The Stultified Population

Odds are that readers of Anchor Rising have come across it, already, but Ed Achorn raised the apropos problem, yetserday:

Rhode Island, according to Forbes, suffers from job-killing regulatory burdens, high taxes and steep energy costs, reflected in an astonishingly poor growth rate in gross state product of 0.9 percent over five years. The only states that performed more pitifully during that period were the Rust Belt disasters of Indiana (0.6), Ohio (0.4) and Michigan (minus 0.9).
It was not a question of factors beyond our political control, such as geography. Nearby New Hampshire (19), and even Massachusetts (34) and Connecticut (35), had significantly higher growth rates.
In a healthier state, such a frightening report card might prod the public to turn off the TV, call their legislators, convene protests, write letters and demand the politicians’ heads on a platter. Leaders, driven by shame or fear, might produce legislation to turn this around.
But here, in the land of zombies, no one apologizes, no one is held accountable, no one even seems to care.

It’s really the darndest thing, and I bet we’ll see it again in the next election cycle. At some point, the parasites have so thoroughly captured their host that there’s no salvific possibility.

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14 years ago

Yet the solution is easy. Federal, state, local: don’t vote for any democrats. Period.

14 years ago

And the solution to this problem is….*shakes RIFuture 8-ball*… more regulations on greedy businesses and higher public pensions.
Argh, why didn’t we think of that?

14 years ago

When you consider the number of voters (who actually turn out) who are (1) directly employed by state or local government; (2) related to someone who is employed by state or local government; (3) directly receiving benefits from one of the state’s welfare programs (including RIte Care); (4) dependent on the state for a significant portion of their organization’s revenues (e.g., social service agencies, hospitals, not for profits, businesses who have a good deal with the state or town because they know a guy); (5) ideologically left wing — er, “progressive”, and/or (6) still fighting ethnic/tribal conflicts that characterized RI in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s (“all Republicans are greedy mill owners”), you have a solid majority that causes everyone else to become deeply depressed and apathetic, or to leave RI for greener pastures.
In short, there is a good reason nobody reacts to the continuing stream of comparative analyses that find RI lagging way behind the rest of the United States.
Sadly, we all know where this is leading. And in that regard, Bill Murphy tossing in the towel speaks volumes about what lies ahead.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
14 years ago

John wrties:
“When you consider the number of voters (who actually turn out) who are (1) directly employed by state or local government; (2) related to someone who is employed by state or local government; ”
I looked into this when the last census came out. I may be very slightly in error as I work from memory.
(1) In RI it is 22.6%, that is only slightly higher than the national average of 21%. Clinton’s first election, was the first election in which more than 20% of the voters drew their paychecks from the government.
(2) I have no way to quantify this, but ancient political wisdom is the that “for every person you hire, you buy 5 votes”.

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