What Sort of Hope Are We Talking About?

The person who emailed me Ted Nesi’s Providence Business News article about the Pew research study that Andrew mentioned this morning began his email, “Hope you’re well. Off…” At first glance, I misread that as, “Hope you’re well off.” That might be a fitting new motto for the state. (Is it too late to get it on the next ballot?)
Frankly, I’m not sure that even the folks sounding sirens about Rhode Island’s economy and government deficits have the right mindset to address the problem. As Nesi quotes from the report:

“The country’s smallest state has big problems,” the report said. “It was one of the first states to fall into the recession because of the housing crisis, and it may be one of the last to emerge, hampered by high tax rates, persistent state budget deficits and a lack of high-tech jobs.”

Strictly speaking, it probably isn’t accurate to say that the “housing crisis” caused the recession, in Rhode Island. Rather, the housing bubble disguised a weak economy that would otherwise have begun its dramatic slide several years earlier.

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