Jim Elliott

Recent Posts

Montana Viewpoint: $1 billion in sales … and a $50 tax bill


If you ran a multistate business and had just over $1 billion in sales in Montana, I bet you would expect to pay something in Montana corporate taxes. And, indeed, you would; you would have to dig deep down into your corporate pocket to come up with the 50 bucks to cover your tax bill. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: An opportunity wasted


If there was ever anything that the right and the left could make common cause over, it would be the corporate control of America. It may be the only thing they agree upon, but since they disagree on almost everything else they won’t join hands to accomplish something they both want. They don’t trust each other, either, which doesn’t help. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Working together, the impossible dream

Imagine how things could play out if two political enemies, after years of stalemate and a foreseeable future of more of the same, realized that half a loaf now was better than a whole loaf never and decided to sit down together and say, “Look, let’s take half of what you want and half of what we want and call it good.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: One-size fire suppression doesn’t work


“For every complex problem there is a simple solution … which is wrong.”

I learned long ago that there are as many expert opinions about an issue as there are people thinking about it. Every year, or every bad fire year, there are numerous opinions regarding what should be done to minimize the economic costs of fire, from loss of timber to loss of homes. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Getting used to ‘settled science’


Fires, floods and hurricanes are now something it seems we might have to get used to because of global warming. Some are skeptical that global warming exists, but when I bought a few hundred pounds of orchard grass seed to plant last year, I asked the dealer if I should buy the drought-resistant variety, and she said that that was probably a good idea. I live in the wettest part of Montana. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Why not statues for neglected history?


Given the furor over the presence of memorials to Confederate soldiers, it looks like there isn’t a statue in America safe from being torn down. It’s a tough question; there are some well-known historical figures who, along with the good that they did, also did something to affront a great many people. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: The (first) war to end all wars


As sabers rattle over the Korean peninsula, remember that those who create wars seldom fight in them. That is left to the sons and daughters of less important people. The decisions to enter  what became known as World War I were made by men who believed it would be close to Armageddon. “If war breaks out,” said British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, “it will be the worst catastrophe the world has ever seen.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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