Governor’s Back Door TCI Tax Would Cost You At The Pump

The prices for gasoline could soon rise dramatically for your family if the Raimondo administration undercuts the authority of the General Assembly, and moves forward with its plan to sign-on to a new stealth carbon-tax scheme – the TCI Tax… a move that would necessarily increase costs on families and business at the pump, and that also could lead to Constitutional legal challenges.

This tax – a green-new-deal type government mandate – is also a regressive fuel tax that will disproportionately harm low-income families, who will struggle much more than the wealthy to pay the higher gasoline prices.

RI’s Civic Society Needs a Breathing Tube

The story of misplaced breathing tubes by Rhode Island EMTs brings us directly to the deepest problem in the Ocean State.

Adversity and SATs Makes for an Interesting Scatterplot

Whether “adversity scores” are appropriate or useful changes whether the intention is to redistribute wealth or judge schools to which we might send our own children.

Milgram Revisited: Great News for Humanity

Review of a classic experiment finds that, no, most people won’t hurt others just because they’re told to (but telling people that they would has probably made it more likely).

A Suit on Behalf of Fundamental Rights

Putting campaign finance laws in terms of rights and responsibilities brings out the principles on which they should (and shouldn’t) be founded.

Cynicism Brings Us to Vel Exitium Imperio

Rationalizations aside, softening the standards for impeachment to their current level is hugely divisive and dangerous to our nation.

Theodore Vecchio: An Insider Loophole in the Code of Ethics

Once again, the RI Ethics Commission proves there’s a big loophole in the Code of Ethics for elected officials who earn their livings working for government agencies.

Rhode Island’s Very Own Green New Deal

How much more money can Rhode Island’s political class take from your pocket using green energy as an excuse?

The Ocean State has already signed on to the Transport and Climate Initiative, a cabal of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states designed to foster a radical change (for the worse) to our economic well-being through costly green energy policies.

Indeed, this very well could be Rhode Island own version of the “Green New Deal,” driving costs higher and higher.

Rhode Island Became A Less Hospitable Place To Raise A Family In 2019

Recently, our Center released our 2019 Freedom Index and Legislator Scorecard for the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Sadly, with only 12 of 113 lawmakers scoring above zero, the members of the political class failed to fulfill their promises to help everyday citizens. Worse, the 2019 legislative session was an unadulterated assault on individual and economic rights, the totality of which I have not seen before.

Progressives’ Pick-and-Choose Big Government

Progressives like Steve Ahlquist want a dictatorship of The People, but the only people who count are those in progressives’ constituency groups.

The Longing for Good News in Education, East Providence

The RI education establishment trumpets the “transformation” of East Providence because its focus is on schools as a jobs program rather than a service to children.

The Importance of Substance in the Left-Right Myth Battle

Conservative intellectuals must acknowledge and make the case that the myth-driven Right is objectively preferable to the myth-driven Left.

State Economies Where It’s Possible to Grow Up

States looking to attract Millennials have to decide between offering them an ideological playground that they’ll find alluring or an active economy that will help them become adults.

The Pryor Tell of the Projo Economic Index

The Providence Journal’s economic index, and use of Stefan Pryor for commentary, unreasonably relieves Rhode Islanders’ sense of their economy.

Moira Walsh’s Bitter-Young-Employee Socialism

Rep. Moira Walsh’s desire to shut down any business with margins too thin to increase pay shows progressives’ demand for everybody to adhere to the world as they see it at the moment.

Companies Can’t Deny the Math of Employment

Target’s experience with a too-high minimum wage illustrates in clear lines why government policy can’t simply assert economic fantasies as reality.

The Pressure on Teacher Salaries

One reason for stagnant or declining teacher pay is the legacy costs of defined-benefit pensions, which weigh down government budgets.

Correcting Higher Education as a Funding Mechanism for Nonsense

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.

An E-Cig Ban Throws Caution (and Liberty) to the Wind

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.

Ocean State Exodus: We Are Losing Productive People

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.

Hints About an iLottery Should Be a Red Flag

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?

Global Climate Strike: An Inconvenient Data Point; Your Global Warming Confessions

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.

Collective Bargaining Taxpayer Ripoff #2 : Providence Teacher Leaves of Absence

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.

A Thoroughly Predictable Chain of Events at the Wyatt Detention Center

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.

A Problem of Basic Operations in Local Government

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.

Gender Chicken and Occupation Egg on Opiate Overdoses

Trying to reduce opioid deaths in construction fields by taking the masculinity out of them could make matters worse, not better.

Political Rorschach in the Wyatt Protest

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 Corporatist Partnership to Solidify a Top-Down Society in RI

A new form of government appears to be taking shape in Rhode Island before our very eyes.

Field Trips in a Government Monopoly

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.

The Problem of Compartmental and Universal Thinking in Ed Reform

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.

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