Two reading recommendations today with some fresh thinking about Rhode Island’s economy.
First, John Taraborelli’s interview with Alec Beckett, creative partner at the hip Providence advertising firm Nail Communications, about why they’re based here (emphasis added):
Nail is here because in the 21st century we can be pretty much anywhere, and this is where we want to live. Providence is a city – but just barely. We’ve got the culture, the food, the activities that make life in a city fun and meaningful. But it doesn’t come with the cost, congestion, and craziness of a big city. …
Providence (and RI in general) could do with a little less cynicism. I have lived and traveled all over the place, and I chose to live here. And a lot of the people I know who are most passionate about RI and Providence come from elsewhere. Perhaps a reverse Peace Corps is in order to send bitter Rhode Islanders out into the world where I think a lot of them may realize that the grass is pretty darn green here.
Second, a thoughtful piece by Transport Providence’s James Kennedy making his case for why conservatives should embrace changes in Providence’s (and Rhode Island’s) transportation policies:
What I want to do below is suggest a number of ways the state can save money and be more fiscally responsible in the realm of transportation. We should bracket our feelings about unions, pensions, taxes, Wall Street, etc., and use this discussion of statewide priorities as a time to look at where else our money goes beyond pensioners’ pockets. I’m not really a libertarian penny pincher at heart, but what I’ve found politically-maturing about urbanism has been the way it’s shown me that many problems we have aren’t about underspending but over- or mis-spending, and that many problems are not about underregulation but over- or mis-regulation.
Kennedy singles out parking regulations, DUI enforcement, property taxes, RIPTA funding, farmland conservation and highway funds.
• Related: Watch Executive Suite on Providence’s high-stakes zoning overhaul (Sept. 30)