City of Portland Pays People to Christmas Shop

November 18, 2009


We know all about paying poor people to live here through subsidies and enticing illegal aliens to come and stay in Portland via a variety of services offered such as an illegal jobs center, but I think the crowd at City Hall and their buddies have sunk to a new low: using more taxpayer funds to pay people to shop.
I’m all for private industry doing whatever is legal to get the peeps to buy their stuff, but a CITY using TAXPAYER FUNDS to pay people to shop downtown??
God bless KATU (story here) for splashing this story out there last night. H/T Alert 5th Listener who tipped me off during the show. The folks at the city sanctioned downtown business group are offering free parking and a $50 dollar gift card for people who have spent another 50 bucks downtown. And they’re paying for it from parking meter money. Parking meter money is city money. In fact, the city recently has seen fit to extend the time people have to pay for parking! Using this money means that at some point there will be less money to spend on whatever it is the parking meter money is usually used for and the taxpayers will have to back fill that.
The City officials who read this blog post today (hey guys!) will dismiss this as a Victoria rant against the City of Portland. You guys need to take a chill pill, look in the mirror and read on.
Consider the following items that, in addition to the recession, have kept shoppers away from downtown:

  • 1. The City Council failing, FAILING, to Stand Up for What’s Right and demanding Sam Adams resign for having sex with a teenager. Hint: normal people find it ookity that a 40 something man grooms a 17 year old for sex, goes to his 18th “He’s Legal!” birthday party, beds him three days later and then lies about it to keep voters in the dark. Obviously Sam thought this was wrong, that’s why he LIED about it. The Council should be ashamed. THIS BEHAVIOR IS REPUGNANT AND REPELS PEOPLE WHO COME TO DOWNTOWN TO SHOP.
  • 2. Discriminating against certain groups of taxpayers who use out of favor transportation modes. From using taxpayer money to cut off entire neighborhoods to cars in an alliance with an international car hating group, extending parking meter hours and days and then planting them in and around well used parks to discourage car use, declaring out loud that you want to improve bridge across the Columbia but don’t want anyone to ‘actually drive on it,’ saying that ‘we can’t have this laissez faire-going-anywhere-you-want-when-you-want’ attitude in Portland. Randy, they call that FREEDOM. Try it sometime.
  • 3. People don’t feel safe downtown. Hot and cold running panhandlers populate each street corner. Turf battles ensue if one spiked triceratopped death goth takes the hippy with the yoga mat’s ‘spot.’ And don’t even get me started on a the Greenpeace predators. Panhandlers have taken to dressing up in animal costumes to attract business! New York Times best selling author, Vince Flynn, in town on his book tour last month, told me he was “s’panged” no fewer than five times in a one block span. Oh, and your grandiose plans to use city taxpayer funds to “End Homelessness in Ten Years?” Yah, ain’t gonna happen. You guys forget a lot of the professional homeless folks have the internet and can read all about it. Last winter a couple was interviewed by KGW outside the Union Gospel Mission and revealed they had come from Texas to Portland because THEY READ ABOUT THE TEN YEAR PLAN TO END HOMELESSNESS while surfing the internet IN THEIR APARTMENT and decided to come here TO GET A FREE HOME. You guys forget, the idea to pay people to shop in downtown Portland is the same idea behind attracting people by giving them, hey…wait a minute…free stuff! 
  • 4. You have become the NW version of the New Orleans Levee Boards. You use our hard earned taxpayer $$ for everything else BUT what you’re supposed to do. You buy street cars, bully land owners from their icky, but legal businesses, and let protesters bully out at least two businesses–probably more–from their, raise our taxes, tells us it’s all in the name of ‘green’ because Al Gore says so, declare ‘trees have rights’ and expect us to think you’re sane. Are ya kidding us?  When it hits the fan, we may not have decent maintained existing infrastructure, but, doggone it,  that tram looked good, didn’t it?

If you’d bothered to treat businesses as helpful instead of as cash machines, reduced their taxes, paid respect to the sensibilities of the people paying the bills, and gave us a real say (not just your machine politics, preordained outcome neighbhood association shills) you might have built up good will among folks and attracted shoppers downtown the old fashioned way: by earning it.

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