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.