Reading Kate Bramson’s article, today, on the predictable and usual downward revision of Rhode Island job statistics, I thought this quotation from the governor must certainly be an abbreviated version of the full statement:
“We still have a tall hill to climb to turn this economy around. However, we have momentum. Just yesterday, Citizens Bank announced that it will renew its investment in our state with a new corporate campus in Johnston,” Raimondo said. “I will continue to hustle every day – listening to employers’ needs and working closely with the General Assembly – to invest in growth, attract new businesses, and rebuild the Rhode Island economy.”
I mean, things must be bad, indeed, if the best spin Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo can come up with is to point out that Citizens Bank didn’t run screaming out of the Ocean State. But no, that’s the full statement, and the picture really is that bleak.
The revised data for RI-based jobs (which is limited to just the one month of January 2015, so far) brings that statistic in line with the employment data reviewed in this earlier post. Both suggest that Rhode Island’s pitiful recovery hit a complete stop during the first year of Raimondo’s governorship.
One is tempted to see the dramatic halt of employment growth last summer as an immediate reaction to the first legislative session of Raimondo’s term and the first full one with Democrat Nicholas Mattiello (Cranston) as Speaker of the House. That would be a faster-than-expected validation of my suggestion that the night the House passed the budget marked the state’s entry into the next stage of its collapse.
It’s also tempting to recall the disappointing yield from the governor’s new tax on summer rentals and that the state has been on a minimum wage binge. In general, one would expect such policies to bend the employment curve downward.
It’s a little early to make such declarations, however, and the odds are good that a much bigger problem will soon arise, swamping the stagnating effects of the General Assembly and governor’s annual shortening of the Rhode Island economy’s leash and giving them a big ol’ excuse why their top-down centralized economic plans didn’t work.