A model house and key

UPDATED: Finding “Systemic Racism” in Net Worth Disparities

By Justin Katz | December 30, 2021 |

To understand racial differences in wealth, blaming “systemic racism” is a simplistic way to ignore the harm of radical policies.

An old house next to a graveyard

Sam Bell’s Havoc-Wreaking Plan to Capture a Federal Housing Coupon

By Justin Katz | December 23, 2021 |

Progressive Senator Sam Bell’s housing report is impressive as a sophomore’s research project, but it’d be nice if professional journalists would give readers some sense of what the academic exercise would look like in the real world.

The State House rotunda at Christmastime

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Campaign Season Starts Early!

By Justin Katz | December 7, 2021 |

John and Justin delve into the already-thick snow drifts of political campaign season.

Homeless man "seeking human kindness"

Progressives are never homeless at the State House.

By Justin Katz | December 3, 2021 |

An observer doesn’t have to be cynical to wonder why the Huffington Post published its extensive article warning of the RI Political Co-Op’s division of Ocean State progressives yesterday.  After all, the article was fueled in large part by “a left-wing Rhode Island activist who requested anonymity to protect professional relationships.”  Anonymous sourcing in a case…

A Providence neighborhood through a Statehouse window

Don’t trust politicians who don’t ask “why” about housing before they proclaim a solution.

By Justin Katz | November 24, 2021 |

Right from the beginning, an op-ed in the Boston Globe by RI Political Co-Op progressive candidate Lenny Cioe gives off warning signals: In many neighborhoods near colleges like Providence College, Johnson and Wales, and Brown University, predatory real estate companies are jacking up rents and forcing out families in favor of high-paying students. And that’s…

Homeless man "seeking human kindness"

Who thought it was a good idea to throw $36 million dollars at the government of Woonsocket?

By Justin Katz | November 17, 2021 |

With that question, I mean Woonsocket as representative of municipal governments generally. The city is in the midst of the process of figuring out how to spend the $36 million dollars the federal government will send its way as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  You’ll recall that the purpose of the act…

A water drop and ripples

St. Paul rent control is a good reminder for RI progressives to think before they act.

By Justin Katz | November 17, 2021 |

Even before it goes into effect, a new rent-control law in St. Paul, Minnesota, is backfiring: “Less than 24 hours after St. Paul voters approved one of the country’s most stringent rent control policies, Nicolle Goodman’s phone started to ring,” the Star-Tribune reports. “Developers were calling to tell the city’s director of planning and economic…

An empty kitchen area

A Rhode Island rental owner has discovered that the law is only that which is enforced.

By Justin Katz | October 29, 2021 |

We’ve heard quite a bit about the terrors of eviction during the pandemic and the government-driven closure of our economy, and the talk tends to imply that people who own rental properties don’t need the money — as if the rentals merely contribute side cash to big piles in their basements.  That perspective has informed…

Apartment buildings

The evicted mother’s story reveals much more that our society needs work on.

By Justin Katz | October 21, 2021 |

One difficulty with assessing sympathetic stories associated with public policy debates (and the reason advocates actively seek and promote them) is that they short circuit rational discussion about tradeoffs.  The position of seeming to lack sympathy is so uncomfortable that the public debate leaves important details unraised and, typically, the villain is assigned to be…

A stack of boxes outside a door

Politics This Week with John DePetro: In and Out of Power and Everything In Between

By Justin Katz | September 20, 2021 |

John and Justin talk about people and groups that are in and out of political races and trends.

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