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June 18, 2004

The Apathy That Just Doesn't Want to Know

Yesterday, the Providence Journal ran a letter by West Warwick Republican Town Committee chairman John Clarke that begins with this utterly unsurprising anecdote:

Last night, I had a long conversation with one of my neighbors, a registered Democrat named Paul, who expressed his support for a casino because "it will bring jobs to Rhode Island." When I tried to explain that the jobs that a casino brings tend to pay poorly and that a casino does not bring wealth to the community, all he could counter with was his concern for jobs.

Paul wants to do right by people. He probably began voting for Democrats years ago because they ran on a platform promising to do just that. And now that Democrat rule is strangling the state, it probably makes his head hurt a little think about having to separate political rhetoric from the real effects of policy.

Such is the environment that allows a state senator to blurt arrogant asininity in response to constituent concerns that Rhode Island is driving out the sort of people who will help its economy to grow. As Mr. Clarke says:

Senator Alves, as chairman of the Finance Committee, is doing his best to ensure that the talented people who could fix the "no-good-job" problems that he and his party have created in this state stay away.

It is an embarrassment to the people of Rhode Island -- and especially the people of West Warwick who voted for him -- that Mr. Alves is complaining that he is tired of hearing from high-wage earners. He would do well to recognize that those people invest in businesses and create jobs.

Posted by Justin Katz at June 18, 2004 8:33 PM
Politics