Is the R.I. Economic Development Corporation an effective job creation tool?

Posted 10/2/11

The R.I. Economic Development Corporation claims that it helped create or retain at least 4,686 jobs in the region in its fiscal 2011 performance report, thanks to its efforts to access to capital, technical support, work force development, and expansion and relocation assistance.

In addition, the EDC said that it helped local companies invest more than $162 million in capital projects, as well as help create nearly 1,000 jobs through the state’s tax incentive programs.

Are these the kinds of measures that the EDC should be judged on? Or should it be more concerned with creating an environment for the free market to allocate resources that create jobs and elicit investment?

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The EDC has a very difficult mission. Imagine how hard it must be to attract large employers to a state with one of the USA's worst records on business taxes, goverment corruption, super powerful unions, crumbling infrastructure, low-rated public education and an open-door policy for undocumented workers. But we do have nice beaches.

Monday, October 3, 2011 | Report this

They [EDC] need to develop, enhance and restructure their tools in the proverbial toolbox [tax incentives], since they are a creature of state government and private sector employment stimulators actually require a lot of flexibility within the ever-changing world of private market[s], competitive advantage / edge (local & state governments cooperation) on all and every available front while supporting the necessary mechanisms [tax policies/infrastructure maintenance] that keep small - medium businesses functioning in Rhode island.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Report this

Dudley is right. And so is Jack - except that it is our elected officials and not the RIEDC that make decisions on tax incentives that would attract more business. If we want that to happen, w need to elect leaders who are business-savvy and business-friendly enough to make those changes, and then empower the RIEDC to market them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Report this
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