April 16, 2012
The Current Week, 04/09/12-04/15/12
04/10/12 - General Treasurer Guide to Comprehensive Pension Reform Part II - Liveblog
Justin writes live from General Treasurer Gina Raimondo's second comprehensive pension reform workshop for municipal leaders, Part II: Creating a Secure & Sustainable Pension Plan.
04/11/12 - Romney Town Hall - Liveblog
Justin writes live from Mitt Romney's town hall in Warwick, Rhode Island.
04/12/12 - RI Senate Finance Committee Hearing - Liveblog
Justin writes live and extemporaneously from the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Gov. Chafee's municipal relief package of legislation.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: Barrington - Research
Reviewing the unemployment picture for RI cities and towns, the Current finds that Barrington lost 3% of its population from 2000 to 2010 and almost 7% of its employment. Meanwhile, in the quarter leading up to February, 1% of all residents left the town's work force.
Legacy Media Woes Point to Larger Political Dynamics - Analysis
Reason's Matt Welch measures cutting-edge media against legacy media worries about the death of their industry, and reviewing the local playing field, Justin gives an example of how public policy can give them a cudgel (even inadvertently).
The Obscurity of Appointed Public Boards - Analysis
Objections that low state contributions to public institutions of higher education should mean low authority over their operational activities raise the question of what the relationship between the schools and the state actually is.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: Bristol and Warren - Research
Reviewing the unemployment picture for RI cities and towns, the Current finds that Bristol has actually been gaining population and workers, over the past decade, but they're finding jobs in insufficient numbers. And the circumstances for Warren appear dismal from every angle.
State Pension Projections Versus Actual Results - Analysis
At this morning's workshop, Treasurer Raimondo's news that the state pension has only been earning 2.28% return on its investments jarred disconcertingly against the actuary's projections of what 7.5% and 5.0% returns mean for the future.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: Coventry - Research
Reviewing the unemployment picture for RI cities and towns, the Current finds that Coventry's exploding unemployment rate can be explained by increases in population and labor force rather than a decrease in the overall number of residents who are employed.
Who Are Legislators to Save Our Lives? - Opinion
Matt Allen's petition for repeal of the primary-offense seat belt law leads Justin to consider the real consequence of such legislation.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: East Greenwich - Research
Given its reputation among Rhode Island towns, it's surprising that East Greenwich has a higher-than-average unemployment rate. The explanation likely lies in the growth of its population and labor force, which exacerbated the smaller decrease in employed residents.
Fighting Over Numbers in the Public Debate - Opinion
A pair of articles point to the use of statistics in public policy debates, and Justin encourages everybody not to lose sight of the points being made.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: Warwick - Research
Warwick's employment story appears to be one of lost population and lost employment. As with some of RI's other cities and towns, Warwick's number of employed residents has never been lower in the twenty-two years of data.
The Meaning of "Legislation Last" in Pension Reform - Analysis
Argumentation about the concept of "legislation last" when it comes to municipal pension reform appears to be an example of two sides talking past each other.
More About When a Marriage Begins than Whether Cohabiting - Analysis
Couples who are engaged when they move in together are more likely to stay married than those who are not, but interesting gender differences in the survey data suggest that it matters whether one spouse has been married before.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: West Greenwich - Research
West Greenwich's employment data (while of limited confidence, given the small population) tells a story of consistent growth, until the current recession moved its unemployment rate above that of the state overall.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: West Warwick - Research
West Warwick leads Kent County in unemployment, in part because its total labor force grew 4.1% at the same time that the total number of residents working or looking for work (its labor force) increased 4.9%.