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Report Ranks Rhode Island 2nd Worst-Run State

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The 38 Studios debacle, pension woes and a high unemployment rate makes Rhode Island the second worst-run state in the country, according to a ranking released by the website 247wallst.com.

“Rhode Island’s finances were a mess in fiscal 2010. The state had $9.5 billion in unpaid debts, which came to 107.2% of that year’s revenues,” the website states. “At more than $9,000 per person, it’s one of the largest debt burdens in the country. The state also funded less than half of its pension obligations, worse than all states except for Illinois. In 2010, in a spectacular example of fiscal mismanagement, the state guaranteed a $75 million loan to a video game company, which has since defaulted. With one of the nation’s slowest growth rates and the third-highest unemployment rate in the U.S., at 11.3%, Rhode Island’s economy performed poorly overall.”

The ranking is based on statistics from the 2010 fiscal year, which was before the state passed its landmark pension reform overhaul. Unemployment has also dipped to 10.4%, but is now second-highest in the country.

Contributing to ranking was the state having both the third-highest unemployment rate (11.3%) and debt per capita ($9,018) during fiscal year 2012. Rhode Island also had the 28th largest budget deficit, 17th highest median household income, and 24th lowest percentage of residents below the poverty line.

Only California ranked worse than the Ocean State. Of the other New England states, Vermont ranked No. 8, Mass; New Hampshire finished No. 14; Maine ranked No. 36; and Connecticut finished No. 36.

The top five included North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah and Iowa.

“For the first time, North Dakota ranks as the best run state in the country,” the website states. “In recent years, North Dakota’s oil boom has transformed its economy. Last year, crude oil production rose 35%. As of August, 2012, it was the second-largest oil producer in the country. This was due to the use of hydraulic fracturing in the state’s Bakken shale formation. The oil and gas boom brought jobs to North Dakota, which had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate in 2011 at 3.5%, and economic growth. Between 2010 and 2011, North Dakota’s GDP jumped 7.6%, by far the largest increase in the nation. This growth has also increased home values, which rose a nation-leading 29% between 2006 and 2011. North Dakota and Montana are the only two states that have not reported a budget shortfall since fiscal 2009.”


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That's impossible!!!!
I demand a recount!!!!

We've GOT to be THE worst state. None of this #2 crap.

Comment #1 by pearl fanch on 2012 11 28

When the takers out number the contributors what the heck do you expect? You get what you vote for. Too stupid for words...

Comment #2 by Chris MacWilliams on 2012 11 28

The best part is, Rhode Islanders just voted back in, all the same leaders that helped create this mess.

RI love being #1. We'll keep striving until we're there.

This place sucks beyond anything imaginable. It really does.

Comment #3 by pearl fanch on 2012 11 28

One more thing......

Funny how this report didn't come out BEFORE election day.

Just saying....

Comment #4 by pearl fanch on 2012 11 28

@Pearl, right on, a recount will happen, its another opportunity to get federal funds for the recount and a way to WASTE money in RI.
Leadership inaction is paralyzing RI.

Comment #5 by Gary Arnold on 2012 11 28

With this state increasing its budget by 7% to go over $8 Billion dollars isn't enough proof. This government is bloated, well connected with friends and union hacks - the perfect cesspool. The politically well connected enjoy fat paychecks off the backs of the taxpayers, and the taxpayers apparently enjoy it! We have a nanny state and the taxpayers are happy with it. We are the laughing stock of the country - enjoy the fame fools.

Comment #6 by Lance Chappell on 2012 11 28

The fact is that our great state is in trouble because of a generational perception. Voting back into power Whitehouse, Langivin, Cicilline, and the list goes on only shows that people of our great state suffer from what I refer to as “Republicanitis” People are happy to agree with the attack ads of “Carcieri's fault” and “Republicans only care about the rich” which is utterly ridiculous (even though the GOP does nothing to contradict that.)

We have alternatives such as the Moderates, Libertarians, etc..but they don’t have a shot because they are effectively shut out by our local media. Rhode Island is a shining example of one party dominance that is rooted in self-preservation, not self-government. The Libertards will continue to point the finger at everyone but the one that matters and the sheople will continue to drink it in.

Comment #7 by Silence Dogood on 2012 11 28

The Clueless leading the Listless. The safety net has become a hammock!

Don't worry, the GA will be able to take BOLD action next session because it's not an election year. Oh, no, wait, they don't have to do anything next session because it's not an election year! Then in 2014, they can pander to the special interests because it's an election year. Can't do anything meaningfull when you have to buy your votes.

Comment #8 by John Ward on 2012 11 28

Its sad, but I really think their is no hope for RI,this cannot be sustained, people are moving out . Is anyone at the statehouse doing anything about it?

Comment #9 by anthony sionni on 2012 11 28

"North Dakota's oil boom has transformed its economy." Imagine that.

Comment #10 by paul zecchino on 2012 11 29

Seeing as that politics and unions are RI's biggest economy, it's up to the private sector citizens to figure out a way for us to make money off of them.

Hmmmmm, irony.

Comment #11 by pearl fanch on 2012 11 30

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