Content Types

Analysis

Online Sales Tax: Circling the Money-Prey

The governor proposes (arguably) double-taxing online sales while ignoring a law that requires a sales tax reduction when the state starts taxing them once.


Don’t Believe That We Aren’t Paying for Corporate Crony Subsidies

It isn’t true that Raimondo’s corporate crony tax credit programs mainly use new taxes from the companies that get them, even the Qualified Jobs handout.


Reckless Governance and Free Tuition

A statewide elite in government and the media that ignores people whom they don’t like allows reckless governance that will ultimately crash the ship of state.


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Research

Nightingale’s Song Exposes Environmentalist Fraud

A University of Rhode Island physics professor’s attempt to use environmentalism in Woonsocket to attack capitalism instead raises questions about his credibility and that of Marxist environmentalism worldwide.


November 2016 Employment: Rhode Islanders Giving Up Again?

A shrinking labor force in conjunction with general stagnation brings Rhode Island toward the new year in a continuing funk and hope only that the national economy will lift the floor for economic suffering.


Postscript on the Potentially Deadly Effects of Pot Legalization

Colorado’s contrast with Washington, which also legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, gives further indication that Rhode Island should not rush into drug legalization just yet.


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Opinion

The Fantasies Underlying Free Tuition

The assumptions behind free college tuition seem otherworldly.


A Path to Unity and Love Versus a Path to Division and Loneliness

Protesters’ language of tolerance belies their expressions of hatred, exemplified in the slogan that “Hope is a Weapon”; we can set our sights higher and be a better community than that.


On Magaziner’s Contention That Welfare Is an Entrepreneur Builder

It may be music to Big Government ears to declare welfare programs as economic development empowering entrepreneurs, but it’s just spin.


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Investigative Report

The Wexford-Brookings Franchise in Rhode Island

The seemingly separate commercial and non-profit activity of organizations involved with Rhode Island’s centralized economic development plan has markers of a pre-designed package that will make its salespeople rich… rather, make them richer.


Employment Shrinks as Commerce Corp. Proves RI Is No Virgin

Over three years, Virgin Pulse will introduce enough new jobs to undo this one month of employment increases, even as it continues ShapeUp’s practice of relying on government handouts.


Article 18: Another Insider “Deepwater” Scam in the Making? (Corrected)

Despite disturbing new revelations and renewed public criticism about insider legislative grants, cronyism appears to be alive and well at the Rhode Island State House. And once again, Ocean State families and businesses would be asked to foot the bill.

In the budget that got voted out of the Finance Committee early Wednesday morning, alert observers spotted and brought to the attention of the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity as well as the Ocean State Current on Friday an extensive revision to Article 18.

They are correct to loudly ring warning bells about it. If it stays in, state electric ratepayers are in for even higher electric rates than they currently pay.


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Liveblog

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Longer Twitter

Stop Putting Half Our Eggs in the Federal Basket

Hey, here’s a thought: Maybe the State of Rhode Island should stop acting like a subsidiary of the federal government and start acting like a sovereign state that thrives when its people thrive.  If this isn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what could be:

While other states – including Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Montana and Kentucky – are more federal aid-heavy than Rhode Island, a newly-released analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, of 2014 census data, found Rhode Island 16th highest in the nation in terms of how much of its budget is financed by federal dollars. In that year, 34.7 percent.

Anyone worried? The answer: You betcha. But some more openly worried than others.

In large part, this is the government plantation, but it’s also indicative of the government’s crowding out the private sector as an economic competitor, too.

Any wise investor upon having a scare with a particular stock would figure out the importance of diversifying.  It’s time for Rhode Islanders to stop relying more on government as an economic driver and start relying on each other.

And don’t let fear of President Trump specifically be the end of your consideration of the matter.  Think about how vulnerable to real tyranny it makes us that our supposed leaders apparently have to make decisions about governance in order to keep the money flowing.  Everything else, from culture to global warfare, could easily take a back seat to that bottom line.

As individuals, families, and a state, being dependent makes us weak and vulnerable.


Memo to the Normals: Reinforce Your Resolve, and We’ll Get There

It’s predictable that the Left is striving to make politics so painful that the normals look for any off-ramp, even a disaster like Obama, but we should try fortitude this time around.


Surprise: Teachers’ Unions Are Just Political Activist Groups

I’ve written several times in the past that employee representation services are simply the fund raising mechanism for teachers’ unions’ real reason for being: progressive political activism.  Here’s Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner:

Promoting a “National Day of Action” on Thursday, the NEA said, “On Thursday, January 19, the day before Donald Trump assumes the presidency, thousands of students, parents, educators and community members from across the nation will hold rallies in front of school buildings to inclusively stand up for all students.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t need to represent their members enough to ensure that they stay members (with wide rivers of funding) at the expense of those whom progressives claim to support.  David Harsanyi in The Federalist:

… teachers unions are the only organizations in America that openly support segregated schools. In districts across the country — even ones in cities with some form of limited movement for kids — poor parents, most typically black or Hispanic, are forced to enroll their kids in underperforming schools when there are good ones nearby, sometimes just blocks away.

The National Education Association spent $23 million last cycle alone working to elect politicians to keep low-income Americans right where they are. Public service unions use tax dollars to fund politicians who then turn around and vote for more funding. The worse the schools perform, the more money they demand. In the real world we call this racketeering.

It’s a travesty that teachers give these organizations a prominent, lucrative place in our government.


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Interviews & Profiles

Arthur Christopher Schaper: Cicilline’s “Grand Theft Auto” Sanctuary City

Arthur Christopher Schaper asks illegal immigration expert Jessica Vaughn about the consequences of sanctuary city policies under former Providence Mayor David Cicilline.


10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 46 (Congressional Debates)

Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss the candidates for U.S. Congress from Rhode Island (mostly by way of the issues).


10 News Conference Wingmen, Episode 45 (Secretary of State Debate)

Rob Paquin and Bob Plain discuss a debate between candidates for RI Secretary of State and related topics.


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