November 11, 2009

"Why Do I Live Here?"

Justin Katz

That's a question that Rhode Islanders must be asking themselves almost on a daily basis.

It's not just that the November Revenue Estimating Conference set the baseline for the current year's budget deficit at $200 million. It's not just that, but for one-time fixes, the state government would have run deficits for several years even before the recession. It's not just that, as recently as two weeks ago, the General Assembly continued to pass legislation restrictive of businesses and the economy. It's that legislators still get away with junk like this, from the first link above:

"It's extremely bleak," said House Finance Committee chairman Steven M. Costantino, considered the legislature's budget architect. "Let's hope at some point this stabilizes."

Hope? That's it? People are losing their jobs, their homes, their health insurance because of you, Representative Costantino. Because of the damage that you have done to this state — in part (but only in part) because of your utter incompetence. If your constituents in Providence had any civic awareness whatsoever, they'd give your seat to a dog from the local animal shelter before returning you to the State House.

"Let's hope this stabilizes." News flash: You're a representative — the chairman of the Finance Committee — and Rhode Island's government is the fundamental contributor to our problems. How about you set your sights on stabilizing it.

Was there no one whom Providence Journal reporter Steve Peoples could contact for the article to call Costantino on this?

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, "Steve Constantino, good pasta, bad politics"

Posted by: Patrick at November 11, 2009 10:29 AM

The Democrats don't have a solution. The Republicans don't have a clue. The Moderate party is a lukewarm, dishwater version of both. The remedy: Vote Socialist.

Posted by: 0ldTimeLefty at November 11, 2009 11:49 AM

Yep, socialism worked so well in the USSR. I guess it works if you're looking to have a good international ice hockey team. Other than that, not so much.

Posted by: Patrick at November 11, 2009 12:27 PM


Socialism is also good if you're someone who's into water rationing.

Posted by: Andrew at November 11, 2009 12:41 PM

>>The remedy: Vote Socialist.

And exactly how is that different from voting Democrat?

Let's face it, the modern Democrat Party is a fusion party of socialists.

That's why the leader of the Democrat Party, Barack Obama, once ran for office under the banner of / with the endorsement of the New Party and Democrat Socialists of America.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at November 11, 2009 1:04 PM

If the State is continuing to not hit its estimates then the cities and towns that depend on large chucks of state money to pay there bill are in trouble. First on the receivership list will be Providence that gets over 50% of its money not from property taxes but from the State. Do not feel bad for them they waste so much money.

Posted by: Will at November 11, 2009 2:37 PM

As the book of the same title says: "Hope Is Not a Strategy."

Posted by: oz at November 11, 2009 3:51 PM

True socialism is impossible at the state level because states don't have a central bank.

The federal government requires a Central Bank in order to continue its encroachment on liberty that started with the creation of the Fed in 1913 and has slowly grown to the point of a crescendo in the very near future. As long as the Fed can inflate money, the Government can continue to grow and take over more and more of the economy without accountability. But when the currency is destroyed, which is where Obamists have us heading; so will the great American experiment in liberty be destroyed.

At the state and municiple level, taxpayers would never support the level of taxation necessary to support socialism. They'd leave and the state would cease to exist. Federal aid will become worthless as the currency loses its value.

This is why liberals are so short sighted, selfish and stupid. They'll fight and strike rather than take a furlough or pay cut. But they let the government tax and confiscate their wages through inflation without even a peep.

Posted by: George at November 11, 2009 3:55 PM

I'm almost ready to leave permanently and resettle in an American state.

Posted by: BobN at November 11, 2009 5:20 PM

While Rome burns, the only issues that galvanize the pea-brain crowd in the RI Demoratic party have to do with prostitutes, homosexuality, welfare pimps and gambling. It's just so funny. I step back and ask - just what disease do these people suffer from that allows them to go forward in life in such clueless fashion? These are not people who understand cause and effect. They are definitely not people who should be running the state. Does anybody really wonder why RI is such a mess?
Listen to these perverted freaks like Patrick Lynch and Billy Lynch getting their panties all in a knot over the fact that Carcieri vetoed the bill about domestic partners. Can someone point to any other issue that gets them so lathered up? It's definitely not the economic mess we are in. That's no big deal. But, some perceived slight of homosexuals, now that is something to get all riled up about.

Not that you need any more proof of what these diseased Democrats have plagued us with, but read this, "barreling toward economic disaster".
It must make Billy Lynch very proud that his retards have RI on yet another top ten list.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 11, 2009 6:40 PM

Amazing how the word "Socialism" elicits potshots and wisecracks, but never a discussion. This must mean that it strikes fear in certain "greed is good" hearts.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 11, 2009 9:39 PM

Yeah, OTL. Your comments are just overflowing with intelligent discussion. Never a pot shot from you. Funny how you claim to be a basketball coach there OTL. I'm curious, do you employ the principles of socialism when you coach basketball?

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 11, 2009 9:59 PM

Now is the time for "grits and gravitas". What wisdom is there is staying here, I see little. Do you really think it can be turned around? You have one life to live, that is why millions fled oppression to "go to America". I see nothing wrong with Rhode Islanders leaving and going to America. With productive citizens gone, Rhode Island may experience a rebirth. If so, come back.

I have a place in North Carolina, Google Duplin County to have a look at prices. If you prefer waterfront, try New Bern. If you are a "techie" try Chapel Hill, prices there are probably higher than they are here.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 11, 2009 11:15 PM

So, OTL. Let me hear your argument in favor of inflation? How does inflating the currency help the working man? How does it help any man. It only helps keep bad banks and foolish government programs on life support. Not forever though!

Tell me how you sustain socialism long term without destroying the currency.

Want to have a "discussion", step up!

Posted by: George at November 12, 2009 9:39 AM

HOPE - The Rhode Island State motto and thanks to Steve Costantino's ... "Let's hope at some point this stabilizes." ... we can now all understand why!

Hey Steve, don't do the work you were elected to do, just "HOPE"!!!

Posted by: Johno at November 12, 2009 11:43 AM

Johno writes:

"HOPE - The Rhode Island State motto"

I always thought the state motto was "Everything falls off the truck in Rhode Island".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 12, 2009 2:18 PM

Why would I want to argue in favor of inflation? Inflation is not necessarily a result of socialism. One could just as easily argue that its root cause is capitalism.

Incidentally, my idea of socialism allows for individual entrepreneurism. When an individual gets to the point of affecting interstate commerce, then rigid social guidelines should kick in. I am by no means a purist and not naive enough to believe any man made system is perfect. The ideal system would be some sort of hybrid, I love the independent bay fishermen and quahoggers. They are the real entrepreneurs. It's the people who stuff their pockets through non-wealth creating paper schemes like derivatives that create wealth imbalances which lead to inflation. Someone needs to explain to me how the sale of derivatives creates real wealth and benefits the common good.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 12, 2009 10:12 PM

Mike Capelli,
Regarding basketball, consider the following:
Get it to Le Bron. Clear one side of the court and let him go one on one. His superior resources should enable us to control and eventually win the game. Guess what. He doesn't yet have a ring. He won't either unless he is surrounded by talent which can share and distribute the ball. (A little socialism here. Get it!)

Check out Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt, especially was the greatest force in the game but only twice in more than a dozen years could he grab the ring from the more team oriented Boston Celtics.

Moral of the story: You might walk off with an individual trophy (Your personal bank account), but your team (The USA) will come in second or worse.

Walk the ball up the court, work it around, help each other out with pick and roll plays, and when you get an open shot take it and rebound like hell.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 12, 2009 10:28 PM

Sorry, OTL. Your example does nothing to support socialism. In fact, you are contradicting yourself, which, I guess, is my point. You cannot be a successful hoop coach imparting socialist principles in your game. Your lame attempt to link the "team" concept with socialism is flawed. The key is the makeup of the team. In your socialist team concept, everybody gets to play, no matter how good they are, how hard they play, how diligent they are about playing defense, learning plays, the competition, etc. In my anti-socialist game, you don't play unless you earn the playing time. Sort of how things should work. Thanks for proving my point.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 13, 2009 2:53 PM

Sorry Mike,
You are putting words in my mouth and then arguing against them. A very cheap trick. Allow me to point out:
1. You brought in basketball and now you present argument by analogy by telling me that the "key is the makeup of the team" and then telling me that "everybody gets to play" regardless of talent. You said that, I didn't. You are arguing against a phantasm produced by your own mind. I suggest that you are like "The Midnight Cowboy" with "everybody talking at you. Can't hear a word their saying." Only the echos of your mind.

2. Can you deny that a talented team would profit by cohesive defense, sharing the ball, and rebounding like hell? Isn't that better than the star gets the ball and he'll produce for us?

In short, you completely ignored my argument, posed and answered your own questions, solipsized yourself and won an argument with yourself. Congratulations on your victory or loss as the case may be.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 13, 2009 4:34 PM

It's quite apparent that you are now dodging the principles of socialism - and for good reason - even you know they don't work. And, what is a better setting to dispel the myths of socialism than sports.
Were any coach to employ socialistic principles - and we know what they are - EVERYONE gets to play, no matter what their qualifications - they'd be laughed out of the gym. Don't try to obscure the obvious by asking irrelevant, rhetorical questions.
Just tell us, OTL, does everybody get equal playing time on your teams or not?

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 13, 2009 5:25 PM

OTL-I'll dispense with analogies from other areas and stick to government.
Can you give a single example of a socialist state that was successful?
The Chinese are socialist when it's convenient in the political arena,but a country with a multi-thousand year history of mercantile expertise isn't successful because of Mao's Little Red Book.It's more like they have been reading about Ford,Pullman,and Carnegie.
China is thoroughly capitalist and has the most sophisticated military-industrial complex in history.
There has never been a socialist regime where the population had a decent standard of living.Maybe compared to a previous dictatorship run for the personal aggrandizement of some third world despot,but nothing the people here who espouse socialist principles would want to live under for a week.
Socialism is counterintuitive to any concept of freedom or self improvement.
It dulls the edge of the human desire to try new things and to aspire to a better life.
I am quite sure you would eschew any opportunity to live in any of the socialist states around the world.
And please don't try to say a country with a high standard of living is sociaist solely beuse they might have national health care.national health care isn't so difficult when a country has a population smaller than NYC and no unlimited numbers of aliens pouring over their borders.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 13, 2009 5:44 PM

Thanks joe for entering the argument. I'll tell Mike again, that he is putting words in his opponent's mouth, then is arguing against them. It makes life easy, but contributes nothing.

Socialism needs to be defined. Until we reach a definition as to what it is we're talking about, the argument goes nowhere. I'm talking about a multi-party democracy, India comes to mind and its population is considerably larger than New York City.

You say "Socialism is counter intuitive to any concept of freedom or self improvement." I say it's not. neither one of us has offered any proof. You assert something is true, I assert that it is not. What you freely assert, I just as freely deny. There is no argument presented.

You say that socialism "dulls the edge of the human desire to try new things and to aspire to a better life." I point out that "According to a new report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), happiness levels are highest in "socialist" European countries like Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. The U.S. didn't even make the top 10." If we don't have a happy life, what have we got?

That being said, individual capitalism and its spirit are much to be encouraged. I cheer for the independent fishermen and quahoggers, and others who work the bay and earn a living. God bless them and the fruits of their labor. When the trawlers come through with nets that gouge out the bottom and destroy everything in their path, including individual fishermen (speaking figuratively here), then we have a problem brought on by capitalist greed. When we have artificial wealth created by mathematicians sitting somewhere on Wall Street, then we have a problem again brought on by greedy people whose interest is stuffing their own pockets, not in creating national wealth. The few profit at the expense and on the backs of the many. These things need be curbed. Since business cannot regulate itself, government (remember that we are the government) must do the job. Ever hear of Railroad Barons, Oil Barons, Cattle Barons and the like?

Just as a bit of capitalism is okay, so do we need some socialist principles to take hold on this continent. We should all drive economic hybrids.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 13, 2009 9:11 PM

India socialist?In what way?India has the largest film industry outside the US for example.It isn't Government ownes,is it?
I'm not going to define a country where the utilities are government operated,nor even the railways as socialist.
The Netherlands is a good example-they have national health care,state railways,semi-governmental local transport,state run utilities,and some other aspects that you might call socialist.
However,there is no state control over print media or over the ability to make money.The banks are privately owned.
The state seems to run cable tv,but anyone is free to get satellite,and the state tv is really non-political.They have some Cspan type stuff,but that's not a bad thing.
Sweden has a very high suicide rate.How happy can they be?The Swedish government has in recent years limited free speechi.e.saying homosexuality is abnormal can get you locked up.I don't want to live in such a place.
Finns are considered somewhat taciturn and morose by anyone who's spent time there.
I don't know anything about Denmark except that they have extremely harsh immigration laws.I guess you wouldn't like that here,although I don't recall you having a strong opinion about immigration.
Thanks to NAFTA and environmentalist insanity,we lost a lot of our major fabrication industries.
The money movers and derivatives types turn me off as much as they do you.Many conservatives share my view on that.Seems like liberal and conservative politicians have one thing in common:they whore themselves out to those Wall Street rapists of the economy.
In the socialist countries the national wealth is controlled by a governmental elite.Is that better?
Freedom of expression is severely limited in socialist countries.I really don't have to elaborate-it's the plain truth.
I see socialism as an anthill into which most of us are shoehorned and made docile and disarmed,while a controlling elite stands outside the anthill living the good life and telling us how grateful we should be.
You can disagree,but those are my thoughts on socialism.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 13, 2009 10:07 PM

It's the true believers who are dangerous. Pure socialism or pure capitalism does not exist. Nor should they. I'm arguing for an opening on the U.S. scene to allow socialist principles to coexist with capitalism. Everyone in this country should be able to receive adequate medical coverage. That one person can purchase care, while another is forced to suffer from lack of it is an abomination to me, not to be dismissed by invoking boogeyman words like "socialism" into the conversation.

I enjoy my VA benefits. Why wouldn't I want something similar extended to all who live here? It might cost me a buck or two in taxes, small price to pay for helping our brothers and sisters.

The argument about who's socialist and who's not is way beside the point. You can call it fig newtons as long as you extend medical coverage to those who cannot afford it.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 14, 2009 11:49 AM

OTL-I too appreciate my VA benefits.However both you and I and many,many others paid up front for that care by giving the government a blank check on our bodies and minds while others stayed home and enjoyed physical security.I know damn good and well I don't want those type of benefits extended to interlopers who are illegally in the US for starters.If this accursed amnesty occurs,they'll be first in line for the benefits.
I don't know about you,but I've been seriously physically impaired for 29 years because of what our own side inadvertently did to us.I don't feel like they're doing me some big favor by owning up and taking care of me and the others now.It took the f**kin' SOB's a hell of a long time to admit the truth.
God bless the memory of the late Jesse Brown,Clinton's VA Secretary for that.Unfortunately it got him way too soon.Excuse me if I seem a little recalcitrant to share that level of care with people who may have done absolutely nothing in the way of service to this country.
If you want to discuss publicly owned utilities and railroads,fine.I can't think of other aspects of socialism that are particularly attractive to me.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 15, 2009 6:44 PM
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