Why Government as Business Doesn’t Work, at Least in Rhode Island

For comment on the Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council (RIPEC) report on the Economic Development Corp. (EDC) in his Sunday Providence Journal article, Paul Grimaldi turned to the Massachusetts affiliate of the free-market RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the Pioneer Institute. While the general sentiment that CEO Jim Stergios expressed is apropos, it is unfortunately not correct:

“While Rhode Island may consider Massachusetts is doing better,” Stergios said, “the fact of the matter is Massachusetts is Greater Boston and three Rhode Islands grafted onto it.
“The high unemployment rates you see in those areas are similar to those in Rhode Island.”

New England is the only region of the nation for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks unemployment down to the city/town level, allowing readers to see, by the following map, that Massachusetts is clearly not a bright spot surrounded by Rhode Islandish darkness:

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