December 4, 2012

Economic Freedom? Not in Rhode Island.

Justin Katz

To kick off a two-year planning process, the RI Economic Development Corporation under Governor Lincoln Chafee is seeking a contractor to, among other things, "analyze existing business climate reviews from the past three years, such as the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index, Beacon Hill Institute's State Competitiveness Rankings, and Forbes Best States for Business to determine the reasons for Rhode Island's performance in these studies."

Read a little more closely, and one gets the impression that the idea is to find factors that Rhode Island could leverage without making substantial changes to the tax and regulatory policy that restrict the ability of Rhode Islanders to make their own paths in the economy:

The State intends to grow its business environment in a way that maintains high standards for development that equitably serves all our residents, protects the environment and builds on our assets. This analysis will help the State determine which indicators to improve, emphasizing those that further our standards of equitable growth as well as nurture our business environment.

You'll recall that Rhode Island does best on the Beacon Hill index, which attempts to capture what some might call the "mushier" considerations.

Not so mushy is Rhode Island's performance on the 2012 iteration of the Fraser Institute's "Economic Freedom of North America" report.

Continue reading on the Ocean State Current...

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"Governor Lincoln Chafee is seeking a contractor to... to determine the reasons for Rhode Island's performance in these studies."

I'd do it for free, but he wouldn't like the answer.

I recommend professional know-it-all RIFuture contributor John Speck. Having earlier supported the 38 Studios loan and defended the RIEDC, now he's full of explanations why the loan was a bad idea and the RIEDC needs to be radically reorganized according to his criteria.

Posted by: Dan at December 4, 2012 9:03 AM

I nearly fell over today when I read a Projo article in which local "economists" forecast the sate unemployment rate out to 2016 and - no joke- use actual decimal points in their estimates. Nassim Taleb would rightfully humiliate them for publishing such bunk.

Posted by: Dan at December 6, 2012 9:09 AM
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