“Party of the Working Man” Strikes Again – RI Gets Lousy Grades For Its Manufacturing Climate


As the big debate in the House on the 2014 budget looms on Tuesday signaling the winding down of the legislative year, the odds of any change to Rhode Island’s current, undesirable status quo coming out of this General Assembly session look increasingly narrow.  Rotten business climate, corresponding unemployment rate, resultant tax revenue and the potential for improvement to state services. All will probably be frozen for at least another six months when the gavel is brought down on this session.

Late yesterday, the Providence Journal pointed to another item to add to the list.

Rhode Island remains one of the least hospitable places to manufacture goods in the United States,” said Michael Hicks, an economics professor and director of Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

With “below average human capital scores, a tiny logistics industry, a dismal tax climate with very heavy pension liabilities, it appears policymakers in Rhode Island have largely dismissed manufacturing growth as a viable component of the state’s economy,” he said. Logistics refers to the ability to move and store goods.

Access the PDF report, compiled by the Center for Business and Economic Research, here.  In light of this report, a hearty thanks to the manufacturers who do business in Rhode Island is certainly in order.

Above all in the area of manufacturing – isn’t it more than a bit ironic that eighty years of rule by a party that purports to represent the Working Man has resulted in a state that is notably hostile for a working man to work and live in?

[Monique is Editor of the RI Taxpayer Times newsletter.  Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the organization.]

  • Warrington Faust

    The voters must be getting what they wish for. I hear little of "massive turnouts" for the opposition.

  • Warrington Faust

    An anecdote. I recently encountered a woman I've known slightly for 25 years. She had just lost a manufacturing job she had for 23 years. I invited her to come to a "hands on" seminar on 3D printing/desktop manufacturing. This is thought to be the future. No interest, perhaps the problem goes top to bottom.

  • Bill
  • Mike678

    Dependency encourages apathy…. If you remove the so-called safety net, I'm thinking she would have showed more interest.