Buildings in Providence

Free gifts for tourists doesn’t seem like the best use of federal COVID money but might make hotel lobbyists happy.

By Justin Katz | July 21, 2021 |

When Governor Dan McKee floated the idea of using “leftover federal stimulus funds” to hand out up to 100,000 gift cards to Rhode Islanders back in May, I made note to follow the story because I wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea or a meh idea.  If this just-announced program is the same…

A fisherman with his net

Fishing boats are another example of government bragging about easing problems it caused.

By Justin Katz | July 20, 2021 |

Liberty Rhode Island caught the RI House of Representatives bragging about softening its grip around the Ocean State’s economic neck.  The example comes from the House’s Facebook page, which appears to be a partisan outlet to promote newspaper clippings that say nice things about House Democrats.  The page quotes an article by Ryan Blessing in The…

Students graduating from college.

College students shouldn’t expect others to pick up the costs for their investments.

By Justin Katz | July 16, 2021 |

Somehow or other, a tweet by RI League of Cities and Towns Policy Director Jordan Day found its way into my stream, yesterday, lamenting the cost of her student loans. Day appears to have graduated from Rhode Island College in 2013.  She worked on Jorge Elorza’s campaign for mayor through all of 2014, which rolled…

Hospital beds

With 40% of COVID deaths being among diabetics, forcing everybody to do (or not do) things is not justified.

By Justin Katz | July 16, 2021 |

There is a very strong case for diabetics to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as Dennis Thompson reports for HealthDay News: About 40% of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States were among diabetics, a “really quite sobering” statistic that should prompt people with the ailment to get vaccinated, said Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief scientific and medical…

Clothes display in a retail store

Psst, Democrats: the key to higher wages is a strong economy and domestic workforce.

By Justin Katz | July 15, 2021 |

Of course, then government can’t take direct credit for handing out money. Newsmax reports that employers across the country are thrilled to be finding teens willing to take entry-level jobs: As the U.S. economy bounds back with unexpected speed from the pandemic recession and customer demand intensifies, high school-age kids are filling jobs that older workers…

For Hire sign

Seasonally adjusted employment shouldn’t be going down in Rhode Island, but it is.

By Justin Katz | July 15, 2021 |

As you see headlines today and tomorrow about how Rhode Island’s unemployment rate went down a tenth of a percentage point, keep this in mind, from an RI Dept. of Labor and Training press release just out this morning: The number of employed Rhode Island residents was 506,600, down 500 from May. Last June there…

Richard August & Derek Amey on State of the State

State of the State: Is Inflation Coming?

By Richard August | July 14, 2021 |

With money flooding the economy at the same time supply channels are struggling to meet demand, the public is having to become familiar with concepts like inflation and modern monetary policy.

Vincent Van Gogh Tree Roots

Elorza’s view of poverty perfectly encapsulates progressives’ error.

By Justin Katz | July 14, 2021 |

No doubt many smart progressives would spot Democrat Mayor of Providence Jorge Elorza’s error in thinking, but this statement, as quoted on GoLocalProv, perfectly summarizes the progressive approach to policy: “If there’s one thing that causes poverty, it’s the lack of money,” said Elorza of the program that is currently funded through private donations —…

SpaceX launch

Billionaires’ toys are an encouraging advance, not a travesty of privilege.

By Justin Katz | July 12, 2021 |

In a time of cultivated resentment (and leaving as a separate question whether something in our system is unjustly permitting individuals to collect monopolistic billions), we should take this as a leading edge toward the future: Two billionaires are putting everything on the line this month to ride their own rockets into space. It’s intended…

Chart of extreme poverty since 1850

Private aid is great, but freedom is better.

By Justin Katz | July 8, 2021 |

Rachel Sharrett’s essay for the American Institute for Economic Research on the advantages of using private charity to help the disadvantaged is an interesting read, but the eye-catcher comes at the end.  Explaining the chart used for the featured image of this post, Sharrett writes: The bottom line is, aid has never been and will…

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