Tuesday Jan 7, 2014
North Kingstown, RI – Good morning, Ocean State. This is Bob Plain, editor and publisher of the RI Future blog podcasting to you from The Hideaway on the banks of the Mattatuxet River behind the Shady Lea Mill in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
It’s Tuesday, January 7th … And, no, that’s not the opening bell for the first day of work for the General Assembly, that’s Pink Floyd with the world’s greatest ode to education deform. But today is, in fact, the first day of the 2014 legislative session and tonight lawmakers will begin the long slow process of waiting until the very end of the session to decide on how to address the biggest issues facing the state: our struggling economy and our thriving inequality and injustice.
Here’s what ProJo columnist Ed Fitzpatrick writes on Opening Day for the General Assembly: “The White House and the Vatican have placed renewed emphasis on inequality and poverty.”
Will Rhode Island lawmakers join with the president and the pope to place a renewed emphasis on inequality and poverty? Or will we spend another year whistling into the trickle down winds?
Scott MacKay wrote an excellent legislative session preview that shows how as the Ocean State tacked right, our economy got weaker, and while Connecticut and Massachusetts invested in education and and employees, theirs grew stronger. So, you do the math…
McKay said believing tax cuts for the wealthy will spur growth is to believe in baseless mythology, and last week Fitzpatrick, in a separate column, actually mentioned rolling back the Carcieri-era income tax cuts as a viable policy proposal … so maybe this is the year for a more progressive tax code.
Podcast fan Dan McGowan of WPRI reports the Providence City Council is looking into more than 100 personalized tax breaks to local businesses. I guess the Providence Place Mall threatened to move to North Carolina if we didn’t give it a sweetheart deal? Or because Olneyville nightclubs are such a positive force in our community?
James Kennedy of the Transport Providence blog writes a really cool in-depth post about how building more roads to make commuting easier is a bit too much like relying on unlimited growth to drive our economy. I’m a big fan of anything that can tie together Rhode Island, Keynesian economics and Jack Kerouac.
And Sam Howard pens a typically awesome look at how Rhode Island keeps trying to attract more businesses without doing much to create potential customers for said enterprises.