Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:43 am
Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:55 am
Desty wrote:OK, my husband goes to this monthly elbow-rubbing function for job purposes. I tagged along, we heard this guy speak last night. http://www.riedc.com/about/team/keith-stokes
He is the "Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation," a title that would set off anyone's BS radar.
Now, some interesting background. He was supposed to speak last month. There is an equivalent position employed by the City of Providence. They were OK with the Providence Economic Development Director not being the only speaker last month initially, but when they heard the other speaker would be Mr. Stokes, they started insisting the Providence guy had to be the only speaker.
The Providence Economic Development Director ended up being the only speaker at last month's meeting, and apparently was liberal up the wazoo. He insisted that high-paying blue-collar union jobs were the foundation of the economy, refused to answer questions in a straightforward manner. Just FYI, union dockworkers here already make 6-figures. He was all emotional appeal while simultaneously being conflict-avoidant, always a bad combination.
We weren't expecting good things from the state version of "Economic Development Director." But what he did bowled everyone over.
He regaled us with the anecdote of coming to his initial job as a young conservative, he spoke with facts, he just basically pulled a Judge John Roberts in bowling us all over with competence. He pointed out quite rightly that Rhode Island is basically a state filled with upper class old money surrounded by poor people, and that there was a very significant skills gap as there were almost no white collar people here or otherwise skilled labor.
He also laid out facts that the focus of towns and cities on "tourism" was misguided because tourism does not bring in as many dollars as industry and innovation. Schools were noncompetitive, and most of all, taxes were noncompetitive even by Northeast standards. He did not even use the liberal buzzphrase "supporting small businesses" -- he said we had to attract corporations here, period. He hammered hard at a lot of sacred cows here in RI, used many facts, answered questions in an unemotional and straightforward manner. God, I think all of us (mostly boat business people) fell in love with him that night.
I think Rhode Island, in many ways, represents a latter stage of the downfall of America. Exaltation of the unskilled. Basically grouped into working poor, non-working rich, and welfare-taking poor all engaged in mutual circlejerk. No room for anyone looking to be skilled or to invent. We were at Denny's the other day and we overheard a server and a group of girls just graduating high school together talking about how they didn't want to do this or that white collar career because then it'd be so much work to stay current/educated in the latest technique.
This guy is a diamond in a stinking pile of shit (RI). I'm putting him out there in the vague hopes that he will get the more publicity which he deserves. Here's him speaking, though I can't tell what he's saying. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9M4YJSaUiQ
Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:06 am
Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:55 pm
Desty wrote:NNB, I watched the speech with the auto-captions per your suggestion. Usually they're useless, but this time it picked up pretty well. It's awesome. Rhode Island still training workers for the assembly line, etc etc. Thank you!!
Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:44 pm
NicknamedBob wrote:Desty wrote:NNB, I watched the speech with the auto-captions per your suggestion. Usually they're useless, but this time it picked up pretty well. It's awesome. Rhode Island still training workers for the assembly line, etc etc. Thank you!!
You're welcome, Desty. Sorry the thread died. I had to go to work.