An Absence of Story

This is odd. My morning blogging session was disrupted by the discovery that the story at the very top of the Providence Journal’s front page, today, “Study finds gaps growing in R.I. between haves and have-nots,” doesn’t appear to be available online.
Well, I’ve got to go to work, but if experience is any guide, I’ll soon be able to explain why reporter Edward Fitzpatrick’s advocacy press release (disguised as reportage) actually supports the opposite policy suggestions from those that the Poverty Institute fed him.
ADDENDUM:
Here’s the story, more on which later.

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OldTimeLefty
13 years ago

I think the critical question to ask is not whether the rich are pulling too far ahead of the middle and poor, but whether everyone is still moving forward. Except for the sheer spectacle of it, I don’t really care how much better than me someone is doing, as long as I’m making more now than I was a few years ago.
But for most people that isn’t the case. The the median tax filer (the one doing better than half of us, but worse than the other half) saw his income fall 2% between 2000 and 2005, and it’s getting worse. That’s a problem.
OldTimeLefty

michael
michael
13 years ago

I read the first sentance, “We” need to bring up the bottom,” and chose not to read the rest.

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

Is this a matter of the rich getting richer or the median income DECREASING due to an influx of benefit whores while the middle class LEAVES the state?

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Given all the agita The Don gets from reading the ProJo, I suppose he was due for a day a lead headline could make him smile.
Carry on with blame the newspaper.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

>>Is this a matter of the rich getting richer or the median income DECREASING due to an influx of benefit whores while the middle class LEAVES the state?
You read my mind. Import 40,000 unskilled illegal aliens, and guess what happens to the averages?
Structure your state tax system to be so onerous that CPA’s develop a niche practice counseling successful Rhode Islanders on what they need to do to establish their legal residency in Florida, and guess what happens to the averages?
Lies, damn lies and statistics.
Spinning the RESULT of the problems (successful people leaving; poverty being imported – lowering average incomes) – to try to make them appear to be the problem, diverting attention to what are the real problems / causes of the problems – tax structure and welfare magnetism.

John
John
13 years ago

Meanwhile, back in the twilight zone on Smith Hill… Enquiring minds want to know how the feuding factions of the Democratic Party will spin the disaster that will be the May Revenue and Caseload Estimating Conference. Seems a given that the depressing new numbers will “justify” a big tax increase (hint: if you don’t want to incentivize state to state migration, minimum wage and maximum tax legislation must happen at the federal, not the state level). Real question is whether we will see asset sales (bridges, etc.) and a pension bond to “shore up” defined benefit pensions. This would have to include a deal for muni workers (combine all into a “more efficient” single plan), plus terminating state DB plan and replacing it with a 403b for new workers, and perhaps some further efficiency improvements in the guise of consolidation moves, whether at the state, county or muni level. That just might fly in November. Then again, with the percent of the electorate either in public sector unions, receiving explicit state benefits, or implicit benefits (“I know a guy…I’ve got an in…My Rep helped me get this contract…”) — and the people married and otherwise related to them who don’t want to rock the boat — the end result in November is already a foregone conclusion. So who needs those face saving “efficiency” measures anyway? This might be a great time for Paul Arpin to consider becoming a public company…Business is already booming, and looks like it will only increase in the years ahead. Maybe some well timed indictments can slow this train down, but I doubt it. Leadership (of GA, unions, poverty industry) horizon extends only to the end of this GA session, or maybe November election. Make Nero look statesmanlike and master of foresight. Ugly, ugly, ugly already… Read more »

Ken
Ken
13 years ago

John,
It’s so ugy in Rhode Island don’t expect to see any light from above till at least 2011 or 2012.
I’ve been trying to move my father out of Rhode Island and he is finally understanding how bad things are and maybe it is time to jump ship after over 80 years living in Rhode Island.

Reagan Republican
Reagan Republican
13 years ago

>>Real question is whether we will see asset sales (bridges, etc.) and a pension bond to “shore up” defined benefit pensions. This would have to include a deal for muni workers (combine all into a “more efficient” single plan), plus terminating state DB plan and replacing it with a 403b for new workers,
John,
What we really need is a FREEZE of the defined benefit plan for ALL participants (they’ll get what they’ve vested in to the date of the freeze, but no more); with a simultaneous conversion of ALL workers (current and future) into a 403b.
Anything less with the current defined benefit plan (e.g., minor reductions as was done a few years ago; limiting reductions / freezes to future new hires) falls into the realm of a PR gimmick – not significant savings, nor a just outcome for taxpayers and citizens.
There are several BILLION dollars of unfunded liabilities in the state and municipal plans. The General Assembly gave away the store to the unions in return for campaign support (presumably over and under the table). The GA then didn’t adequately fund the plans – and the union leadership was complicit, as they’re right there every year participating in crafting the budgets.
This was a mess created by those entities, not us. It is supremely unjust for us taxpayers to be expected to shoulder billions of dollars in additional taxes to bail out the unions and Democrat leadership of the General Assembly.

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