Economy

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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More tools needed to combat wage theft

More tools needed to combat wage theft

Problem costs state workers $700m a year

MASSACHUSETTS HAS AN epidemic of wage theft. An estimated $700 million in wage theft occurs annually in our state, robbing workers and their families of essential income and the ability to stay afloat financially. That’s also bad news for good employers. It creates an uneven playing field for companies that follow the law and that(...)

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Public transportation is investment in Springfield’s future

Public transportation is investment in Springfield’s future

A study of high-speed rail service to Boston should be in the mix

FORGIVE US  FOR opening old wounds, but it was just two years ago this spring that our state was crippled with foot after foot of snow. There was perhaps no more striking example of how dependent our economy is on reliable transportation. One economic analysis reported that Massachusetts lost $1 billion in wages and profits(...)

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Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

State subsidies -- an expensive mistake -- have marginal economic impact

This opinion piece has been corrected in several spots (headline and story) to reflect the fact that $1 billion has not been spent by the Massachusetts Life Science Center. Only $650 million has been spent so far, which would significantly reduce the estimated cost per job HERE WE GO again. Government giveaways to industries will benefit(...)

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Round three on renewable energy

Round three on renewable energy

Supporters’ own data disproves their case

A RECENT OPINION PIECE in Commonwealth (“The Upside of Renewables” by Peter Rothstein and Michael Behrmann) attempts to rebut an earlier piece by me which pointed out the high cost and lack of reliability of renewable energy. However, any objective analysis of their data undercuts their arguments that renewables are economically productive. First, in response(...)

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Taxes don’t make millionaires move

Taxes don’t make millionaires move

National study shows very little migration driven by levy hikes

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATORS APPROVED the so-called Fair Share Amendment last week, setting the stage for it to appear on the 2018 statewide ballot, where voters will decide whether to impose a “millionaire’s tax” on top income-earners to fund transportation and education. Critics will undoubtedly raise one important question: If the state passes this tax, will large(...)

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Don’t just sell, sell to your employees

Don’t just sell, sell to your employees

Few firms are familiar with worker ownership models

SMALL BUSINESSES IN MASSACHUSETTS will soon face a generational impasse. As baby boomers begin to retire, the businesses they have built will need new owners, but who these owners will be is still unclear. While baby boomers collectively own more than 50 percent of businesses with employees in America, only 28 percent of them have a(...)

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Sources: Higher tax, new opt-out in pot bill

Sources: Higher tax, new opt-out in pot bill

House measure would keep treasurer in charge but expand oversight board

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE RETAIL MARIJUANA SALES would be taxed at a maximum rate of 18.75 percent under legislation being developed by the House in preparation for a Thursday vote that would also alter the oversight and local control of an industry legalized by voters last November, according to sources within the Legislature or close(...)

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