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Go to D.C, young man, for that is where fortunes are made.

Telling article on I just read this weekend listing the best places in the country to get ahead. The list was compiled based on job and income data. Coincidently enough, 6 of the 7 best counties to live to get ahead today are located in Maryland and Virginia. They include Stafford County, Va., Calvert County, Md., Loudoun County, Va., Charles County, Md., Prince William County, Va., and Anne Arundel County, Md. Is it possible, just remotely possible, that the reason for this geographic concentration of jobs and income is in any way related to the explosive growth of the federal government the last 8 years? And, if related, what does it bode for our country that more and more […]

Ouch from the Globe on state performance

The editorial page of today’s Globe takes up a favorite theme of Pioneer: the use of data to drive performance through measurement and benchmarking. On April 25th, you can see the cities working on this, at Pioneer’s Center for Economic Opportunity conference in Worcester. It promises to be a great event. Register quickly as the RSVPs are coming in early and strong. The Globe editorial highlights the Rappaport Institute’s good work on this subject, but it is also a rather ironic and tough statement on the Governor’s focus on “the rhetoric of hope” rather than the nuts and bolts of ensuring high quality services. Entitled “Together we can manage better,” it opens with what is possible and what other states […]

Supply vs. Demand – and Demand is winning

The Boston Zoning Commission voted yesterday to approve the City Council’s measure to cap students renting off-campus apartments at 4 per unit, without regard to its size. (Read the Globe’s front page article here.) Now I’m sympathetic to what motivated this measure in the first place: I’m pretty sure if my wife and I lived in Allston or Mission Hill, next door to the noise and the revelry, we’d be annoyed as all get up too. Nevertheless, what this measure will most likely not do is bring rental rates in the neighborhoods around the city’s colleges and universities back down to what proponents might call an affordable level. As some of the displaced students would (hopefully, if they paid attention […]

Worse Than I Thought

Turns out I was wrong about the overall indebtedness of the Commonwealth, including quasi-public authorities. I thought it was $36 billion. Its actually $50 billion, per ANF. Including contingent liabilities, that’s over $14,500 per person in the Commonwealth.

Blue Cross Blue Shield – The Public Trough?

I hate to go on a rant here, but $70,000 to be on the board of directors? (Read the Boston Herald story here.) That’s a pretty good gig. How does one get a gig like that? Well, if you’re Bob Haynes, I suppose, you flex your political muscle as head of the state’s AFL-CIO. Though, you would think it’d bring up conflict of interest issues, as BCBS is hard-wired into a good number of the local public employee union contracts. Actually, if you think about it, at $70,000, Bob might be underpaid. Ensuring that BCBS doesn’t have to compete on cost for municipal business has to be worth a lot more than that. Looking around the BCBS director table, we […]