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Rise of one-man manufacturers

The Wall Street Journal has reported on an unexpected business phenomenon in the manufacturing world.   As manufacturing jobs decline nationwide, there is an increase in one person manufacturing jobs run by businesses with only one employee.   This is proof that small business is still an important driver in jobs.

Three NW billionaires in top 25

According to Forbes which ranks the world’s billionaires, of the top 100, Phil Knight at #24 is the only Oregonian to make the list. Recently Knight made a donation of $500 million to his alma mater, the University of Oregon. The gift is the largest ever pledged to a public university. Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon – – #1 and #5 respectively – – are the only others from the Pacific Northwest.



#1 Bill Gates $75 B
#2 Amancio Ortega $67 B
#3 Warren Buffett $60.8 B
#4 Carlos Slim Helu $50 B
#5 Jeff Bezos $45.2 B
#6 Mark Zuckerberg $44.6 B
#7 Larry Ellison $43.6 B
#8 Michael Bloomberg $40 B
#9 Charles Koch $39.6 B
#10 David Koch $39.6 B
#11 Liliane Bettencourt $36.1 B
#12 Larry Page $35.2 B
#13 Sergey Brin $34.4 B
#14 Bernard Arnault $34 B
#15 Jim Walton $33.6 B
#16 Alice Walton $32.3 B
#17 S. Robson Walton $31.9 B
#18 Wan Jianlin $28.7 B
#19 Jorge Paulo Lemann $27.8 B
#20 Li Ka-shing $27.1 B
#21 Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr $25.9 B
#22 Sheldon Adelson $25.2 B
#23 Geroge Soros $24.9 B
#24 Phil Knight $24.4 B
#25 David Thomson $23.8 B

Measure 97 Would Hurt Small Business

The assumption behind Measure 97 is that every corporation is profitable and that the profits that these corporations are generating are excessive. If that assumption is true, then Measure 97 makes a lot of sense.


The problem is that it’s not true.

Did you know that the average corporation only makes 3 percent to 8 percent net profit? Oregon’s Measure 97 will tax these corporations 2.5 percent of their gross sales above $25 million (the tax is not on their profits). In other words, if a corporation makes a 4 percent net profit on sales above $25 million, they will have to pay out more than 50 percent of their actual profit.

In simpler terms, if a corporation generates $25 million in sales above the threshold and only makes a 3 percent net profit ($750,000), they will have to pay $625,000 in taxes. If they only make 2 percent net profit ($500,000), they will have to give all of their profits, and then some, to the Oregon Department of Revenue.

So why should you care? If you have any kind of retirement account, that money is most likely being invested in large corporations. Their profit or loss is your profit or loss.

Eventually these corporations will be forced to substantially raise their prices, which will result in higher costs to you. The estimates are currently $600 or more per Oregon household.

If every business were successful and profitable, then we absolutely should raise corporate taxes. The problem is that they’re not.

Did you know that only half of all new businesses will still be around in five years and that after 10 years, only 30 percent will be left? Maybe you will recognize some of these large companies that recently have gone bankrupt? Delta Airlines, Sports Authority, Circuit City, Linens & Things, Radio Shack, Borders Books, Blockbuster, Brookstone, and Sbarro Restaurant, just to name a few.

Measure 97 will likely increase the number of bankruptcies since it is a tax on sales and not on actual profits. Remember that bankruptcy destroys the lives of the people who work for that company.

As the corporate tax rates increase in Oregon, more businesses will move out of Oregon and some will even move out of the United States, causing increased unemployment.

Unemployment is the greatest drain on our society and public resources, while keeping people employed is the best way to fund our schools and other vital government services.

The proponents of Oregon’s Measure 97 make a great emotional appeal, but unfortunately it’s a very poor intellectual argument.

Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/qsq2m

Seahawks #1 Ticket Price #3 Jerseys

This year the Seattle Seahawks finally dethroned the legacy of the New England Patriots for having the highest average ticket costs in the National Football League for secondary sales.

The total costs are $466 for an average home ticket price. The Patriots were slightly behind at $454. The data comes from an online ticket re-seller called TicketIQ.


These Seahawk ticket sales represent a 7% rise from the previous year.

The average NFL ticket cost is $248 for secondary pricing.
This puts the Seahawk prices not far from double the average team price.

The Seahawks also scored #3 on the most team Jerseys sold according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal. The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers take the number 1 and 2 spot respectively.

In 2015, Seahawk Quartback, Russel Wilson, was the NFL’s greatest seller of jersey and merchandise products for a single player according to the NFL website. The team appeal of the Seahawks appears to out-size both their team standing (four teams went farther in the play-offs than Seahawks in 2015) and their city/state home population compared to many other big population franchises.


Read more about Russell topping sales here — Russell Wilson merchandise remains NFL’s best seller

Read more about 2016 team sales here – When It Comes to Jerseys, Cowboys Are Still America’s Team

Oregon’s Coming Work Scheduling Mandate

The Oregon legislature is planning a new expansive employment law that deals with how employers schedule their workers. The new law makes it both more difficult and more expensive to schedule employees.

The law would likely include:


  • A requirement that employers provide work schedules two weeks in advance, with a penalty of up to four hours of pay for subsequent changes;
  • A requirement to provide up to four hours of penalty pay for scheduled on-call shifts when the employee is told not to report; and
  • A requirement to offer more work to certain part-timers before hiring additional staff.

The new law imposes the onerous work rules of union shops on all businesses–big and small, profit and nonprofit. This sort of one-size-fits-all approach to employment can drive smaller enterprises out of business.

For instance, imagine a construction firm building a new home. Because of backlogs with the city government, the necessary permits are two weeks behind in being issued, halting construction. A work schedule created two weeks earlier could not have anticipated the delay. No matter: The backlog at the city permitting office means that the construction firm must pay workers who have no work to do. What seems like a tiny backlog to city bureaucrats can turn into a financial disaster for small businesses.

It works the other way around, too. Think of a newly opened restaurant. A week after opening, the local paper publishes glowing review, causing a surge of customers. A work schedule put together two weeks earlier could not have even guessed at the restaurant’s new found popularity. Because of the new law, the restaurant cannot add more staff to accommodate the unexpected new customers. As a result, the restaurant get slammed on Yelp for its slow service and business drops off to a trickle and the restaurant closes within the year.

Even local governments will suffer under such onerous regulation. Consider a city swimming pool faced with a thunderstorm in the middle of July, shutting the pool for the day. A work schedule created two weeks earlier could not have planned on a thunderstorm and the resulting pool closure. The law doesn’t care about that. The last-minute pool closure means that the city must pay the lifeguards, swim instructors, and concession workers even though the pool is not bringing in any money from admission fees (and may need to refund money from cancelled classes). The cost of paying for unscheduled closures means fewer summer programs at the city’s pools.

Proponents of “predictive scheduling” laws claim to be protecting workers from capricious or abusive work schedules. These laws can backfire when “scheduling certainty” the flexibility that many workers desire. For example, recent research surveying 100 restaurant and retail businesses likely affected by Washington, DC’s law found that most employers (73 percent) would offer employees less flexibility to make schedule changes. More than half of the businesses said they would reduce the number of part-time workers. Half of the employers said they would reduce overall employment in their firms. By increasing the cost of using employees, these laws would reduce employment. In addition, they may make working conditions worse by forcing rigid scheduling rules typical of unionized workplaces.

Employment contracts are voluntary contracts between the employer and employee. Good employers who want to keep good employees will give them the scheduling certainty they need. At the same time, good employees who want to work for good employers will entertain the scheduling flexibility needed to keep the employer in business. One-size-fits all laws are the problem, not the solution.

New Minimum Wage chart

Here are the new rates by area of the upcoming minimum wage changes.


Minimum Wage spikes cause lay-offs

By Oregon Small Business Association,

When the number of jobless increase, because of minimum wage hikes, it impacts real people. The OSBA has issued this ad to help spread the news of the current Senate Bill 1532 and the damage of minimum wage spikes.

Oregon needs this energy bill

congress-capitolImportant energy bill is being debated in the Senate

The Energy Policy Modernization Act, introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and currently being debated in the Senate. This legislation marks the first time since 2007 that Congress has set out to revamp the nation’s energy policies.

Read more »

2015 Oregon Job Growers

Though 2015 has witnessed key Oregon companies being acquired by out-of-state enterprises, relocating elsewhere or reducing jobs, a number of other companies have expanded operations. Breweries, sports apparel, and a range of technology-related businesses have made significant investments in Oregon to strengthen their presence in Portland or other parts of the state.

Facebook to hire 150. The social media giant is moving forward with plans for its third and largest data center in Prineville. Upwards of 150 or more jobs are likely to follow to Central Oregon.
GuideSpark eyes 200 new employees. The technology firm has developed a video platform for HR and is expanding its content team in Portland, which was chosen over several other locations considered for growth. To fulfill the terms of its loan from the state, GuideSpark must hire an additional 200 employees. Timing on the hiring isn’t known, but the company has double or tripled in size each of the last three years.

Breweries. North Rim Brewery in Bend, Deschutes Brewery also in Bend, Three Creeks Brewing in Sisters, Widmer Brewing in Portland are just a few breweries that have all significantly expanded operations and added jobs in 2015. Read more »

65% employers can’t fill job vacancies


The Oregon Employment Department has released a survey showing that nearly 70% of Oregon employers have had a difficult time filling vacancies. This is the highest level when compared over the last few years. The vacancy problems appears to be trending upwards over the past few quarters surveyed. Finding employees can become more challenging for employers as the economy improves and the pool of available talent shrinks. Most of these vacancies tend to be full-time and permanent jobs which are coincidentally the most coveted among job seekers and the more necessary for employers. Read more »