Liquid pouring into an invisible glass

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Defining Problem (and Opportunity) of RI

By Justin Katz | January 25, 2023 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz find evidence of the missing ingredient in RI politics everywhere.

Liquid pouring into an invisible glass

Who Can Claim Cooperation as a Core Value

By Justin Katz | December 29, 2022 |

Whether Western Civilization is fundamentally build on a principle of cooperation is a fundamental philosophical dividing line in our current politics.

A water drop and ripples

Michael Munger’s reference to Bastiat’s proposal to grow the French economy by burning Paris is a worthwhile reminder.

By Justin Katz | December 27, 2022 |

For that lesson alone, readers should give it a few minutes.  But this paragraph near the end captures something far more intimately relevant to our times than even Munger may have intended: Once you are duped into believing destruction is productive, almost everything that a rational public policy would label as a cost becomes, by…

Derek Amey and Richard August on State of the State

State of the State: Economic Trends and Expectations

By Richard August | December 26, 2022 |

Host Richard August brings viewers up to speed on the economy in an interview with investment advisor Derek Amey.

A Mrs. Claus ornament on a Christmas tree

Why are Christmas trees scarce?

By Justin Katz | December 24, 2022 |

It’s “climate change,” of course; that’s the easy go-to answer for anything having to do with the natural environment.  Even when there’s a more proximate explanation, the global bogeyman has to be tacked on, as the Boston Globe’s Dharna Noor does in this case: The culprit behind all those dead trees: Drought, which hit New England…

A water drop and ripples

The difference between for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations isn’t as big as many think.

By Justin Katz | November 29, 2022 |

Soccer player Tesho Akindele tweeted this curious thought earlier today: Public transportation doesn’t need to be profitable Nobody demands that public schools, libraries, or fire departments are profitable We understand that these things are an investment in the well-being of our society Public transportation is an investment, not a cost This phrasing is common, but…

A pipe winds along a landcape

Natural gas price increases show what happens when we’re prevented from coordinating.

By Justin Katz | October 28, 2022 |

A recently released book by Gale Pooley and Marian Tupy, Superabundance, explores the amazing fact that the prosperity and the availability of scarce resources is proving only to increase as the population grows.  Their most fundamental argument is that people have value.  Every child added to the world increases the wealth of all of us. The authors…

Whistling past the graveyard

Please, Rhode Islanders, start paying attention to the evidence.

By Justin Katz | October 26, 2022 |

If you’re thigh deep in the muck of Rhode Island politics, as I am, you may find something about the local society inexplicable.  The game is so locked up, in Rhode Island, that it isn’t clear whether anything can shake the stranglehold of insiders and special interests.  Consider two recent stories. On the National Education…

Crazy Eggs

Can the U.S. Survive the Madness of Its Politics?

By Justin Katz | October 20, 2022 |

It may be Crazy Season, but the rationale Democrats are giving for their votes is enough to make one despair of our nation’s capacity to analyze problem, develop solutions, and survive.

Help wanted sign

What’s up with gas demand?

By Justin Katz | August 10, 2022 |

The economic news is peculiar, lately.  Inflation is high, and the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is shrinking.  Yet, government data shows a strong increase in payroll jobs in the most-recent month.  It’s difficult to know which side of that “yet” the following news supports, or whether it helps explain how all of the above…