The Departure from Rhode Island of the John Galts Can be Reversed
Under Justin’s post “Do You Know This Guy?”, BobN points out
Why would anyone have a problem with the [Ayn] Rand signs? They are neither in poor taste nor dishonest.
The condition of Rhode Island’s finances, economy, and urban society does resemble the one described in Atlas Shrugged in a number of disturbing ways.
Indeed. As does the end result: the “strike” or departure of the John Galts. The only difference is that the John Galts – using the term in a larger sense to include both corporations and individuals – of Rhode Island have been leaving the state over the last two decades, not all at one moment. So they’re departure is less stark.
That they have been leaving, however, is plainly demonstrated by the poor economic condition of the state on every level: the chronic scarcity of good jobs; an economy always worse than that of most other states; the extent of our tax burden (more payers would mean lower taxes); the size of the state budget deficit.
As in the novel, the decision by the John Galts to leave Rhode Island was not arbitrary but in response to certain repulsing conditions. The good news, however, is that, in real life, these conditions can be ameliorated with the legislative flip of a switch: the tax and regulatory burdens unique to Rhode Island can be eased and the John Galts encouraged to return.