / progressive / effective banking reform is too controversial or difficult to achieve as a main strategy for increasing local access to capital then local and progressive minded financial institutions will have to try to do what they can with the support of those who are like-minded. There are also some efforts to link up investors directly with green living entrepreneurs (including in the field of local food) via websites or angel investor meetings. It could be more risky that way but it is another option that probably should be explored more widely.
Seeing how Oregon has been fairly sucessful with attracting high tech. "-Oregon Ranks 6th in the Nation in High Tech Exports, -High tech exports account for 49 percent of total exports in Oregon". I think we should do the same with green energy/green living..
I recognize the possibility of being too blue-sky and trying to recreate the wheel of the past, but still I'll ask could some more targeted small-scale, "sustainable" logging (like maybe small diameter timber logging) be done by new businesses that are perhaps partnerships between strongly "environmentally principled" investors and eager to work and do it right entrepreneurs and workers? I won't outright say yes or no, as it would take a full look by people with more expert knowledge of the industry and the opportunities or lack of them today or in the near future given what has happened in the recent past. There is also a lot of politics and political spin that gets mixed into it as well from different directions, unavoidable but it makes it very difficult. I'd "hope" there could be some improvement. I know some are doing this as best they can or use to. There are a few places around the country where some notable compromises and innovation strategies are working to a small degree. I'd tend to support efforts to try to make right-way, right sized, right-place logging more viable again. On private land... and more so again on "appropriate" western state and federal land. But maybe it is too late for this in more ways than one.
from earlier in the thread:
"It's never going to employ as many people as it once did because technology is allowing for greater yields with fewer manhours."
That is a big part of the new reality.
But... what if you really looked hard / harder than previously or now and "legitimately" into logging that supported "forest health", "forest diversity" and "recreation"? Are there projects where additional logging would legitimately help with these objectives? I believe the answer is yes.
Could that type of "multiple objective" logging create more jobs than logging mainly or exclusively for profit in the national / international market these days? I'd guess so. Is this being done enough right now? I don't think it is because of the current budget and legal environments. Could it move back in that direction? I don't know. It probably would take both a different "branding" to "happen" and different actual land management practice to actually "work well" in the eyes of the majority. ("Multiple objective" is a small attempt at rebranding, in contrast to "multi-use" and the perception of the objective being this or that. "Multiple objective" may or may not be the right word to actually use in a new strategy though if you are trying to achieve something different from what happened with "multi-use". At least some intended it to work the way I am suggesting and what happened, conflict and gridlock happened anyways.)
Could a new strategy work well enough in the eyes of an active minority focused mainly / solely on environmental protection to not be fought and instead result in a multi-objective strategy re-built jointly? Maybe , maybe not. Recourse in and effective power within the courts (because of passed and interpreted law) may mean no desire for or acceptance of change from the current situation. But maybe the courts would move to "interpret" / "intervene" / "legislate" less if there is a new strategy with strong enough indications of public support and scientific support. That court shift would probably have to happen, if any real change is going to happen and last and ultimately, hopefully, work.
There are strong partisans on both sides. I am not all in either camp or an expert on this. But part of being an American is being a "owner" / steward" of a lot of "public land" so I'll throw in an opinion or two on these topics now and then.
It is a relatively small industry but it is still a pretty big overall set of issues. Including fire but also water. If you went pretty far outside the box one could ask if it would be possible to facilitate cycles and responsibly use wood waste and surplus recycled paper and other compostable waste and maybe even treated waste water and sludge on public land in ecological beneficial ways. But that is getting pretty technical and above my detailed study or understanding, so I just leave it as brief mention.
Well I have a terminal degree in forest ecology, so I could bore you with details, but I don't think that is necessary, nor central to the issue. The upshot for now is that the vast majority of reasonable management approaches will not destroy our biological diversity. Our midlatitude systems are relatively poor in species, and they have endured pliocene drying (loss of summer rain) and the ice ages, which together caused tremendous extinctions and fluctuations in species over thousands of years. Most of our species are generalists. We do not live in Amazonia or New Guinea, where relatively stable, favorable conditions allowed coevolution over tens of millions years to create incredibly intricate webs of species interactions. That is not to say some of the logging has not been beyond the pale, it has. However, I believe the issue is not so much about biological diversity and management effects , as it is about perceptions and trust. Both are damaged, and many people have chosen to pursue the "us vs. them" and "winner takes it all" view of land use. Logging is a "right" or the end of the world. And if we win in court, we are right. I find the whole process tiring.
As I said upthread, I don't really want to have this detailed forestry discussion so much as to state the obvious, that Oregon without forestry would be like Idaho without potatoes or Florida without Oranges. So, as a concerned citizen, I don't want us to cut off our noses to spite our face, nor to delude ourselves with ecomoral superiority, when our refusal to provide sustainably harvested, certified timber simply pushes extraction to areas where diversity is globally-irreplaceable, and oversight is lax.
The idea of developing pilot studies to demonstrate how things could be done better is intriguing, especially if it engages a variety of stakeholders of different persuasions. The most important thing is to measure forests honestly to keep the process transparent and to rebuild trust over time.
Last edited by Fiddlehead; 01-04-2011 at 09:44 PM..
Well as long as the rule of 66/67 are in there the ones who have been struggling and trying to stay afloat cause they love Oregon may just give up. It killed my business. To be on a slim margin during tough times growing to get slapped with that.
Oregon needs to be more open minded to resource management. Seems they want zero resources used from the state. If it can't be grown it has to be mined. I love the state. But I know that we could do a much better job ourselves then letting others do it.
Hopefully though on the positive, people stay more local for their trips instead of going out of state bolstering local tourisms and keeping the monies in the state.
I myself for my work had to leave Oregon because they don't do what I do for work since they killed my business. I could handle a future tax and at least have a chance to prepare, but to slap me retroactively for what was unknown.
I recognize the possibility of being too blue-sky and trying to recreate the wheel of the past, but still I'll ask could some more targeted small-scale, "sustainable" logging (like maybe small diameter timber logging) be done by new businesses that are perhaps partnerships between strongly "environmentally principled" investors and eager to work and do it right entrepreneurs and workers?
You have to realize that there is no money in logging. None. Logging trees does not bring in a single dime. Now, selling LUMBER, that can bring in money. But the lumber market is weak because the construction industry has collapsed.
So logging is an economic node at the end of the chain. If there is a strong construction boom, there will be a high demand for lumber. A high demand for lumber is required to make logging profitable. But logging for its own sake doesn't pay (especially in competition with Canada, which basically subsidizes logging as a make-work program for timber workers).
The problem is we have a huge glut of unsold homes at the moment and that will repress new construction for the foreseeable future. Predatory lending practices and speculative borrowing lead to a humongous housing bubble in the 1990's. We now have tens of millions of unsold homes -- many more homes than are needed for the population of qualified home buyers. How long will it take to clear the excess unsold homes out of the U.S. inventory? Many decades. Don't hold your breath, the housing surplus will outlive most of us.
What do you mean there is no money in logging? Locals have to cut them they make wages, then the owner of a company sells their loads to a mill they make money, the mill has workers who make wages and then the mill sells the product. SO it does make money. Each person making wages to harvest a source is money. If a logger shops at a store.. that is money changing hands and helping one person to another.
More exchange of money. Logging does bring in money. It also would help to increase the supply of lumber to lower the price and enable builders to have more affordable supplies to start up projects again that were once stopped. That brings in money having builders work. Then the products would be preferably purchased locally to avoid shipping and fuel expenses of purchasing from another country or region.
I know it's hard to understand. Say where I worked before delivering parts, should they just hire guys to stand around even though there's nothing to deliver? I'm sure the guys would buy things with their paychecks but is it the most efficient use of manpower?
We live in a capitalist society, it works nicely because it is efficient. If you want some sort of communist society where the government makes up and controls jobs well..
There is certain costs with logging. They have to pay wages, they have to buy equipment, they have to pay for gas. Their profit margins are already narrow and if the demand and price for lumber goes down it's simply not profitable and they'll close their shop. Capitalism in action.
What are these projects "they" are going to finish? Making a home that no one buys? Probably not the most efficient. Maybe we should issue subprime loans
Yep, very interesting. I agree that with lumber prices in the tank for the foreseeable future, things don't look good for logging in Oregon. Makes me think of the huge forestry school at Oregon State. That places is is huge, with hundreds of faculty. Seems like a bit of an anachronism at the moment. I think logging will return, but probably as a much smaller slice than in years past.
David McKibben's book, Deep Economy, contains much to guide and warn Oregon about her future. We need to choose between more and better: we can't have both. After decades of assuming that increasing GDP makes everyone happier, we now know that the benefit falls to a fortunate few as our economic policies actually widen the prosperity gap.
Despite the fact the everyone is waiting for the economy to "rebound," the reality is we're probably much closer to our true economic baseline now than we were 10 years ago (that was a bubble economy). Oregon first needs to take a kind of political Hippocratic Oath and do no harm to the special character that has been built here in the past half century. As the emotional extremism of the Libertarians and Tea Party types continues show itself to be bereft of any intellectual engagement, smarter heads need to take the helm. We don't want to be another industrial wasteland like Texas. But most Oregonians do want a free lunch. They want the services that government provides, but they think someone else should pay for them. The "Sugar Daddy Mentality" infects the attitudes of many in our state as a result of decades of corporate welfare from the now defunct timber industry.
Even before the recession hit, there was a coming economic calamity that will hit hard this decade. The retirement of the Baby Boomers -- the biggest demographic bubble the country has ever known -- will change our economic landscape as huge amounts of productive capital are withdrawn from the market and put into safe nest-egg investments for retirees to live off of. Oregon is quickly becoming a retirement state. We'll eventually learn to be happier having less as we slowly transition from an unsustainable growth-based economy that looks for short-term individual profits to a steady-state economy that focuses on long-term goals that benefit the broad public interest.
I have the emotion of a tea party person or libertarian sometimes in my discussions, but I can also be rational. I even created a world in my head that can be real IF someone can picture it and work towards it. It is not anarchy exactly, but it kind of is. There are restrictions and stuff. There has to be laws for society to function I feel.
Also, YOU ARE GOING TO PAY TAXES!! DON'T YOU WANT TO ACTUALLY PAY FOR THE SERVICES YOU WANT??!!
I may be raising my voice, but its like, you are going to get taxes no matter how you slice the cake. Why not use them to pay for the things you want because if you pass the bill to other people to pay for you, you are still gonna have to pay taxes for something, and it may be something you don't like as well. SO PAY FOR THE THINGS YOU WANT!
Massachusetts is the same way. They wanted all these things and complain they have to pay for it.
I openly accept paying out of any paycheck I'd get to fund the actual things I want especially if thats the reason I moved to a certain state to begin with. Why not? I sure as hell don't wanna pay for stupid things like the War on terror. If I want social programs, I will want to foot the bill for it. If I don't feel its needed, then I don't want to pay for any of it. Its that simple.
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