The Current Week, 02/27/12-03/02/12

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About the CurrentSite-related
RI Senate Economic Summit, Quonset “O”Liveblog
Justin writes live and off-the-cuff from the RI Senate’s Economic Summit, “Expanding Jobs through Port Resources.”

RIPEC: Rhode Island’s Business Climate ConferenceLiveblog
Justin indulges his wonkish inclinations writing in from RIPEC’s conference on “Rhode Island’s Business Climate: How Rhode Island Measures Up.”

Cranston Police and Fire Retirees Receiving up to $900 on HolidaysInvestigative Report
Cranston police and fire retirees are receiving double-and-a-half time for holidays that they do not work and would not be working, anyway.

Justin's Case

Government Bans and Health StatisticsAnalysis
Smoking bans and other government regulations may catalyze or accelerate positive changes, but the critical question is whether their results are worth their costs.
Food for All Market Shows Business and Community in the Absence of RegulationOpinion
community interest, while government regulation would bring about unintended consequences with a much more difficult "undo" button.
Arguments and Practice in High Stakes TestingAnalysis
National studies do not show that standardized graduation tests have a clear and immediate effect on student achievement, but closer examination is required for RI's specific circumstances, and all students deserve diplomas that are universally acknowledged to have value.
Another StartMusings & Announcements
Justin's thoughts upon launching the Current.

Revenue Above Estimates Not a Sure Sign of Economic HealthAnalysis
The total tax revenue that the State of Rhode Island has received for the fiscal year continued to beat estimates in January, by $57 million (3.6%), but it would be premature to infer either strong economic growth or the disappearance of the deficit expected for fiscal 2013.
Tying Some Threads from Diversity to Education to Social DisparityOpinion
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.
Catching on to the Danger of Municipal DictatorsOpinion
Central Falls Receiver Robert Flanders' performance, both on stage and in his job, should spark reevaluation of theories of governance and political expedience.
Chafee Wants to Be Fair to the BossOpinion
"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.

Sen. Whitehouse on the Left-Right Scale and Chafee on the LeftAnalysis
National Journal ranking of liberal and conservative legislators points to politics and posturing.
Tax Foundation Runs Some Test Firms Through the RI RingerAnalysis
A new Tax Foundation study exposes some of the flaws in RI's economic development practices.

Laffey Movie Catches Mood, but That Might Be a Different Kind of Success than Hoped ForInterview/Profile
Justin reacts to an initial screening of Stephen Laffey's movie, Fixing America.
Mobility Has Held, but Perception and Perspective Have ChangedAnalysis
Economic mobility has improved or held steady over the past half-decade, but public perception is otherwise.  Arguing hopelessness or dependence may reinforce the trend.
The End of an Era (But Not Fast Enough)Opinion
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.

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