15 Ways to Leave Your Corruptor
Capers Jones makes 15 suggestions that are worth considering toward improving Rhode Island’s economy, in yesterday’s edition of the Statewide Coalition’s daily RISC-y Business newsletter. Jones unequivocally places us in the conversation that we ought to be having across the state.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that everybody has to agree on every item, and several of his points pick up the consolidation theme about which I’m supremely skeptical. Consider:
9. Consolidate our department of transportation with either Massachusetts or Connecticut. Our DOT is dysfunctional, expensive, and has little value.
Here’s a question I’d offer as decisively opposed to such a plan: Of the players in the public-sector battle, who would be better able to work the levers of a big-dollar, multistate public agency — taxpayers/voters or unions? There’s no contest at all. Unionized labor will have the motivation of billions of dollars funneled to a relatively small group, while taxpayers will only have the motivation of a small portion of their total taxes, now entirely pulled apart from the many other issues that motivate voters, because those differ from state to state.
Jones also suggests consolidating schools and reducing the number of towns, cutting the General Assembly to a grand total of fifteen legislators. In a state with our specific problems of voter apathy and strong, statewide special interests, it’d hardly be worth coming up with a point spread to wager on the outcome of that centralized battle for a handful of powerful positions.