A Simple Lesson in the Numbers
Michael Barone looked at employment and population numbers and came to a simple conclusion:
The lesson of the previous decade seems clear: if you take a previously prosperous and creative state and subject it to high taxes and intrusive regulations, it loses 5% of its private sector jobs; if you take a previously somewhat less prosperous and creative state and govern it with low taxes and light regulation, it gains 9% more jobs, even as the nation’s economy is suffering.
He’s referring to California and Texas, respectively, but the lesson carries to other states, as well. That’s why Rhode Island will never rise to the level at which its natural advantages ought to place it unless elected officials can find the wherewithal to reduce tax burdens, eliminate mandates (both on lower-tier governments and on the private sector), and ease the reams of regulations under which we live.
Rhode Island ought to be the glimmering jewel of New England; instead, it’s the armpit. Incremental changes aren’t going to fix things. Tax hikes certainly won’t.