A hand reaches for chains

Politics This Week: Unions Versus the People in RI

By Justin Katz | July 17, 2023 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss evidence of unions’ tightening grip on Rhode Island and other political topics.

Norman Rockwell Freedom of Speech

Politics This Week: Failures of Representation

By Justin Katz | June 7, 2023 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz review ways in which the RI elite fail to represent the people.

Union Rules and “Unique System” Drive Up Overtime for State Government Community Living Aides

By Justin Katz | April 17, 2013 |

Suzanne bates has another state-payroll-related investigative report on the Ocean State Current, this one covering a job titled “community living assistant.” These are high-school-educated employees with average regular pay below $36,000, who’ve been able to triple their pay with overtime and other salary enhancements, topping out near $130,000. Their job entails helping the residents of…

Another State Route to Riches: Institutional Attendants Earning Six Figures

By Justin Katz | April 4, 2013 |

The job listings for “institutional attendants (psychiatric)” positions in the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH) offer a salary in the mid-$30,000s, and payroll information available through the RIOpenGov project of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity suggests top regular pay in the low-$40,000s. In 2010 and 2011, however, almost…

Binding and Bound by Legislation

By Justin Katz | February 8, 2013 |

Interesting things happen when news producers order wall-to-wall coverage of a storm set to arrive in a day or two and visibility of anything but snow moves toward zero. Over the last twelve hours, two such things came flashing out of the blizzard of pre-blizzard forecasting and caught in my eye via email. The first…

The Right to Not Have to Pay For a Job

By Patrick Laverty | December 18, 2012 |

When I was in graduate school, I had my first experience with a “closed shop”. I had borrowed enough money to pay for my tuition but didn’t do the usual thing that students do, and borrow enough for things like rent and food. So I had to find a job, and one that was fairly…

Things We Read Today (41), Wednesday

By Justin Katz | December 12, 2012 |

Two narratives on the economy; a health exchange story the media is missing; government as pretend leader; powerful teachers’ unions (plus Ted Nesi’s Rolodex) Continue reading on the Ocean State Current…

State Comparisons: Right to Work and Beyond

By Justin Katz | December 12, 2012 |

A stunningly biased article by AP writer Jeff Karoub on the front page of today’s Providence Journal likely captures the attitude of most in the Rhode Island media on the issue of right-to-work legislation, as enacted into law in Michigan, yesterday: The GOP-dominated House ignored Democrats’ pleas to delay the final passage and instead approved…

Things We Read Today (37), Thursday

By Justin Katz | November 29, 2012 |

Changing unions’ privatization strategy; the government spending ratchet; the government spending racket; and the trap of dependency. Continue reading on the Ocean State Current…

Rhode Island’s Government Payroll: Living Beyond Our Means

By Justin Katz | November 28, 2012 |

When a family comes to a decision about purchasing any product or service, it doesn’t merely accept the seller’s sense of what’s reasonable. In addition to the market rate, consumers must take into account the quality of the thing they’re buying as well as their own ability to afford it. With deteriorating infrastructure, doubts about…