Back to college and before, one sure-fire motivation to draw Justin toward writing has come from statements that he takes simply to be false, and research-driven responses to others’ analysis and commentary has characterized his blogging from the start. In early 2015, the possibility that data on job creation versus job destruction might undermine common wisdom caught his attention and launched him on an extended review of the evidence.
Anchor Rising-Ocean State Current Blogging
In his latest Saturday column, WPRI’s Ted Nesi highly recommends a new blog called CoffeeBlack RI. RIPR’s Ian Donnis seconded the recommendation on Twitter. Such recommendations aren’t surprising. Both Ted and Ian have always been very supportive, among mainstream media types, of Anchor Rising and other non-mainstream blogs.
When Paul Dion, Director of Revenue Analysis for the state government, chimed in to emphasize the recommendation, however, it piqued my interest.
New Companies Versus Established Companies Matters
In the first post in this series, I looked at why a new, anonymous Rhode Island commentator takes too narrow of a view of the state’s job creation, breaking down the state’s data into hirings versus firings. It isn’t a contradiction to suggest that he or she also takes too broad of a view, considering the data from a different perspective.
Income, Wages, Medians, and Totals Bring Light, Too
So far, in this mini-series of posts, I’ve argued that Rhode Island’s high job creation rate (compared with Massachusetts) is more indicative of its unhealthy job destruction rate than of a healthy business climate and that evidence suggests that RI’s job gains are in large part just bursts of effort from new establishments that tend to struggle after they open their doors. Separately, I’ve argued that Rhode Island’s employment trend is one of established companies gradually absorbing the entrepreneurial economy, which both drives out self-starters and the hyper-motivated and hinders our ability to find a new direction for our state’s economy that would benefit everybody.
At the close of the previous part of this series, I ended with the claim that the insider culture in Rhode Island may be helping some established people maintain their standard of living (somewhat), but the system is driving out exactly the people with the most incentive to innovate and work. One obvious place to look for some light on this claim (once you’ve stumbled across it, of course) is the Nonemployer Establishment Statistics data set that the U.S. Census provides on an annual basis.