Target’s experience with a too-high minimum wage illustrates in clear lines why government policy can’t simply assert economic fantasies as reality.
One reason for stagnant or declining teacher pay is the legacy costs of defined-benefit pensions, which weigh down government budgets.
If URI’s anti-Brady professor were expressing the ideological opposite views, we know how the school would be reacting, so maybe it should flip the script.
Leaders contemplating a vaping ban to consider the data we have available, wait for more research to be conducted, and think of the long-term consequences of actions.
No single indicator should be of more importance to lawmakers and civic leaders than whether or not our state is retaining and attracting talented and productive people.
The opportunity for prosperity is a primary factor in the migration of families from state to state. In this regard, our Ocean State is more than just losing the race. Far too many Rhode Islanders are fleeing our state, leaving a swath of empty chairs at our family dinner tables.
The prospect of iLottery apps puts in perspective the importance of holding the constitutional line on sports betting, so Rhode Islanders can answer the question: Is this really what we want our government doing?
Today, children around the world are participating in a Global Climate Strike. I won’t criticize them for this highly misguided activity but rather the adults – including, notably and disturbingly, educators – who have foisted on them a hysteria that is almost entirely free of facts and reasoning. For example, one important data point these children are almost certainly not learning in school or anywhere: the actual extent of the greenhouse gases generated by humans and, thereby, what we can conclude about our (very limited) culpability in global warming.
It is less than 6%. ALL of man’s fossil fueled activity – all factories, all power plants, all manufacturing, all cars, all countries, all 7.5 billion people – contributes less than 6% of greenhouse gases generated on the planet. The balance is generated naturally by Earth itself.
It is not difficult to understand that if our front-line public servants have incentive to not actually be on the front lines, then the overall quality of those public services will suffer.
A new report from our Center, released this week – Paid for Not Working, Collective Bargaining Taxpayer Ripoff #2 : Providence Teacher Leaves of Absence – highlights the many forms of collectively-bargained “leave time” allowed for teachers.
In response to the events at the Wyatt Detention Center from two weeks ago, Our society could choose to accept anarchy, to accept that whoever has the bigger, tougher, better organized gang wins for themselves the use of public spaces; literally implementing might makes right as a governing principle. This does not seem to be a pathway that governing authorities in Rhode Island will consciously choose, as state government quickly remembered the importance of deterring violence from escalating, once the focus of events became people not involved in the intentional blocking of traffic.
A second possibility would be to cut the problem off at its root: enforcing laws and norms against blocking traffic and against denying people the right to travel in public spaces, and uniting around a shared norm that has served our society well. (I concede that that last phrase is a bit normative).
Of course, this depends on the right to travel being a norm that is widely shared. Is this still the case? The affinity repeatedly shown by protestors for blocking traffic, combined with the so-far one-sided response by Rhode Island authorities, suggests that it may not be; this, in turn, points in the direction of the third possible evolution of the system: convincing people that it is acceptable for government to protect fundamental rights within the context of a caste system, where some people have fewer rights than others. For various reasons, this is an unlikely candidate for smooth implementation.
That is your universe of choices. In the end, any way forward that abandons the impartial defense of the right to travel will lead to more and more cycles of violent conflict that will only be eliminated once the norm acting against those who try to block innocent people from traveling in public spaces is rediscovered.
The problem of getting rid of “terrible teachers” points to a problem with the incentives of government when it is used to accomplish anything that isn’t straightforward and critical.
Trying to reduce opioid deaths in construction fields by taking the masculinity out of them could make matters worse, not better.
If we were inclined to pause and review video of incidents with an eye toward understanding why each person is doing what he or she is doing, maybe we could reduce the level of conflict in our society, but where’s the profit in that?
A new form of government appears to be taking shape in Rhode Island before our very eyes.
When an institution like education is essentially under a government monopoly, changes in public sentiment can have ridiculous consequences, like the cancellation of all field trips in Cumberland.
Economic thinking can help us to repair broken education systems, but only if they lead us to humility in how specifically we can design something new.
Not surprisingly, the state’s analysis of the affordability of its debt finds that Rhode Island is doing OK. Residents should take a broader, less sunny, view.
Mayor Elorza’s performance on Newsmakers reinforced the notion that Rhode Island’s leaders understand the problem but aren’t really interested in solving it.
Three items in this week’s Nesi’s Notes point to the conclusion that RI’s top-down economic development approach isn’t working and can’t work here.
Rhode Island politics at the local level are kneading reformers out of the dough of the status quo, and we won’t have the tools we need when crisis hits.
For too long, the political class has failed the people of our state. At $888 per year for each of Rhode Island’s one million residents, a family of four is paying over $3,500 annually for excessive compensation deals for government workers, while the basic needs of their own families are being ignored by politicians.
With almost two-thirds of these excessive costs being heaped upon municipal taxpayers, our recent Public Union Excesses report further estimates that property taxes could be reduced by 25% if more reasonable, market-based collective bargaining agreements were negotiated.
The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s new board member, Judge Robert Flanders, recently accompanies me for an appearance on the State of the State show to discuss the effect that state-level rulings and legislation can have on cities’ and towns’ ability to manage themselves and their budgets.
In 2016, the General Assembly and Governor Raimondo hobbled schools’ ability to suspend misbehaving students; in 2019, we’re in a panic about chaos in the Providence school system.
The end of the 2019 school year coincides with an important milestone: June 27th will be the one year marker since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which determined that forcibly collecting union dues and fees from public workers, including teachers, is unconstitutional.
This summer is the perfect time to ask yourself the question: What is my union doing for me?
Rhode Island health insurers are saying that the individual mandate will lower rates for individually purchased health plans, but a new tax written into state law may play a role, too, hiding an increase for everybody else.
The proposed Burrillville power plant may not have been a good idea, but regulators’ finding that RI doesn’t need more energy production puts us all at risk.
Below are three possible strategies that could be pursued during the Senate floor debate next week, one procedural and two in the form of amendments; that would remove the decriminalization of fetal homicide from the Senate abortion bill with no impact (for better or for worse) on the sections concerning the legality of abortion.
Introducing one of these amendments (or making the motion to divide) is the right thing to do. Voting for one of the amendments, or supporting the motion and then voting against the section decriminalizing fetal homicide, is the right thing to do, obviously in line with pro-life principles, and an absolute must for any politician who would try to explain how his or her support for sending the bill to the floor or for “codifying” Roe vs. Wade is not pro-abortion radicalism.
- A Senator could simply make a motion on the floor to divide the question, and have section 4 of the bill voted on separately from the others.
- A Senator could introduce an amendment to strike the sections of the quick child law related to the legality of abortion that would be superseded by the rest of the bill, while leaving the definition of fetal homicide during an assault on the mother in place. It would look something like this:
11-23-5. Willful killing of unborn quick child.
(a) The willful killing of an unborn quick child by any injury to the mother of the child, which would be murder if it resulted in the death of the mother; the administration to any woman pregnant with a quick child of any medication, drug, or substance or the use of any instrument or device or other means, with intent to destroy the child, unless it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother; in the event of the death of the child; shall be deemed manslaughter.
(b) In any prosecution under this section, it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove that any necessity existed.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “quick child” means an unborn child whose heart is beating, who is experiencing electronically-measurable brain waves, who is discernibly moving, and who is so far developed and matured as to be capable of surviving the trauma of birth with the aid of usual medical care and facilities available in this state.
- A Senator could introduce an amendment leaving the repeal of sections (a) and (b) of the current law in place, but inserting a new section (a) that reads something like:
11-23-5. Willful killing of unborn quick child.
(a) An act that injures a pregnant woman which would be murder if it results in her death and causes the death of an unborn quick child shall be deemed manslaughter.
(c)(b) For the purposes of this section, “quick child” means an unborn child whose heart is beating, who is experiencing electronically-measurable brain waves, who is discernibly moving, and who is so far developed and matured as to be capable of surviving the trauma of birth with the aid of usual medical care and facilities available in this state.
A drag performer in full costume calling himself “Naomi Chomsky” read a story to small children at the Fall River Public Library. Outside, Christian protesters prayed for the mental well-being of the children subjected to his performance. These “Drag Queen Story Hour” performances are spreading throughout Rhode Island, despite the concerns of many citizens. Why are they happening?
It seems that Senator Steven Archambault, who had been the swing vote on the RI Senate Judiciary committee on the abortion bill, agreed to support decriminalization of fetal homicide in return for nothing of substance.
The revised abortion bill that was introduced yesterday removes the killing of a preborn child during an attack on the mother from the definition of manslaughter, while explicitly adding “the termination of a pregnancy” to the definition of a serious bodily injury under Rhode Island’s felony assault law. But if you listen to Dan Yorke’s interview with RI Attorney General Peter Neronha from earlier this year, starting at about 6:50, you will hear AG Neronha say that harm to a preborn child that occurs during an assault on the mother already meets the definition of serious bodily injury, under the legal theory — acceptable to abortion supporters — that a child is an organ or member of his or her mother. (“Organ or member” is Attorney General Neronha’s description, not mine).
Based on his statements from the Dan Yorke interview and the language in the current abortion bill, the Attorney General should be asked if he believes the new section defining serious bodily injury changes anything about its definition, because it certainly seems that the amended bill makes no meaningful change to the law except for making a point of stripping preborn children of their right to life. With the transfer last night of the abortion bill from the Senate’s Judiciary Committee to the Health and Human Services committee, there are two additional days to seek this expert opinion.
As for Senator Archambault: it looks like he’s the kind of “moderate” Democrat who becomes a progressive, whenever it counts.
The supposed “compromise” legislation on abortion would arguably make supporting it worse than radical intellectuals who see abortion as a justified killing.
With the General Assembly session nearing the end, we fully expect the new state budget to contain no meaningful remedies to the many problems that plague our state, such as high taxes across the board, high energy and healthcare costs, and onerous regulatory burdens on job-producers. In our Public Union Excesses report, we identified that there are $888 million per year in excessive collectively-bargained costs, responsible for driving up local property taxes by up to 25%.