Sunday, February 17, 2019


by Evelyn Pyburn

A frank discussion about why housing is unaffordable was quite welcome at the Montana Economic Outlook Seminar. It’s a subject seldom discussed so honestly.

The conclusion that regulations stand in the way of affordable housing and innovation in the industry shouldn’t be a surprise, and studious, deliberate efforts to avoid that conclusion in all the other forums I have ever witnessed, says that it really isn’t a surprise. Many have

Saturday, February 09, 2019


This is a word in the dictionary.

It’s not a word commonly used any more, now that people have discovered the availability of legal clubs that can force people to “do the right thing.”

But persuasion should be more common in a civilized society where coercion is eschewed. Sadly, force seems to be preferred.

Saturday, February 09, 2019


An article entitled “The Rise of Short Term Rentals” in the most recent issue of Montana Business Quarterly lays forth a classic example of markets at work. It exemplifies a market response to a consumer demand. It even includes the inevitable attempt at intervention by local governments to circumvent the emerging market to protect an established market.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Everyone knows if tax rates are lowered government collects less in taxes… that is the conventional wisdom. It certainly was much of the rhetoric in opposition to lowering corporate income taxes (CIT), but since the tax rate was lowered what has been the outcome?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Increasingly, there are more and more buildings standing vacant in downtown Billings. The trend is a reversal of one that had shown steady improvement since the 70s and 80s, when downtown Billings was truly as dead as a morgue at midnight. It’s not quite as bad as it was then, but it seems headed in that direction.