March 26, 2012

The Current Week, 03/19/12-03/24/12

Justin Katz


A Free-Market Catholic's Conversation with the Bishop, Part 1 of 3 - Interview/profile
The Current interviews Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin, part 1 of 3: welfare and charity; "a global authority"; solidarity and subsidiarity; giving authority over to the state.
03/20/12 - House Committee on Labor - Liveblog
Justin writes live and extemporaneously from the House Committee on Labor, addressing teacher layoff notifications, right-to-work for teachers, city/town council approval of school labor contracts, and others.

A Free-Market Catholic's Conversation with the Bishop, Part 2 of 3 - Interview/profile
The Current interviews Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin, part 2 of 3: no political box; healthcare and political lessons; school choice
03/21/12 - Meals Tax Tea Party - Liveblog
Photos from the rally against Governor Chafee's proposed tax increase on meals and beverages.
Meals Tax Tea Party Video - Liveblog
Video of the speeches from the meals tax tea party protest.

A Free-Market Catholic's Conversation with the Bishop, Part 3 of 3 - Interview/profile
The Current interviews Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin, part 3 of 3: illegal immigration; perceptions of an oppressive state.

House Labor Chairwoman Williams Vents to Tea Party in Action - Investigative Report
House Labor Committee Chairwoman Anastasia Williams paused a hearing, on Tuesday, to criticize an email that she had received, but sender William B. Palazzo disputes her description of the content.

Justin's Case

Betting It All to Force a Turnaround - Opinion
The Providence Journal is pumping up the common wisdom on how to turn RI around, but Justin suspects the project is going in the wrong direction from the start.
Real Hourly Earnings on the Decline, Due to Inflation, but RI Might Be Doing a Little Bit Better - Research
BLS data shows real earnings on a slide, nationally, and although RI might be doing slightly better by this marker, it's hardly enough to overcome unemployment problems.
New Group of Health-Industry Insiders Seeks Leverage in Exchange - Investigative Report
Legislation to review healthcare mandates is scheduled for House Corporations Committee review; meanwhile, the local insurers and business interests are forming a group for leverage in the impending healthcare exchange.
Inadequate Government Solutions Are the Fault of the User - Opinion
Justin offers Tiverton's experience in the garbage-bag business as evidence of the risky difference between government services and those available on a free market.

Death by 1,000 Government Bills - Opinion
A letter by Providence business owner John Palmieri might provide a good indicator of the problems that Rhode Island fundamentally needs to address.
Being Fine with Good Guys Gone Bad - Opinion
Mistaking the content implied by a David Brooks headline leads Justin to a stark juxtaposition showing the deadly danger of relativism.

Keith Anderson, Teacher and Right-to-Work Advocate, also Candidate for General Assembly - Interview/profile
East Providence High School teacher Keith Anderson is running for the district 29 House seat, from Coventry.

Council Ratification Foes Layer on Technical Objections - Analysis
Technical objections raised to legislation that would give town/city councils authority to ratify employment contracts appear to have been overstated or incorrect.
A Movable Threshold for Municipal Pension Adjustment - Analysis
An argument about pension fund discount rates by the Mercatus Center and RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity illustrates the difficulty, and risk, of setting thresholds on the availability of pension reforms.
Residents Need Incentive for Civic Involvement - Opinion
Apathy in Central Falls leads Justin to further questions about the long-term wisdom of bailouts and receiverships.

Living an Ethical Life, Beautifully - Opinion
Justin takes the opportunity of a gorgeous afternoon to muse about beauty in ethics.
RI on a Spree of Losing Jobs and Giving Up - Analysis
Unemployment only "ticked" up, this month, but the overall labor force dropped more from December to February than it has since the dot-com bust.  Public officials looking for a turnaround should consider the power of their message.

Doggedly on the Leftist Message - Opinion
Justin finds in an RI Future post by Bob Plain evidence of the rhetorical method of barricading the door to discourse.