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justinkatz-portrait

Known mainly for espousing conservative views in a state where they are not encouraged, Justin Katz is a Roman Catholic Christian husband and father of four who currently works as Research Director for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity and Managing Editor of Anchor Rising & the Ocean State Current, where he writes daily.  Believing that thought and action are inextricably linked, the former carpenter also indulges in creative arts as a writer, musician, and designer and is active in local politics with the Tiverton Taxpayers Association, for which he maintains Tiverton Fact Check and acts as treasurer for the associated charity, Tiverton Cares.  As he’s able, Justin also strives to capture the daily pleasures of life through photographs on RI Is My Home.

August 21, 2015

State Police Tell Story of Heroes and Villains in Cranston

A basic rule of literary analysis is that every document is a text, every text has an author, and every author has his or her own set of beliefs, biases, limitations, and interests.  This principle applies whether the text is Melville’s Moby Dick, Smith’sThe Wealth of Nations, Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Freud’sCivilization and Its Discontents, or the Rhode Island State Police’s Assessment of the Cranston Rhode Island Police Department 2014-2015.

Continue reading on Ocean State Current.

February 12, 2015

Back to college and before, one sure-fire motivation to draw Justin toward writing has come from statements that he takes simply to be false, and research-driven responses to others’ analysis and commentary has characterized his blogging from the start.  In early 2015, the possibility that data on job creation versus job destruction might undermine common wisdom caught his attention and launched him on an extended review of the evidence.

What Job Creation Versus Job Destruction Says About Rhode Island’s Economy

In his latest Saturday column, WPRI’s Ted Nesi highly recommends a new blog called CoffeeBlack RI.  RIPR’s Ian Donnis seconded the recommendation on Twitter.  Such recommendations aren’t surprising.  Both Ted and Ian have always been very supportive, among mainstream media types, of Anchor Rising and other non-mainstream blogs.

When Paul Dion, Director of Revenue Analysis for the state government, chimed in to emphasize the recommendation, however, it piqued my interest.

Continue reading on Anchor Rising-Ocean State Current.

New Companies Versus Established Companies Matters

In the first post in this series, I looked at why a new, anonymous Rhode Island commentator takes too narrow of a view of the state’s job creation, breaking down the state’s data into hirings versus firings.  It isn’t a contradiction to suggest that he or she also takes too broad of a view, considering the data from a different perspective.

Continue reading on Anchor Rising-Ocean State Current.

Income, Wages, Medians, and Totals Bring Light, Too

So far, in this mini-series of posts, I’ve argued that Rhode Island’s high job creation rate (compared with Massachusetts) is more indicative of its unhealthy job destruction rate than of a healthy business climate and that evidence suggests that RI’s job gains are in large part just bursts of effort from new establishments that tend to struggle after they open their doors.  Separately, I’ve argued that Rhode Island’s employment trend is one of established companies gradually absorbing the entrepreneurial economy, which both drives out self-starters and the hyper-motivated and hinders our ability to find a new direction for our state’s economy that would benefit everybody.

Continue reading on Anchor Rising-Ocean State Current.

At the close of the previous part of this series, I ended with the claim that the insider culture in Rhode Island may be helping some established people maintain their standard of living (somewhat), but the system is driving out exactly the people with the most incentive to innovate and work.  One obvious place to look for some light on this claim (once you’ve stumbled across it, of course) is the Nonemployer Establishment Statistics data set that the U.S. Census provides on an annual basis.

Continue reading on Anchor Rising-Ocean State Current.