Rhode Island Hurts Famlies

In a moving letter (that does not appear to be online), small-business-owner David Durfee of North Scituate tells of his historical need to work harder to “overcome the obstacles created by the General Assembly” but expresses gratitude for having been able to be nearby for his father during his final days. He goes on:

It was then that I realized what the politicians in this state have taken from us. How blind I was to a problem I could not resolve with just hard work!
It is that our sons and daughters see no future for themselves in Rhode Island. My two oldest children have already moved out of state. I now realize the increasing likelihood that the pleasure of having my children around me as I age has been stolen from me. More friends are talking about moving to be with their children. With them will go their wealth and businesses.

Such are the effects of bad governance. I continue to fear that a line may have already been crossed: That enough families have up and left over the years that there is no longer a voting base to turn the situation around. Still, except for those few who are well enough connected to secure employment for their entire families (such as the Iannazzis and Ruggerios), the damage described by Durfee is applied to most of those who benefit from Rhode Island’s bad governance as well as those of us who don’t.

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11 years ago

I had planned on sponsoring the Warwick National Little League Team in the Sallie Eddie tournament this year, like I did last year with a $150.00 sponsorship fee. It buys the kids a new cap and paye for registration.
Instead, I’m paying my boiler inspection “fee” of $120.00 so that my customers will be safe in case my five gallon brand new electric water heater explodes.
I did manage to avoid the $500.00 fine they imposed on me for failure to pay, as long as I pony’s up the original shake-down money.
The law will be amended this year, but because I was “Inspected” this year, I still have to pay.

11 years ago

A great poignant letter by Mr. Durfee. I’m sure the “Durfee” is the famous hardware family in Cranston. What a store. It really sums up the ultimate tragedy of corruption and it’s consequences. Supply and demand… (something Mr. Durfee is very aware of)….the demand for RI as a place to live is vanishing. The supply of crooks, idle dependents and schmoozers is growing. It is a recipe for fiscal disaster. People are voting with their feet….like I did many years ago.

11 years ago

Indeed, the tipping point was passed years ago, if by that you mean the possibility that the RI political process could save the sinking ship.
The purpose of that process today is not to save the ship, but rather to determine who gets what in the ultimate meltdown. Will public sector union members find out what lots of private sector workers with defined benefit plans learned long ago about what happens to expected benefits in plans that are severely underfunded (see PBGC and airline pilots, for example)? Will the whole poverty/entitlement/guilt complex see their funding cut (forcing their constituency to move out of state)?
One or the other must be true, because another tipping point has also likely been passed — the point at which you can raise tax rates and not have the expected revenue boost wholly offset (or more than offset) by a contraction in the base upon which the tax is assessed. And the bond market surely isn’t far behind — RI’s ability to issue debt today must surely be impaired.
So it is all coming down to who gets theirs and who gets screwed. Walsh suggesting that Lincoln be made a casino and sold to shore up union pension plans was just an opening shot in this battle. At some point, either the poverty industry or the public sector unions will suggest that the time has come for bondholders to accept their “fair share” of the pain — after all, they contributed to the state’s problems by lending to us, didn’t they?
That’s what’s really going on inside the RI death spiral; everything else is a sideshow.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

Let’s be a little fair here. Rhode Island is a tiny state, it cannot possibly offer every opportunity desired. Plus,opportunities tend to cluster. High Tech has Rte 128, Chapel Hill, and various areas on the West Coast. Banking clusters in very large cities (Providence doesn’t cut it).
This does not mean that Mr. Durfee does not make valid points.

11 years ago

“the RI death spiral”
You know, I’ve been conflicted about the GA’s budget. On the one hand, it’s a relief that they refused to incorporate much from Gov Chafee’s budget – especially “lowering and broadening”.
On the other hand, the budget basically represents a holding action; a continuation of the status quo. The problem with that course of non-action is that the state is in, as John points out, a death spiral.
That is not an adviseable place to establish a holding pattern. It might be a good idea, when you’re in a spiral, to do things to pull out of it and not just go with the flow.

11 years ago

“Rhode Island is a tiny state, it cannot possibly offer every opportunity desired”
Have to disagree with you Warrington (a first). High tech knows no bounds in our information age. However if energy costs are unduly high,workers compensation laws archaic and business taxes high then you can kiss any business goodbye to another locale. There is NO reason why RI should fall this far behind especially with the proximity of Boston,NYC,Brown,RISD,etc. Oh wait there is a reason..the people running the state are short sighted,corrupt and incompetent.

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