Friday, October 30, 2009

3 Questions

One would have to have been asleep for the past few years not to know that Rhode Island has a money problem - we spend too much and receive too little. It is laudable therefore that the General Assembly will have a conversation in December to talk about these problems.

With regard to the high property tax issue (5th highest in the nation) I would urge the legislators to consider the following questions:

1. Do changes in one's property taxes always reflect the changes in the tax levy of their community?
2. Do new owners always pay taxes based on the value of the property they have purchased?
3. Do all owners always receive a limit on their tax increases the way S3050 limits the growth in the tax levy?

The answer to these questions should be a solid "yes" but sadly, the answers are "no".

Until this is addressed, controlling local spending alone will not produce the beneficial results for the taxpayer that it should.

Replace the property tax with an Owners' Tax and we will be able to answer "yes" to all the above questions and save some money too.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Still Crazy?

"Gang leader gets lengthy prison sentence" read the headline on Saturday, October 24, in the Providence Journal. A federal judge sentenced a Laotian gang leader to more than 18 years in prison for agreeing to participate in an armed home invasion. And just who will emerge from prison in 18 years (or maybe sooner with parole)?

You can make a good guess from the fact that he just completed a four year prison term for .... a home invasion!

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

On a more positive note, someone isn't crazy. An educational practice that doesn't work for the welfare of the students needs to be ended. Education Commissioner Deborah Gist wants to stop using seniority as a basis for teacher assignment and promotion. Bravo and congratulations to her.

Maybe it's just me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Don't Forget

There were times during my forty years practicing dentistry that patients could be demanding, late for appointments, and sometimes even rude. Those, especially, were the times that I had to remind myself, and my staff, that people don't exist for us to have someone to practice on. We are there for them. That is not to say that we had no right to expect certain levels of behavior. We do. But without the people, we have no purpose.

The corporate world, those exalted executives, those "too big to fail" banks, other financial institutions, especially the largest ones, corporate lobbyists, union leaders, politicians, all seem to have forgotten something; that without the people, us, they would cease to be. They are there for us, not the other way around. On the other hand, if they ceased to be, we would replace them. We should not let them forget it. Unless we too, forgot.