March 19, 2012

The Current Week 03/12/12 - 03/16/12

Justin Katz


Hal Meyer: Revisiting My Former Home from the Outside - Opinion
Hal Meyer reflects on his move from Rhode Island to Idaho.


Differing Interpretations of Tax Effects Play into Local Decision - Analysis
Experts disagree about whether the seven legislative proposals to increase personal income taxes on "the rich" will have an adverse effect on Rhode Island's economy, but the complexity of such changes requires a more local debate.

03/15/12 - House Finance Committee - Liveblog
Justin writes live and off-the-cuff from the House Finance Committee hearing on retirement contributions, dept. director salaries, corrections, board compensation, and holidays.

Justin's Case

03/08/12 - House Labor on Binding Arbitration: Carnevale Provokes Nadeau - Liveblog
Video of Rep. John Carnevale provoking Warwick School Committee Member Eugene Nadeau during House Labor's hearing on binding arbitration.
Societal Structure (Including Boys and Men) and Societal Health - Opinion
Educational imbalances and legal bias against boys and men and the corrosion of cultural mores illustrate why small-government, fiscal conservatism requires a dose of social conservatism, as well.
Owner Liability and Renter Trust in H7136 and S2212 - Analysis
Foreclosure-related legislation illustrates the need for in-depth debate between advocates for and against the proposals.  Even those that appear to be common sense may have unintended consequences affecting the public at large.
Memo to EDC and 38 Studios: Economic Development Is More than Just Money - Opinion
As Mark Patinkin notes, in a Sunday Projo column, the EDC and 38 Studios need to realize that it isn't enough for Rhode Island just to be a place with some buildings in which stuff happens that makes money.

Merging with MERS Not so Simple, or Even Beneficial - Analysis
As RI leaders begin to explore the possibility of moving local pension plans in the MERS, the only matter getting any clearer is that there's no simple fix.
Unemployment Down in RI, but Labor Force Down More - Research
Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell, from December to January, but the exodus from the labor force has accelerated.
The Bureaucratic Office Has the Last Light to Go Out - Opinion
Justin cites James Lileks' illustration of the absurdity of bureaucratic spending in a down economy.

Bringing the Right Lesson from Chelsea, MA, to Central Falls - Opinion
Even with the direct comparison of Chelsea, MA, with Central Falls, Justin finds that Rhode Island learns the wrong lesson.

Iannazzi (and Taxes) Did It - Opinion
Every bit of legislation raising taxes, every apparently corrupt action, contributes to the culture and sense of hopelessness that is driving people away from Rhode Island. Justin argues that that's the first thing that has to change.
Winners, Losers, and Losing More - Analysis
The 2010 tax reform had winners and losers in every income range.  Increasing taxes this year, even if only on wealthier residents, would arguably represent two straight years of tax increases.

3.5% of RI Land Preserved - Investigative Report
In the past few months, the Department of Environmental Management has purchased land or the development rights for nearly 100 acres of land at a cost just under $1 million.
Social Issues, Economic Issues, and Marriage - Opinion
In Justin's view, marriage as a social issue is inevitably bound up with other policies as small-government issues, and in a way that both "economically conservative social liberals" and "big-government traditionalists" ought to consider.
Chafee's Municipal Plan: A Giant Leap Toward Technocracy and Town Solicitor Invoices - Opinion
Justin takes the highlighter and red pen to Governor Chafee's proposal for "municipal reform and relief."