Looking at the brief report that the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity released, yesterday, showing some slices of employment data, something struck me about the numbers for labor force participation — that is, percentage of each demographic group that is either working or looking for work:
Notice that a larger percentage of black and Hispanic Rhode Islanders are either working or looking for work. Inasmuch as the unemployment rate (i.e., those who are looking for jobs) is almost two times higher for blacks than the average and more than two times higher for Hispanics than the average, we can infer that the higher labor force participation rates for those groups result mainly from the unemployed.
That makes sense, of course, because the income levels for these minorities tend to be lower than the average, so their need for jobs is greater. The gap between people’s need to work and their ability to find work is a humanitarian concern, but it’s also an indication of lost opportunity for our economy.
Here we see another indication of the harm that Rhode Island policies (and progressive policies more broadly) do to the productive class, no matter what race we’re talking about. These Rhode Islanders want to exchange their productive effort and their talents for money. Oppressive big-government policies make that exchange more difficult. High tax rates remove money from the economy and reduce incentive to expand productive activity (both work and investment), and invasive regulations make it more difficult to engage in productive activity legally.
It’s not surprising that minority groups are most profoundly affected by a wrong-headed approach to government. It is surprising, though, that the votes of different racial groups prove that they haven’t caught on to the abuse, yet.