Not that EOS needs reminding but ….

Get out while the getting’s good

Rhode Island has arrived at Hell in its hand basket.  Lots of reasons listed here but I’m surprised they don’t mention corruption: that will crush an economy faster and more permanently than anything else: ask a Russian or African.

When it comes to state economies, bigger is not necessarily better — cf. California.

But the nation’s smallest state remains stuck in reverse while the rest of the country slowly regains its footing.

Pick any survey or economic indicator, and Rhode Island is at the bottom.

The state was the only one to register rising unemployment last month.

They also scored dead last in CNBC’s survey of states’ business climates, third-to-last in Forbes’ and fifth-worst in the Tax Foundation’s.

Companies who’ve recently laid off workers there include Blue Cross/Blue ShieldHasbro — and, last February, every teacher in Providence.

We asked to two Rhode Island economists why such a small state could have such massive problems, and they were unanimous in their response: the state has the same problems as other former industrial powerhouse states, but lacks the Rust Belt glamour and urgency to have done anything about it.

“It’s not a recent problem,” he said. “It has a history that goes back to the 1990s, when the U.S. economy moved away from a traditional economy,” to a knowledge-based one. “With that, you had to change the way you organized your economy, a more flexible system to take advantage of innovation.

“We failed to make that transition.”

Permits can take months to get approved, and regulations remain excessively burdensome, he said.

Recent history has further compounded the problem, he said. After 2003′s “Great White” concert fire, which claimed 100 lives, the state revised its firecode that Tebaldi says unwittingly made it one of the most expensive in the nation.

University of Rhode Island Professor Leonard Lardaro agreed.

“Going back decades, if there was any revenue stone to be gotten” state leaders would grab it, he said.

An even greater problem, he said, was brain drain.

“The most glaring deficiency is the lack of skilled workers,” he said.

While the state trains a lot of skilled people, there is no knowledge-based economy to keep them from leaving for Boston or Connecticut, he said.

 

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Not that EOS needs reminding but ….

  1. Yowsa. No surprise BUT the dichotomy is that all those Hamptonizing Nantucket-fleeing uber-wealthy have come to Rhode Island in droves, and are building deeeluxe houses in the sky. They are moving on up alright so whatever the overall RI economic scale is, it isn’t stopping people from being here for the summer.

  2. Native RI Hubby agrees with the article but his roots are here so as much as he complains about the politics and the corruption, and the taxes, and all the summer dinks, he’s a puppy dog about RI when he knows here he can still burn leaves, still go to a town dump, has his own lobster traps, catches fresh fish daily, grows a garden full of fresh veggies and flowers…and we get to stare at THIS all day. Makes up for alot of lousy stuff RI has.
    http://earthoceanskyredux.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/127711.jpg

  3. Earth Image

    EOS- That photo is my all-time favorite EOS-RI screen saver. Knew I had seen it before (like every day on my server screen.)

  4. The Duke of Deception

    The Duke has leased and zoned cell sites in CT, NJ, NY, PA, MA, GA, MS, MD and RI. Only in RI has anyone ever tried to shake the cell company down for anything, big or small. It is just part of the culture in that beautiful little state.

  5. Random Access

    The correct answer is: Democrats. Just like Detroit.

    That loser Chafee is gonna address the Dem convention. Like another loser, Crist. I wonder why the Dems have stopped floating the gay rumors about Crist?

    Not.

  6. AndyD

    Awesome photo

  7. Greenwich Gal

    Where is that EOS?
    Looking for a get away = what do you recommend in RI?
    Want it to be ocean front and luxe!

  8. I’m betting that EOS’ pic is either Charlestown or Westerly. I’d fit right in, and even already have my own clam rake, but my toes are so strong and spread so wide, I don’t need one! I’m so proud of that!

    As for RI’s state of affairs, some are saying that Central Falls bankruptcy has paid off for them and they are starting to get back on track. Right now, Woonsocket is weighing whether to also go bankrupt.

    White vacationing this summer, I found that some of the cheaper hotels in wonderful locations are being used as low-income housing and to shelter the homeless. In July a person who came into financial straights who hailed from Westerly was placed in the Pineapple Inn in the Newport area, but somehow his room caught fire and he died. I also heard of a nice drive-in motor court-type hotel in Westerly on Rte 1 also has some rooms set aside for that use. Families who are used to shacking up in the same hotels for vacation each year may not notice the difference, I guess.

    Right now when I vacation in RI with my family, we find nice cottages by using Homeaway,com and VBRO.com, but when some of my elderly family members die off, I always thought I’d stay in some of the motor courts by myself for vacations. Now I don’t know if they will still be safe or nice. Again, the times are a-changin’.

    Next week, the ex-mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci will be having a presentation at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket. It’s called “Politics and Pasta”. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a comedy, or what, but he is a pretty funny guy when he speaks candidly. A local closed-down mill has been turned into a restaurant, and they will be passing out bowls of pasta. I’m not sure how the seating arrangement are, as I thought the Stadium is a theatre, but for all I know they may have tables. Ina ny case, it sounds like an interesting night, and if I can talk any friends into going, I’ll be there.

    If Greenwich Gal is serious about where to stay in RI that’s oceanfront and luxe, I’d go to Oceancliff or Castle Hill in Newport – or a new resort that’s right at the start of the Cliffwalk – unfortunately, I forgot the name. The Ocean House in Watch Hill has been rebuilt from scratch to copy it’s historic days of grandeur. If you don’t need hotel amenities, though, the websites can find you great places on the ocean.

    Or EOS can just let us charter a bus and bring sleeping bags.

  9. Greenwich Gal – It just came to me – the hotel at the start of Newport’s Cliffwalk is the Chanler. It looked very nice. Although we stay in cottages in RI, we duck into the swanky hotels for drinks or lunch, so I see many of them.

  10. Where we are in RI remains known to only a few here. I give out information that I am in Bedford but where we are in RI requires knowledge of the secret handshake, or overnight delivery of case of wine! We can be bought, cheap.

    But no, on both counts to Peeps’s guess.

    GG: there are so many great places in RI but it takes alot of time moosing and spending weekends at all the places to find one that suits your family flavor. We are in an old school, low key, laid back town, with no shopping, no movie theater but lots of biking and walking trails and of course, beaches. There’s everything from fancy Newport to Block Island.

    The hard part too is getting into the clubs that are in the small towns; beach club and golf clubs limit membership to stay small and that’s good if you are already in, not too good if you build or buy a huge house and it takes a while to get in. It also depends on how long a drive you want from Greenwich. Lots to consider.

  11. Anonymous

    @EOS, did “Isabell” get a work out this summer? :lol: As I couldn’t remember the name Mr. EOS gave her, I went to your blog to see if I could find it and was pleasantly surprised to see that you’ve begun blogging again. I’ll be back to catch up a bit later, I’m so glad you’re ready to chat with your blog fans again. :)