In terms of politics, it seems to me that the trend is the key question with news like this:
According to Bloomberg’s U.S. State Innovation Index, California and Massachusetts are ranked first and second respectively, but Rhode Island was in steep decline over the past three years.
Rhode Island is ranked 23rd in the 2019 ranking — far behind Connecticut which is ranked fourth. Most concerning is that Rhode Island fell seven positions in the ranking from the 2016 Index — the last time Bloomberg released the Index for innovation.
Now, Rhode Island is the second lowest ranked in New England — only Maine is ranked lower at #41.
This is the opposite of what ought to be happening if we have a governor who prioritizes and understands innovation. We’ve long been able to observe as job and employment growth has slowed under Governor Gina Raimondo, and it’s turned into job and employment loss. Now, even contrived ratings for innovation are showing a decrease in strength in a metric that the governor ought to be able to present as contrary evidence to the broader employment data if her method of economic development worked.
Read further down the GoLocalProv article linked above, and you’ll see the usual talk from government insiders presenting all the wrong metrics. It’s always about how much money the government is managing to spend.
Raimondo somehow managed to get herself reelected, so Rhode Islanders shouldn’t expect much change in execution over the next four years. The General Assembly, for its part, has been mainly intent on showing its fealty to organized labor.
Looking out over the landscape, the most depressing deficit is the lack of somebody to be a leading light of opposition. In a system doing this poorly, people ought to be emerging in unexpected places to provide the right answers to a growing population of malcontents. Where are they?