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.

Rt 146 in Providence during homeless encampment cleanup

Clearing homeless encampments on busy roads is the minimal backstop against progressive deterioration.

By Justin Katz | September 20, 2021 |

In an all-too-familiar sequence of events, progressives made social media noise to shame a politician with whom they disagreed — in this case, Providence City Councilman Nicholas Narducci, who helped the city clean up a homeless encampment under a Rt. 146 overpass — and the news media jumped right in to tow their line, framing…

Aerial shot of a suburban development

Here’s something to notice about the “housing advocates” pushing to stop evictions.

By Justin Katz | August 30, 2021 |

It’s very easy to demand that government “ban evictions” when, like the people Katie Mulvaney interviewed for the Providence Journal, you’re not the one trying to derive income from a rental property: “The governor and the General Assembly have the authority to protect the public’s health with a moratorium” as well as Congress, said Jennifer…

Apartment buildings

Despite the lessons of the pandemic, the Left marches on toward the destruction of suburbs.

By Justin Katz | June 24, 2021 |

One might have thought Leftist Democrats would take a pause on the project to destroy the suburbs — if not to genuinely reevaluate things in light of the lessons about density learned from COVID-19, then at least to put some distance between their activism and the pandemic’s uncomfortable questions.  One would have been wrong. Annie…

Cut roots on a wall

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Systemic Avoidance of Root Causes

By Justin Katz | June 14, 2021 |

This week, John and Justin discuss homelessness, gun crime, and the common theme that activists and politicians don’t want to touch the real problems behind them both.

WPRI coverage of encampment

When did America become the Land of Other People’s Money?

By Justin Katz | June 14, 2021 |

Many things are concerning about the homeless encampment in Providence that has been in the news lately and about the way the issue is being framed, but one thread that really sticks out is this, from Brian Amaral’s Boston Globe story: Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, who represents the area, said Elorza should call a state of…