Rhode Island's continuing failure to define its dominant niche and to affirm the critical importance of educational quality and adequate educational funding have left Rhode Island adrift in this new era, While it is currently being pulled forward by the favorable "tides" of strong national and regional economies, its internally generated momentum is not sufficient to satisfy its long-term aspirations. In the graph above, note how Rhode Island's "relative strength" in employment, RI payroll employment as a percentage of US payroll employment, has clearly trended downward since it entered the information age. THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE!