Frankly Disappointing

It would seem that a confession of my naivété is in order, because I was actually surprised at the response to my recent op-ed on Rhode Island taxpayer flight that the Poverty Institute’s Ellen Frank offered as a letter to the editor. Either she is being deliberately deceptive, or she did not manage to understand what she had read before penning her rebuttal. I’m not sure which possibility represents the more charitable assumption.
The fact that she relies entirely on data released for 2005 and earlier — and insists that I did the same — allows her to avoid (or prevents her from realizing) the centrality to my piece of 2005’s anomalous results. She also apparently missed the fact that the IRS, whose data she touts as “much more reliable” than that of the Census, supplied a roughly equal portion of my numbers. She notes that IRS data derives from “all income-tax returns filed,” and indeed, my clincher, that Rhode Island lost, on a net basis, 8,296 taxpayers, with an aggregate adjusted gross income totaling $485 million, from 2005 to 2006, is based on actual taxpayers tracked by their Social Security numbers as they crossed state and national borders.
Readers interested in reviewing my research, presented in graphical format, can find it on this Web page. I would have hoped that sheer intellectual curiosity would have led Ms. Frank, a prominent member of an academic institute, thereto, but as I’ve already confessed, I must be naive.

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16 years ago

Its naivete, Justin. Just like it is naive to think that playing nice nice with Matt Jerzyk will change anything in Rhode Island. You really have no idea how the hardball game is really played in RI, do you? As Tip O’Neil once said, politics ain’t beanbag — and that goes double when so many people have such an interest in sucking more money out of the remaining taxpaying residents of this state. Or do you think that playing nice nice with Matt and his allies will somehow change things? Frankly, I don’ think facts and reasonable, polite discussion stand a chance unless you’re also willing to throw some punches now and then (figuratively — although there have been times over the past five years when punches literally have been thrown — say in a bar near Smith Hill).

Justin Katz
16 years ago

I’m not interested in “playing nice” with RIFuturites, John. I’m interested in defining and positioning Anchor Rising, and it is contrary to our objectives to drain our time patrolling statements about bloggers’ families for legitimacy.
If we’re not the hardball venue of the Rhode Island Right, that’s fine by us. Part of the value of movements is that folks are free, even encouraged, to take different tacks more in keeping with their preferences and personalities.
I will throw and (I’d say) have thrown punches in keeping with my base of knowledge and my rhetorical strategies, but I think there’s a form of naivété, as well, in the jaded view that doesn’t acknowledge the danger to change of not having boundaries in some degree.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
16 years ago

Ellen Frank is frequently referred to as an “economist.”
I majored in economics and finance. Ellen Frank is an absolute retard when it comes to economics.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
16 years ago

The answer is right in front of us.Why do you think it’s called The Poverty Institute?Because its aim is to institutionalize poverty and maintain a large structure of “social welfare professionals”to ride herd on an ever-growing army of dependents who constitute their fiefdom.
There is no altruistic motive in trying to keep people in thrall to a self image of being hopeless and helpless.
We can largely thank Lyndon Johnson for this as well as lying us into expanding the Vietnam War without ever really wanting to win it.

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