If I Go, There Will Be Trouble; If I Stay, Will It Be Double?

As I said, leaving Rhode Island is certainly an option, but it’s one that comes with costs that I’m not sure I can manage. I’ve also been inclined to stick it out and fight adversity. As do many Rhode Islanders, I’ve got a bit of thinking to do.
As a pretty basic assumption, the place to start is likely with my hometown, and that leads to a fundamental question of the way things work in this state: How much of a difference does one’s town actually make when it comes to livability? We speak often of the state and the top-down imposition of doom (not to be overly dramatic), but what is left to the individual towns to accomplish, and how much opportunity exists to manage salvation upward?

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Jon Scott
Jon Scott
13 years ago

Justin:
That has been the assumption of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers and their Chairman Ed Naile, since the group’s inception. They have forced some real change by giving up on state issues, to a certain degree, and focusing on local communities. Of course it helps that, in NH, they still have an active town meeting system: true democracy at work. We can’t even get another Constitutional Convention here in RI because the representative republic ain’t so representative.
Don’t give up. The “ocean state” is worth saving.
JPS

Michael
13 years ago

Nice use of The Clash. We could use a little more punk rock, life was more fun with it.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

The way our government is structured, there is little to do (or that can be done) at the municipal level … or the executive level. The locus of change – or lack thereof – is the General Assembly.
Another thought re: leaving RI – what would John Galt do?

Michael
13 years ago

Who is John Galt!

Debra
Debra
13 years ago

Where is John Galt?

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>Where is John Galt?
Florida – at least 181 days per year!
He’s considering purchasing one of the new luxury condos in Providence, in which he can stay say, 3-4 months without jeopardizing his Florida residency / tax status.
His neighbors will be a married couple. “Retired” RI public school teachers, now collecting their pensions at age 53, who likewise have established residency in Florida.

SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

Can we pass a law, TomW, that if you receive a Rhode Island public pension, state or municipal, you have to live in Rhode Island 365 days a year to receive it? That would at least force retired public employees to spend the Rhode Island tax dollars they receive in Rhode Island. Not to mention endure the unpleasant economic environment that they helped create.

Michael
13 years ago

Susan D, your contempt for public employees is part of the problem, unless your comment was an attempt at humor. Public employee contracts can be, and are being re-negotiated, co-pays on healthcare are now common and raises not nearly as generous as you have been led to beleive. (Providence Firefighters, no raise since 2004, I won’t comment on other unions because I don’t know their situation) I make a good living doing what I love but trust me, it’s not for the money. Nobody gives us a pension. 9 1/2 % of our pay helps fund the pension system. We are not eligable for social security. Years of mismanagement by city officials put us in the mess we are in, not the people doing the work. We are able to collect our pension at an early age as as incentive of employment. Contrary to views expressed here, if you offered my job at lousy pay and benefits people would not be lining up for the job and those who took the job wouldn’t last long. If you made it this far, thanks for listening.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>Nobody gives us a pension. 9 1/2 % of our pay helps fund the pension system. We are not eligable for social security.
Yes, but you also don’t have to pay FICA taxes. 7.65% (not including the employers portion, which those of us who are self-employed also have to pay).
And your pension benefit is infinitely superior to Social Security “benefits.”
What I am forced to pay into Social Security / Medicare is actually harming my retirement prospects – I’d be FAR better off if I could put the money into an IRA … or a pension equivalent to what government employees get.
>>Years of mismanagement by city officials put us in the mess we are in, not the people doing the work.
Partially true – but don’t forget that but for your union efforts and money most of those people would not be in office – they take orders from YOUR union bosses (have for decades).
>>We are able to collect our pension at an early age as as incentive of employment.
In the case of police and fire personnel, there is a very valid argument for some consideration given the physical demands of the job.
That said, it doesn’t excuse the “disability” retirement scam that has been going on for years.
Neither does it excuse the early retirements / pensions enjoyed by teachers, the bureaucrats at the Registry of Motor vehicles, etc.

Michael
13 years ago

“Partially true – but don’t forget that but for your union efforts and money most of those people would not be in office – they take orders from YOUR union bosses (have for decades).”
Tom, my union hasn’t had a contract for three years, a neutral arbitrater was needed to settle the prior four years contracts. Nobody is taking orders from local 799, it is a myth.
Social Security is a disaster, as for the fica taxes et al, that is a big reason I go on this site, I don’t know enough about these issues and want to learn more.
The “disability scam” no longer exists. Every orginization has it’s deadbeats and we certainly have our share. Unfortunately my contributions to the pension system are paying for retirees who managed to convince three doctors they were disabled. I don’t like it any more than you do, definately room for improvement there.

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