Incentives Do Drive Human Behavior
Rhode Island has an economically unsustainable infrastucture problem, a problem only magnified by a lack of will to face and fix the problem.
In discussing its troubled status, Ed Achorn writes about how There’s no sense in driving out R.I.’s taxpayers and offers these concluding words:
There is one thing everyone should remember: Whatever opinions are offered on these pages, the laws of economics will keep on functioning. However the advocates wish people would behave, humans will keep on responding to incentives. If the politicians persist in hiking taxes, they will keep on driving out wealth creators and pumping up deficits. Just you watch.
As has been said before on this blog, we have two choices: Either deal with economic reality or it will deal harshly and on its own terms with us. The latter outcome will be most painful to those who can least afford it – while many others simply pack up and leave the state. The view from the other side of the Massachusetts-Rhode Island state border looks like an increasingly wise decision, which says more about Rhode Island than it does about Massachusetts.
So, even if you once deeply loved – say, a place like Rhode Island – there is something both sad and liberating about realizing it is possible to let go of years of insane behavior like we see in the state. And if we are honest with ourselves, we realize it is the underlying incentives created by an unbending status quo which gets us to that tipping point of driving changes in our behavior, of packing up and leaving.