First Impressions of Rhode Island

My latest post is online over at GoLocalProv. It is called “My First Impressions of Rhode Island” and is a first take on the Providence region after six months of living there. Here’s an excerpt:

Thinking about it this way, the basic problem of Providence (and by extension the rest of Rhode Island) becomes obvious: it is a small city, without an above average talent pool or assets, but with high costs and business-unfriendly regulation. Thus Providence will neither be competitive with elite talent centers like Boston, nor with smaller city peers like Nashville that are low cost and nearly “anything goes” from a regulatory perspective. There’s little prospect of materially changing either the talent/asset mix or the cost structure in the near term even if there was consensus to do so, which there isn’t. So expect struggles to continue, even if there’s a bit of lift from a change in national macroeconomic conditions.
But as a place to live, there’s a lot to enjoy about being here. One thing that has really surprised me is the people of Rhode Island. I come from the Midwest and the land of “Hoosier Hospitality.” I was thinking honestly it would be hyper rude and abrasive, like some stereotype of Boston. Yet the people of Rhode Island have been fantastic to me. And while the total talent pool (college degree attainment) is about average compared to peer cities, I’ve met some truly top notch people who would thrive in any city. The people of Rhode Island are really first rate.

Click through to read the entire op-ed.

Here are some related articles you might enjoy:

New England vs. Midwest Culture
Providence and the Virtues of Scale
Is Providence the Rust Belt’s Most Northeasterly Point?
A Quiet Revival in Providence
Don’t Fly Too Close to the Sun

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Read the entire article

Very depressing.
And, I like RI.

Dave Barnes