Quiet Testimony from Rhode Islanders

Two bits of testimony from Tuesday’s opinion pages are worth reading if you missed them. The firstL comes via Ed Achorn:

MIKE HAMEL grew up in Providence. He went to work at the age of 16 at Regal Plating on South Street, drying the jewelry produced at the plant. He has been working ever since. He served for more than four years in the U.S. Air Force, 1967-71. He’s a union guy, a member of the Teamsters. He’s 60 now. …
As far as he can tell, nobody is lobbying for him on Smith Hill. The Rhode Island General Assembly seems uninterested in the private-sector working stiff, other than as a host on which to affix itself and remove ever-increasing tax dollars.
“They don’t care about me. They pander to the special interests, and they pander to each other,” he said. “I don’t refer to them as the General Assembly. I call them the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Public Employee Unions. That is a more accurate description of the job they perform.” …
Last November, he learned that he was going to lose his job. Clariant Corp. announced it was shutting down its plant in Coventry before the end of 2008, eliminating 120 positions — including Mr. Hamel’s, supervising the operation of the boilers — and moving production to its plants in Germany and Mexico. It had become too costly to do the work in a state with such brutally high costs. …
“The state does not seem to comprehend what is happening out here in the real world. It’s almost like when they walk into the State House, they walk into Disneyland,” Mr. Hamel said.

The second is a first-person offering from David Evans:

My background is that of an engineer, inventor, and lately, business owner. Our company manufactures electronic equipment and now employs 20 Rhode Islanders. The company started in 1996 and is located in East Providence. The company was built upon lots of sweat, long hours of hard work, and great personal financial risk. …
It is expensive to do business here. I live in Massachusetts, whose income-tax rate is a flat 5.25 percent. The maximum tax rate in Rhode Island is 9.9 percent. Consequently, yearly we pay many tens of thousands of dollars more in personal- and business-income tax as a result of our business being located in Rhode Island. The difference amounts to much more than the annual cost of rent, property taxes, and utilities for our factory.
I can assure you, it would make great sense to move a mile up the road into Massachusetts, and we could do it without inconveniencing a single employee. Indeed, it would be easier for me personally.

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The Chorus
The Chorus
16 years ago

Ironic…unions once made America strong when they were needed…now they are tearing us down at the knees…they have outlived their usefulness…The Gov’t now is much involved in labor issues…How many of you personally have witnessed or heard stories about union hacks bleeding us dry? Teachers who can’t teach but can’t be fired. Labor unions who purposely use out-dated equipment to milk the lenght of their time and materials contracts. Social workers who’s mistakes are often only realized and addressed when tragedy plays out on the front pages of the local papers. Rescue 911 operators who let a poor woman die after 4 calls to 911. Union says, “No sweat, brother. We got your back.”

16 years ago

Progressives can’t fathom these sentiments because they profess that they LOVE TO PAY TAXES! They can’t figure out why you would drive to Attleboro or Seekonk to buy a big screen television or washer/dryer. And they REALLY can’t figure out why you don’t do your duty as a host body..err..taxpayer and file reports to pay that extra 2% to the RI gov’t.

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