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Hold Off on Minimum Wage Celebration

You can expect some liberal populist triumphalism about the fact that, over the last six months, the 13 states that raised the minimum wage gained jobs faster than the states that didn’t. It’d be great if that turned out to be true, always and forever. But any celebrating now is premature.  Here’s why: First, as the linked article notes, even the economists who support a higher minimum wage as a policy matter acknowledge that there’s no cause and effect, noting there are many possible reasons that certain states’ hiring might have quickened. Second, six months is a pretty short snippet Read on →

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CT’s Small Business Climate: Graded D (Needs Improvement!)

Don’t take it from us — take it from the Economist. A recent piece there finds that Connecticut merits only a “D” for its overall friendliness to small business.  That means it’s better only than California, Illinois, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Whooppee. And that’s just overall.  When it comes to the tax code, Connecticut fails entirely — along with only three other states: Illinois, Hawaii and Rhode Island.  That’s right: We’ve got a worse tax climate even than the liberal hotbeds of California and Massachusetts! Connecticut earns the same failing grade when it comes to regulations — a big, Read on →

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CT Taxpayers Take It on the Chin — Again!

Connecticut was already on the hook to offer $115 million of taxpayer money to Bridgewater Associates — the Westport hedge fund with $150 billion under management — if it would move from Westport to Stamford. The move may have fallen through, but Connecticut’s taxpayers are going to take it on the chin, nonetheless.  In an effort to entice Bridgewater — the world’s largest hedge fund — to come to Stamford, the state spent $16 million in taxpayer money cleaning up waterfront land that was contaminated. Now, we learn, the move may be off, but as for that $16 million . . . it’s not Read on →

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Supreme Court Ruling Restores Rights of Connecticut Workers

State, SEIU can’t force workers to pay EAST HARTFORD – Harris v. Quinn, one of the Supreme Court decisions announced earlier today, has distinct implications for Connecticut workers. In that case, the justices ruled that it is a violation of First Amendment rights to force home healthcare workers to pay union dues. This holding effectively invalidates the 2012 law requiring Connecticut’s home health care workers to unionize – as well as the earlier executive orders signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy. “This is a significant ruling,” said Carol Platt Liebau, president of The Yankee Institute. “Vindicating the First Amendment’s guarantee of Read on →

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Who Looks Out for the Little Guy?

Yesterday morning, Yankee Institute president Carol Platt Liebau was a guest on WATR-Waterbury’s “Talk of the Town” with Larry Rifkin (and she’ll be joining Pastor Will on WTIC tomorrow). One of the most interesting parts of the discussion focused on the growing sense — across Connecticut and the nation as a whole — that, too often, public policy is forged to serve (1) government itself (and the public employee unions) and (2) big business with the money to secure special favors from politicians (otherwise known as “crony capitalism”).  In the shuffle, the needs of regular people too often get lost — Read on →

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“Public” Health, Indeed

It’s the kind of information that’s released on a summer Friday — when no one’s supposed to be paying attention — for a reason. After all the self-congratulation about how well Connecticut’s version of ObamaCare is “working,” it’s profoundly alarming to learn that a backpack was found containing the personal information of 400 people . . . and Access Connecticut paperwork. Oh, and it was discovered on the street in Hartford where Access Connecticut’s offices are located. Citizens have been coyly informed that a “possible” breach may have taken place, and (of course) all the appropriate investigations are being undertaken (cold comfort, no doubt, for those whose personal Read on →

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No State Money for Rock Cats’ Move

Hartford is a city plagued with a variety of public policy problems — not least the misuse of city funds and other financial mismanagement.  And it’s afflicted by a host of urban ills – including a poverty rate second only to Detroit (as of 2012) and the highest unsolved homicide rate (45%) of New England’s seven largest cities. Keeping all this in mind, ask yourself: If Hartford weren’t, in fact, broke and actually had $60 million dollars to spend, would those funds be best used to construct a new stadium — for a minor league baseball team to move a scant 12 miles down the road?   Are . . Read on →

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A DOA Idea: Raising the Federal Gas Tax

Just last Friday, Connecticut’s junior US Senator, Chris Murphy, proposed a hike in the federal gas tax, insisting it could be used for the repair of Connecticut’s infrastructure. No doubt infrastructure is important — one of government’s true, legitimate tasks.  After all, it’s hard for people to go about their business, for commerce to operate efficiently, for goods and services to get around with a failed transportation system and bad infrastructure. But a raise in the federal gas tax? Hold on a minute. As Senator Murphy calls for what are effectively higher gas prices, is he aware that Connecticut’s residents already suffer under the third Read on →

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