Edwin Lord Mills A Royal Procession

Politics This Week: Those of Unknowing Privilege

By Justin Katz | May 22, 2023 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz explore the increasingly disconnected behavior of RI’s political elite.

Pickpocketing in Oliver Twist

Providence’s pension obligation bond shows how civics know-how can be worse than useless to an ignorant population.

By Justin Katz | June 9, 2022 |

A handful of very active people who don’t understand how a policy works can do a great deal of damage, which is an outcome we should be discouraging rather than encouraging.

A water drop and ripples

Psst! Progressives in Providence don’t trust Wall Street or the mechanics of investment to help with their pension problem.

By Justin Katz | June 7, 2022 |

They just know that imposing a bond is a more-sure way of saddling taxpayers with the payoff to their labor union allies.  (Actually, most don’t know much on either front.  They just go along because they’ve bought into the baseline propaganda that progressives are always on the side of goodness.)

Burning $100 bills

Magaziner is abusing the position of General Treasurer.

By Justin Katz | October 14, 2021 |

If we had a healthy civic culture, wherein citizens had been adequately educated in the appropriate use of government power, it would be the stuff of scandal, rather than political bragging, that Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is abusing his authority over state investment funds for purposes of political activism.  As he touts on…

A water drop and ripples

Wouldn’t it only be news if the state’s pension fund was at record lows?

By Justin Katz | August 26, 2021 |

I keep seeing these headlines about RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announcing record highs for the pension fund, but shouldn’t that always be the case?  Unless the workforce is shrinking, even keeping up with inflation should produce record highs.  It seems to me mainly an indication that we have too many people in PR in government.

Hand throws giant die

If pension obligation bonds worked, governments wouldn’t need taxes.

By Justin Katz | June 10, 2021 |

In another must-read column for the Cranston Herald, Steven Frias applies his historian’s rigor to the step-by-step details of how Woonsocket’s experience with a pension obligation bond (which I mentioned a few weeks ago) managed to make its preexisting pension-fund disaster even worse while giving the two essential elements for a pension obligation bond to…

Sinking ship statue in a Providence park.

The Providence pension bond proposal shows RI’s political class has a conveniently short memory.

By Justin Katz | May 13, 2021 |

Not only are pension bonds a bad idea in principle, but Rhode Island has a sharp recent case study for reference.  Yet, Dan McGowan reports for the Boston Globe that Providence “Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration is planning to ask state lawmakers to allow the city to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars through a pension obligation bond,” avoiding…

Divest Our Pensions sign

Is the General Treasurer divested of fiduciary responsibility?

By Justin Katz | April 22, 2021 |

I ask because in a new press release from Rhode Island’s General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, the progressive Democrat announces his office’s step to divest the state pension fund of investments in fossil fuels: This morning, in advance of Earth Day, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced a nearly 50 percent decrease in the Rhode…

Woonsocket Matters to Rhode Island and the Nation

By Justin Katz | January 24, 2013 |

John Hill’s Providence Journal article about Woonsocket’s deficit problem contains two important lessons … The first lesson is that everybody who’s interested in these topics should read the Ocean State Current. An article here from last May explains the problem … … the second lesson of the article: The public is being poorly served by…

Things We Read Today (44), Wednesday

By Justin Katz | December 19, 2012 |

Government’s corrupt pension handling; the discount rate scam; fighting off the zoning inspector; government peeking doesn’t count as privacy invasion. Continue reading on the Ocean State Current…