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.

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tom parker
tom parker
13 years ago

I don’t think you’re too strong in referring to RI as an “armpit.” A state in thrall of the “special interests” (that means “teachers’ unions” to the untutored), with an aggressive and happily corrupt state government, and local governments fully paid into the “honest corruption” which characterizes RI government across the board, and “armpit” is actually too tame: I suggest using another word (begins with “A” and ends in “hole”) referring to another part of the anatomy located a little lower and towards the rear of the body.
RI is jewel (you have to be away from it to fully realize how much it could offer), with enormous natural advantages which should be drawing population and business instead of teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and subject to its “leaders” ever innovative efforts to pick its already overtaxed resident’s pockets.

13 years ago

RI, like other “shining jewels” (witness Cuba), is captive to its corrupt leadership. Unlike Cuba RI has free elections which speaks to its disfunctional umbilical cord to liberal self serving politicians. I live in Fort Worth,TX. Is RI a more desirable state on an number of fronts?……absolutely. RI can offer a beautiful coast,rich history,proximity to Boston and NYC along with its own great museums,restaurants,culture,etc. However you HAVE to make a living. RI does its citizens young and old a great injustice regarding jobs and opportunities for financial success. Corruption and high taxes have tainted the beautiful landscape. For too many RI has become Paradise Lost.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
13 years ago

“Incremental changes aren’t going to fix things. Tax hikes certainly won’t.”
Won’t stop the progressives from trying it though.
You don’t REALLY think they are going to end COLA’s and raise the retirement age to 67, do you?

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