Sure, EB is laying off…but we’ve got more slots! II: Achorn Chimes In
In Sure, EB is laying off…but we’ve got more slots!, I contrasted two headlines that seemed to sum up the current state of RI economic development. It was more of an attempt at saracasm than substance. Well, ProJo columnist Edward Achorn also noticed the contrast and has written on the topic.
Last Wednesday, two fairly depressing headlines dominated The Journal’s front page: “Electric Boat to cut 2,400 jobs” and “State OKs expansion in Newport Grand slots.”
It is hard not to see a link: Good jobs (mostly at Groton, Conn., but 500 to 600 at Quonset Point) are leaving, and Rhode Island officials keep hoping that ever-expanding gambling can paper over a deficit of tax revenue. That’s a prescription for disaster.
Gambling revenue is fool’s gold. Gambling preys on weak people, fuels crime, inflicts terrible damage on families, and takes money out of the economy — and straight out of the state to the home offices of the gambling companies — that could be spent much more fruitfully in other ways. For some reason, Rhode Island’s elected officials seem slow to grasp this point.
Achorn takes RI politicians–including the Governor–to task and also offers some prescriptions for the future. I encourage you to read the whole piece.