Rhode Island has come in dead last on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the best business climates in the country, news that is likely to set off another round of debate about the Ocean State’s economic-development efforts as well as the validity of state-by-state comparisons.
Rhode Island was dragged down by particularly poor scores for its regulatory environment – named the nation’s worst – and its current economic climate, which placed at No. 48, trailed only by Vermont (No. 49) and Michigan (No. 50). The latter category was based on each state’s recent growth in jobs, incomes and economic output, as well as their unemployment rates and populations of large firms.
These findings are not surprising. Taxes at all levels are among the highest in the nation, irrational environmentalist groups restrict energy trade, and a nanny state that up until the last couple of years was expanding at an exponential rate. Unfortunately, until the General Assembly cuts the spending that has created our structural deficit and acknowledge that low taxes creates new wealth and tax revenues we are in store for more of the same.