State House Report with John DePetro, No. 18: Cynicism and Popularity

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, last week, the topics were Raimondo’s polling numbers, the “secret summit,” Montanaro under investigation, and Flanders shows he’s serious.

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State House Report with John DePetro, No. 17: Intrigue and Thuggishness in the General Assembly & East Greenwich

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WADK 1540 AM show, last week, the topics were the budget intrigue at the State House, the labor unions’ textbook thuggishness in East Greenwich, and the popularity of senators.

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Last Impressions Podcast Episode 23: Pushing & Pointing with the Invisible Hand

A Trump-Russia and East Greenwich illusion; emergent order; and the gig economy

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Edwin Portugal: Flags Down at Brown

Students disrespecting the American flag in a Veterans Day display require signage to explain their significance.

Little Towns, Big (Government) Guns

The events in Ferguson, MO have drawn widespread public attention to the increasing militarization of local police departments. It’s a topic that has been discussed amongst civil–rights minded folks for the last decade or so and has both national and local impact.

12/03/13 – Sales Tax Commission

Justin liveblogs another commission hearing on eliminating the state sales tax, this time concerning the state’s economic modeling of the proposal and alternatives from the Center for Freedom & Prosperity.

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Boom! Wine & Spirits Sales Increased 21.4% After Sales Tax Cut

Imagine the parking lots of Rhode Island retailers filled with cars with Massachusetts license plates. New research from the Center, based on government data, shows that it is very possible. In the two years following the removal of sales tax on wine and spirits, the same level of economic stimulus, as projected by the Center by cutting the state’s overall sales tax, actually occurred! Now, there can be no doubt of our findings. The new research one-pager proves that Rhode Island would experience an ECONOMIC BOOM under a 3.0% sales tax.

Testimony: DEM Must Consider Economics Before Buying Farmland

In this video, I speak out against a new scheme by the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management to acquire farmland at a public comment forum held at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography on September 7, 2016.

With government increasingly influencing and controlling the means of production through myriad tax-credit, loan, and direct-subsidy schemes in a multitude of industries, the DEM farmland acquisition scheme, which will actually acquire and resell private property, is not based on any legitimate economic analysis — or any economic consideration at all.

Despite the fact that the state’s own Commerce Corporation demanded a RhodeMap RI–related mandate be inserted into the DEM plan, no economic justification was provided. The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity warned you about the dangers of RhodeMap RI; here is one place where the planners’ vision seems to be marching forward.

Katz’s Kitchen Sink: #WeKnowBetterRI

As part of its 100-year anniversary self-promotion, the Rhode Island Foundation has been spreading around a video by Nail Communications that is slap-in-the-face offensive.  It begins by putting swear words in the mouths of children reading statements from (quote) actual Rhode Islanders; it tells Rhode Islanders to (quote) stop complaining and if they don’t have anything nice to say, well, be quiet.

Let’s be blunt, here.  Given Rhode Island’s parade of corrupt officials and its stagnant economy, we would be shirking our responsibility as citizens if we didn’t complain.  Now, if Nail Communications were to make another video about the view of Rhode Island’s insiders, it might go something like this.

[Advisory: In keeping with the original Nail Communications/RI Foundation video, the following contains bleeped swears.]

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Amazon, Cicilline, and Anti-Trust

While Congressman David Cicilline is right to raise questions about Amazon’s monopoly power, the fact that he’s leading the charge is worrying.

June 2017 Employment: If Everything’s Improving, Why Is Income Down?

Rhode Island’s employment picture is looking better, but improvements are either possible statistical aberrations, the consequence of slow growth (rather than recent policies), or undone by other economic factors.

The Continual Creep of Progressive Policy

Unfortunately, it appears the only way to stop the union-progressive policy tide from further drowning families, businesses, and taxpayers is for Washington, D.C. style drama to create legislative paralysis in the Ocean State.

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