The Providence Journal has published an op-ed that I wrote about Rhode Island’s slip on the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI):
When numbers that indicate economic health for families is up, a state’s score goes up. When the balance shifts toward reliance on and payments for government, a state’s score goes down. Nothing in the score should disadvantage Rhode Island in particular. The center’s goal with the index is to objectively measure states according to the principle that economic health means independence both from want and from government.
From this perspective, the strategies that elected officials advertise as steps forward are shown to be deeply flawed. Gov. Gina Raimondo has focused on bribing companies to move to the state in order to generate photo ops and claim that her administration is creating jobs. Meanwhile, the General Assembly has passed so-called tax reforms that were designed to game national indexes of business friendliness — lowering tax rates, for example, while increasing the amount of tax collected.
We need economic policies that unleash Rhode Islanders’ own potential and attract others who want to build opportunity for themselves and their employees. Pitching a new Amazon headquarters, subsidizing a minor league baseball stadium, and building hotels aren’t going to do it.