A System of Scapegoats
Although I haven’t yet managed to get a handle on the realistic role and responsibilities of Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), I can’t help but feel that a little outrage on the part of its president, Saul Kaplan in response to legislative hammering:
Lawmakers yesterday demanded answers from Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation about why the agency has not done more to curtail job losses and bolster the state’s flagging economy.
“Your feet are to the fire … things are looking pretty bad,” Rep. Elizabeth Dennigan, D-East Providence, told EDC officials at a hearing targeting the agency’s economic growth plan.
Dennigan, chairwoman of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Economic Development, chastised the organization for allowing the state to slip into what economists earlier this week called the Northeast’s only recession.
The lawmakers’ position was clear yesterday: the agency must commit itself to more daily hands-on work to try and reverse the state’s economic forecast.
Kaplan’s response might have been that there’s only so much that a policy organization can do in the face of a take-away-and-give-away legislature. As with much else, in Rhode Island, the EDC appears to be yet another scapegoat whom those who’ve ultimately brought about calamity may blame.