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How do you say “yippee” in French?

Paris is six hours ahead. The polls will soon open. While things French do not fall within the bandwidth of Pioneer, it would be foolish to ignore the sea change that is coming in France. Paris is still an important intellectual center. The big money focus of Chirac’s tenure brought insider deals for his friends and a politics of convenience. Good riddance. The Left in France, which has never seen the kind of reform that took place in Italy or Britain, is still spinning its wheels in Stalingrad. That soon will change, as the various components of France’s Left coalition (and especially the Socialists) will face an overhaul the likes of which we have not seen in the last half […]

If you can make it there. . .

Tom Menino has been mayor of Boston for roughly 14 years now. During that time he has provided sturdy leadership and, whatever else can be said of him, he has at least wanted the job to which he was elected (more than can be said for a number of our ex-governors and even Mr. Menino’s two predecessors). Nevertheless, I need to express some dissatisfaction. Sturdy just isn’t enough, not after 14 years. If the mayor chooses to maintain the sturdy course, his legacy will be very tepid indeed. He has twice been reelected by margins greater than 40 percentage points and, though there are a number of viable mayoral candidates waiting in the wings, the choice to remain mayor after […]

Today Pioneer, Tomorrow….

Former Pioneer summer intern Brady Cassis starred as a quarterfinalist on College Jeopardy this week (top row, to the right). For the truly dedicated, a YouTube feed of the event is available (see below). Warning — its from a group of Stanford students supporting another contestant, not our dear Brady.

Unemployment Insurance — Why You Should Care

The irascible Jon Keller gets it exactly right in a recent post on his blog — unemployment insurance reform is “crucial part of restoring job growth” in the state. In our recent study on the cost of doing business in Massachusetts, we found that Massachusetts’ UI costs were significantly higher than many of our competitor states — New Hampshire is 72% lower, New York (!!) is 49% lower, North Carolina is 27% lower, and Texas is 59% lower. Yesterday’s hearing (sub. reg.) at the State House appeared to have focussed on efforts to make unemployment benefits marginally more difficult to access. Pioneer will have a policy brief later this month, analyzing the issue. We’ll examine the issue of benefits eligibility, […]

Spend first, ask questions later…it worked for the Big Dig, right?

Today’s Globe offers another salvo in an ongoing barrage of education news from the Administration. The story uses a thousand words to describe how the Governor “appears to be laying the groundwork” to reduce the local property tax burden. Don’t get bogged down; the story’s gist is shorter than its URL: State government will spend more on education. Okay. Onward and upward is always front-page news. The real “groundwork,” though, tends to get buried like a tunnel under Fort Point Channel. The State House News Service (reg. required) exposes an intention to “destroy” the state Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (EQA), and here’s why: “‘It just needs to thoroughly be reconstituted,’ said Glenn Koocher, MASC executive director, comparing getting […]