August 17, 2007

Assistance to the Established Player

Justin Katz

Although programming problems (as I've been given to understand) have kept it in print-only limbo, I've got an op-ed in today's Providence Journal about the ways in which, under the headline of protecting the "consumer" from "unscrupulous" free agents (including construction contractors), government generally (and the General Assembly in particular) creates a regulatory regime that ends up protecting established players from the anti-corruptive of competition.

I'm particularly satisfied that the piece gave the Projo reason to add the fact that I'm a "non-union carpenter" to my biographical line.

So go on out and put down the fifty cents for a Friday edition of the Providence Journal, and if you're so inclined, it couldn't hurt to send the suits a note explaining that you did so out of interest in the opinions and writing of the Anchor Rising gang.

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.

Good piece, Justin, though I wonder why you find satisfaction in the "non-union" designation. I've worked for years in the construction trades and for the most part found union carpenters and their non-union counterparts have equal skills and ethics, only the union guys are making a fair and decent living and the non-union guys are struggling to make ends meet. Also, I've never seen an incompetent union carpenter, some non union contractors hire people with little or no skill.

Posted by: Michael at August 17, 2007 7:14 PM


Do the 'programming problems' at the Projo involve an exhausted hamster on a wheel? Or perhaps an instance where the teenager hired to run their on-line operation went shopping for school clothes instead? lol
Major props to you for the occasional op/ed gig but that paper is a joke and their on-line version is classic cheesey. Since I will not purchase the Projo as a matter of principle I'll find a copy of today's paper somewhere in my travels and will gladly read the opining of a 'non-union carpenter'.

Posted by: Tim at August 17, 2007 7:23 PM


I think you unfair, as far as the opinion page goes (and in all objective sincerity, I don't say so just because I've been publishing on it frequently of late). Having engaged in several very edifying and enjoyable conversations with Bob Whitcomb, the Editorial Pages Editor (a co-author of Cape Wind, by the way), I'll enthusiastically attest that the most applicable adjective for the man is probably "iconoclastic" and that he is very much interested in fair intellectual public debate.



Your comment raises a fair question, with important implications, and I'll make a post of my response when sobriety allows. Suffice to say, for the nonce, that I (and my clients, I might add) am a manifest beneficiary of non-union contractors' willingness to "hire people with little or no skill" and that not all "non-union guys are struggling to make ends meet" (my wife and I present an exception in that we spent money and banked on quixotic expectations based on our largely useless B.A. degrees).

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 17, 2007 8:09 PM


Any truth to the rumor Bob Whitcomb's next book is a shared effort with Ed Achorn and entitled, 'Great Container Ports of America'? lol
Sorry my friend but I do not share your enthusiasm for the op/ed page of the Projo. Mr. Whitcomb and his cohorts have serious credibility problems after their casino flip flop and unwavering support of Beacon Mutual's corrupt old guard.

Posted by: Tim at August 20, 2007 7:32 AM

While I disagree with Ed Achorn about the container port, Whitcomb and Achorn had nothing to do with the paper's embarrassing 180 on the casino. It's an open secret that that was an edict - wait, TomW's word is much better: a "diktat" handed down by Texas and happily carried out by Mark Ryan.

I am not familiar with the source of the ProJo's stance (again, naive at best) on Beacon's managment but would find it hard to believe that Whitcomb or Achorn were involved in that one, either.

Posted by: SusanD at August 20, 2007 11:24 PM


Both Whitcomb and Achorn write their own columns do they not? Have you read even one anti-casino word from these two? No! So they either agree with the flip flop or they lack the integrity to stand up for their own beliefs. Have you read anything from either on the Beacon Mutual story? No! Pretty shocking when you consider how the Beacon Mutual story is exactly the type of Rhode Island insider dealing Achorn is always yelling about. Yet Achorn has written nothing on the subject of Beacon Mutual. Ever!
What an odd coincidence that Mark Ryan and mega State house lobbyist Democrat Joe Walsh are very good friends. That Walsh was lobbying the legislature hard to allow Beacon Mutual to privatize as the Projo was editorializing support of that attempt every step of the way. Very interesting how that attempt flamed out because even the legislature backed away from Beacon Mutual because of the corruption stench. But not the Projo! An odd coincidence that Ed Achorn to this very day has sat silent on the subject. Maybe he didn't see that scathing report from DBR? lol There is no journalistic credibility left on Fountain St. They don't uncover corruption at the Providence Journal because they're part of the team and Achorn is one of the larger good government frauds around. He'll be perfect in the role he's already shaping fro himself, that of media campaign director for Steve Laffey.
Two peas in a pod!

Posted by: Tim at August 21, 2007 7:31 AM
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