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Rhode Island Economy

Providential Gardener views the Economy as:

A system for getting all the WORK done through exchanging goods and services so that EVERYONE HAS A LIVING.

  • The RI Economy is literally grounded in this place, 48 miles by 37 miles in southeastern New England.... thus the centrality of environment-focused categories.
  • The RI Economy also centers in LIFE and not money. Everyone living in Rhode Island has to have a living today and every day they are alive.
  • Money is just a medium of exchange. You can't eat dollar bills, you want to eat what dollar bills can buy.
  • Staying alive and living happily (whatever that means to each of us), developing to our full potential, are what we want.

I'm inspired by our new governor's theme, "Let's Get Rhode Island Back to WORK!" Key questions to consider are:

  • What WORK needs to be done so that all Rhode Islanders have adequate livings?
  • How do we get this work done today? [Why I've created this website.]
  • Who is actually doing the work? [Why I'm building the Directory.]
  • What necessary work (so that every Rhode Islander has a living) is not getting done?
  • How can we get more of the necessary work done more effectively given our limited financial resources?

I intend to add a lot of economy-focused information to this website, but I am beginning with the environmental information to give it a proper foundation. Meanwhile, I suggest that a major obstacle to Rhode Island's economic prosperity is the large number of residents who do not have high school diplomas. It should be a top priority for all Rhode Islanders to do whatever they can either to acquire the high school diploma or GED, or to help our neighbors get over this hurdle toward higher skills that will get them better jobs. And an obstacle to getting the GED (one among many) is inability to use computers effectively....


WORK versus JOBS

It is much better to highlight getting Rhode Island to WORK rather than to talk about creating jobs. Why?

  • Only a select group can actually create jobs: businesses, governments, nonprofits, entrepreneurs. The rest of us have to wait passively for those organizations to create jobs.
  • Businesses are generally reluctant to create jobs today and will replace humans with technology wherever feasible. RI's governments are terribly short of surplus revenue. Nonprofits are competing with each other for grants and members. Thousands of Rhode Islanders need better paying jobs, but prospects for more jobs today's Rhode Islanders can fill today are not on the horizon for most of them.
  • Everybody except infants and completely helpless people can do some kind of work. Everyone can participate and make a difference by working, even without a job. Challenging Rhode Islanders to WORK empowers more people. Work includes studying, gaining skills for better jobs, coaching and mentoring other people, helping out so that parents can prepare for GED tests, etc.
  • A lot of work is never done by businesses, governments and nonprofits anyway. Everybody does a lot of work for themselves. Self-starting should be encouraged.

In short, I hope our state's leaders will encourage all of us Rhode Islanders to be self supporting and contributing members of our communities. Proactive. Self-motivated. Hopeful of a better life. Collaborative and cooperative. All hands on deck!!

As the kids always ask from the back seat just after the car leaves the driveway, "Are we there yet??"


A new data source in April 2016 is DATA USA.

RI state economy  data 

Providence economy data

The DATA USA website has data for RI by county. All the cities have data, and some towns. But the "towns" include Narragansett Pier (this is the town of Narragansett), and Wakefield-Peacedale (municipality is really South Kingstown).