July 27, 2009

Just Another Dog-Bites-Rhode-Island's-Business-Climate Story

Carroll Andrew Morse

This sort of thing doesn't really qualify as news anymore, but Rhode Island ranks 48th on CNBC's list of "top states for business". Here's how the six New England states ranked…

8. Massachusetts
21. New Hampshire
30. Vermont
35. Connecticut
40. Maine
48. Rhode Island
Massachusetts' substantial gap over New Hampshire in the rankings seems to come mostly from two of the criteria used, "technology and innovation" and "access to capital".

Rankings based on adding up a collection of indexes should always be taken with a grain of salt, at the very least. That said, Rhode Island's most surprising sub-ranking has to be its low "quality of life" score relative to the rest New England, especially given that quality of life is often touted as one of Rhode Island's strongest selling points...

1. New Hampshire
2. Vermont
2. Connecticut
6. Massachusetts
8. Maine
24. Rhode Island
Is this yet another indicator of how our state's leaders have been squandering whatever advantages Rhode Island might have once had?

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Nothing new at all - Rhode Island has been at the bottom of the ratings barrel for decades now.

Last Fall AR posted a flash video "history lesson." -


What is intriguing about it is the quotes from the late 1970's / early 1980's commission appointed by Governor Garrahy, and the consistency with the later newspaper headlines from 25 years later.


For election purposes the Democrat General Assembly claims to be the party and institution of "working families." It's a lie. They're only interested in feathering their own nests and those of their union sponsors and poverty industry dependents.

That is why, despite the pretty facade erected in Providence, Rhode Island as a whole has gotten poorer and poorer over recent decades. It is the middle-class and senior home owners that are being wiped out.

Posted by: Tom W at July 27, 2009 9:55 AM

As you say, the overall ranking is no surprise, but given CNBC's explanation of their QoL category…

The best places to do business are also the best places to live. We scored the states on several factors, including local attractions, crime rate, health care, as well as air and water quality.
…I'm curious to know where RI did so badly compared to all of the other New England states.

Posted by: Andrew at July 27, 2009 10:13 AM

High, high taxes purchasing ...

Cratered roads and collapsing bridges?

Low quality public schools?

Looming huge tax increases precipitated by multi-billion unfunded pension and OPEB liabilities?

Second-highest unemployment rate after Michigan? (Lack of employment prospects certainly impact the quality of life of the unemployed and prospective unemployed).

Posted by: Tom W at July 27, 2009 10:39 AM

The question could be what does RI do right? Not a heck of alot. It's sad to see families disappear, because RI isn't a place to reasonably prosper. I have had friends in their 40's and 50's move out of RI because there are no jobs, and they don't want to stay any longer waiting for something good to happen. The young are leaving, because there is nothing for them here, and after seeing their parents struggle in this toxic environment, they know they have to leave to survive. I was downtown last week for an appointment. It's a ghost town down there. The apartment building that my daughter and son-in-law live in is nearly vacant. They also have decided they will send their child to private school, if they stay in RI, since it's clearly not about the children here. My other adult child is moving out of this state in the fall, nothing here, nowhere to work and make enough to live here. See the amount of foreclosures, and houses for sale that remain on the market for far too long. This is not good news for RI.

Posted by: kathy at July 27, 2009 10:58 AM

To build on Tom W's hidden history of RI:

If you go up to Providence College, and dig through the NAS Quonset archives, you will discover that, contrary to popular myth that Nixon closed the RI bases out of spite, for some years the Navy had been voicing its concern over the union situation at Quonset, and the much higher costs of the Naval Air Rework Facility compared to others located in other states. Long before Nixon, the Navy had been thinking about either closing Quonset or at least relocating some of its activities.

And to this you could add the history of Brown and Sharpe, and many other private sector companies where either union activities or RI's extremely pro-labor regulatory environment drove them away.

Of course, that forced the remaining unions, who were mainly in the public sector, to cut their deal with the poverty/progressive ideologues in order to retain their power on Smith Hill.

And the rest, sad to say, is history. The only remaining question is how big the disaster will be when RI hits bottom. Unfortunately, the news from California and New York is not encouraging.

Leaving if you can still seems to make the most sense.

Posted by: John at July 27, 2009 12:08 PM

>>I have had friends in their 40's and 50's move out of RI because there are no jobs, and they don't want to stay any longer waiting for something good to happen.

I'm 53 - and other than college / law school have lived in RI since I was 6.

I've been somewhat quiet in recent weeks, but can now "go public" with the fact that my wife recently got a job offer in Florida, and we've decided to relocate to that sunny, income-tax free state.

I feel that my economic prospects "starting from scratch" there are far better than staying in Rhode Island, which has slowly been committing economic suicide with its continued ingestion of the Democrat General Assembly arsenic.

The article posted here on AR the other day reinforces the conclusion that I'd already made, that the future in the Northeast is grim, and Rhode Island among its grimmest:

The Blue-State Meltdown and the Collapse of the Chicago Model


What a relief to know that soon Rhode Island's problems won't be my problem, and that my future won't be impacted by events here.

Posted by: Tom W at July 27, 2009 12:53 PM

Tom W,
You will be sorely missed.
God speed.

Posted by: bobc at July 27, 2009 1:26 PM

Tom, I will certainly miss your wisdom and insightful comments to the AR forum. I wish you and your wife well with your move. Hope you find some time in the future for an occasional post from sunny Florida.

Posted by: Frank at July 27, 2009 3:11 PM

Thanks BobC and Frank.

I'm sure that I'll still read and post from time-to-time.

In the first place, I've spend most of my life here, and will have a natural curiosity to see how things develop.

Second, there's going to be a morbid curiosity watching the what seems to be inevitable collapsing - such as domino-like municipal bankruptcies.

This session General Assembly INCREASE in their budget of 12-13% - while cutting local aid - again demonstrates that those corrupt clowns have neither the intellect or backbone to say "no" to the special interests and avoid collapse.

Since their budget and taxes are reciprocal, they've just effectively increased taxes by 12-13% - this as RI has the second highest unemployment rate in the country. Could they be any more incompetent?

Posted by: Tom W at July 27, 2009 4:11 PM

Good luck in Florida!!
I personally can't stand the place.My wife has family down there and I won't visit when she goes.
However,I know lots of people who swear by it.
I lived in Illinois for 8 years and I never again want to be where there is no autumn.
Stay in touch here.
I think RI has a lot of nice qualities in terms of the physical beauty of the place.Too bad we're saddled with such venal public officials.
Your posts have added a lot to this site.I may not have agreed with you 100% of the time,but everyone always being on the same page gets boring anyway.
Get a carry permit in Florida-they are a lot easier than here where you have to jump through hoops.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 27, 2009 9:57 PM


Thank you.

I've never expected anyone to agree with me all of the time; nor should anyone expect me to agree with them all of the time.

That said, I've always enjoyed your contributions to this blog.

I'll still weigh in. Too much interest in watching Pat Crowley and his socialist ducklings spout their quackery as this lovely state waddles down the tubes.

As for the carry permit - it has crossed my mind. OTOH, I'm not sure that I want to be on any lists when, as I expect, Obama tries a registration scheme as a prelude to a confiscation scheme.

Let's face it, as he's shown with his treatment of the UAW vs. secured creditors, the rule of law (and thus the Constitution) are "optional" to Comrade Obama.

Posted by: Tom W at July 27, 2009 10:41 PM

Tom W,

Adios. No permita la puerta pegarlo en el asno cuando usted sale.

Just trying to prep you a bit in the Spanish tongue.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at July 29, 2009 10:22 AM

And OTL, continue to enjoy your mucho dinero taxes here in RI.

As you drive over those cratered roads and load-limited bridges, driving your children to public schools ranked below average even amongst the U.S.'s below average rankings worldwide, passing empty buildings with "For Commercial Rent or Lease" signs signifying businesses and employers that have left Rhode Island for more hospitable states, and won't be replaced, you can enjoy the satisfaction that while you may not be, AFSCME and NEA and LIUNA and AFT are all getting good value for your tax dollars.

Hasta la vista, baby!

Posted by: Tom W at July 29, 2009 11:09 AM

Good luck on your new ventures, Tom.

By the way, in Florida, NEA and AFT are merged!

Posted by: Bob Walsh at July 29, 2009 2:40 PM

>>Good luck ...

Thank you Bob.

We vehemently disagree on virtually every issue, but I've no personal animosity against you, and hope that you've had a full recovery.

As for the merger, is that the Borg I see coming up behind you?

Posted by: Tom W at July 29, 2009 6:16 PM

Tom Wah Wah

Here's your hat, what's your hurry.

Posted by: Phil at July 29, 2009 9:51 PM

Tom W,
Enjoy the unincorporated towns, lax building codes and paucity of building and health inspectors until the next hurricane when Florida gets declared a disaster area and then asks the US government to pick up the tab for the devastation that could have been avoided if the state taxed enough to afford the inspectors et. al. who would have limited the damage in the first place.

Great idea - let's follow Florida's lead by not taxing our residents, and when there is a natural disaster we'll ask everybody in the United States to chip in and pay for the wreckage. It works for Florida.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at July 29, 2009 10:48 PM

>>Here's your hat, what's your hurry.

The General Assembly goes back into session in September. From a taxpayer perspective, far safer to be out of state beforehand.

>>Great idea - let's follow Florida's lead by not taxing our residents, and when there is a natural disaster we'll ask everybody in the United States to chip in and pay for the wreckage. It works for Florida.

Just think of it as federal stimulus.

Posted by: Tom W at July 29, 2009 11:32 PM

Tom W
You recall a line from Mutiny on the Bounty when Mr. Christian calls Captain Bly a "remarkable pig!" or how about another from The Iliad when Achilles calls Agamemnon "The most grasping man alive."


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at July 31, 2009 10:37 AM
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