Look past the usual “Christmas culture war” story and observe how reporting of a controversy works to dismiss everything important about the underlying disagreement.
Rhode Islanders want to prosper in an economic climate that rewards hard work, encourages small-business growth, creates quality jobs, and can lead to a better life for their families. In this regard, the traditionally cited monthly unemployment rate is often used by state lawmakers as a benchmark to evaluate the effectiveness of state economic policy initiatives. However, this rate represents a very narrow glimpse of the employment health of a state and can often paint an incomplete, or even inaccurate, snapshot of the broader economic picture.
[Below are the prepared comments of Chris Maxwell, President of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, for the RIDOT toll gantry workshop Tuesday evening. The video of Chris’ actual comments, abbreviated due to time constraints, can be viewed here. For the sake of the news outlet that erroneously reported that public comment Tuesday night was mostly a re-hash of old objections and omitted all on-topic comments from their story, Ocean State Current has bolded all of Chris’ comments that pertain to the Environmental Assessment that was the subject of Tuesday’s workshop.]
Good evening. My name is Chris Maxwell and I represent the Rhode Island Trucking Association and all local trucking companies adversely affected by truck-only tolls.
Our opposition to this plan from its introduction in the spring of 2015 is well-documented. And despite the justified rancour that still exists, our industry’s willingness to contribute to infrastructure improvement remains steadfast – even beyond our existing contributions which are considerable.
In 2016, the trucking industry in Rhode Island paid roughly $70 million in federal and state roadway taxes.
Representative democracy isn’t about who can put the loudest group of people (including outsiders) in a room to intimidate elected officials.
Providence Journal columnist Mark Patinkin continues his series of essays learning about the United States by way of his old college buddies with a review of what one of them learned by biking across the country. The short version: The fly-over states are filled with nice people whom our economy is bypassing, which explains why they were willing to look past Donald Trump, the man, and see him as a challenge to the establishment.
Of more interest, to me, is this bit of parochial chauvinism in the comments to Patinkin’s article, from Douglas Maiko:
people in blue states are much wealthier than midwest red states. It comes down to blue state economic policies and great opportuites to create wealth for one self here in blue land. Red State people tend to be cynical about the american dream, watch too much fox news, obsess with cultural issues. The numbers speak for themselves, move to a Blue state if you want the american dream
Even to the extent that there’s truth to his assessment of economic balance, Maiko’s attitude exhibits the dangerous arrogance seen in successful civilizations whose people believe their condition is permanent. The likelihood is that the coasts are thriving based on a legacy of lucky geography and historical accident.
After all, the East Coast is the oldest region in the country, and both coasts have access to the world’s waterways, which is of decreasing value. The coasts’ living generations, in other words, started from an advantaged place that had nothing to do with “blue state economic policies.” Rather, the natural and cultural advantages of the areas allowed advocates of those economic policies to impose them without people’s feeling it as acutely as they would in regions requiring harder work and more sacrifice.
We should fear that our advantages won’t last if we keep driving out our productive class — those who want to cash in their drive and abilities for income, forcing established players to compete. The crisis point may take time, or it might come all at once, when some fly-over city comes up with the next big thing that makes our legacy institutions and industries unnecessary.
Perhaps they’ll maintain the generosity that Patinkin’s friend observed in their roadside diners even when the coasts become dependent on the fly-overs. Counting on that probably wouldn’t be a wise plan, however.
The Providence Journal is proclaiming the “hard hit” to Rhode Islanders of losing the state-and-local tax deductions on their federal taxes, but it will really only hurt a small percentage of higher-income tax filers.
Fresh off an open-government victory, left-leaning organizations overplay their hand to stymie the legal actions of duly elected officials in East Greenwich.
American students require incentive to perform on tests… and in life.
What if the “spike” in HealthSource reflects job loss and the tidal wave of Medicaid is permanent and swelling?
Although identity politics seek to obscure the fact, traditional marriage is a key social institution touching on many signs of family and societal decline.
To get to legalization of marijuana, we should take the path of stronger culture and lighter government, not the government pusher’s lure.
Town Council Vice President John Edwards the Fifth appears to have obviously violated the state Code of Ethics, even if the Town Solicitor gave him the go-ahead and a mere blogger filed the complaint.
The gender-war angle doesn’t provide very good perspective for economic issues; indeed, it might make sense for U.S. Soccer to increase gender pay disparities in the short term.
If we’re really under threat of cataclysmic climate change, why do the activists have to go back so far for examples and use on-paper predictions to suggest acceleration?
On Wednesday, the state Board of Elections will consider whether its voter registration process complies with federal law, and a review of regulatory history suggests that it very well may be, with a continual drift in away.
A change in voter registration language in 2008, which has been followed with unceasing growth in registrations (despite a stagnant-at-best population), should spark an investigation.
Pawtucket’s “surplus” doesn’t seem as strong as suggested to the Senate Finance Committee, and promised development around the proposed stadium isn’t as hopeful as previously suggested.
Another GOP ObamaCare reform proposal, and another wave of studies and news reports that tilt the numbers so Americans can’t see how desperately necessary reform is.
The drafting of the legislation eliminating Second Amendment rights for domestic violence convicts could go much farther than proponents have claimed.
Special tax breaks for senior citizens are the wrong way to go; figuring out what we’re doing wrong in the first place would be a better approach.
A small example of political “news” can illustrate the language by which journalists promote partisan and ideological positions.
The big blind spot of progressive organizers is that they want to make everything political in order to secure their own systems of privilege.
Broad and confusing language in Rhode Island’s new automatic voter registration law makes fraud and future corruption more likely.
Lessons to guide students away from the dangerous threads of human nature (as realized in Nazism) must account for the reality that the Devil can switch sides.
Providence Representative Aaron Regunberg tramples economics to demagogue against National Grid.
Abortion is the Left’s leading argument for giving people the power to take away others’ humanity.
Given social trends in the United States, it’s increasingly the case that we can’t assume women have sons, brothers, and husbands or men have daughters, sisters, and wives… an inauspicious development for the battle of the sexes.
Early anecdotes of the sorts of young Rhode Islanders who’ll respond to the “free tuition” program illustrate the problem with government’s meddling with prices.
Drawing students toward “free” community college and government “lottery” winnings may very well do more harm than good.
We simply spend too much. With no major reforms and by capitulating to the progressive agenda, the 2018 state budget will be even more destructive for the people of Rhode Island.