A Voice on the Other Side of the Wall
Erstwhile commenter and Rhode Island escapee Dan has left the following comment:
Hello, everyone. This is my first time commenting since I moved out of Rhode Island, and it may be my last.
Just stopping by to report that since I left the morally and economically bankrupt Democratic hellhole that was my home for 25 years, I have been far happier and more successful. I have a great new non-union job with a great boss, which for some odd reason doesn’t pay me minimum wage with no benefits, defying all progressive logic. I feel like a great weight has been lifted, like I’m not being robbed and insulted everyday by those who run my government. It’s an amazing and empowering feeling.
In my current state, taxes are low and are spent responsibly on public works that people actually enjoy like trees, benches, and working fountains. The people are friendlier down here. Unemployment is lower and unemployment benefits are lower. There is a pride in working and personal responsibility that I never felt before in RI.
It is a right to work state, so I don’t hear much from teachers unions anymore. I’m sure I don’t have to mention that we blow RI out of the water in quality of education, not a coincidence. Police are paid reasonable salaries and mostly just leave people alone. Firefighters are volunteer. Sales tax is a whopping 4%. Not much corruption, or they do a very good job hiding it.
I urge each and every one of you to leave the fool’s errand that is RI as soon as you are able. Every day you stay in RI, you are voting with your actions for the Marxists and criminals who run the state, doing your part to ensure that status quo. If you haven’t learned by this past election that nothing will ever change in RI, well, you won’t ever learn, and you’ll die unhappy fighting those same old windmills.
You have 49 other states from which to choose. RI is not the best of them. Move to NH, move to VA, anywhere, just move somewhere and stop bankrolling the legal mafias in the public unions, city councils, and state legislature. If you love your family, take them with you. Friends will follow, or you’ll make new friends. Get out, and do it sooner rather than later. Don’t be a martyr for liberty and sanity. Do yourself a favor.
It’s difficult to argue with much of what Dan writes, but two points must be made. First of all, individual taxation is the lesser of two ways in which Rhode Islanders pay for the sorry state of their government. The larger component is opportunity costs; I find it jarring, for example, to place the list of things that I can do and have done next to my itinerary of daily activities setting up tools on a muddy jobsite in order to place cement-board siding on a house in the cold and damp. On the other hand, there are opportunities in what I’ve been doing, not only careerwise, but experiencewise. Being a carpenter has changed me in positive ways, over the past six years, and I would never have taken this path if others hadn’t been blocked by circumstances. Moreover, if the larger cost is an opportunity cost, then succeeding is still possible, just more difficult.
The first point leads to the second: it is a presumption of Dan’s that one must “die unhappy” if the state does not change. As with anything, considerations must be balanced. A better job and more reasonable civic culture is not everything; note how little attention the average person pays to the latter. In fact, I do not cede Dan’s assertion that the state is impossible to change, and even if it proves true, in practice, there is value and great reward in making the effort… provided one can survive economically.