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?

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16 years ago

Has the State of RI Economic Development Council been toasting accolades with feet up on desks while the sun has been setting on RI?
Providence metro center in 2003/2004 was ranked number 46 by the prestigious Milken Institute in the top 200 Best Performing metro centers for 5-yr Job Growth, 1-yr Job Growth, 5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth, 1-yr Wages & Salary Growth, Job Growth, 5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth, 1-yr Relative HT GDP Growth, High-Tech GDP LO.
However as an indicator of current business climate, the recently released Milken Institute 200 Best Performing metro centers for 2007 ranks the Providence metro center 150 out of 200 dropping 75 places from previous ranking.
Milken Institute:
Rhode Island August unemployment rate is 5.6% which is above national average.
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training:

16 years ago

Is that ProJo editorial you quoted from the same body who supported the deregulation of Beacon Mutual at a time when all sorts of alarms were sounding about Beacon and their ‘fleecing’ of Rhode Island B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S-E-S?
The same group who’s very supportive of another famous fleecer of R.I. business, Blue Cross and their building of a $120 million self serving monument to themselves on prime Providence real estate and using monies generated by premiums paid by Rhode Island business to do it?
Who supported the terrible deal put forth by Harrahs thus endangering the fiscal health of two pre-existing Rhode Island gaming venues in Lincoln and Newport not to mention endangering the annual budget by greatly reducing the % of gaming revenue to be returned to the state?
This is the group who preaches about Rhode Island’s need for an attractive business climate? lol
The hypocrisy of the Providence Journal is mindboggling.
They routinely sleep with those responsible for our horrible business climate.
We know what needs to be done. The problem is trying to win at a game that’s already rigged in the opposite direction.

16 years ago

Just to add fuel to the fire, the Tax Foundation ranks Rhode Island last ( that’s 50th out of 50 states ) in ‘State Business Tax Climate Index’. HMMMM, 85% Democrats in the General Assembly yields worst Business Tax Climate in the country. Big surprise.
( )

Tom W
Tom W
16 years ago

“Yeah, but we have a great quality of life, so business will come here anyway.” – RIEDC
Just look at our great roads and other infrastructure. Oh, never mind.
How about our great public school system? Oh, never mind.
How about our honest and efficient government? Oh, never mind.
Well, we still have Narragansett Bay. Yeah, that’s it, ignore our punitive taxes, potholed roads, lousy schools and corrupt government, locate your business in RI because of Narragansett Bay!

16 years ago

So Disaster Don takes the helm of the good ship RI and it starts to sink according to the data. And that makes it the Dems fault? TOO FUNNY. This Blog is total BS. Let’s spin the social data, not examine it. Its a lack of vision and leadership that is sinking RI. No livable wages for the workers, high housing costs, poor job growth at lower wages, rising college costs etc. The working Middle Class is taking the hits. Taxes are high in many places that continue to have good growth and good standard of living. Disaster Don digs in against the good paying casino jobs. Disaster Don has cut RI’s future with years of cuts to higher education. Tax cuts to the wealthy do not create jobs or growth automatically. It is more like an inverted U function. As much as we may like to imagine zero taxes in our pockets, the social results are nasty. We have proven that here in RI, and elsewhere in America. It takes LEADERSHIP to LEAD. And VISION. Conservative businessmen generally make poor leaders in my opinion. They are bean counters who fail to see the interrelationships and complexities inherent in the totality of society. The conservatives see things in black and white, as many psychological studies have shown, and cannot assimilate the effects of the cuts they believe work. The long term effects of cuts are often “penny wise and pound foolish”. Full impact assessments are not made and are often not even desirable to these conservatives as the true goal appears to be more blindly following a discredited theory than the production of real results. In some cases the goals appear to be more self serving than some attempt to better the common good. Who has a real vision? I… Read more »

16 years ago

Your lousy schools are guided by the current “APPOINTED” RI Board of Regents responsible for state-wide direction guidance and policy of elementary and secondary education in RI:
Member List:
Robert G Flanders Jr., Esq. Chairman; from East Greenwich, RI.
Patrick A. Guida, Esq., Vice-Chairman from Barrington, RI.
Colleen Callahan, Secretary from? (21 year 6th grade; special education teacher Lincoln, RI)
Amy Beretta, from East Greenwich
Robert Camara, from East Greenwich
Judge Frank Caprio, Esq., from?
Angus Davis, from Bristol, RI
Karin L. Forbes, from North Kingstown
Gary F. Grove; from?
June 2007 U.S. Department of Education Determination Letters on State Implementation of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) indicated Rhode Island Department of Education and Department of Human Services were not in full education compliance and failing to provide individuals with disabilities.
Rhode Island Department of Education responsible for Part B implementation received a “NEEDS ASSISTANCE” rating!
Rhode Island Department of Human Services responsible for Part C implementation received a “NEEDS INTERVENTION” rating!
US Department of Education Web Site and letters to states:
Which also coincides with information provided by the National Council on Teacher Quality; “National Summery 2007; State Teacher Yearbook; Progress on Teacher Quality” which ranks the State of Rhode Island education overall a failing “D” and “Languishing” based on laws, policies, guidance and data provided by State of Rhode Island Department of Education.

16 years ago

“Your lousy schools are guided by the current “APPOINTED” RI Board of Regents responsible for state-wide direction guidance and policy of elementary and secondary education in RI”
Actually, no. They’re guided far more by the industrial style teacher contract extant in most of Rhode Island’s school districts, which has removed all or most management power from the principal and the school committee, a contract put forth by the teachers’ unions (or the teachers themselves, as Michael keeps reminding us) and agreed to by school committees more interested in receiving campaign contributions than in facilitating a good education for our children.
Nice attempt at diverting responsibility, though, Ken.

16 years ago

Lets not mix apples and oranges.
I am not trying to divert responsibility but point to possible top level responsibility sources.
My response to TomW is related to the State of Rhode Island government level (RI Board of Regents and RI Education Department) which sets state-wide educational laws, policy, standards and guidance for teacher certification and sets the educational standards how local city and town school departments educate students.
How the federal government is directly indicating RI government is not providing education support for children with disabilities and how the National Council on Teacher Quality study on 50 states educational laws, policy, standards and guidance indicates RI government state-wide educational laws, policy, standards and guidance are “Languishing”; antiquated and not up to date.
How you arrive at the bottom level local city and town school committee and teacher union contract level befuddles me!

Tom W
Tom W
16 years ago

Flanders was just appointed, so we really can’t hold him responsible for anything yet.
As far as the Board of Regents, look at the totality of Title 16 (Education) of the General Laws of RI.
For example, tenure is required by statute, which limits the ability to promote / reward good teaches, and discipline / remove poor ones. The Regents hands are tied.
Further, because of the “collective bargaining” laws virtually everything having to do with teachers has to be “negotiated” by a local school committee. The Regents hands are tied.
Does the Board of Regents exercise its power to the fullest, and could it do a better job? No doubt. On the other hand, its members also probably well realize that if they tried to be zealous in their mission the teachers unions would go crying to the General Assembly and a statute would override whatever the Regents did.
That said, it is dismaying that the Regents have left McWalters in place – they guy appears to share the goal of many teachers, i.e., remain in his position long enough to cash out with a fat pension. In this he seems to have been successful, albeit at the cost to RI education of not making waves when they need to be (e.g., his mushroom hiding in the dark act related to teachers strikes).
After one spends any time perusing Title 16 it becomes clear that NO ONE has REAL AUTHORITY or RESPONSIBILITY – it is all simultaneously diffused and shared among the Regents, General Assembly statute and school committees.
This is likely not by accident or coincidence. As we all know, government hates accountability, and this vacuum serves the teachers unions extremely well (and thus the unions’ underlings in the General Assembly).

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