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Bill’s Guests: Friday, March 27, 2020
6:35: Rick Manning, the President of Americans for Limited Government chats with Bill. It’s the Weekly Swamp Update.
We’ll talk with Rick about the latest goings-on in Mordor on The Potomac, and other issues.
Get more great content, all over at: DailyTorch.com
7:10: Greg Roberts, Mr. Outdoors himself from RogueWeather.com, calls in to bring to you the Friday Outdoor Report.
7:25: Brenda Edwards of Personnel Source chats with Bill. With anxiety building among the people who have lost jobs over the COVID-19 scare, Brenda is here to tell you that THERE ARE JOBS OUT THERE. You can head over to the website: PersonnelSource.com, where you can fill out the online application.
7:35: Daniel J. Mancuso, publisher of the Illinois Valley News and candidate for the Josephine County Board of Commissioners, Position 2, chats with Bill.
8:10: Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler calls the show. Today we’ll talk with the Sheriff about COVID-19 and the potential law enforcement issues that have come along with it.
8:45: Julie Fletcher with Southern Oregon Goodwill chats with Bill today.
All Goodwill stores, donation sites, Job Connections and Offices are closed as of March 24th until further notice
And, because of that…
Goodwill asks public not to dump donations during Stay Home, Save Lives closure
Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries is asking people to hold off their donations while their doors are closed under Oregon Executive Order 20-12. Goodwill has eight stores in (Ashland, Central Point, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Medford, Roseburg, Sutherlin, and White City) and is asking people not to leave donations outside of their local stores until those locations reopen.
When the Oregon Executive Order 20-12 was issued on Monday, March 23, nonprofits were on the list of businesses that were deemed nonessential and were forced to close on Tuesday, March 24. Goodwill cannot open donation lanes to the public per the order.
“During our normal daily operations, Goodwill gratefully excepts community donations because they are the lifeblood to our thrift retail model. We maximize the value of every item donated to us to fund our mission to enable employment by providing opportunities for personal and professional growth,” said Julie Fletcher, Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “If people leave what they consider a valuable donation without our staff to accept them, the donation becomes an illegal dumping act. Without the presence of our staff, we can’t control the damage that might happen when left to exposure of weather or looting.”
Goodwill has illegal dumping signage posted advising that leaving items after hours is prohibited. Updated in 2017, the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 164.805 is a law against illegal dumping if unapproved by the property owner. Also referred to as “offensive littering,” ORS 164.805 has a maximum fine of $1,000.
Fletcher adds, illegal dumping is a nuisance to the surrounding homes and businesses and it adds costs to Goodwill to have dumped donations cleaned up and sent to the landfill. She asks if you see items piled up outside of Goodwill stores, please be kind and do not add on.
“Goodwill asks well-intentioned donors to hold on to your donations until we can reopen and thank our donors in person.”
Bill’s Guests: Thursday, March 26, 2020
6:35: Dr. Dean Hart, expert in microbiology chats with Bill today.
Dr. Hart is a published author on the transmission of viruses and diseases. He’s here to talk with us today about Covid-19 and it’s impact on heavy urban centers like New York City and others.
For 25 years Dr. Hart taught as an Associate Research Scientist and Assistant Professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Find out more from Dr. Hart at his website: DeanHartScientist.com
8:10: Prof. Eric Fruits, Ph.D. and Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute chats with Bill.
Today, we’ll be talking to Professor Fruits about PERS, and what could happen during this Covid-19 crisis.
The Upcoming PERS Crisis
The system is facing a $30 billion shortfall—radical reform is needed
By Eric Fruits, Ph.D.
Coronavirus has hit the economy hard. Nearly all the stock market gains from the past two or three years have been wiped out. While it’s painful for investors and retirees, it’s likely to fuel the third major PERS crisis since the dot-com bust.
PERS, the public employee retirement system, has two major sources of funds: investment returns and employer contributions. PERS investments are managed by the state treasurer, under guidance from the Oregon Investment Council. “Employers” are state and local governments whose employees are PERS members.
PERS charges these employers a rate equal to some percent of their payroll to fund the costs of their employees’ anticipated retirement benefits. Currently, the average rate is approximately 25% of payroll. For example, for a city employee with a salary of $60,000 a year, the city must pay an additional $15,000 to PERS.
One of the many factors that affect the employer rate is the unfunded actuarial liability, or UAL. The UAL is an estimate of how much money would be needed to pay off all existing beneficiaries if the system were liquidated. Think of it this way: If you sold everything you owned—house, car, checking, savings, retirement—would you have enough to pay everyone you owe? If you don’t, you have unfunded liabilities.
PERS currently has a UAL of $24.5 billion. If PERS liquidated all its assets to pay its existing members, the system would be $24.5 billion short. The employer rate is set to fill that gap over a period of approximately 20 years. So, if the UAL increases, the employer rate increases. Similarly, if the UAL decreases, so does the employer rate.
Here’s where investment returns come in.
Because of the way PERS benefits are calculated, the system’s investments must earn an average of at least 7.2% a year to stop the UAL from getting bigger. That’s a very aggressive, and optimistic, target.
In good times, when PERS investments earn above average returns, the money from the investments reduces the UAL, which in turn reduces the employer contribution rate. If, on the other hand, PERS investments tank, the UAL balloons, and state and local governments must make bigger contributions to fill the gap.
PERS investment returns are correlated with stock market returns. Generally speaking, in a bull market, PERS investments run with the bulls; when the market drops, PERS investments suffer as well.
The stock market is down more than 20% from the beginning of the year. That means PERS investments would be down by about 11%. Based on past experience, such a drop would add another $6 billion to PERS’ unfunded liabilities, for a total UAL of about $30 billion.
Let’s say the economy improves and the stock market recovers all its losses, ending the year unchanged from the beginning of the year. PERS investments would be up by about 5%, based on past experience. Even so, PERS unfunded liabilities would increase by about $3 billion for a total UAL of about $27 billion.
Based on these observations, it’s very possible that state and local governments would face an employer contribution rate for PERS of 30% or more. That $60,000 employee would now come with an $18,000 additional cost to pay for PERS.
Where will that additional money come from?
It’ll come from us. Legislators and local governments will be under tremendous pressure to raise taxes to pay for skyrocketing PERS costs. Along with that will come budget cuts, with fewer teachers, state police, foster care workers resulting in bigger class sizes, reduced law enforcement, and more children stranded in the foster system. It’s not just a financial crisis, it’s a human crisis.
PERS has been a ticking time bomb for two decades. Attempts at meaningful reform have been put off by timid politicians and thwarted by powerful public employee unions. In the first PERS crisis of 2002, the system’s unfunded liabilities were less than $4 billion. In the second crisis, beginning in 2008, the UAL ballooned to $16 billion. Today, we’re looking at a third crisis with a UAL of $30 billion or more, or nearly $19,000 per household.
We are entering an era in which PERS cannot be merely tweaked or reformed. We are entering a PERS crisis that will require a radical overhaul of the entire system. It can begin with some straightforward first steps:
- Move all new public employees into a 403(b) defined contribution plan. These are similar to the 401(k) plans held by many private sector employees. TriMet has already made the switch, and it saved the agency from insolvency.
- The PERS Board must change its assumed rate of return on PERS investments. Because of the mismatch between assumed and actual investment returns, PERS is accruing liabilities much faster than it’s growing its assets. Bad assumptions were unsustainable 20 years ago, and they’re disastrous now.
These are just first steps that can be handled quickly in an emergency session of the legislature and an emergency meeting of the PERS board. There’s never a good time to upset the public employee unions. Now that we’re in a crisis, it’s time for leadership and action to save the state from fiscal disaster.
Click here for a PDF version of the article above.
8:35: Prof. Rob Natelson, Constitutional expert calls the show today. We’ll be talking Constitutional powers in times of crisis, such as the one we face now.
Here’s a couple of articles you can read for further reading:
Professor Rob Natelson is a recognized constitutional expert who is excellent on radio and TV. A law professor for 25 years, he is now Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Denver and a Senior Adviser to the Convention of States project. His goal is to always explain the Constitution objectively rather than letting politics distort the truth. His research is quoted regularly in the nation’s courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bill’s Guests: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
6:35: Eric Peters, automotive journalist over at EPAutos.com joins Bill for the Weekly Transportation News Segment.
Today, we’ll be talking Wu-Flu, and what it’s doing to America. But, what does Eric think? We’ll talk about it.
“I am wondering whether the government which is prohibiting us from earning a living will prohibit itself from filching our pockets for money we haven’t been allowed to earn.
It seems only fair.”
Read the rest of the article. Click the link below.
And, check out more from Eric, all over at: EPAutos.com
7:35: Ben Chew, Practice Administrator with Illume Aesthetics calls the show. Today we talk with Ben about Executive Order 20-12. Ben claims that due to the Governor’s edict, that equipment from their business was seized. We’ll discuss it.
8:10: Dr. Sally Pipes M.D. President and CEO of Pacific Research Institute talks with Bill today.
Dr. Pipes has penned an opinion piece over at FoxNews.com about price controls during a pandemic. You can read the article for yourself by clicking the link below:
SALLY C. PIPES is president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco–based think tank founded in 1979. Prior to becoming president of PRI in 1991, she was assistant director of the Fraser Institute, based in Vancouver, Canada.
Dr. Pipes has also written several books which you can check out at: EncounterBooks.com
Bill’s Guests: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
7:10: Tom Gresham, host of Gun Talk (11A to 2P KMED/KCMD) chats with Bill today. We’ll talk with Tom today about the apparent boom in firearms and ammo sales over the fear of the COVID-19 virus.
Tom Gresham is a spokesman for 2nd Amendment Foundation. He hosts the nationally syndicated weekend radio talk show ‘Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk,’ carried on 266 stations. He also has created, hosted and directed several television series about guns including Shooting Sports America on ESPN, and Guns and Gear on NBC Sports. An author of several books, Tom has also written thousands of magazine articles about firearms.
7:35: State Senator Herman Baertschiger calls in to give you the latest news from the Legislature.
8:10: Capt. Bill Simpson, retired U.S. Merchant Marine officer, outdoors expert and emergency preparedness advocate talks with Bill.
With the hysteria during this coronavirus crisis just seeming to get bigger, there’s no better time to be prepared, and you still can. Capt. Bill has some tips and advice for you on preparedness that isn’t too late to do.
Capt. Bill won 2 seasons of Nat Geo’s show “Doomsday Preppers,” so there’s no one better to listen to, so you can be prepared.
Here are some articles you can read, that can help you to be better prepared during this crisis, and any other that may arise in the future.
Bill’s Guests: Monday, March 23, 2020
6:35: David Safavian, Deputy Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Nolan Center for Justice chats with Bill this morning.
With cities, states and the federal government struggle to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, one of the contentious areas of disagreement is what to do with the millions of Americans currently in prison. While some states look to release non-violent convicts, and other measures, it is important to balance public safety with public health.
David Safavian is the Deputy Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Nolan Center for Justice, where he advocates for policy changes that improve public safety, protect families and victims, reduce recidivism, and maintain fiscal austerity. A member of the D.C. bar, Safavian is also the general counsel for the American Conservative Union.
You can learn more about David and the American Conservative Union right HERE.
7:10: Greg Roberts, Mr. Walk Around The Block from RogueWeather.com chats with Bill. It’s the Monday, Outdoor Report.
7:35: Dr. Steven Greenleaf, “Steve The Marine,” chats with Bill. Today, we’ll be talking with The Mahatma about the Constitutional aspects of this Coronavirus outbreak. We’ll look into things that government is allowed to do in this crisis, and what they are NOT allowed to do according to the U.S. Constitution.
8:10: Dr. Dennis Powers, retired SOU Professor of Business Law, author and local historian talks with Bill. It’s time for this week’s edition of: Visiting Past & Present.
The Shasta Valley Stone Circles
by Dennis Powers
Mysterious stone circles lie in the Shasta Valley off Highway 97 from Interstate-5, located between the tiny town of Tennant (41 people discovered in the 2010 census) and Mt. Shasta’s base. These odd earth foundations are set over 600 acres of the flat prairie near the northwestern foot of the peak. The Shasta Valley is randomly strewn with volcanic stones.
Each concentric mound is the same, 60 feet in diameter, with the dirt rising in an almost perfect circle to a crest approximately 2 feet above the level of the surrounding plain. A stone path, or mosaic, surrounds each ring; and the rocks were obviously gathered from the countless stones surrounding the area. The circular paths start from pebbles with smaller ones at the bottom working into larger sizes and boulders at the top.
Constructed of “pure” dirt, the mounds rest on the hard pan surrounding the area. Appearing smooth surfaced–as if to make it easier to walk over–the rock rings are smooth surfaced. This is far easier to walk over then the scatterings of rocks nearby where only sage brush and weeds can grow.
The trenches and mounds are man-made–not natural–and it was first thought that the stone circles were the result of human agricultural activity. Anthropologists have discounted this idea, since virtually no other artifacts have been discovered in the area, and the Native Americans who lived here subsisted primarily on fishing and hunting.
The Indian elders of the region just shrugged their shoulders and said that they had no idea where the mounds came from. This certainly looked like the work of many men, but no tools, no relics, no artifacts nearby were ever discovered. A few of the theories attribute the mounds to upheaving by frost, gopher activity, or erosion by wind and water. The origin of the stone circles remains a mystery to this day–and several of the mysterious mound clusters are at different locations around the mountain.
With Mt. Shasta famous (or notorious) for its numerous UFO sightings, the underground Lemurian city of Telos, its Bigfoot sightings, and the supernatural, these mounds add to its allure. An interpretive sign off U.S. Interstate 5 (at the Weed Airport Rest Area) notes that archaeologists and geologists are in conflict over what brought about these mounds—and that the “origin of the Stone Circles remains a mystery to today.”
Sources: Brad Olson, “Discovering Forbidden Archaeology,” Perceptive Travel, at Images and Text on the Mounds; see Bruce Walton, editor, Mount Shasta: Home of the Ancients, pages 32-35; see the following page for two images.
8:45: Kathleen with Storage at Exit 24 calls the show for today’s Whose Business Is It Anyway? segment.
Address: 65 S. Grove Road, Phoenix, OR 97535