The Providence Journal had an odd little leak from the forthcoming Brooking Institution study that may give hints about the focus of the study, but that definitely illustrates a point about the progressive, government-centric way in which the state has been governed for decades:
The Brookings Institution think tank says Providence had one of the largest income gaps in the country in 2014, according to Census data it analyzed.
The top 5 percent of earners in Providence made 15 times what the bottom 20 percent did, ranking it No. 5 in income inequality among cities nationwide.
Broadening to the entire Providence metro region, the ranking slips to 14th, which isn’t much of an improvement. If this is a clue for what to expect from Brookings, then one can presuppose that the progressive think tanks suggestions are going to point Rhode Island in exactly the wrong direction.
This progressive, top-down model, in which the smaht people tell the rest of us how to live and how to structure our affairs puts the elite at the top, selling its plans and benefits to those at the bottom, with those in the middle targeted for forced compliance. The reason is simple: As a matter of basic politics, the people in the middle are the group from which real opposition to the elite can come — economically, socially, and politically.
The aristocracy in control of the state therefore has incentive to either to draw people into their fold or to push them toward the bottom, while ensuring that those at the bottom never rise to the middle. Thus: income inequality.