RI Economy: Solution is Obvious to (almost) All
John Kostrzewa writes:
The state’s economic development strategy needs short-term and long-term goals. It gets out of balance when too much energy goes into attracting out-of-state companies with tax breaks or taking care of the demands of the politically connected while deciding not to invest in developing companies that will create jobs in the future.
The other lesson is that the key constituency is the small-business owner. There are 54,000 of them in Rhode Island, and by Carcieri’s own estimate, they employ 90 percent of the workers. Too often, they feel left out of the state’s plan and think the state, with its tax or regulatory policy, is only out to hurt, not help them.
Small-business owners have a clear list of priorities; they want a lower cost to do business; access to capital; a consistent, manageable system of rules and regulations and the ability to keep more of what they earn.
The other constituencies — the elected officials who seek special treatment and the big-company leaders who have the ear of the governor — will all fall into place if the first two lessons are learned.