Voting for Your Family

I’ve been saying for years that we with eyes to see should attempt to explain to our fellow Rhode Islanders that their voting habits must change if they wish to keep their families together. A vote for the same old legislators is a vote for your son or daughter to move out of state in the search for work. That’s also a conclusion in Edward Mazze’s column, yesterday, which gives one the sense that ideas on general principles for moving forward are beginning to coalesce:

The outlook for jobs for the remainder of 2008 is bleak. For March, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training announced a decline of 3,100 jobs, which increased the state’s unemployment rate to 6.1 percent. This is the highest unemployment rate in the region and the highest unemployment rate in Rhode Island since August 1995. In February and March, employment losses were reported in almost every industry sector in the state. It currently looks like no new net jobs will be created in Rhode Island in 2008. …
The solutions include making Rhode Island more fiscally responsible and job creation the focus of Rhode Island’s economic programs. The graduating class of 2008, as in past years, will have to seek employment in other states since there will be few jobs in Rhode Island available to them.
In recent years, there has been more job destruction (jobs lost due to business contraction, closure or out-migration) than job creation in Rhode Island. The net job-creation rate has been the highest among smaller businesses, while it has been negative at larger businesses. …
The objective is to make the state business friendly. This goal can be accomplished by a sweeping reform of the state’s tax policy, changing those policies that slow down business activities such as permitting, and changing legislation and policies that prevent individuals from entering specific trades by requiring long-term apprenticeships. Rhode Island must continue to develop a one-stop place for businesses to go for permitting, tax information and support services to create less red tape.

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