What Does It Take To Be A Rhode Island 1%-er?

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A lot less than neighboring states.

This is an interesting exercise in economics. The Labor-funded think tank Economic Policy Institute has come up with a presentation on their website designed to show everyone how much richer the rich are getting compared to the rest of the country.

That we don’t really care about, as the prophesy was¬†predicted 25 of so years ago and has spent the time since constantly and reliably coming true. Basically, technology tends to make the most productive people even more productive, while cutting a lot of people out of the process. If this is the first you’ve heard of this, the best we can probably say is “Sorry” and leave it at that.

What we do find interesting is how Rhode Island compares to our neighbors, especially those states whose license plates fill Newport’s streets once the season hits. Those Mercedes S-class sedans don’t buy themselves. Here’s a comparison of the income required to put you in the 1% of these five states.

  1. Connecticut $678,000
  2. New Jersey $539,000
  3. Massachusetts $532,000
  4. New York $506,000
  5. Rhode Island $315,000

And that’s when you realize the Rhode Island doesn’t have a real economy, at least compared to other developed, industrialized, coastal states in the Northeast. We compare pretty well against Vermont($299k) and Maine($274k), but we’re still well below even New Hampshire($365k).

Here’s the whole map…


So what we’re gathering from this is that Rhode Island needs more high-income individuals to live here. Just a reminder that $315k is just the bottom floor of our 1%…but $678k is the bottom rung for Connecticut’s. Their 1% averages out with an income of $2,683,600, while Rhode Island’s 1%-ers average a paltry¬†$966,071.

This provides a great explanation of why Rhode Island seems to be perpetually broke. It’s all well and good to have a progressive tax system…provided that you have a lot of rich people making a lot of money. We only have a few rich people making a little bit of money, so the Rhode Island Division of Taxation can only shake them down for so much before they have to move on the the rest of the population in search of revenue.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Economics Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?