The Adams Doctrine and Leavitt Corollary

by lewwaters


By Professor Robert Dean

Lou B: Students, Economics 102 is now in session. Today, we have a guest lecturer, Professor Robert Dean, from Australia. Professor Dean is a distinguished graduate of the NPR All Things Considered from a Liberal Perspective workshop and of the Pol Pot Reeducation Camp program at the University of Phnom Penh.

Professor Dean: Before we start, I want to make sure you all have the prerequisite History and International Law classes. Good! As you know, the Federal Transit Authority has recently issued their predetermined Record of Decision on the $3.6 billion megaproject – Columbia River Crossing or CRC. The CRC ostensibly serves two major purposes: To “improve” traffic and commerce between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon; and to extend light rail into Vancouver.

Now, does anyone know who could possibly be opposed to the CRC?

Tim S: Anyone who doesn’t get one of the government contracts.

Ed L: Anyone who owns real estate in Downtown Vancouver or Jantzen Beach and can’t afford to stick out the 9 years of construction.

Jeanne H: You mean undercapitalized businesses opposed to progress?

Professor Dean: Yes, any others?

Tom M: Anyone who doesn’t live and work next to a light rail station and still has to pay for it.

Tim L: I can’t imagine the Mayor of Portland would be too thrilled with having more traffic dumped onto his already inadequate freeway system.

Professor Dean: Bingo! Who here has heard of the Adams Doctrine?

Steve S: I have. I was there when he said it. Simply put, the Adams Doctrine states, “No tolls – no bridge!”

Professor Dean: Why would the Mayor of Portland say that?

Steve S: As I remember, funding for the project was going to be split 3 ways between the Feds, the two states, and the two local communities. The local contribution was going to be $1.4 billion. We all wanted to get the most bang for the buck. Everyone split off and tried to think of ways to shift benefits to one side of the river while simultaneously shifting costs to the other side of the river. The good Mayor of Portland came up with this line “No tolls – no bridge,” which made it look like he was concerned about traffic management when actually he was more concerned with getting Vancouver commuters to pay for it.

Tom M: And of course you stepped in and opposed him.

Steve S: Well, no! We were awestruck by the brilliance of the ploy. I wish I could think on my feet like that.

Tim L: And besides, tolls are OK if they give us light rail.

Professor Dean: Exactly! Tim has gotten ahead of my lesson plan a bit, but, Tim, please repeat that for the class.

Tim L: You mean – tolls are OK if they give us light rail?

Professor Dean: That…is the Leavitt Corollary!

Steve S: Wow, Tim! Good job!

Professor Dean: Now, Tim, you recently expressed what I like to call, the Adumbration to the Leavitt Corollary. Can you repeat that for the class?

Tim L: What do you mean?

Professor Dean: What did you tell Congresswoman Herrera Beutler would happen if she did not get federal funding for the CRC?

Steve S: Go to hell? You call that an adumbration?

Professor Dean: No, not that part. The part about what will happen to tolls.

Tim L: Oh, yes. Jaime wants us to have a vote on light rail and the CRC. Well, of course, we can’t let that happen. This thing has been 15 years in the making and has cost us $150 million so far. The only time we ever hold a vote the people always turn it down. Well, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that tolls are a user fee and don’t require a vote. So, I told the tea bagger, Ms Herrera Beutler, “Hey, if the feds won’t pay for it we will build it anyway and take it out of the citizens’ hides through higher tolls.”

Jack B: Good for you, Tim!

Larry S: Just build it!

Jim M: Next step please!

Steve S: I wish I had said that.

Professor Dean: Once again, Tim, absolutely brilliant!

Professor Dean: I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today, class. Before we go, I’ll give you your assignment due next week: If the toll each way across the bridge is $8.00 and you give the people the option of paying double for a chance to win a jackpot – how long before the people run out of money?

Hint: it makes no difference how big the jackpot is because the winnings will be taxed 100%.

Professor Dean: Have a good week.

8 Responses to “The Adams Doctrine and Leavitt Corollary”

  1. Professor Dean, thank you for giving me some thing to chuckle over since I have been listening to the political debutantes speak for the last eight years about this bridge….

  2. Sorry Jeremy nothin’ funny here…
    Just lost jobs and higher taxes and higher fees and oh, I almost forgot, higher crime too.

  3. Carolyn, if you have dealt with this level of stupidity for nearly almost two decades, would you not laugh out of shear frustration?

    And yes, I do know about the increasing level of taxes, higher fees, lost employment opportunities in not just my own life but in the lives of my friends, family and acquaintances all around. The political maneuvering, the blog data stealing, the lawsuits against local bloggers to shut them up. Lawsuits or threats thereof to shut down political processes before they got into some form of traction?

    I could go on and on, Carolyn. And yes, I was dumb enough to move back into the same exact legislative district that I left in the 1990s because there was no WORK in Portland or Clark County for a young man, even with calling temp agencies for nearly four years, doing the worst jobs imaginable.

    So yes, I do have a perspective and to not be able to laugh at the sheer insanity of it and the stress built up over years. Tell me that you have not had your own level of just trying to shake your head in sheer and utter thoughts of, “What were they thinking?”

  4. Hmmm Becoming quite the professor, eh Dean? 😉

  5. Josephine,

    Born, bred, and groomed for the role. I have a masters degree you know!

  6. And Yes Robert, I love the way you make me laugh! 🙂

  7. I think it is time for another Professor Dean posting?


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