A New York Post editorial from a couple of weeks ago, about the problem of departing residents that New York state shares with Rhode Island, puts the problem well:
It’s not just taxes prompting migration to their shores, though certainly the lack of an income tax in either the Lone Star or Sunshine state has to be a large part of the attraction. These growing states are also creating jobs, and generally offer a lower cost of living. And as a general rule, human beings do not move away from opportunity.
“As a general rule, human beings do not move away from opportunity.”
The General Assembly can pour more money into failing public schools. It can layer on workforce training program after workforce training program. But even if every program does for its beneficiaries what it’s supposed to do, if there is no opportunity in Rhode Island, they will take their taxpayer-funded skill sets elsewhere.
The reality is that government officials like these programs because they give them something to do. They collect the taxes to pay for it all and keep control over how the programs operate, what they supply, and to whom they supply it.
Rhode Island is leading the region in blindly ignoring the unmistakable reality that it needs to rethink its priorities. We have to start trusting people to make their own way, rather than trusting politicians and special interests to allow some spare feed to scatter on the ground around them.