It is a headliner on Drudgereport.com. The Brit newspaper THE INDEPENDENT carries a story titled "USA 2008: The Great Depression." In it, the publication gloats over the myriad signs of economic suffering in its former colony. One statistic the reporter David Usborne, based in New York, tracks is the rise in people receiving food stamps. The number has gone from 26.5 million in 2007 to a projected 28 million for fiscal 2008.
Usborne singles out lead-paint territory - that is, the state of Rhode Island. During two years, the number of residents of RI on food stamps has increased by 18 percent. This is a tragedy in a state which has such a solid infrastructure, ranging from top-notch universities to a location near the Boston Metro area and not all that far from Manhattan. The wrench in the works might be its anti-business reputation imprinted on economic developers' minds by the long-running lead-paint public-nuisance litigation.
Some predict that could all be a wrap in 2009. Let's hope so for the people of RI.