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.

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
12 years ago

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today took shots at those who are not supporting the health care legislation. During a floor speech, he excoriated Senate GOP members for up holding the pending health care bill and accused their supporters of being birthers and fanatics in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups. He started off by citing an editorial from the Manchester Journal Inquirer, which used insults like “lunatic fringe.”

12 years ago

I’ve always thought it was a shame that our General Assembly was downsized. I would favor a state constitutional amendment to restore the assembly to its former size of 100 House Members and 50 Senators. The greater the number of representatives the closer they are to the people. The closer they are to the people the less likely they are to fall victim to the pressures of special interest capture – and the easier they are to remove once they have. Of course, with any expansion in the membership should come an amendment prohibiting any remuneration for service as a citizen legislator.

12 years ago

When I was living in RI and working in MA the min. I crossed the MA/RI line the roads went from snow covered packed down to bare pavement curb to curb dry plowed even on back roads. This was also the case when I worked in Newport and had to travel through MA (Fall River) to get to Newport or when I was visiting CT during the winter. RI snow plow drivers are the worst in the nation and I am hearing it hasn’t gotten any better lever mind the 3-weeks I spent in RI this year driving on deplorable roads during the summer! Last year RI had total grid lock and stuck school buses with children on them with just 6 inches of snow! Does anyone think with all the mismanagement and very poor snow plowing MA and CT would accept and embrace RI joining in a winter snowplowing partnership with RI DOT lever mind road, bridge construction and road and bridge repair (CT Indians would probably stop or cut back State of CT gambling payments because RI is anti Narragansett Indian casino)? MA Indians will be coming on line in near future circling around the RI wagons. Capers Jones should continue skipping down the yellow brick road to never neverland clicking his heels 3-times as he goes because what he is suggesting might never happen in RI, MA or CT with current and near future political mood! Why do you think the RIGOP has dropped out of the running for governor? Writing is all ready on the wall for financial changes. Those left in RI brace yourselves; prepare to dig deeper to support new $250,000 State of RI salaries during a hiring freeze. State of RI has never had so many management salary positions over $100,000 than it… Read more »

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