Despite the continual awarding of tax breaks to various upper-income types, we Rhode Islanders are told our business climate is still near bottom. So I make these seven modest suggestions for addressing the problem.
1) BAN ANY PRO-UNION OPINIONS IN THE STATE'S MEDIA. While talk radio mostly does this already, some pro-labor apostasy occasionally slips into the Providence Journal, the Phoenix, and other local papers. I'm sure business will appreciate it if we close this loophole.
2) CUT PUBLIC WORKERS' PAY BY 50 PERCENT. Though public workers have already made concessions on salary, health care, and pensions, some of them can still afford to drive. Halving their pay would not only lower the tax burden, but make more room on the roads for the important people.
3) STOP ENFORCING CLEAN WATER LAWS. This will lower the tax burden. And as the public water supply grows more polluted, investors will see opportunities to sell more bottled water and make money in the health care industry, treating the people who persist in drinking public water.
4) STOP FUNDING BIKE, PEDESTRIAN, AND TRANSIT PROGRAMS. This will make the state more attractive to oil and auto companies. Those who persist in biking or walking can perhaps be made subject to a gasoline-avoidance fee that can generate revenue to subsidize corporate jets. But as there are proposals in the US House of Representatives to do this on a national level, we better get to it quickly before we lose our competitive advantage over other states.
5) SELL ALL PUBLIC BEACHES. Not only will this provide more shoreline for the rich to buy, but the view of the beach from their yachts will be improved when the hordes of riffraff are forced off the sand.
6) END THE SALES TAX ON HIGH-END CARS. Though we already forgo sales taxes on boats and private airplanes, the rich still have to pay a levy on BMWs, Cadillacs, Lexuses, etc. It is not fair that their cars are treated differently than their yachts and jets.
7) REQUIRE ALL LOW-INCOME FOLK TO BE SERVANTS TO THE BUSINESS CLASS FOR THREE DAYS PER YEAR. After all, we know how hard it is to find good help these days. The servants could polish the wealthy's cars or silver, cut the grass, mop the floors, and such. Giving up only three days would not be too much of a burden, and think how much it could improve our business climate rankings! Indeed we can market this initiative by emphasizing the "Plantations" part of our official state name.