Articles written by Roger Koopman

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  • Affordable housing: Lessons from a garbage can

    Roger Koopman|Feb 9, 2023

    Some problems are perplexing and complicated, with solutions evading the wisest among us. The need for affordable housing is not one of those issues. The causes and cures are not complicated. They evade us only because somewhere between kindergarten and college graduation, we never learned basic economics. Often, one avoidable and seemingly unrelated problem can inform the solution to another. Take your garbage, for example. It should interest you to know that if you live in Montana, garbage isn’t very affordable – its disposal, that is. Dep...

  • The Free Money Game: When Will Republicans Wise Up?

    Roger Koopman, Bozeman, Montana|Apr 1, 2021

    Every election cycle, you can count on Republican candidates promising to reduce the size and cost of government, and in general, getting government out of our businesses and out of our daily lives. Yet the GOP’s commitment to controlling government and reducing welfare dependency is highly selective. For their friends, the free money game continues unabated. One of the most sainted of wealth transfer schemes for the Republicans is the Holy Tax Credit, generally targeted toward specific types of businesses and business activities that – so the...

  • Know your PSC candidates and choose wisely

    Commissioner Roger Koopman|Oct 29, 2020

    As I wrap up my eight years on the Public Service Commission, I ask myself, “What are the qualifications of a good commissioner?” As a life-long Republican, my answer may surprise you, because the stuff that makes for a great PSC commissioner is uniquely different from other political offices. Truthfully, the nature of the job – the wise regulating and rate-setting of utility monopolies – has almost nothing to do with a commissioner’s political party. But there are three basic qualities a voter should look for when selecting the person to...

  • Fight socialism with ideas, not bullets

    Roger Koopman, Bozeman, Mont.|Feb 13, 2020

    At the recent Montana Republican Kickoff, something very strange happened. A GOP legislator from Billings suggested that he ought to be shot. Representative Rodney Garcia dropped a stink bomb in the middle of the gathering by insisting that it is our Constitutional duty to execute the socialists in our midst – or at the very least, lock them up in a dank dungeon somewhere. He sees them as too much of a danger for our free society to deal with if left on the loose. We need to ask our patriotic friend if he has looked at our Constitution l...

  • The public takes a back seat to politics on the PSC

    Commissioner Roger Koopman, Bozeman, Mont.|Nov 21, 2019

    The Public Service Commission has always been a somewhat surly bunch. The PSC’s devoted staff has often had to deal with varying degrees of political game-playing, deception, threats and intrigue. Sure. Politicians politic. The question is, at the end of the day, can elected officials bury their egos and ambitions long enough to put the people’s business ahead of their own? Recent events would suggest that where the Montana PSC is concerned, the answer is “no.” That might surprise you, given that the commission is entirely Republican. But polit...