May 17, 2013
April Employment, the Slog and the Skepticism
The most significant change on the employment-data front might be confidence in the numbers, not just in terms of their raw validity, but in terms of increasing understanding that a falling unemployment rate isn't necessarily a marker of economic health.
May 16, 2013
Fairness at the Sales Tax Hearing
Rep. Larry Valencia's question on the relative morality of different taxes points to the question of how tax policy decisions should be made.
May 13, 2013
The Box That's Formed by Being Watched
A "surveillance state" doesn't just snag those who are overtly criminal, and it can affect a society most profoundly by adding risk to creativity.
May 10, 2013
Two Bills: When You've Got Rights, and When You Don't, in Rhode Island
A proposed new quasi-public authority with powers of trespassing and eminent domain bring into question legislators' beliefs about rights, particularly in contrast with another bill to make it more difficult to restrain potentially dangerous patients and students.
Taxing the Rich in Testimony and Looking Forward
Notes from testimony on tax-the-rich legislation raise interesting points about what happened with tax policy and the economy over the past five years and what would be likely to happen under other policies moving forward.
May 8, 2013
Some policy strategists on the right are looking to behavioral science for ways to use government to encourage preferred behavior, but conceding the appropriate role of government to manipulate has an intolerable cost.
May 7, 2013
Legislative Control and Distance from Peak Employment
Charting the fifty states' distance from their peak employment along with the party controlling the legislature shows some interesting results, not the least of which is the ability of other states to change their courses.
May 6, 2013
Chariho to 0%, but for More Control, Tax Hawks Must Win Elections
Taxpayers in the regional Chariho school district scored a substantial victory in getting the district to reduce its 2014 budget request to a zero percent increase, but in the long run, all such victories will be minor unless the victories start including elections for public office.
May 3, 2013
Misplaced Grand Pronunciations of New England Catholics' Practices
A professor of "religion in public life," by his flawed analysis of regional religious affiliation and same-sex marriage, nonetheless raises some interesting points.
May 2, 2013
Medicaid: An Expensive Placebo?
A study finds that Medicaid doesn't measurably improve health outcomes by much, raising questions about why Rhode Island leaps into every government program that becomes available.
May 1, 2013
Valencia's Brand of Equity and Sacrifice
Rep. Larry Valencia wants to tax "the rich" at 10% in the name of equity and "shared sacrifice," but dynamic policy modeling suggests that the sacrifice will mainly be Rhode Island's.
The Mouse That Designs Its Own Trap
A politically correct American Left encourages Americans to turn their eyes away from horrors that illustrate that which euphemisms cover, whether it's infanticide or global jihad.