Rhode Island Needs A “Light Touch” Regulatory Approach

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The goal of an effective regulatory strategy should be to ensure that occupational licensing is no more burdensome than needed to address present, significant and substantiated harm.
Under a “light touch” regulatory approach, businesses are freer to develop and produce jobs. Bad actors will either be naturally forced out of the free market, or can be fined, censured, and criminally prosecuted under a lighter regulatory framework. Only when, and if, systematic and documented abuses occur should appropriate regulations be considered. The Ocean State has taken the opposite approach. Rhode Islanders want to prosper in an economic climate that rewards hard work, encourages small-business growth, creates quality jobs, and can lead to a better life for their families.
Instead, Rhode Island’s astro-turf corporate welfare schemes underscore how little is being done to nurture small business employers, who account for well over 90% of all jobs in the state. The Center has long-maintained that Rhode Island’s corporate welfare based economic development strategy is not sufficient to spur robust economic growth and jobs creation. Instead, we have advocated that broad-based tax and regulatory reforms – that will lessen burdens every business in our state – are the only means by which more and better companies will produce more and better-paying jobs.
If we are to become a top-ten and truly prosperous state, every reasonable freedom must be afforded to every family to provide them with every opportunity to earn an honest and gainful living.
Money-grabbing public officials who seek to tax everything that moves, along with protectionist trade organizations that seek to prevent competition, are the driving forces behind our state’s onerous licensing requirements. Not only must this anti-jobs approach be ended, but existing frivolous occupational regulations must be immediately rolled back and corporate welfare ended.
For too long, there has only been one way of doing things in Rhode Island. We have seen the results in our state’s failed rankings. There are better solutions than the insider system. If only lawmakers were to realize that there are proven free market answers, we could restore prosperity to the Ocean State. Your voice is powerful, and can change the way things happen on Smith Hill. It does not have to be this way. Rhode Islanders deserve the freedom to live their own lives. Demand that our elected officials take responsibility for improving the prosperity of families. I encourage you to speak out and loudly against the way things are in our state.


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