Winter 2002

Winter 2002

Weathering the perfect fiscal storm

One year ago, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warned of an impending “perfect storm” in the state’s finances that would spell the end of the generous spending growth of recent years. Although the Commonwealth generated revenue surpluses totaling almost $3 billion in the previous three years–while increasing expenditures by almost 20 percent and cutting taxes by(...)

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New Economy Potential

The good news is that Massachusetts has retained its number-one ranking in the California-based Milken Institute’s annual New Economy Index, which measures states by their potential for high-tech growth. The Bay State finished in the top 10 in all but two of the index’s 12 criteria, benefiting from a highly educated population; venture capital investment(...)

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Schools need more funds

Providing adequate resources for public education is not just a public policy goal, it is also the law. The Education Reform Act of 1993 made an unambiguous promise to public school students in the Commonwealth: that it would provide “a consistent commitment of resources sufficient to provide a high quality public education to every child.”(...)

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Economists give their prognoses for recovery

Economists give their prognoses for recovery

Left to right: Adrienne Ortyl, Paul Harrington, and Alan Clayton-Matthews. Back in March, when economists and other observers were trying to figure out what kept consumers spending even as indicators of an impending downturn piled up, The Boston Globe‘s Adam Pertman trotted out this theory: “Many Americans [are] feeling certain that any downturn probably will(...)

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Shooting for selfsufficiency

Shooting for selfsufficiency

It took Mary Lou Rockwell, a job counselor and social worker at the Metro South/West Regional Employment Board’s Framingham office, three days to get through what is usually a one-hour introductory session. But Jenifer Lang, her new client, was nervous, and she couldn’t look Rockwell in the eye. However much she hid it, Lang was(...)

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Bill Bratton on the new crime paradigm

Bill Bratton on the new crime paradigm

In Boston and New York, Bill Bratton brought modern management to police work. We asked Bratton what he learned from combating urban crime, and the fear associated with it, that can help in the quest for security in an age of terrorism. His answer? Law enforcement and intelligence agencies need to work together. And the(...)

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Terrorism boosts business for Lau

Terrorism boosts business for Lau

INTRO TEXT Six months ago, Joanna Lau was fending off skeptics who regarded her company’s face-recognition software as another iffy high-tech toy, an intriguing technology with an uncertain market and troubling implications. Its most publicized tryout–at last year’s Super Bowl, where the faces of 75,000 entering fans were scanned and matched against a database of(...)

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Government reform in a time of crisis

INTRO TEXT Following the events of September 11, the need to reinvent government “is only more stark,” former Al Gore advisor Elaine Kamarck told the Commonwealth Forum October 18, in a discussion of government reform. “The Challenge of Change: The Future of Government Reform,” moderated by MassINC executive director Tripp Jones, examined the effects of(...)

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