January 4, 2010

Re: A New Year Begins...

Donald B. Hawthorne

Trying to effect change in Rhode Island at even the local level has been a monumental struggle with almost no success to show for it. Frankly, after years of trying, I have concluded it is not worth the effort.

I crossed the state border again this Fall, this time leaving Rhode Island permanently. I recommend it highly. It's relatively easy, too.

And it is liberating to rediscover that the need to fight the colossal failure that is Rhode Island is optional.

It appears that nothing will change until there is a total collapse. So let the rats go down with the Rhode Island ship. It's apparently the only possible way to get rid of them.

It's sad, isn't it? Because it did not (and does not) have to happen that way. Which is a common conclusion when looking retrospectively at crises.

Meanwhile, some (updated) previous reflections:

Meaningless talk and inaction in a crisis: Why Rhode Island's crisis will get worse before it gets better & what to do about it
Lessons for Rhode Island from Silicon Valley: An historical reflection on an actual innovation economy
Innovation and the entrepreneurial business culture revisited

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Hear, hear! Good for you, Don! I can't wait to do it myself.

"It appears that nothing will change until there is a total collapse"


Posted by: Patrick at January 4, 2010 9:10 AM

Thanks to a job offer received by my wife, we got a ticket out of RI and permanently left last summer, relocating to state income-tax free FL.

Our conclusions mirrored Don's -- that it'll take total (or near total) collapse before RI even considers reversing course and heading on a path of general prosperity and opportunity for all citizens, and not just the unions and welfare special interests. And I'm not even convinced that total collapse will awaken the RI electorate, or at least enough of them to overcome the public union voters and ever-growing ranks of welfare voters. I started comparing RI to Detroit, which has been in decline for decades, is now economically hollowed-out, yet still can't gather the political will to get its act together.

FL is currently experiencing the national recession, it does not feel like it will be a permanent fixture, whereas in RI the recession merely accelerated an economic decline already in place -- one that will continue after the national recession ends.

So, while it will be a challenge for me to "start over" here, I feel like here there's a future, whereas in RI I felt like I was trying to reach the shore of prosperity while having to swim against RI's perpetually outgoing tide.

So I too have felt the post-RI relief that Don describes. There's such relief in knowing that my personal economic future will no longer be impacted by the RI General Assembly!

There's much to be said for "Going Galt" (or "voting with your feet") and departing RI, and watching the collapse from a safe distance. I know a number of people who've left over the past few years -- not one has expressed a desire to return -- usually it's regret for not having left sooner.

Posted by: Tom W at January 4, 2010 9:53 AM

Not trying to spam or anything, but since this is another post directly related to fleeing the sinking ship of RI in favor of more liberty-oriented states, I must again mention the Free State Project and that people here consider signing up and moving to New Hampshire. From what I've heard, it's like a different world over there and it is the one area in the country in which liberty activists have successfully stopped the state from growing out of control. It remains to be seen whether they can actually turn back the clock in addition to that, but the Free State Project is the best chance for doing that. It really is the one chance of liberty within our lifetimes.

Check out freestateproject.org.

Posted by: Dan at January 4, 2010 11:05 AM

"New Hampshire - great if you're a tenant, not so good for property owners!"

Posted by: Patrick at January 4, 2010 11:43 AM

New Hampshire has high property taxes (so does RI), but cost of housing is much lower so it balances out. And pretty much all the other taxes are less or nonexistent (no sales tax, etc.). The overall burden is much lower. Not sure what you mean about being a tenant as property taxes factor into rent.

Posted by: Dan at January 4, 2010 1:32 PM

Why is it, Don, that we only hear from you on full moons?

Posted by: David S at January 4, 2010 5:12 PM

Having spent 26 of my 44 years in NH, I can vouch for the fact that it is a different world than RI. People who have only lived in RI, or other high tax, high regulatory states, have no idea what real freedom from oppressive government is like. The conditions on the ground may have changed somewhat since I left due to the influx of MA residents, but I believe NH will be one of the first states to revert to it's deep seated independent libertarian/conservative roots. Yeah, the property taxes are high, but check any statistics on total tax burden and NH always ranks well. RI is always in the pit. Same for school performance. That's with the same population numbers. It's a mindset- independent do-it-yourself mentality.vs whiny nanny state entitlement mentality.

Why am I here and not there? Hate the cold and have been slowly moving south. At this rate, I figure I'll be in Delaware by 90.

Posted by: MadMom at January 4, 2010 5:31 PM


Doesn't the feeling of not being burdened by the state you live in feel wonderful?

City and County of Honolulu, HI just gave me a Christmas present for 2010 of $100/yr property tax on my residence and my retirement income is state income tax exempt plus there is no property tax on cars, boats or motorcycles and no winter heating bills but everything has a 4.5% tax on it except prescription drugs but I can live with that because all the parks and beaches are free with free parking and there are plenty of free shows and concerts put on daily by the city. The money has to come from somewhere to pay for the entertainment, fire, emergency and police services so I don't mind paying the GET (sales tax).

Live is great when a City and State looks out for the citizens live there.

Glad you are out of RI! You can breathe now!

Posted by: Ken at January 5, 2010 2:13 AM
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