The Bureaucratic Office Has the Last Light to Go Out

Justin cites James Lileks’ illustration of the absurdity of bureaucratic spending in a down economy.

Hal Meyer: Revisiting My Former Home from the Outside

Hal Meyer reflects on his move from Rhode Island to Idaho.

Memo to EDC and 38 Studios: Economic Development Is More than Just Money

As Mark Patinkin notes, in a Sunday Projo column, the EDC and 38 Studios need to realize that it isn’t enough for Rhode Island just to be a place with some buildings in which stuff happens that makes money.

Societal Structure (Including Boys and Men) and Societal Health

Educational imbalances and legal bias against boys and men and the corrosion of cultural mores illustrate why small-government, fiscal conservatism requires a dose of social conservatism, as well.

Ethics in an Everybody-Knows-Everbody State

As a Ted Nesi article illustrates, the matter of legislator ethics is not a simple one. Perhaps disclosure, not investigation, is the answer.

Incentive for Psychoses in a Therapeutic Culture

A Swedish man disabled by his love of heavy metal illustrates how, as community standards are pushed closer and closer to the closed-door home, the police of the public sphere are apt not only to defend, but to subsidize material they like.

Each Family a Royal Family, but Only If Rights Persist

Family and voluntary associations (including those defined geographically, like villages) are a necessary source of authority to oppose ever-expanding government.

Jennifer Hushion: Why RI Is Driving Us Out

Jennifer Hushion explains why her family is considering moving out of Cranston and Rhode Island

The End of an Era (But Not Fast Enough)

As impossible as it may be to deny the necessary changes in public policy related to the economy and government spending, the will to reform is not strong enough for due speed.

Chafee Wants to Be Fair to the Boss

“Fairness” is an ideal term of a sort beloved by politicians: descriptors that sound inherently positive and desirable, but that are completely subjective and can be flipped around every which way to serve any political need, as Gov. Chafee illustrates by seeking parity in raises for highly paid directors.

Catching on to the Danger of Municipal Dictators

Central Falls Receiver Robert Flanders’ performance, both on stage and in his job, should spark reevaluation of theories of governance and political expedience.

Tying Some Threads from Diversity to Education to Social Disparity

The education gap and Rhode Island’s economic difficulties converge in such a way as to suggest school choice and a diversification of opportunities for schooling.

Another Start

Justin’s thoughts upon launching the Current.

Food for All Market Shows Business and Community in the Absence of Regulation

A Philadelphia company illustrates how voluntary action can make very fine and localized adjustments of behavior to repair a short-term error that threatened a long-term community interest, while government regulation would bring about unintended consequences with a much more difficult “undo” button.

How Does RI Taxpayer Money Disappear?

Other New England states fare almost as poorly as Rhode Island when it comes to taxation, but residents seem more often to get some value for their money.

The Silence After the Big Arctic Melt

If there really is such a thing as a “tipping point” in global warming, shouldn’t we begin to figure out the “what then” now?

Melville & the Current – Finding Meaning in Life

On what grounds do we choose which of the three options for life’s big question (fight, surrender, or adjust) to pursue, and (relatedly) what are we intending to find or accomplish by heading upstream, downstream, or cross-stream?

Debt and Aid… Fixes for Budget Junkies

Those of us who have experience manipulating our finances (as well as the people around us) see the state’s methods of handling municipal budgetary problems as a definition of the process. This is how you get out of financial trouble in the future; the habitual path has simply incorporated a pit stop, and “anytime soon” may be sooner than we think.

Washington, Wall Street, and Populism

After reading Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison, by Peter Schweizer — a book that he calls “the most offensive and disturbing thing I’ve read since sampling the oeuvre of the Marquis de Sade” — Kevin Williamson illustrates how dangerous the concept of Big can become.

Assistance by Another Path

While public assistance costs certainly bear watching, the larger reason for concern may not be that payments to individuals are growing and going to more people, or even that they’re covering more exigencies, but that the deepening involvement of government in private industry is making it more and more difficult to tell who is forcing whom to give what to whom else.

A Tale of Two Classes: Wealth Isn’t Irrevocable

Relying too greatly on debt and the great money shuffle to resolve poor financial and civic management in the past has a frightening upper limit.

Inequality and Economic Dust

Ash Wednesday seems an appropriate day to consider ruminations on economic inequality, from James Nuechterlein’s “Public Square” column in last April’s First Things (subscription required): … the connection between inequality and hard times is so prevalent in folk wisdom that expressions of alarm over the nation’s distribution of income followed in the wake of the […]

Marriage Is to Change and Unify, Not to Acknowledge Perfect Compatibility

As a social institution, marriage is a force to overcome differences, not an acknowledgement of preexisting and perfect compatibility.

The U.S. Needs Innovation, but Government Molds the Economy That Works for It

NY Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin believes the U.S.’s economic conundrum is competing with high-growth regions; Providence Journal columnist Edward Fitzpatrick doubts that new casinos will do the trick. Justin Katz considers the central problem to be a government seeking to shape the economy in ways that increase its own power and revenue.

Western Society’s Two Liberalisms, One Sustainable, One Not

The contradiction of liberal populism and liberal technocracy resolves if one blends questions of power in with ideology. If our current state of coinciding prosperity and freedom is an accomplishment, then the objective of political action is to manage power so as not to undermine the achievement; if it is a discovery, implying an inability to undiscover it, then the objective becomes to marshal power for more expeditious achievement of progress.

Taxes Up, Inequality Up, Too

If the system that brought us to our current state of inequality is the “fool me once,” increasing taxes across the board would be “fool me squared.”

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