It just keeps getting better. From the Boston Globe:
The news is not good for the $75 million dollar gamble that Governor Carcieri talked the state of RI into taking. It looks like 38 Studios is already looking for a bailout. From Bob Plain at the RIFUTURE blog:
If only more people could cut through the right-wing “protect the rich” talking points like Stephen King, we might actually have a strong middle class again.
After adjusting for inflation, we pay CEOs today four times what they made in the 1970′s. Pay-for-performance is the idea behind exorbitant CEO pay, but the fact is that CEO’s make big money whether their companies perform or not. CEO pay is a problem that is affecting us all as we struggle to afford housing, health care and education in the middle class, while the 1% continues to hoard resources. We need to reach some social consensus on what to do about this problem. Otherwise, the stratification will continue. From Time: Are We Paying Our CEOs Enough: A New Survey From the Wall Street Journal and Hay Group Suggests Maybe Not | Business | TIME.com.
Scott MacKay considers the question of whether Brown University should pay more to the city of Providence.
Originally posted on On Politics:
Once again, Providence politicians are looking to the city’s private colleges for money to help shore up the city’s poor finances. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says these non-profit institutions shouldn’t be seen as cash cows for the city.
There has been more rhetoric than reality in the latest dispute between Brown University and Mayor Angel Taveras and his city council allies. With city government awash in red ink, the pols are hungrily eyeing the tax-exempt Brown property on College Hill as a source of sorely needed money.
You can’t blame the mayor or the city council. Residents are maxed out on real estate and car taxes. Businesses are fleeing. Two iconic downtown buildings – the Jazz Age Superman Building and the Biltmore Hotel – house tenants facing huge financial hurdles.
This is an excellent video from an erudite scholar of our economy. David Korten is the author of When Corporations Rule the World and is here to tell us that we don’t need Wall Street in its current form. It is just messing up the economy with corruption and financial warrior tactics to protect and further enrich the elite. We need local banks and local economies. The notion is radical — what will we all do with our 401K’s if there is no Wall Street? Go back to having a savings account and earning 3% interest a year. Actually that doesn’t sound half bad. The problem is banks are paying less than 1% interest right now.
Well, my far more prescient and wise co-blogger Nancy was responsible for the first two correct predictions, and I can make claim to the third — predicting that Central Falls would be laying off some teachers in the New Year. I’m not sure I should be given any fortune-teller points for this, though. Some things are fairly easy to call.
As for Nancy’s prediction that the Dow would surpass 12,000, that one indeed came true, with a near 500 point cherry on top. But now it looks like now we’re seeing a pullback. Note that Nancy didn’t make any calls on whether the Dow would drop back down below 12,000 after hitting this mark. So, buyer beware as to what comes next after the initial Kmareka predictions. Mayor Taveras in Providence is talking about closing some schools. Wonder if Central Falls will also be thinking in that direction, given that their city is in receivership. I hope all these empty school buildings will be put to good public use, though I doubt there will be a quick turnaround. And if they’re building new schools, they better make sure they aren’t building on former superfund waste dumps. I wonder how the Race to the Top money for charter schools will play into this equation.
My husband alerted me to a fabulous data analysis tool at The New York Times, which lets you view census data in color maps. The one that caught his eye, and then mine, was this one which shows the Change in Median Household income from 2000, which shows that all of Rhode Island has experienced an increase in median household income, with a 3% increase in Providence County, a 1% increase in Kent County, a 2% increase in Washington County, and a 6% increase in Bristol County. That’s right — in one of the worst economic times in our country, we are doing better than much of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
So there you go. And to add to the positive data on Rhode Island, Forbes Magazine reports that Cranston, RI is one of the most stable housing markets in the country. (h/t riclapp.org — had a great Christmas brunch there this morning!) Must be everyone jockeying for position to live near me~!
So breathe a deep sigh of relief this Christmas, Rhode Islanders. We are not on the verge of collapse, and if we could reform our energy policies so that biodiesel and alternative fuels could become our mainstays, we might even survive another few generations. All I can say is it’s more proof that you should ignore the nay-sayers, and never trust anyone who tries to tell you the rich need more tax breaks. Happy Holidays to all!