Healey on the Economic Development Plan

Bob Healey’s answer to Kathy Gregg of the Providence Journal –

Do you have a jobs plan?
What is it?

From: kgregg@providencejournal.com
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2014 12:25:39 -0400
Subject: Jobs plan

Do yo have a jobs plan?
What is it?
Kathy Gregg
Providence Journal
State House Bureau Chief
401 277 7078

Healey on the Economic Development Plan

October 1, 2014

In response to your inquiry I can only indicate the following:
These are ten points for my economic development plan (not a “jobs plan”)
1. That I do not believe that it is the government’s role to create jobs;
2. That I believe the government’s function is to make the environment for job creation.
3. That to spend tax dollars to create jobs is enabling an artificial market, skewing real and actual supply and demand on labor.
4. That less regulation will encourage business to locate in Rhode Island.
5. That business acts like business and will take advantage of state giveaways in the form of tax reductions, give-mes, and other artificial plans.
6. That economic development can only be had if there is a business-friendly mindset in government (no corruption, roads are passable, labor is educated to meet the needs, government is fair and not swayed by pet companies, that the state pays its debts, that management of the state has plans for vision without committing to any one company).
7. That taxes must be fairly apportioned on business interests.
8. That business is not a target as a piggy bank to be raided.
9. That laborers are treated fairly and with respect in a mutual endeavor with business to act in the common interests of the state.
10. That government, if it is to regulate business, cannot be engaged in the business itself through investment. lest it lose its ability to regulate properly.
Job creation plans, for the most part, are little more than election gimmicks. They require the taxpayer to infuse money on a hope of direly needed employment. The proposition is so wrong headed on many fronts. The business world, as any venture capitalist will tell you, merely looks to these state programs as the state being unable to function. They smell blood and use the state money provided by such programs to take advantage of the situation and move on to another suffering state when the well runs dry, often taking the most productive people the state has provided through training, with them. The idea is not to have a “jobs program” but a fundamental overhaul whereby jobs will flourish.
I cannot sugar coat what I see is the need for extensive, fundamental reform in Rhode Island.
It will require recognition of our dire predicament and work to responsibly and cooperatively to get ourselves on the proper footing.
Politicians promise people what they need today, taking advantage of their sense of finding a painless way out of an ugly situation and the public’s desire for instant gratification.
I cannot, in all good conscience, attempt to put such a hoax over on the public. I will not tempt a starving person with visions of a banquet.
I can only state that my jobs plan is incumbent upon the state working together to revise how we do business.
I will, if elected, be a cheerleader for job relocation, but I will also be able to offer these industries more than just old wine in new bottles. Armed with a fundamental overhaul, sparked by a cerebral revolution, our frontiers are bright. Offering tax money to bring us jobs is a fancy form of crying uncle and paying for unemployment in a different manner and it is a waste of much needed tax dollars.
I have written extensively on Economic Development (it is contained in the 2006 Lt. Governor document in which I had asked members of the media to read if they read no other document). I stand by the principles articulated there as though they were written here in their entirety.
Solid business development does not change or grow old. Fly by night plans come and go. I will have no part in creating such a delusion for the people.
There is no magic jobs creation. To offer such, in light of Rhode Island’s poor performance record in this regard, is, in my opinion, preying on the people.
They deserve more.
They deserve to change the system fundamentally.
That’s all I can promise.


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