The Current Week, 04/16/21-04/21/12


04/16/12 – Don Watkins at BrownLiveblog
Justin writes live from Don Watkins talk to the Brown Republicans on entitlements.

Rhode Island Treats Us All as StrangersOpinion
Operating in RI government is like following directions based on where things used to be; Justin says outsiders are disadvantaged and vulnerable.

04/18/12 – Ron Paul Town HallLiveblog
Justin writes live from Ron Paul's town hall event at URI.

04/18/12 – Video of Ron Paul at URILiveblog
The Current's full "Video on the Go" from Congressman Ron Paul's campaign appearance at the University of Rhode Island.

Two Economies, or One with Exceptions?Opinion
Is it the bull or the bear for Rhode Island?  Justin suggests that if Rhode Island is to cease to be a drag on its region, the model has to be quite different.

Justin's Case

Kennedy Describes "Quid Pro Quo" White HouseOpinion
Former district 1 congressman Patrick Kennedy tells the New York Times that big donations from special interests is how the business of politics works, with implications for local campaign finance initiatives.
State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: JamestownResearch
According to RI Dept. of Labor and Training statistics, the number of employed residents in Jamestown fell 7.6% from 2000 to 2010. The town's number of employed residents has almost returned to its level before the new bridge to the mainland eased travel to the island in 1992.
The Downer Side of Centralization and Lost Social CapitalOpinion
An interview with Charles Murray leads Justin to muse on the possibility that avoiding judgmentalism in the name of tolerance might just make it less likely that others will have the opportunity to judge us good and worthy of advancement.

State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: Little ComptonResearch
Although Little Compton is among Rhode Island's wealthiest communities, the town has seen an above-average drop in employment and its unemployment rate is higher than the state's overall number.
The Labor/Left Strategy: Shore Up RevenueAnalysis
RI's unions are behind efforts to increase state revenue through gambling and "taxes on the rich" in an apparent effort to counter the effects of Massachusetts casinos, but the state will have to decide whether the consequences are worth the attempt.

State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: MiddletownResearch
Middletown's February unemployment is high compared with the rest of the state, at 13.4%, and January's was the highest in 22 years of data.  More concerning is that those numbers were achieved even as the total labor force shrank.
First Quarter Single-Family Home Sales Picture Mostly Bleak in RIResearch
Reviewing William Raveis data for single-family home sales in each Rhode Island community, Justin finds that the picture isn't rosy.

State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: NewportResearch
Newport joins its neighbor, Middletown, in having very high unemployment, as well as a dramatic downward trend in its population and employment data.
Central Falls Charter Panel Selected (Not Elected)Opinion
The process for selecting charter review commissioners in Central Falls has Justin concerned that an important lesson in self-governance is being missed.
Lower Unemployment in Alabama Corresponds with Immigration LawAnalysis
Correlation is not causation, but Alabama's employment picture has improved in the wake of its stringent immigration law.

State in Decline, Employment in RI Cities and Towns: TivertonResearch
Tiverton's employment trend is characterized by ten-year growth in population and labor force that wasn't matched by employment. In recent months, improvement in unemployment results only from a fast-falling overall labor force.
Scariest Unemployment Fact: It's a TrendAnalysis
RI's accelerated decline in labor force and employment continues and now constitutes a full-quarter trend; combined with poor housing market results, the trend ought to be of great concern to Rhode Islanders, especially in their capacity as voters.
If They Know What to Do to Fix Education, Why Not Do It?Opinion
A consulting group under contract with two of RI's most-struggling cities is sufficiently confident in its turnaround estimates to proclaim a specific dollar amount; Justin suggests they just go ahead and find the money.

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