Dictating Your Behavior: Specific and Target Action; Changing Theirs: We’ll Get to That

Let’s just say that Elizabeth Roberts’s efforts to increase economic activity in Rhode Island aren’t very inspiring, not the least because they begin on the wrong side of the equation:

WITH RHODE ISLAND’S economy in recession, joblessness approaching double digits and our small businesses bearing the brunt of the downturn, we all have a role to play in pulling our state out of its current economic decline.
As we near the peak of the holiday shopping season, one immediate step we can all take is to make a conscious effort to support locally owned Rhode Island businesses.

As seems always to be the case, the burden falls to you, Average Rhode Islander, to change your behavior, probably to act in contradiction to your direct personal interests, and contribute more. Oh, she alludes to other areas in which change is needed:

It would be naive to think that Buy Local RI by itself can solve all the issues facing our small businesses. We know that some factors — like commodity prices and the stock market — that are beyond our control. As chairwoman of the Small Business Advocacy Council I pay close attention to the challenges facing Rhode Island’s small businesses: taxes and fees, time-consuming and non-standardized regulatory requirements, the rising costs of health insurance and inadequate access to capital or to properly skilled workers.
As Rhode Island’s government prepares to address this year’s supplemental budget and next year’s projected deficit, we must make sure that the policies we craft with our state budget also begin to address these long-term challenges facing Rhode Island’s small businesses — and I am committed to doing that.

As comforting as the thought of a committed Ms. Roberts may be, we all should wonder: Where’s the call for immediate action at the statehouse to provide incentives to shoppers to buy locally? Where’s the demand that the legislature cut sales taxes below those of our neighbors? Where’s the call to shrink government so that taxpayers can retain more money to spread around?
The greatest long-term challenges facing Rhode Island are the collection of milquetoast and clueless politicians in line to lead us and the apparently broad belief that we can’t do any better.

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Mike
12 years ago

Not totally clueless–we don’t do better. We voted more of these clowns in, after all. I’m voting with my feet. Another upper-middle class family departing the welfare state

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

Mike and his family are getting on one of the lifeboats leaving the RItanic!
Godspeed, Mike. Say a prayer for the rest of us poor souls still stuck on board.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

That first post was by an imposter. I don’t have the luxury of being upper middle class or I would be long gone already-or a progressivelike the rest of the state’s Millionaire Marxists.
As to the topic-gas, liquor, cigarettes, meals and anything taxable is cheaper in MA than RI.
Buy EVERYTHING taxable out of state or online
SCREWRI-and the crooks who run it.

Tom P
Tom P
12 years ago

Is it true that the Republican rep from Tiverton os plotting a run for Lt. Gov? Wow, talk about a choice between two useless political hacks! Roberts v Laughlin – yuk

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
12 years ago

Man, you have to laugh at these clueless idiots in office. Caprio thinks the answer is getting people to buy their clothes here because of no sales tax. Duhhhh! In MA there is no tax on clothing items under $175 and in CT under $50. Why even waste the money on that stupid ad, Caprio? And Roberts? Heck, give her a pair of pom-poms and tell her to take her act to Foxboro.
While Rome is burning, this is the best they can come up with???
Sort of an indication as to why we are in this mess to begin with! When are the grownups coming home?

johnpaycheck
johnpaycheck
12 years ago

caprio, roberts…..frightening….they still think its a game that they have to win with the most sound bites.

Will
12 years ago

Ms. Roberts approach is “please forget that everything cost more here, because of our gross mismanagement of our state’s economy … but buy your stuff here anyway, even though you can’t afford it.”
Yeah, right.
I think she needs to go back to school and learn about basic economics, because it’s obvious that she doesn’t have a clue why Rhode Islanders seek alternatives.
How about making Rhode Island competitive?

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“How about making Rhode Island competitive?”
Ahh.

LittleRhody
LittleRhody
12 years ago

With all of your critics, why doesn’t one of you offer a suggestion of how to make things better. Maybe Caprio and Robers don’t have the solutions, but at least they are trying to do something. Not one of you who have posted something before me gave one idea. All you do is criticize and complain and threaten to leave Rhode Island. If you do not like it here – then leave!

bobc
bobc
12 years ago

With all of your critics, why doesn’t one of you offer a suggestion of how to make things better. Maybe Caprio and Robers don’t have the solutions, but at least they are trying to do something. Not one of you who have posted something before me gave one idea. All you do is criticize and complain and threaten to leave Rhode Island. If you do not like it here – then leave!
LittleRhody,
You just seem like more of the same that you rail against. What are your solutions to all of this? Or is it that you think everything is just hunky-dory?

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>With all of your critics, why doesn’t one of you offer a suggestion of how to make things better. Maybe Caprio and Robers don’t have the solutions, but at least they are trying to do something
They aren’t trying to do anything but generate positive press for their planned gubernatorial runs.
You want suggestions?
Eliminate at least one (preferably two) major forms of taxation – sales and/or income. NH does it, so it can be done.
Adjust RI’s welfare benefits to no more than federal minimums – end our status as a welfare magnet.
Immediately transition ALL state and municipal employees to a defined contribution plan; freezing the defined benefit plans.
Make Rhode Island a right-to-work state.
Universal education vouchers – an equal amount for each child in RI – which their parents can use at the school which they feel would best serve their children.

John
John
12 years ago

Little Rhody,
If you look back over the years, you’ll find that many people offered ideas that, had they been implemented, could have headed off the current debacle. But as those ideas threatened the power of the public sector union/welfare industry coalition that controls the Democratic Party and the General Assembly, they were not listened to; indeed, the people proposing them were often viciously attacked (a backhanded compliment to the accuracy of their diagnosis). Most of these reformers have long since left Rhode Island for greener pastures elsewhere. To put it bluntly, your taunt — but what is your plan? — is sadly out of date. The time for reform has passed; not is the time for the gales of destruction that will finally fix Rhode Island’s long festering problems. This is the bed you have made; I hope you enjoy lying in it.

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