What Rhode Islanders Ought to Be Thinking About

It is, of course, a matter of concern — a travesty — that Rhode Island is tied for third worst among states when it comes to unemployment. The fact on which its residence should think hard, though, is Rhode Island’s position relative to its fellow New England states:

Rhode Island 12.1 %
Maine 8.3 %
Massachusetts 8.2 %
Connecticut 8.0%
Vermont 7.3%
New Hampshire 6.5 %
U.S.A. 9.4%

Not only is Rhode Island worst among its neighbors, but it stands a good distance on the other side of the national rate. New Hamshire’s unemployment is almost half of ours, for crying out loud!
Unless he was taken out of context to libelous degree, URI Business Administration Professor Edward Mazze brushes away his credibility like dandruff when he states (in reporter Andy Smith’s paraphrase) that “Rhode Island shouldn’t be worrying about competing with neighboring states” because in a global economy “our competition comes from place such as Alabama — or China.” Our competition for what?
I get the impression that Mazze is referring to Rhode Island as a geographical location in which businesses reside. It’s not (or not only); it’s a political entity relying on taxpayers to subsist and utterly failing in the governance of its people. Those people — especially the most productive and motivated of them — will find it much more comfortable a prospect to relocate within the few hours’ drive that New England spans than in Alabama, let alone China.
Forgive me for saying it again and again, but we have a serious problem. Those who are supposed to be guiding our state through these rough waters have shown themselves to be utterly incompetent. The less intelligent of them behave as if they have all of the authority of a college’s student legislature, and the governing principle of the more intelligent of them is scamming for their own benefit.

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Tom W
Tom W
11 years ago

I agree with Mazze to a point.
The pabulum regarding aligning our tax structure with MA is just that, for MA isn’t competitive.
Exhibit 1: Fall River; New Bedford; Springfield; Lawrence.
The only thing keeping MA afloat is the happy circumstance of the universities in Boston, and the Rt. 128 spinoffs from MIT.
Rhode Island has no such happy circumstance, and won’t. (BTW, if Obama succeeds in socializing medicine then the “biotech industry” savior that RI is counting on will be a dead end, for venture capital is not going to invest in companies where the government is going to set prices and profit margins. Watch pharmaceutical research dry up for the same reason.)
Rhode Island is competing with the Southeast and Asia. As for moving within New England, some will. But then, if one has to move anyway, moving to the Southeast is not such a stretch … particularly if one is a business owner looking at the perpetual tax and other “cost of doing business” savings in the Southeast. Think income tax free Tennessee, Florida and Texas.
Rhode Island is woefully unprepared to compete with anywhere. Our taxes are way too high. Our public education system is producing unskilled labor. Our welfare magnet culture is producing a generation more concerned with “benefits” than upward mobility. Our infrastructure is collapsing. And then there’s our culture of political corruption.
Rhode Island does have great potential. But the Democrat General Assembly is determined to squander it by protecting the special interest dominated status quo.
So the outlook for Rhode Island is bleak indeed.

David
David
11 years ago

One Rhode Islander I know took a BIG Timeout from immediate Rhode Island business to get his ME Time for WFB. A longer and a more comprehensive viewpoint could have been the result. Sadly he returns with the same worn-out tribulations.

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