A Providence neighborhood through a Statehouse window

Maybe there’s something to “systemic racism” in Rhode Island.

By Justin Katz | June 21, 2022 |

Shift your focus just a little bit from the standard narrative, and you can only shake your head at the conspicuous omission in Amy Russo’s Providence Journal article reporting that “racial disparities in homeownership are more severe than the national average” in Rhode Island: The report, released Thursday and authored by Brown School of Public Health…

Homeless man "seeking human kindness"

To understand how progressives operate, consider the housing issue.

By Justin Katz | May 17, 2022 |

Rhode Island has real problems, and an unavoidable consequence of reality is that those who most need a healthy, vibrant society under their feet will face the greatest risk of tragedy in an unhealthy, sclerotic one.  The wise approach, then, when one observes suffering in the community is to look for fundamental causes and solutions…

Liquid pouring into an invisible glass

Politics This Week with John DePetro: The Illusion of Politics

By Justin Katz | May 16, 2022 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz pull back the curtain on Rhode Island politics

Man in a suit walking

They’ll pull us into a social credit system if they can.

By Justin Katz | May 13, 2022 |

A free people ought to reject some policies completely on principle, no matter what the practical arguments for them might be in the moment.  The Chinese Communists’ social credit system is one such policy, whereby the government leverages its power to grant rewards or impose demerits in order to control the population. The American spirit…

A Providence neighborhood at night

Realization of the progressive dream of banning single-family zoning would be devastating.

By Justin Katz | March 24, 2022 |

More frequently than I liked, during my years reading the thousands of bills submitted in the Rhode Island General Assembly each year, I’d come across one that made me wonder how anybody could submit such a thing.  Legislators couldn’t truly be representative of their constituents if they were expected to be the uber academics we…

A model house and key

Statistics come up short for charges of racism in housing.

By Justin Katz | March 11, 2022 |

A lack of housing is a problem, and racism is simply wrong, so we have powerful emotional incentive to join the two matters into the story we tell about our society.  In a more-specific way, advocates and researchers have even more-powerful economic incentive to do so.  In that space, as with “equity audits” in schools,…

An old house next to a graveyard

How can anybody upset with discriminatory housing oppose total school choice?

By Justin Katz | February 10, 2022 |

Judy Schwalbach makes that connection explicit in a report on school choice policies and history in Washington, D.C.: During the 20th century, federally sanctioned housing “redlining” influenced the composition of neighborhoods in large cities across the country, including Washington, D.C. The term “redlining” came from the color-coded maps developed by the Home Owners Loan Corporation…

Photo of a raised fist with BLM on the wrist.

The systemic racism calls are coming from inside the house.

By Justin Katz | January 28, 2022 |

Having recently fallen into an argument about the overlaps between history, housing, and racism, I couldn’t do otherwise than take note of a GoLocalProv article headlined, “Black Homeownership in RI Is as Low as It Was in the 1960s.” In Rhode Island, just 6% of homes are owned by Black households. And, becoming a new…

RI State House over caution tape

Take note of the socialist assumptions of AutoZone criticisms in Cranston.

By Justin Katz | January 26, 2022 |

Buzzwords flow through political and ideological debates — at the state level even more so than the federal — to the extent that one has to wonder whether the people using them really subscribe to the ideas that they represent. Consider Democrat Representative from Cranston Brandon Potter, tweeting about the city’s decision to permit construction…

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.