The Average Guy Pays: Insider Schemes Are Disruptive To The Marketplace


Your family deserves to live in a state where they have the freedom and opportunity to achieve greater prosperity. The only thing that stands in the way of this happening is the status quo public policy culture in Rhode Island. For too long one voice has dominated the public debate, and it has led to a series of political scandals and corporate welfare handouts. It is time to end the culture on Smith Hill that rewards the chosen few, while the rest of us are left to suffer under their high tax and spend culture. Both the left and right can agree that we can do better than more handouts from the insiders.

Corporate cronyism does virtually nothing for the average family and it adds the further insult of forcing the average guy to pay for it. Governor Gina Raimondo’s stated goal is to restore Rhode Island’s troubled economy through big handouts to target industries. But is there any proof that this approach will work? Rhode Islanders already saw a similar idea fail in the 38 Studios disaster. The people of our state cannot afford another government run fiasco where our hard earned tax dollars are used to further the status quo’s agenda.

Recent research from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), directly implies that New York’s failed “Start-Up NY” program is likely a bad omen for Rhode Island’s similar RI Innovates plan. After a $53 million national advertising blitz, Start-Up NY created on net only 76 new jobs. The Start-Up NY program demonstrates the failure of government directed economy and corporate cronyism. Further, as ALEC points out, this elitist, insider approach towards economics is not only unfair, but it is disruptive to the marketplace and may actually shrink the overall jobs pie.

Imagine an Ocean State, where it would be easy for our family members to achieve their hopes and dreams. I don’t think too many would say that status quo public policy culture in Rhode Island is making anything easy for us. For too long, the political elites have rewarded their cronies, and made it harder for new business to take hold here in our state. This needs to change. I encourage you to speak out against the cronies and the handouts that further their own personal interest instead of what’s really in the best interest of you and your family. Please have a happy and safe Memorial Day, and remember all those who have served.

[This statement by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity was disseminated by e-mail.]

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Many, probably most, “start ups” fail. I know of no evidence that governmental subsidy alters the equation. Government subsidy may prolong the agony, but I have seen no evidence that it can make a silk purse of a sow’s ear.

  • Russ

    So the program is barely launched and ALEC already wants to declare it dead. Why wait for the actual results, right?

    “In 2014, 62 colleges and universities were approved to participate in START-UP NY, designating 356 Tax-Free Areas statewide. Forty-seven of these institutions are public, while 15 of the sponsors are private colleges or universities. Fifty-four businesses were approved to participate in START-UP NY in 2014 and have committed to creating 2,085 jobs and investing over $91 million in their first five years in the program.”

    btw, Rhett, not all of these businesses are start ups. The program is available to existing NY businesses that expand into the tax free areas.