Economy

Package store leader has it wrong

Package store leader has it wrong

Pumped-up prices don’t reduce drunken driving

FRANK ANZALOTTI, who leads Massachusetts’ package store trade association, has it wrong. Not only does he misunderstand calls to reform outdated Commonwealth alcohol laws, he misrepresents Total Wine & More’s role in that process. (See “Mega booze store out for self“). Updating targeted regulations from their Prohibition-era origins, ensuring a fair market, and including protections(...)

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The promise of MASS MoCA

The promise of MASS MoCA

The museum’s latest expansion is a hit, but its impact on the struggling town of North Adams remains a work in progress

Photographs by Michael Manning TWO YOUNG MEN from Brooklyn tentatively inch down the hallway, holding onto a handrail because it’s so dark. They turn a corner and the room in front of them opens up, filled with intense light of different colors.  They make their way to a bench and sit down, mesmerized by a large(...)

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Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Mayor seeks to redo lease for higher return

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH is trying to play hardball with the company that owns the lease on Faneuil Hall Marketplace. City officials and heavily redacted emails obtained under the Public Records Law confirm that the city, which owns the marketplace, is attempting to renegotiate the terms of the lease, which dates back to 1975 and(...)

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Financial insecurity hits Mass. seniors hard

Financial insecurity hits Mass. seniors hard

Problem affects women most due to lower earnings, longer life

MASSACHUSETTS MAY HAVE come out on top in a recent US News & World Report ranking of states, but it’s a different story when it comes to economic security for senior citizens here. On a measure of the ability of single older residents to pay for basic needs, Massachusetts ranks as the second-worst state in(...)

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Picking winners and losers

Picking winners and losers

For state government, it’s tough to say no

IN THIS ISSUE OF CommonWealth, we by happenstance ended up with three features that take an in-depth look at three forms of government intervention in the state economy. All of them are well-meaning and designed to create jobs and spur the state’s economy to greater heights. But the stories also demonstrate the limitations of government(...)

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More unclaimed money

More unclaimed money

State treasurer holds checks for eminent domain

THERE’S ANOTHER UNCLAIMED money fund in the state treasurer’s office that most people have never heard of. Unlike the traditional abandoned property fund, which consists of money left behind by people in bank accounts, lapsed insurance policies, and safe deposit boxes, this other fund is filled with unclaimed checks from eminent domain land-takings by the(...)

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Lawmakers rush overdue budget to Baker

Lawmakers rush overdue budget to Baker

House satisfied with spending bill; Senate calls it “painful”

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE LARGELY DISCARDING SPENDING plans they approved in the spring, the House and Senate on Friday sent Gov. Charlie Baker a $40.2 billion state budget that holds state spending flat, includes higher employer health care assessments, and, according to some Democrats, underscores the need for higher taxes and new revenues. The bill(...)

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Warren the redistributionist

Warren the redistributionist

Atlantic magazine article misreads senator's stand on growing income disparity

THE CURRENT ISSUE of The Atlantic carries an article by its national editor, Franklin Foer, entitled “What’s Wrong with the Democrats.” In it, he argues that the Democratic Party should become a party of liberal populism. He devotes part of the piece to Massachusetts’s own senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, because he likes her version of liberal(...)

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Mega booze store out for self

Mega booze store out for self

Total Wine’s challenge of state liquor laws could undercut public safety

MASSACHUSETTS LAWS AND regulations governing the sale of alcohol are partially based on the idea of maximizing carefully considered controls and oversight to help reduce negative impacts associated with over-consumption. Recent reports show the Commonwealth’s regulatory approach works. The Bay State has the nation’s second-best record on limiting driving under the influence (DUI), trailing just(...)

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Staples sale shows change is the only constant

Once upon a time there were things called stationery stores. These were usually small-ish shops, often family operated, where one could buy fancy pens and not-so-fancy pens, paper, paper clips, and various other office supplies. One day in 1985, a Massachusetts grocery store executive named Tom Stemberg got frustrated when he had trouble finding a(...)

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