Amgen Shows Economic Diversification is Best
I’m sure I’ve written something similar to this ProJo editorial before (I know the link is here somewhere….)
What a state like Rhode Island must do to prevent being hammered by the decisions of one company is to focus less on attracting individual firms and sectors and more on creating an overall climate for companies, large and small, already doing business here or considering coming here. That means a solid physical infrastructure, building on the state’s comparative advantages (which the state has disastrously failed to do with its international-port potential), good schools and a tax structure not less attractive to business than neighboring states’. (The paucity of graduates in the Ocean State with the skills needed for high-level 21st Century work is probably the problem most frequently cited by executives of companies in doing business in the state.)
Ignoring those requirements in favor of headline-grabbing deals with famous, glamorous individual companies and sectors is the road to economic disaster.
Oh, here it is:
Crafting specific, sweetheart deals seem to only work so long as they are in place. Once they expire, off go those who took advantage of them. Instead, we need to follow a holistic plan. The entire business climate needs to change to first attract, and then maintain, new employers. Targeted business tax credits aren’t enough. What needs to be done is to lower the tax burden across the board and reduce the red-tape and regulatory roadblocks.
Sheesh, if a Sox cap wearing yahoo like me can figure it out, what’s taking all of the “smart” people so long?