People constantly tell me how unpopular it is to agree with our governor. Well, I couldn’t agree more and I couldn’t care less!
He may not always offer me a good quote, but Rhode Island has done pretty well under his tenure given the circumstances he inherited. I’ll take that. He seems almost allergic to political calculations, but he almost always makes decisions based on reason and a sense of morality. I’ll take that too.
I’m not necessarily prone to like any politicians – even the ones I find myself philosophically aligned with – but I like Linc.
This morning he impressed me with the way he answered a question about why the Ocean State always fares so poorly when pro-business entities rank states on their business friendliness.
“I take issue with that,” Chafee told Liz Burke of WPRO. “…Rhode Island is the best place to do business. When you factor everything in, the quality of life we have here … you just here it from so many people, this is where they want to live this is where they want to raise their families.”
It’s true! If it’s quality of life that matters to you, Rhode Island is the place to be.
It’s as beautiful here as anywhere, and pound for pound we have easily the most gorgeous coastline in the country, next to only Hawaii. And our cuisine – with all our top notch restaurants and nearby local farms – can’t be matched by any other state. And it’s not just the fancy restaurants that are great in the Ocean State … I’ll bet 95% of the Rhode Islanders reading this are within a football field of better pizza than anywhere in the entire midwest*!
Here in reality, few people locate their businesses based entirely on the cost of doing it, and just as few do so based entirely on the lifestyle it provides. Most, of course, do so based on a mix of both. When you look at both – or, in other words, the full picture – Rhode Island is actually a really good place to locate your business.
Rhode Island’s got an inferiority complex when it comes to its ability to compete – which, of course, becomes our biggest obstacle to competing. Think how infrequently we read good things about Rhode Island from the Providence Journal editorial page – probably the most common place for a prospective business owner to glean the lay of the land from. This isn’t because it’s all bad here, it’s because we have a very conservative editorial board covering a pretty liberal state.
I think a lot of the reasons we’ve got an inferiority complex about our state’s ability to compete is we are still using the metrics set by Don Carcieri and Al Verrecchia. We’d do better to gauge it on the metrics of Linc Chafee and Allan Tear.
*excludes Chicago-style pizza