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A rose by another name

Totally off topic, but I do want to acknowledge Kevin Cullen’s column in today’s Globe. One of my first jobs out of college was as one of the teen directors at the Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club in Dorchester, which has now changed its name – to reflect how much it’s grown – to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester. In all, I spent three years at the Club. The men and women who work there – Bob Scannell, Mike Joyce, Dave Bonnell, Bruce Seals and Queenie Santos, the person I worked with most closely – are among the finest people I know. The club has been an anchor and an oasis in a neighborhood that too often […]

Getting the Incentives Right

At the end of the day, compensation systems are intended to attract a workforce appropriate to the task. So, the details in Monday’s Globe story on expanded State Police recruitment are alarming. The story leads with a push for greater diversity but quickly gets to the point: Thirty-nine percent of the department’s 2,429 officers are eligible to retire because they’ve been on the job for more than 20 years, and more than half of those already qualify for a full pension, according to State Police. “Over 500 troopers have maxed out their pension and could walk out the door any time,” said Colonel Mark Delaney. As our 2006 paper on state pensions points out, the Commonwealth builds all kinds of […]

Fed corporate tax killing state competitiveness

One could sum up a report from the Tax Foundation as saying the equivalent of – the French are eating our lunch. And you know that is not good. We, for many reasons, including avoidance of indigestion, should be eating theirs. The latest report from the Foundation shows that nearly half of U.S. states tax job providers at a higher rate than any other country in the developed world. Counting the federal rate alone, the U.S. has the world’s highest corporate tax rate, but including average sub-national rates (federal plus state in the U.S.), Japan edges out the U.S. for the highest-tax location. This study breaks the tax down by state, adding each state’s corporate tax rate to the federal […]

17-year old wisdom

We have an expression we use around the office: adult in the room, that person in any organization whose cooler head usually prevails when panic, or sometimes silliness, otherwise would. For example, the Patrick Administration didn’t have an adult in the room last January to say no to the Governor when he wanted a new Cadillac and damask drapes. That’s why Doug Rubin was brought in. Why the exposition of internal Pioneer lingo? Because of the report in today’s Globe on replacing the”underperforming” label for schools with a gentler euphemism. It seems the Massachusetts Board of Education has devoted parts of its last three meetings to debating nomenclature. Now, I’m not one to dismiss the significance of language, but this […]

Thanks TxDoT

Our thanks to the kind folks at the Texas Department of Transportation who featured an excerpt of our research paper, Our Legacy of Neglect: The Longfellow Bridge and the Cost of Deferred Maintenance in the Winter edition of Horizon Magazine.