Category Archives: activism

Green Taxes

Today in Oregon, we have an important vote on whether to increase taxes for household incomes of over $250,000 (affecting only 3% of Oregonians) and eliminate income taxes on unemployment benefits (affecting a whooping 270,000 jobless Oregonians). The second ballot measure would raise the minimum business tax from a 1931 rate of $10 to a sliding scale of 1/10 of 1% of Oregon sales. You may ask, why raise taxes in a recession? Exactly, this would help fill a severe funding gap due to a drastic downturn in household incomes and generated income taxes. For obvious reasons, I am in favor of funding public schools and providing basic services to those in need. 

Yet, contrary to my Republican Hubby’s belief, I am not a thoughtless “tax and spend liberal.” I’m not voting yes just because we aren’t in this tax bracket. I agree that this vote is just a Band-Aid approach. 

As a kid, I remember being happy that we didn’t have a statewide sales tax; only having to calculate it when visiting family in California. But despite the convenience, I’ve come to realize that we desperately need statewide (and national) tax reform.

  • Eliminate Income Taxes – Why tax people’s livelihoods?
  • Carbon Taxes – Let’s tax our carbon impact
  • Sliding Scale – Even FDR agreed “Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay.”
A new green tax system would help reduce environmental impacts without hindering our economic productivity. I think the deeper impact would be psychological, as more families would really contemplate the power of their wallet on the planet.

How would you like to see our taxes shift?

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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Banning BPA

Before my BigGuy was born I remember researching to find the best baby bottle. I chose the reputable Dr. Brown’s brand, because my biggest criterion was avoiding the painful saga of colic. I got lucky with no colic, but around the time he was weaning news broke that the bottles contained the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A or BPA .

Many companies responded by creating a “green baby bottle market,” and I was able to afford to buy new “BPA-Free” bottles for my Girly. Yet, many parents can’t afford these more expensive bottles or don’t understand the risks involved.

This week the FDA finally issued a warning about BPA’s toxicity; sighting research that exposure can harm a child’s brains and reproductive systems. Though the FDA supports “industry’s actions” to eliminate the use of BPA in food related products, this warning itself does nothing to stop its widespread use. The NY Times agrees that “wise consumers will try to avoid BPA.” 

I don’t know about you, but I think we should follow Canada and Europe and get BPA off the market. It’s up to us to insist on banning Bisphenol-A. Minnesota was the first state to issue a ban, and several other local jurisdictions (California’s was defeated). Now states like Oregon are taking up the legislative torch to Ban BPA. There are pending bills in Congress too, and I truly hope consumers are successful.

Let’s take it a step further and work with Safer Chemicals: Healthy Families to reform the toxics regulations altogether.

Lastly, I hope my BigGuy will have no long term health effects, and I’m sure glad that he liked his milk cold!


Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.