The first section of the Sunday June 1 Providence Journal was filled with economic tales of woe. Wages have Flatilined, falling for many Rhode Islanders. At the same time pay for Corporate CEO’s is at an all time high compared to what everyone who works for them gets paid. And everyone is wondering why we can not get the Rhode Island economy to work well. I would suggest that instead of looking to give more to the 1%, that we focus our public policies on a better distribution of wealth, more ecological healing, food security and climate resilience. Current public policy suggests that real estate speculation is the main policy driver, with an ideological assault on regulation because we confuse building buildings on wetlands with economic development.
The way out of our dilemma is not corporate tax cuts, not the gutting of renewable energy standards, or the easing of water quality protections. The way forward begins with democracy, of reducing the power of money to control public policy, followed by community involvement in development decisions and a much stronger effort to make sure the benefits of brownfield reuse stays in the communities along the rivers rather than leaking to the other side of town.