Topics

City/Town Government

The Media’s Truth-Speaking for Friends

As newspapers across the country coordinate “we’re not your enemy” editorials, readers shouldn’t forget that they tend to have a selective understanding of “friendship.”


Abraham Glazer: Various Ideas to Improve Rhode Island Government and Life

Abraham Glazer shares some collected notes on policies that might do Rhode Island some good.


Avoiding Direct Accountability for the Stadium

As public opinion rejects one attempt to back a new baseball stadium after another, insiders are becoming more creative (and dangerous) in their tricks to hide the risk and the subsidy.


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Civil Rights

Antifa Protest Attendee Arrested for Striking Veteran with Bike Lock (Updated)

Samson Racioppi, an Army veteran and libertarian, was allegedly struck on the back of his neck by a member of Antifa with a bike lock following a protest in front of the Rhode Island State House on Saturday. Alexander Carrion was arrested by Providence Police for the violent attack.


Insurance and Society When We’re Deliberately Less Accurate

A Canadian man’s belief that he is female (defined as “somebody who pays less for car insurance”) raises the question of what cost there might be to banning accurate descriptions of each other.


Abraham Glazer: My First Visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum teaches lessons about evil and humanity, especially in contrast with the memorials to humanity’s highest ideals elsewhere in Washington, D.C.


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Congress

Political Monday with John DePetro: Intentions and Perceptions

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the performances of Cicilline in a Congressional hearing, Raimondo and Brown campaigning, and Captain Trillo.

Open post for full audio.


Cicilline, Strzok, and Where We Are as a Country

Congressman David Cicilline manages to capture exactly the divide in our cold Civil War.


A Gift to Rhode Island Families: The Federal ‘Tax Cuts & Jobs Act’

On behalf of the Center, I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Recently, Rhode Island families have received a gift… the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act” has passed federally.


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Culture & Family

A Cold Breeze from Twitter Suggests the Winds Have Changed

Twitter targeting conservatives is only a small problem compared with the mainstream Left’s decision that they’ve had enough of the rest of us.


Reporting by OSC: Veteran Struck With Bike Lock By Antifa Rally Attendee

I want to share with you an outstanding piece of reporting done by our Ocean State Current on a violent politically-motivated assault of a veteran by an alleged member of Antifa last Saturday. The Current broke this important story, and brought Rhode Islanders the real message of what was happening.


Political Monday with John DePetro: Polls and PawSox

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the governor’s race, political poll results, and Rhode Islanders’ (lack of concern) for the PawSox Worcester overtures.

Open post for full audio.


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Economy

The Growing Upper Middle Class and Healthy Redistribution

The middle-middle class is shrinking only because the upper-middle class is growing, which shows improvement, and suggests that we shouldn’t mess things up with progressive policies.


Truck Tolls: *Sigh* No, Peter and Gene, We Cannot Conclude that Truck Drivers Support Them

Every Thursday morning, as you probably know, WPRO’s Gene Valicenti hosts RIDOT Director Peter Alviti on the WPRO Morning News for a half hour plus segment. (Yeah, I know, I find it annoying, too.) Alviti takes questions from callers and spends a significant amount of air time promoting Governor Gina Raimondo’s wasteful, unnecessary, highly damaging RhodeWorks toll scheme.

On July 19, Alviti ratcheted it up a notch by involving his host.


Conservative Policies Produce Rapid Economic Growth

For eight years, progressive-left politicians have told us that the ‘new normal’ for economic growth would be limited to the 2% range. And for years, our Center and other free-market advocates argued that major tax and regulatory reductions would reverse this course and lead to rapid economic growth, meaning more money and prosperity for families. After this week’s 4.1% GDP growth report, there can no longer be any doubt that we were right.


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Education

A Starting Point to re-Westernize the West

Questions about fundamental meaning can’t be supplemental to comprehensive education, and they can’t be supplemental to comprehensive adult lives.


The Happy Face of Janus

Open post for transcript.


Ideology Overwhelming Education

Dismissing school choice suggestions as founded in “fuzzy math” raises the concern that the imperative to dismiss reform policies might affect what math and concepts students are taught.


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Energy & Environment

Keep the Solar Rabbit Hole Local

Residents who think giving the state more influence over local zoning when it comes to solar farms may discover that the bigger muscles of the bigger government pull in a direction they don’t like.


Tinnitus Among RI’s Would-Be Overlords

Calling Aaron Regunberg an “overlord” (at least in intention) is not a dog whistle; it’s more like a game of name that tune.


Progressive Vision: A Plan To Take Even More Control Of Your Life

This is a true battle of visions. Their progressive vision would transform our home state into a liberal hell. Rhode Island could become a place where businesses face even higher legal risks and our citizens would be even less free to live their own lives.


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Gambling

Last Impressions Podcast Episode 16: The Light of the World

Awards, earned and maybe not yet earned; Fight Club; Twin River; and it’s my birthday.

Open post for full audio


Tiverton Casino: Live by the Government, Die by the Government

Thanks to efforts to restrict the development of a piece of land in Tiverton, a government casino and hotel became its best use.


A Society in Which the Casino and the Government Must Always Win

A gambler under scrutiny for having found ways to tilt the odds in his favor is a good metaphor for taxpayers who are never permitted to win in the rigged game that politicians, labor unions, and other special interests have built.


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General Assembly

Truck Tolls: *Sigh* No, Peter and Gene, We Cannot Conclude that Truck Drivers Support Them

Every Thursday morning, as you probably know, WPRO’s Gene Valicenti hosts RIDOT Director Peter Alviti on the WPRO Morning News for a half hour plus segment. (Yeah, I know, I find it annoying, too.) Alviti takes questions from callers and spends a significant amount of air time promoting Governor Gina Raimondo’s wasteful, unnecessary, highly damaging RhodeWorks toll scheme.

On July 19, Alviti ratcheted it up a notch by involving his host.


Conservative Policies Produce Rapid Economic Growth

For eight years, progressive-left politicians have told us that the ‘new normal’ for economic growth would be limited to the 2% range. And for years, our Center and other free-market advocates argued that major tax and regulatory reductions would reverse this course and lead to rapid economic growth, meaning more money and prosperity for families. After this week’s 4.1% GDP growth report, there can no longer be any doubt that we were right.


Next/Last Round of Toll Gantries: Raimondo Administration Solicits Public Comment on an UNFINISHED Environmental Assessment

A couple of weeks ago, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Department of Transportation announced the locations of the balance of ten toll gantries and released an Environmental Assessment [PDF] of them. They also announced that hearings to take questions and comments on the E.A. would occur in three locations on July 27 – tonight, as a matter of fact.

Yes, that’s right, RIDOT is holding public hearings on a very significant project on a summer Friday evening. Quite similar in spirit, as a matter of fact, to the scheduling and location of the hearing for the first Environmental Assessment – in that case, two days before Thanksgiving hard by a cow pasture in South County so remote, the cows themselves need GPS to get there.


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Government

Keep the Solar Rabbit Hole Local

Residents who think giving the state more influence over local zoning when it comes to solar farms may discover that the bigger muscles of the bigger government pull in a direction they don’t like.


Abraham Glazer: Various Ideas to Improve Rhode Island Government and Life

Abraham Glazer shares some collected notes on policies that might do Rhode Island some good.


When Days Count, Attorney General APRA Response Takes Weeks

The attorney general’s office has conspicuously delayed a records request until after it can affect legislation that might cost the attorney general’s office money.


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Governor

Political Monday with John DePetro: Polls and PawSox

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the governor’s race, political poll results, and Rhode Islanders’ (lack of concern) for the PawSox Worcester overtures.

Open post for full audio.


Truck Tolls: *Sigh* No, Peter and Gene, We Cannot Conclude that Truck Drivers Support Them

Every Thursday morning, as you probably know, WPRO’s Gene Valicenti hosts RIDOT Director Peter Alviti on the WPRO Morning News for a half hour plus segment. (Yeah, I know, I find it annoying, too.) Alviti takes questions from callers and spends a significant amount of air time promoting Governor Gina Raimondo’s wasteful, unnecessary, highly damaging RhodeWorks toll scheme.

On July 19, Alviti ratcheted it up a notch by involving his host.


Conservative Policies Produce Rapid Economic Growth

For eight years, progressive-left politicians have told us that the ‘new normal’ for economic growth would be limited to the 2% range. And for years, our Center and other free-market advocates argued that major tax and regulatory reductions would reverse this course and lead to rapid economic growth, meaning more money and prosperity for families. After this week’s 4.1% GDP growth report, there can no longer be any doubt that we were right.


Back to top



Healthcare

Insurance and Society When We’re Deliberately Less Accurate

A Canadian man’s belief that he is female (defined as “somebody who pays less for car insurance”) raises the question of what cost there might be to banning accurate descriptions of each other.


Getting to the Key Question on Drug Prices

When a drug price rockets like Venezuelan inflation, civic society is apparently not well tuned to figure out the problem.


UPDATED: Latest Stunning Display of Incompetence by Raimondo Involving our Most Vulnerable May Cost Taxpayers Tens of Millions

Both the Providence Journal‘s Kathy Gregg and WPRI’s Ted Nesi are reporting today that the State of Rhode Island, more specifically, the Executive branch’s Office of Health and Human Services (the Rhode Island Executive Branch being currently occupied, we should note, by Gina Raimondo), missed a critical court deadline to appeal a court ruling and thereby may have put state taxpayers on the hook for “$8 million annually for each year starting in 2016-17″. From Ted Nesi’s story about this disturbing and jaw-dropping situation:


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History

Abraham Glazer: My First Visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum teaches lessons about evil and humanity, especially in contrast with the memorials to humanity’s highest ideals elsewhere in Washington, D.C.


A Trajectory of Happiness Across the Generations

Tracing our genealogy back in time should remind us that a trajectory of wealth isn’t the only measure of our families.


GenX’s Asset Number One

As Baby Boomers set their eyes on Millennials and their efficiency toys, we’ll miss something important if we let GenX indulge in its loner inclinations.


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Immigration

Political Monday with John DePetro: Hidden Rhode Islanders, Hidden Candidates

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, the topic was a Census immigration question and a quiet gubernatorial debate.

Open post for full audio.


Binding Up the Immigration Issue with Heartstrings

Jorge Garcia’s story brings out the battle between illegal aliens and fluffy animals.


Population Change: The Government Plantation in Action

Every year, Rhode Island replaces its residents (who leave) with foreign nationals (who immigrate), revealing the short-sighted decision of the state’s political elite.


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Infrastructure

Truck Tolls: *Sigh* No, Peter and Gene, We Cannot Conclude that Truck Drivers Support Them

Every Thursday morning, as you probably know, WPRO’s Gene Valicenti hosts RIDOT Director Peter Alviti on the WPRO Morning News for a half hour plus segment. (Yeah, I know, I find it annoying, too.) Alviti takes questions from callers and spends a significant amount of air time promoting Governor Gina Raimondo’s wasteful, unnecessary, highly damaging RhodeWorks toll scheme.

On July 19, Alviti ratcheted it up a notch by involving his host.


Next/Last Round of Toll Gantries: Raimondo Administration Solicits Public Comment on an UNFINISHED Environmental Assessment

A couple of weeks ago, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Department of Transportation announced the locations of the balance of ten toll gantries and released an Environmental Assessment [PDF] of them. They also announced that hearings to take questions and comments on the E.A. would occur in three locations on July 27 – tonight, as a matter of fact.

Yes, that’s right, RIDOT is holding public hearings on a very significant project on a summer Friday evening. Quite similar in spirit, as a matter of fact, to the scheduling and location of the hearing for the first Environmental Assessment – in that case, two days before Thanksgiving hard by a cow pasture in South County so remote, the cows themselves need GPS to get there.


Government as One Giant In-Kind Contribution to the Governor

Rhode Island Trucking Association’s complaint about a bureaucrat’s regular use of air time to promote a gubernatorial candidate points to our problematic campaign finance system.


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Legislation

Next/Last Round of Toll Gantries: Raimondo Administration Solicits Public Comment on an UNFINISHED Environmental Assessment

A couple of weeks ago, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Department of Transportation announced the locations of the balance of ten toll gantries and released an Environmental Assessment [PDF] of them. They also announced that hearings to take questions and comments on the E.A. would occur in three locations on July 27 – tonight, as a matter of fact.

Yes, that’s right, RIDOT is holding public hearings on a very significant project on a summer Friday evening. Quite similar in spirit, as a matter of fact, to the scheduling and location of the hearing for the first Environmental Assessment – in that case, two days before Thanksgiving hard by a cow pasture in South County so remote, the cows themselves need GPS to get there.


Wasted Opportunity – 2019 Budget Graded “D-” by the Center

When will Rhode Island’s political leaders remember of the real needs of families? Despite a large and unexpected revenue windfall and clear policy lesson, resulting from the recent federal tax and regulatory cuts, Rhode Island’s General Assembly has wasted an opportunity for reform and, instead, are seeking to maintain the status quo in the FY2019 Budget.


Minimum Wages and Welfare Programs Don’t Help Poverty

Negative effects from minimum wage increases, no long-term benefits from welfare programs, and questions about the earned income tax credit show that there is no subsidy for freedom and prosperity.


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Media

A Cold Breeze from Twitter Suggests the Winds Have Changed

Twitter targeting conservatives is only a small problem compared with the mainstream Left’s decision that they’ve had enough of the rest of us.


The Media’s Truth-Speaking for Friends

As newspapers across the country coordinate “we’re not your enemy” editorials, readers shouldn’t forget that they tend to have a selective understanding of “friendship.”


Relentless Benefit of the Doubt for the Cicillines

Did Susan Cicilline-Buonanno receive unusually helpful treatment from the Warwick police and the Rhode Island media?


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Musings & Announcements

Reporting by OSC: Veteran Struck With Bike Lock By Antifa Rally Attendee

I want to share with you an outstanding piece of reporting done by our Ocean State Current on a violent politically-motivated assault of a veteran by an alleged member of Antifa last Saturday. The Current broke this important story, and brought Rhode Islanders the real message of what was happening.


The Slowly Changing Tastes of a Music Enthusiast

Letting a Rolling Stone top 500 list set the background music for a while brings both nostalgia and perspective.


The Clanging Buoy of a Middle School Graduation

An effort to turn the writer’s focus from the markers of children’s progress out of the house and to the truly valuable time between those markers.


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National Security

Media Language and a Virtue-Signaling Lie

A small example of political “news” can illustrate the language by which journalists promote partisan and ideological positions.


An “Adaptive” System of Leaks Depends on Trust and Consequences

Journalists who support leaks have a point about their value as a safety valve for government abuse, but that safety valve requires that the consequences for breaking the law be real.


Never-Trump Right Gets Us to the Hub of the Matter

When it comes to Don Junior’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, it seems a lot of the key questions, the “and so”s, are being left out of the arguments.


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On a Lighter Note

Harry Potter and Muggle Fly-Over Country’s Conservative Stories

The Harry Potter novels are in some regards liberal wish fulfillment, not only that magic exists, and not only that the elect can be whisked away to an exclusive world, but also that we can ignore the obvious and profess progressive beliefs.


Last Impressions Podcast Episode 19: The Tides of Liberty and Attraction

What is government for? What turns me off about libertarianism, and what turns some men on about lesbianism? And a poetic response.

Open post for full audio.


Deception and War in Walking Dead

Avoiding war (or entering it justly) requires actively working to bring about and maintain peace, and a willingness to acknowledge when a state of war already exists.


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Pensions

The Circling Pension Comet

The government pension problem hasn’t gone away; it’s just gone quiet for a while, during which time, politicians are working to ensure that nobody ever notices it again.


The Next Pension Crisis Approaches

Beware the gathering clouds of state pension fund “endangered status.”


Last Impressions 39: Children of the Law

The sexist children of the General Assembly, blue states as a fleet of Titanics, Rand got God wrong, and a progressive contradiction.

Open post for full audio.


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Political Theory

The Media’s Truth-Speaking for Friends

As newspapers across the country coordinate “we’re not your enemy” editorials, readers shouldn’t forget that they tend to have a selective understanding of “friendship.”


Keep the Solar Rabbit Hole Local

Residents who think giving the state more influence over local zoning when it comes to solar farms may discover that the bigger muscles of the bigger government pull in a direction they don’t like.


Needed: A Return to a Culture of Free-Form Blogging Rather than the Social Media Guild

The prickly question of whether social media platforms should be treated as common carriers can be avoided if we break their leash and return to the ethos of blogging.


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Politics

Political Monday with John DePetro: Grants and Debates

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the complaints about (a lack of) debates, a vote-buying grant scheme, and some PawSox chat.

Open post for full audio.


Relentless Benefit of the Doubt for the Cicillines

Did Susan Cicilline-Buonanno receive unusually helpful treatment from the Warwick police and the Rhode Island media?


Reporting by OSC: Veteran Struck With Bike Lock By Antifa Rally Attendee

I want to share with you an outstanding piece of reporting done by our Ocean State Current on a violent politically-motivated assault of a veteran by an alleged member of Antifa last Saturday. The Current broke this important story, and brought Rhode Islanders the real message of what was happening.


Back to top



Regulation

Conservative Policies Produce Rapid Economic Growth

For eight years, progressive-left politicians have told us that the ‘new normal’ for economic growth would be limited to the 2% range. And for years, our Center and other free-market advocates argued that major tax and regulatory reductions would reverse this course and lead to rapid economic growth, meaning more money and prosperity for families. After this week’s 4.1% GDP growth report, there can no longer be any doubt that we were right.


Next/Last Round of Toll Gantries: Raimondo Administration Solicits Public Comment on an UNFINISHED Environmental Assessment

A couple of weeks ago, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Department of Transportation announced the locations of the balance of ten toll gantries and released an Environmental Assessment [PDF] of them. They also announced that hearings to take questions and comments on the E.A. would occur in three locations on July 27 – tonight, as a matter of fact.

Yes, that’s right, RIDOT is holding public hearings on a very significant project on a summer Friday evening. Quite similar in spirit, as a matter of fact, to the scheduling and location of the hearing for the first Environmental Assessment – in that case, two days before Thanksgiving hard by a cow pasture in South County so remote, the cows themselves need GPS to get there.


Various Currents in RI Commercial Real Estate

Rhode Island’s commercial real estate market has stopped being a tenant’s market, which provides a lesson in the problem with our economic development strategy.


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Science

Who Will Manipulate in Favor of Free Will?

If the demon behind social media is “persuasive technology,” how do we petition for the aid of the corresponding angels?


Tasking the State to Figure Out Every Legitimate Difference Between People

Rhode Island should pause and think about what it really means to give the state government bureaucracy a mandate to analyze the pay differences of every employer within our borders.


This Is the Trip, the Best Part

Hallucinogenic drugs appear to help people to reevaluate what’s possible in their lives, which may tie more with the nature of reality than the 1960s ethos would suggest.


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Sports

Political Monday with John DePetro: Grants and Debates

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the complaints about (a lack of) debates, a vote-buying grant scheme, and some PawSox chat.

Open post for full audio.


Political Monday with John DePetro: Polls and PawSox

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the governor’s race, political poll results, and Rhode Islanders’ (lack of concern) for the PawSox Worcester overtures.

Open post for full audio.


Political Monday with John DePetro: Tolls, Ballparks, and a Race for Governor

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the start of truck tolls, the prospects of a ballpark deal, and the state of play in the governor’s race.

Open post for full audio.


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Taxation

Truck Tolls: *Sigh* No, Peter and Gene, We Cannot Conclude that Truck Drivers Support Them

Every Thursday morning, as you probably know, WPRO’s Gene Valicenti hosts RIDOT Director Peter Alviti on the WPRO Morning News for a half hour plus segment. (Yeah, I know, I find it annoying, too.) Alviti takes questions from callers and spends a significant amount of air time promoting Governor Gina Raimondo’s wasteful, unnecessary, highly damaging RhodeWorks toll scheme.

On July 19, Alviti ratcheted it up a notch by involving his host.


Conservative Policies Produce Rapid Economic Growth

For eight years, progressive-left politicians have told us that the ‘new normal’ for economic growth would be limited to the 2% range. And for years, our Center and other free-market advocates argued that major tax and regulatory reductions would reverse this course and lead to rapid economic growth, meaning more money and prosperity for families. After this week’s 4.1% GDP growth report, there can no longer be any doubt that we were right.


Tolls Force ATA Lawsuit That Could Cost Rhode Island Taxpayers Millions In Legal Fees

After years of citizen outrage against truck-tolls in the Ocean State, the American Trucking Associations and three motor carriers representing the industry are bringing a federal lawsuit against the State of Rhode Island on constitutional grounds likely to cost taxpayers millions.


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Unions

The Circling Pension Comet

The government pension problem hasn’t gone away; it’s just gone quiet for a while, during which time, politicians are working to ensure that nobody ever notices it again.


Truck Tolls: *Sigh* No, Peter and Gene, We Cannot Conclude that Truck Drivers Support Them

Every Thursday morning, as you probably know, WPRO’s Gene Valicenti hosts RIDOT Director Peter Alviti on the WPRO Morning News for a half hour plus segment. (Yeah, I know, I find it annoying, too.) Alviti takes questions from callers and spends a significant amount of air time promoting Governor Gina Raimondo’s wasteful, unnecessary, highly damaging RhodeWorks toll scheme.

On July 19, Alviti ratcheted it up a notch by involving his host.


Next/Last Round of Toll Gantries: Raimondo Administration Solicits Public Comment on an UNFINISHED Environmental Assessment

A couple of weeks ago, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Department of Transportation announced the locations of the balance of ten toll gantries and released an Environmental Assessment [PDF] of them. They also announced that hearings to take questions and comments on the E.A. would occur in three locations on July 27 – tonight, as a matter of fact.

Yes, that’s right, RIDOT is holding public hearings on a very significant project on a summer Friday evening. Quite similar in spirit, as a matter of fact, to the scheduling and location of the hearing for the first Environmental Assessment – in that case, two days before Thanksgiving hard by a cow pasture in South County so remote, the cows themselves need GPS to get there.


Back to top



Welfare

Perspective on the Estate Tax as a Social Policy

Progressives and conservatives frame things like tax policy differently, and not only does it prevent fruitful discourse, but progressives’ errors undermine an economic system that makes shared prosperity more likely.


Minimum Wages and Welfare Programs Don’t Help Poverty

Negative effects from minimum wage increases, no long-term benefits from welfare programs, and questions about the earned income tax credit show that there is no subsidy for freedom and prosperity.


Political Monday with John DePetro: A Governor’s Priorities

For my weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, this week, about the consequences and implications of legal bumbling in Governor Raimondo’s administration.

Open post for full audio.


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