Solving RI’s Crisis in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps

Anybody who missed it on Sunday should take a moment to read URI Business Administration Professor Edward Mazze’s “10 steps to right R.I.’s dire financial state“:

Any optimism for job creation next month has disappeared as the state, region and national economy slide downward. For years, we have been dealing with a partial truth that higher salaried jobs are on their way to the state and a reduction in taxes and new incentives will lead companies to move to Rhode Island. There is little evidence that any of these events took place in the last 18 months and evidence that the state’s future expectations for growth may be unrealistic. There is no solution to the state’s economic problems in sight.
Some legislators are introducing bills in this session to harm existing businesses and deter other businesses from coming to the state. The state needs an emergency management plan that takes advantage of the “best practices” of business. The state cannot respond to its bad economic performance with denials, blaming it on unions, Band-Aids, and smoke and mirrors that in the past have led nowhere.
If Rhode Island was a business with subsidiaries such as cities, towns and municipalities, what would the board of directors of the company do to preserve the wealth of the shareholders (in our case, the taxpayers), employees and suppliers and put the company back into motion?

Certain readers will likely zoom in on Mazze’s instruction to avoid “blaming it on unions,” and I’ll agree that the core problem that makes public sector unions so conspicuously detrimental isn’t the nature of the unions, but the spinelessness of our leaders. Unions do what they do.
Unfortunately, the same can be said of elected officials, and in Rhode Island there is a well-entrenched bloc, counting the unions among its membership, that must be broken before the openness and transparency so central to Mazze’s 10 steps can be achieved.

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