This Is the Critical Issue for the State
One more statistic to paste into our collage of problems facing the state, all of which point to the same conclusion:
The Mortgage Bankers Association, which compiles the most comprehensive statistics on mortgage loan performance nationwide, also had grim numbers for Rhode Island in the third quarter of the year, the months of July, August and September. The association, which bases its statistic on a nationwide survey of 44 million mortgages serviced by banks, credit union, mortgage companies and other institutions, reported that 10.25 percent of Rhode Island’s mortgages are 30 days or more past due. That’s the record high since the association began keeping records in 1972, according to spokeswoman Carolyn Kemp.
And here’s a bucket of cold water on the foreclosure side:
Looked at a different way, the middle-class Rhode Island suburb of Warwick has a rate — 8.4 — that is higher than a slew of aging Massachusetts factory communities, such as Worcester, 6.4; Fitchburg, 5.9; Lowell, 5.83; Springfield, 5.7, and Fall River, 5.3.
Warwick has about a 60% higher foreclosure rate than Fall River. How long, I wonder, until the entire state of Rhode Island becomes available for eminent domain seizure on the grounds that it’s blighted?
Rhode Island needs jobs. It needs them quickly, and it needs them in large quantities. Tinkering with “targeted policies” isn’t going to do it. Fiddling whith “this receipts tax” and “that receipts tax” gimmicks isn’t going to do it. The state needs to cut taxes, remove mandates, and erase regulations.
If RI House Speaker Bill Murphy wants to cheerlead to promote the state, we’ll get him some pom-poms and a little skirt, but he’ll be performing to empty bleachers unless the message is “we’re changing for your benefit.” The hard part is that the change has to be credible, and that’ll prove a difficult sell if we have the same people at the State House who have cheered us into the ground.