Political Thought

RI State House over caution tape

Go back to the first question of spending.

By Justin Katz | January 2, 2023 |

Like it or not, we’re all tangled up with each other, so in some degree, the choices we make and the value we create or destroy affect everybody.  How we structure society is a decision about how we utilize “our” resources.  That doesn’t mean maximizing efficiency or economic advancement or anything else must be the…

Liquid pouring into an invisible glass

Who Can Claim Cooperation as a Core Value

By Justin Katz | December 29, 2022 |

Whether Western Civilization is fundamentally build on a principle of cooperation is a fundamental philosophical dividing line in our current politics.

Cash, cuffs, and the American flag

The federal government is sowing the seeds of our division.

By Justin Katz | December 21, 2022 |

I’m midway through reading a book about the psychology of changing your mind, and the author apparently sees understanding the subject as an important tool in overcoming our polarization.  I’ll have much more to say about the book, no doubt, not least to suggest that increasingly subtle psychological manipulation may be causing the polarization.  After all,…

Vilhelm Pedersen illustration of Hans Christian Anderson's The Emperor's New Clothes

Are you represented in the Rhode Island House?

By Justin Katz | December 20, 2022 |

Although the core political story in Rhode Island is inevitably Democrat, this isn’t a partisan post.  The one detail I recall from Amity Shlaes’s book, Coolidge, that detracted from the 30th President’s story was an anecdote from when he was the Republican president of the Massachusetts Senate.  A lobbyist persuaded him to go one way on…

A disintegrating apple in a child's hand

Apple is a case study in the danger of cultish consumerism.

By Justin Katz | November 30, 2022 |

A scorecard of tech giants would take some work to develop, but Apple is a shameful enterprise, whether it’s better or worse than its alternatives: Tucker Carlson blasts Apple after the company limited the AirDrop feature in China: “Apple is now an active collaborator with China’s murderous police state. When tanks roll into a Chinese…

A water drop and ripples

The difference between for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations isn’t as big as many think.

By Justin Katz | November 29, 2022 |

Soccer player Tesho Akindele tweeted this curious thought earlier today: Public transportation doesn’t need to be profitable Nobody demands that public schools, libraries, or fire departments are profitable We understand that these things are an investment in the well-being of our society Public transportation is an investment, not a cost This phrasing is common, but…

A Nordic warrior in the marketplace

The heroes’ customers are voters with no incentive.

By Justin Katz | November 11, 2022 |

Looking around the Marketplace, the heroes of the Rhode Island Saga size up their position with a key market force: their voters.

A water drop and ripples

Just a thought for those who generally share my views…

By Justin Katz | November 9, 2022 |

Yeah, I know the election results are still in the air, so the coin hasn’t stopped spinning on the ground, yet, but let’s make this Day 1 of talking about how the world can be better, rather than how others are making it worse and, more importantly, start doing things to make it so. Sorry to…

A water drop and ripples

The red wave came up against the winds of mail ballots.

By Justin Katz | November 9, 2022 |

First a note to those who might be newly engaged in politics or have forgotten:  It isn’t at all unusually for the media narrative to switch after the votes are in.  Thus, whereas before, commentators would say that it might be such a big “red wave” that the Republicans would take the Senate, indicating that…

A pipe winds along a landcape

Natural gas price increases show what happens when we’re prevented from coordinating.

By Justin Katz | October 28, 2022 |

A recently released book by Gale Pooley and Marian Tupy, Superabundance, explores the amazing fact that the prosperity and the availability of scarce resources is proving only to increase as the population grows.  Their most fundamental argument is that people have value.  Every child added to the world increases the wealth of all of us. The authors…