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Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

How Staff Tricks the Elected Officials

Staff usually controls the information, therefore they can:

A Master Shows How its Done:

https://vimeo.com/84207743 - key part of the trick

https://vimeo.com/82158818 - justifying the trick

You need to view both in the above order

NOTE that since the ED had a copy of the final contract in his possession, he could have made copies to pass out. Why didn’t he - C-Tran certainly had copy machines!

Series of newspaper articles attack victim of deception





Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability removed critical remarks from their testimony before reprinting it in a roundup of public comments. (Local Copy)

Bureaucrats and Staff that Advise Politicians - it doesn’t matter who you elect, things rarely change much


Randal O’Toole explains the

Transit-Industrial Complex





bureaucrat becomes adept at “managing” their elected bosses.

An experienced bureaucrat becomes adept at “managing” their elected bosses. Since the elected official is so dependent on their institutional knowledge, staffers can insinuate themselves into subtle but powerful roles in the decision making process. A staffer can promote a personal political agenda by simply biasing decision making data towards their favored decision. Their recommendations can emphasize or neglect critical information that the elected official lacks the experience to understand. The unscrupulous staffer can “pocket veto” requests, bids or proposals by simply slow-rolling them, using legitimate but unnecessary tactics to delay processes and prevent undesired items from appearing before the elected official in a timely fashion. This behavior by bureaucrats is pervasive at all levels of government. It’s cultural, so most would not even recognize a problem.

Read the full article at:  

http://clarkcounty.info/foundation-statements/political-staff/  (Local)

Insiders & Oursiders

Summers asks him point blank: do you want to be on the inside or the outside? “Outsiders prioritise their freedom to speak their version of the truth. The price is that they are ignored by the insiders, who make the important decisions,” Summers warns.

Elected politicians have little power; Wall Street and a network of hedge funds, billionaires and media owners have the real power, and the art of being in politics is to recognise this as a fact of life and achieve what you can without disrupting the system.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/03/yani s-varoufakis-greece-greatest-political-memoir


They trick the public too

secret backroom deals

How the CRC manipulateed public input

Louvre Café Syndrome

How Planners Trick You

Planners are wrong about most things

Former Metro Planning Director: Planners are Fascists

In a series of meetings, postpone the important decision to a later meeting with less or no public attendance.

Adjurn a meeting to another/time location. So that 2nd meeting will ONLY be known to attendees of the first - if they happened to catch the announcement which was buried in a long speech.


Laurence Peter, creator of the Peter Principle:

    Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time the quo has lost its status.


A real life example from US Congress oversight:

By law, the intelligence agencies have to keep the committee (and other key leadership-holdi`1ng members of Congress) informed of their activities, but they would instead drip feed information and hope nobody asked too many follow-up questions. Things were so bad, said a former staffer close to Wyden who did not want to be named for the story, that the senator could have asked the simplest of questions, like "if anybody had the time," to which an intelligence agent would respond with, simply, "yes."

From: http://www.zdnet.com/article/snowden-leaks-fear-and-panic-in-congress/



What motivates Politicians?

According to one expert :

Ego, Greed, Power or a Cause.

And self interest, family and friends.

That puts the public interest way down the list, behind their money and their power.

Time after time we see decisions based on their political power and income with the public interest last.

How Legeslatures Work

The Speaker gives out committee assignments (and other favors) based on how much the legislators give to the party’s re-election fund.

If you vote on a bill against the wishes of the speaker, you may find your self removed from the committee or without money from the re-election fund. Of course taking money from the re-election fund further obligates you to tow the line.

(Leaders besides the speaker may have similar powers.)

Claim about Oregon: “six people control the entire legislative process. And those six people are carrying out an agenda of deep-pocketed special interests who only care about scoring their next taxpayer-funded project.”

From: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/12/t he_republican_and_democratic.html#incart_river_home


Congressman tells it like it is

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3586858/Screw-generation-Anonymous-congressman-writes-tell-slams-nation-naive-self-absorbed-sheep-admits-never-reads-bills-votes-on.html


A Plague:  Intellectual-Yet-Idiot

one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They can’t tell science from scientism — in fact in their image-oriented minds scientism looks more scientific than real science.

Read the whole essay: https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577


Legal Bribery:

Our analysis at American Transparency (OpenTheBooks.com) found 207 state contractors gave $805,876 in campaign cash to Governor Kate Brown ($518,203) and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum ($287,673) since 2012. These businesses hold lifetime state contracts worth at least $2.6 billion. State contractor donations to the governor and attorney general represent 57 percent of current cash on hand in their campaign committees.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2017/0 2/13/blazing-the-oregon-trail-of-pinstripe-patronage-gov-kate-brown-attorney-general-ellen-rosenblum/print/


Why People View Issues Differently

“Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country—liberals, conservatives or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ 101.” (Bold added)

Read it all at the Wall Street Journal:

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader

Article in Econ Journal Watch   (pdf)

Liberals are more prone to “psychoticism”

.... and hence authoritarianism



The purpose of big projects is for elected politicians to spend money on groups who will, in turn, support them and give them campaign money to help them get reelected to cushy government jobs. If they accomplish the stated goal, that is a side effect.

Who Are Supporters of Government projects?

Direct profiteers

People and groups who will make money from the project. These include the construction companies, engineering companies, consultants, construction unions, operating unions, material suppliers, LRT/BRT vehicle manufacturers, banks that sell the bonds.

Indirect Profiteers

People who indirectly make money from the project. These include land owners, property speculators (“investors”), companies that construct high density housing along rail/BRT lines.

Profiteers of Government

The regulated utilities (cable, electric, phone, garbage collectors) that rely on the city to grant them rate increases and right-of-way usage and other concessions, so they have to cow-tow to the city’s crackpot projects.

The Goodwill Crowd

Businesses/groups that are keeping a “good relationship” so that they will get city business.

The Government Dependants

Groups who depend on the local government handouts tend to support every nutty idea the government comes up with. Because they get grants to do their work and they can’t piss off those who give the grants.

The Media

Newspapers get revenue from publishing official government notices. They need friends in government to get information for stories. Many resort to publishing slightly rewritten government handouts to save money.  Many are downtown landowners who profit from government policies.

The Baptists & the Bootleggers

This refers to the Baptists being morally against liquor and the bootleggers profiting form liquor being illegal sharing a common interest if keep liquor illegal.

More generally, special interest groups who believe in a cause support various policies. Those who profit from the result of these policies also support these policies, sometimes forming alliances. Profiteers often donate money to (or control) these special interest groups. Prime examples are 1) environmental groups supporting alternative energy and the suppliers of alternative energy; 2) housing advocates and builders who build low cost housing.  

See: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/1999/ 10/bootleggers.pdf

See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootleggers_and_Baptists

The Iron Triangle (Politicians-Bureaucrats-special interests)

Politicians who get donations from special interests; bureaucrats who form alliances with special interests to increase their power. Left out of this is the public who the government is supposed to serve!

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_triangle_(US_politics)

Golden Triangle

“The Golden Triangle “is bureaucrats, elected officials, and special interest groups — with bureaucrats at the apex of the triangle, running things. ...

“The bureaucracies have more power than those in any other country. Although Japan has serious problems, the bureaucrat’s answer to just about any question is to build a monument. “In field after field, the bureaucracy dreams up lavish monuments rather than attend to long-term underlying problems” (p. 146). These monuments include dams, stadiums, concert halls, museums, roads, and, yes, high-speed rail. From: http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=1159

How To Set Up An Inquery Commission

Picking the right team is the sine qua non. A panel of sound people, leavened with a handful of neutrals (purely for effect, you understand) will produce the required result every time. ....the public really shouldn’t be concerning themselves with minutiae like the membership of panels of inquiry. How could they possibly understand? And the important thing is that Edward will get the right result, and it’s the result that counts.

Of course it’s important to have the right chairman too. I thought Edward’s played a delightful varation on his earlier theme here. Instead of picking someone who was an obvious follower of the cause, he chose Ronnie, whose financial interests in the outcome of the inquiry all but ensured the correct result was delivered.

You can get to where you want to go simply by ensuring that the majority of one’s travelling companions are like-minded. The others simply have to be discrete. Of course, it goes without saying that the panel should not have anyone from “the other side” on board. It wouldn’t do to risk any indiscretions.

(Much more at the source. Edited from: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/17/overh eard.html?printerFriendly=true)

Note: If the commission appears be getting off of the plan, you just find an excuse to shut it down and select a new commission, or perhaps, replace a few members.

The Iron Triangle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Central to the concept of an iron triangle is the assumption that bureaucratic agencies, as political entities, seek to create and consolidate their own power base. In this view an agency's power is determined by its constituency, not by its consumers. (For these purposes, "constituents" are politically active members sharing a common interest or goal; consumers are the expected recipients of goods or services provided by a governmental bureaucracy and are often identified in an agency's written goals or mission statement.)

Apparent bureaucratic dysfunction may be attributable to the alliances formed between the agency and its constituency. The official goals of an agency may appear to be thwarted or ignored altogether at the expense of the citizenry it is designed to serve.

More at wikipedia

Bootleggers & Baptists

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bootleggers and Baptists is a catch-phrase invented by regulatory economist Bruce Yandle[1] for the observation that regulations are supported by both groups that want the ostensible purpose of the regulation and groups that profit from undermining that purpose.[2]

For much of the 20th century, Baptists and other evangelical Christians were prominent in political activism for Sunday closing laws restricting the sale of alcohol. Bootleggers sold alcohol illegally, and got more business if legal sales were restricted.[1] “Such a coalition makes it easier for politicians to favor both groups. … [T]he Baptists lower the costs of favor-seeking for the bootleggers, because politicians can pose as being motivated purely by the public interest even while they promote the interests of well-funded businesses. … [Baptists] take the moral high ground, while the bootleggers persuade the politicians quietly, behind closed doors.”[3]

More at wikipedia

Bootleggers & Baptists

BRUCE YANDLE describes it in REGULATION, vol 22, No. 3:

“DURABLE SOCIAL regulation evolves when it is demanded by both of two distinctly different groups. "Baptists" point to the moral high ground and give vital and vocal endorsement of laudable public benefits promised by a desired regulation. Baptists flourish when their moral message forms a visible foundation for political action. "Bootleggers" are much less visible but no less vital. Bootleggers, who expect to profit from the very regulatory restrictions desired by Baptists, grease the political machinery with some of their expected proceeds. They are simply in it for the money.


     “B&B theory helps to explain how leaders of consumer groups help major pharmaceutical companies-the ones with approved chemical entities-by valiantly supporting a cautious FDA approval process. The theory explains why holders of permits to produce and market EPA-approved insecticides value the efforts of environmental groups who oppose rule changes that facilitate the entry of new, and sometimes less risky, substitutes. Indeed, once the theory is explained, bootleggers and Baptists seem to come out of the woodwork. They are everywhere.  “

Read the whole story at: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/re gulation/1999/10/bootleggers.pdf

Regulatory capture

Regulatory capture is a form of government failure that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.[1] When regulatory capture occurs, the interests of firms or political groups are prioritized over the interests of the public, leading to a net loss to society as a whole. Government agencies suffering regulatory capture are called "captured agencies".



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Updated September 21, 2023

Politics  – How Government Really Works - Politics & legal graft