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Travis Rowley: RI Needs More Rich People

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Sometimes you have to break it down for Democrats, and keep it very simple.

So let’s start with this: If Average Joe was living in a town of only eleven people – himself and ten neighbors – would it be more advantageous for Average Joe if all ten of his neighbors were wealthy? Or would Average Joe be better off if all of his neighbors were poor?

As Democrats attempt to avoid the trap that is clearly being set for them here, normal people have already made up their minds: Clearly, Average Joe would have a better chance at prospering if all ten of his neighbors had the resources to hire him, or even offer him loans. Some might say that this would enable Average Joe to have the wealth – Democrats, cover your ears – “trickle down” to him.

And just to clarify for all the Marxist Occupiers, we’re talking about these things called “jobs” here.

Wait. Hold on. Council 94’s Michael Downey is grunting something: “Yea, but don’t forget that Average Joe’s new CEO is probably going to be mean and greedy, and is just going to end up exploiting him. He’ll give him low wages and no benefits. Solidarity forever!”

Ugh. Unions.

Actually, with nine other job creators in town, Average Joe would enjoy the economic advantage of having ten people bidding on his labor, thereby driving his wage upward and ensuring good working conditions. Not too many Democrats understand this concept, but the best way to combat “evil corporations” is to bring in more “evil corporations.” About 93 percent of the private American workforce operates in this non-unionized, competitive, free-market fashion. It’s what many people often refer to as “the real world.”

Wait. Hold on. Senator John Tassoni (D), from all the way in the back of the classroom, is chiming in: “Uhhhh, the best thing would be for the town government to take money from the ten rich people and just give it to Average Mike.”

Okay, moving on.

Once one accepts the premise that it helps the ordinary man if he is surrounded by wealthy individuals, then one must conclude that it would be harmful to Average Joe whenever wealthy people move out of his town.

So, besides having Senator Tassoni move right next door, what are the most prolific methods of driving the rich out of Average Joe’s neighborhood?

- Tax the Rich: It is well-known that if you desire less of something, then it helps to have the government tax it. Unions, Democrats, and Marxist activists consistently clamor for tax assaults on, not just the wealthiest among us, but even those who are just starting to gain momentum toward millionaire-status – say, people who earn over $200,000 a year.

- Seize Their Property When They Die: The wealthy aren’t stupid. And even if they were, their tax attorneys certainly aren’t. Local businessman Alan Hassenfeld said last year, “Virtually all of my wealthy friends and fellow philanthropists have moved their residencies out of Rhode Island…This loss of income to our state’s economy, to our tax revenue base, and for local charitable-giving is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. Unless there is a drastic change in the punitive estate tax here in Rhode Island, anyone in my position would be a fool not to leave.”

- Regulate Their Companies: Bryant University’s Raymond Fogarty once said about Rhode Island, “The regulatory system is out of control.” And, regarding several recent studies aimed at ranking the fifty states in terms of how “business friendly” they are, the RI Public Expenditure Council recently reported, “In every survey that included regulatory environment as a variable, the Ocean State performed at or near the bottom of the country.” The “Regulatory costs – ‘hidden taxes’ – including the costs of complying with environmental, labor and reporting requirements,” have clearly contributed to Rhode Island consistently being considered the “worst state to do business.”

- Cater to Private Unions: Rhode Island Democrats pass laws all the time that favor labor over job creators, making it even more expensive and bothersome to do business in the Ocean State. For instance, Rhode Island is not a Right to Work state, meaning that thousands of private employees are forced to join unions against their will. Unions love it. Wealthy job creators hate it. The same CNBC study that ranked Rhode Island 50th in its “Top States for Business” study revealed that 8 out of the 11 most business-friendly states are Right to Work states. Becoming the only Right to Work state in New England would almost certainly spawn the migration of wealthy people back to Rhode Island.

- Cater to Public Unions: The stronger the public unions, the more tax dollars are siphoned from the private sector. Political power should be restored to the taxpayers, and budget flexibility should be given to local governments, by rescinding the Democrats’ 1966 policy change that bestowed collective bargaining privileges to public unions. Public employment needs to be made less expensive. The unsustainable contracts, along with the statewide pension debt, should be dealt with immediately. Then, Rhode Island can begin to abolish its corporate tax and income tax. This will recruit more rich people to the state.

- Spread Disdain For The Wealthy: Democrats’ contempt for rich people is not reserved for a few corrupt Wall Street executives. The Occupy movement is a sham – a cover for the Left’s collectivist intentions. Democrats need to stop spreading sentiments of class envy and principles of class warfare. If they truly want to help Average Joe, they can start by dropping the attitude.

Free the Rich. It helps the Poor.

While rich people are a primary ingredient for the average man’s prosperity, it seems Rhode Island has been following the perfect recipe for their statewide extinction. No matter what the Occupiers say, it’s not the fault of the wealthy that Rhode Island is watching the suffering and eradication of its middle class. It’s the fault of Democratic principles and policies.

No, Senator Tassoni. Put your hand down. You’re not allowed to speak anymore.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans, and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.

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