In an op-ed in today’s Projo, William Felkner introduces the Ocean State Policy Research Institute (OSPRI) and explains why such an organization is desperately needed here in Rhode Island…
Ironically, Rhode Island is stuck in a “conservative” cycle protecting the “liberal” status quo of excessive workplace rules, generous social programs, retentive regulation, entrenched unionism in state government and Horace Mann’s approach to education. Harking to the days of the Dorr War (1842) and the Bloodless Revolution (1935), our oligarchy is unwilling to risk the progress it has made by reassessing these circumstances lest the robber barons should rise from their graves.
A voice for a more independent perspective has been missing on the Rhode Island scene until this Independence Day heralded the founding of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute. This nonprofit foundation intends to promote free-market ideals not as partisan choices, but as foundational American aspirations no less worthy of consideration than socially collective compassion epitomized by the Great Society.
Rhode Island is replete with a collection of “special-interest groups” promoting government intervention as the solution. Such groups as the Poverty Institute, at Rhode Island College, Ocean State Action and other nonprofits and public institutions lobby for more government programs and spending. Paradoxically, your taxes fund part of this activity, effectively government lobbying itself in a spiral to budget insanity…Evidence from the solid accomplishments of free-market institutes in 46 other states suggests that Rhode Island should re-examine the prevailing ‘’wisdom” that expanding government is the way to solve problems.