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RI 1 of only 2 states with population loss

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ProJo: Census a “wake-up call” on economy

As for the issue at hand, RI losing population is not a good thing for us at this point in time. Being in the same boat with Michigan, which has been losing jobs and has one of the worst housing markets in the nation, is not cool. I'm not in the doom and gloom RI-choked-by-government-unions-tax-hell-whatever camp, but the four year trend of decline is convincing to me. Unfortunately the article above is a lot of the usual "pro-business so and so says decline is from high taxes" and "liberal advocate so and so says nuh-uh". I want to see some substantive investigation into this issue.

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Unfortunately the article above is a lot of the usual "pro-business so and so says decline is from high taxes" and "liberal advocate so and so says nuh-uh". I want to see some substantive investigation into this issue.

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unfortunately, you won't see that with the current crappy paper that doesn't have any real journalists on staff.

i'd like to see something worth reading as well. the division of people in this state is crazy, there has to be someone level-headed who can speak on this issue.

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i really dont understand the point of these stories. Its like they publish it because they want more people to move away by discouraging them.

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it was a report on census data. four years of losing population is kind of bad, no matter how you spin it. Get on the Governor or the cities' mayors to come out in front of these reports, with a press release about how we may be losing people but we're gaining XYZ or some other happy horsesh*t that makes people feel good about the state. Don't blame the journal (this time) for reporting the news, just because you don't find it to your favor. The EDC should have prepared a statement the MINUTE these numbers showed up, figuring out a way to spin something positive. I find it hard to believe that the Journal of all places, actually gets the scoop before the Governor, or the EDC does.

The Journal doesn't do a great job of much of anything, but to say they are doing it to discourage people from moving here is kind of ridiculous. They need the readership just as much as RI needs tax payers.

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While reading the projo comments from participants in the survey is slightly entertaining with some of the ridiculous comments, the underlying issues that people are talking about are all true. When my building was shut down, I had 2 options. Take a severance package and look for work in the state or go to Southern NJ and be transferred to the main headquarters. While NJ or PA will never truly be "home", I am in a much bigger metro area with more opportunities for work. There is a lady from my old building that has over 20 years experience in finance along with a master's degree and she just accepted a job at Verizon in the PP MAll to pay some bills. She has been out of work since June when we shut down. As soon as she can sell, god bless her, she is leaving the state and moving south.

I think that the main reason people are leaving is because of a lack of quality jobs. Several people on this board, one being Garris, has expressed the fact that they would want to stay in the area but may be pressed because of opportunities. That was my situation. Opportunities are not being brought to the state because of a variety of factors...most notably taxes. It bothers me to read articles in the projo about Frank Corrente potentially still getting access to his pension and Buddy Cianci's performance on WPRO. The politicians of the state are not aggressively attacking the issues at hand and that is...that someeone needs to aggressively step to the plate and clean house....in a Rudy Giuliani kind of way...

With the one party rule, the special interest favoritism, the pro-union culture, I wonder if it will ever happen. Regardless of political party affiliation, I think that people are finally waking up to the fact that the state is in big trouble and solutions can't be found with 90% of the people having the same ideas. While the grass isn't always greener on the other side, I think RI has reached a point where even the negative outlook is manifesting even the non-natives. It's not like Ri'ers can't put up a fight. See Eden Park residents fighting the concrete plant story. Did they know that when they approve a bond it has to be paid back? I honestly think that the state as a whole needs someone to say, " We're broke, that's it. All you people and agencies looking for money, tough crap!" Who has the cojones to stand up and tell it like it is?

In any event, this will be an interesting election year. I'm more interested in RI politics than the national race....yawn

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i really dont understand the point of these stories. Its like they publish it because they want more people to move away by discouraging them.

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I live in Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia and all of South Carolina are growing fast. The state is the 10th fastest growing and from 2006 to 2007 gained 77,601 according to the Census report. Hardly a day goes by that I don't meet at least one person who just moved here. When I talk with the ones who have just moved here from the Northeast, the two reasons I get the most are that they got tired of the cold weather and snow up there and that this is a cheap place to live. Another reason I hear a lot is that the people here are friendly. Being a native South Carolinian, I'll have to say that I cannot imagine having to deal with snow. Every six or seven years when we get snow it's here today, gone by noon. I don't like cold weather at all. Once newcomers have been here a while, they realize that dealing with July and August summer heat in the Southeast is a lot easier than shoveling snow. And air conditioning takes care of the heat. Y'all come on down.

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Once newcomers have been here a while, they realize that dealing with July and August summer heat in the Southeast is a lot easier than shoveling snow.

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Fact: This is NOT a census, but an estimate.

Fact: We are way late in the census cycle, so these estimates are based on estimates that are based on estimates that are based on an actual census.

Fact: Census results are least reliable in high-density places and high-immigrant places [legal and illegal].

Fact: We are not Nevada or South Carolina and we never will be. The "cheap-housing/lax-commercial-zoning/lax-environmental-policies" ship sailed a couple centuries ago. Our cost of living is high because our access to top metro regions and the civil amenities they offer is also high. If you don't care about access to a major metro, please move to South Carolina.

Fact: In planning circles, they have a name for these low cost-of-living/cost-of-development/cost-of-labor strategies - Race to the Bottom. And anybody who plays the game eventually loses. RI is undercut by SC who is undercut by Mexico who is undercut by China who is undercut by Vietnam who is undercut by Nigeria. It's easy to find someplace cheaper than wherever you are. It's hard to find a better value.

Fact: Rhode Island is part of one of the world's most advance innovation networks. That RISD picked up John Maeda from MIT Media is emblematic. This illustration shows patent activity on a global scale. It's a little tough to see, but you can see where RI fits into the Northeast Corridor. Not too many patents in South Carolina or Nevada.

post-9990-1199111624_thumb.jpg

There is no doubt that RI - like the entire US - is facing an economic transition, and we're not yet doing what it takes to position ourselves for the future. But it's ridiculous to say that of all the different factors that impact this situation, the most important thing to do is cut taxes [when we're already half-a-billion in the hole].

post-9990-1199111624_thumb.jpg

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"Fact: This is NOT a census, but an estimate.

Fact: We are way late in the census cycle, so these estimates are based on estimates that are based on estimates that are based on an actual census.

Fact: Census results are least reliable in high-density places and high-immigrant places [legal and illegal]."

You're right. These are estimates, and by definition they're not going to be exactly accurate. But no matter how you spin this it's not good news. Your points just make the bad news a bit more palatable.

"Fact: We are not Nevada or South Carolina and we never will be. The "cheap-housing/lax-commercial-zoning/lax-environmental-policies" ship sailed a couple centuries ago. Our cost of living is high because our access to top metro regions and the civil amenities they offer is also high. If you don't care about access to a major metro, please move to South Carolina."

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/335.html

Take a look at that. I'm not disagreeing with your point that we have access to top metro regions, but hell, we have a higher tax burden than California and Massachusetts, for example, which also have access to top metro areas. I don't care about the high taxes per se, but based on the actions of our government on all levels, the ROI isn't that great. Not to mention that RI has one of the most craptastic tax codes and Department of Taxation.

"Fact: In planning circles, they have a name for these low cost-of-living/cost-of-development/cost-of-labor strategies - Race to the Bottom. And anybody who plays the game eventually loses. RI is undercut by SC who is undercut by Mexico who is undercut by China who is undercut by Vietnam who is undercut by Nigeria. It's easy to find someplace cheaper than wherever you are. It's hard to find a better value."

Your chain of countries is a fine example for manufacturing companies, but we're talking about population shifts here. Many residents heading South will stay there to retire, not move to yet a cheaper place. And if these people can afford such a move down south, it means we're losing wealthier residents of the state, which will not help.

"Fact: Rhode Island is part of one of the world's most advance innovation networks. That RISD picked up John Maeda from MIT Media is emblematic. This illustration shows patent activity on a global scale. It's a little tough to see, but you can see where RI fits into the Northeast Corridor. Not too many patents in South Carolina or Nevada."

That map, while interesting, really isn't at a good zoom level for me to look at, but I highly doubt that a large percentage of those new patents are coming from RI. They're probably coming from NYC. I'm not even sure if I agree with you that we're part of an "advanced innovation network." Sure we have some biotech now, but we're severely lacking in high-tech industry in my opinion.

"There is no doubt that RI - like the entire US - is facing an economic transition, and we're not yet doing what it takes to position ourselves for the future. But it's ridiculous to say that of all the different factors that impact this situation, the most important thing to do is cut taxes [when we're already half-a-billion in the hole]."

The most important thing to do is cut taxes. Go look at the federal data. The national tax cuts have actually increased the federal revenues nicely, and we'd probably be out of the deficit by now if we weren't stuck in Iraq and Bush wasn't increasing spending so much.

But right now, we've had high taxes for a long time (if you look at that page I linked to earlier in this post, you'll see that we've been in the top 10 since the 1980s). If high taxes were going to help out the government coffers, I think it would've happened by now. Modest tax cuts, especially in the corporate sector, will help by attracting businesses and bringing their employees. RI hasn't done a fantastic job of attracting companies except Fidelity and Amica. Those moves help for sure, but what other large businesses have found RI attractive for a large operation? Not many.

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That RISD picked up John Maeda from MIT Media is emblematic.

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I don't care about the high taxes per se, but based on the actions of our government on all levels, the ROI isn't that great.

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Is RI going great guns? Hells no. I'm just saying that saying we need to cut our tax rate to spur innovation is just plain wrong. The top innovation states are the top tax states.

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But it's ridiculous to say that of all the different factors that impact this situation, the most important thing to do is cut taxes [when we're already half-a-billion in the hole].

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The census estimate before the 2000 census also said that RI had lost population, and that turned out to be false and in fact the state gained some 45,000 people. I say we wait and see what 2010 brings us. That's not to ignore the obvious problems this state has.

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The census estimate before the 2000 census also said that RI had lost population, and that turned out to be false and in fact the state gained some 45,000 people. I say we wait and see what 2010 brings us. That's not to ignore the obvious problems this state has.

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