I’ve long found the notion of a zombie apocalypse to be a useful metaphor when discussing the condition of Rhode Island. In 2013, for example, I suggested the following:
The American economy is not being kept alive by unnatural forces (stimulus and quantitative easing); that’s the talking-point dogma of Obama zealots in whose view the president can never fail because it will always be possible to close their eyes and believe that things would have been worse without him.
Rather, it is being held back by those unnatural forces and others (most notably over regulation). Look to Rhode Island for the test case — with a General Assembly that has now concluded its session proud to have made it more difficult to live and do business in their state. In light of Woodhill’s analogy, I’m inclined to see the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ map showing New England unemployment as a sort of infection map for the zombie apocalypse.
So, of course I clicked on the link when RIPR’s Ian Donnis tweeted out that Rhode Island has been judged the 49th best (i.e., 2nd worst) state in which to live in order to survive a zombie pandemic. As usual with such rankings, it takes bad performance by most measures to land at the end of the list.
Rhode Islanders are about average when it comes to being physically active, so we’ve got an OK chance of running away from individual zombies when necessary, and we’re out of the bottom quarter when it comes to leaving our dead uncremated, reducing the ranks of the monsters from among the already dead. But our state is the second most densely populated by the living and has the fourth lowest gun ownership. We’re also in the bottom 10 when it comes to the preparation of watching zombie movies.
Perhaps the worst news for Rhode Island, though, isn’t captured by this list. Judging by our apathetic response to the destruction of our state and the impositions on our lives perpetrated regularly by politicians and bureaucrats, one might reasonably expect Rhode Islanders to be slower to react to the obvious signs of a civilization-ending catastrophe.
On the other hand, the number of former Rhode Islanders proves the willingness and ability of our population to flee to healthier environs.