Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reverse Migration

A new report from the Carsey Institute at UNH shows that more people are leaving the state than moving in. In 2001, there were more people moving to NH than leaving, but by 2010, the trend was reversed and some 2,200 left the state. This report confirms the findings of demographers Peter Francese and Lorraine Stuart Merrill who published “Communities and Consequences: The Unbalancing of New Hampshire’s Human Ecology, and What We Can Do About It” in 2008. The book pointed out that NH’s population is aging, and essentially unfriendly to young families. The reverse migration is proof.

NH begrudges every dime it spends on education. Why would anyone move here (or stay here) with a young family, knowing that education is hated here because of our regressive tax structure? Then there’s higher education. NH spends less on our public colleges than any other state in the union. We’re so far in last place that if we tripled what we spend, we’d still be in last place. Last year a lot of states made cuts to their university systems. NH may be in 50th place for investing in our colleges, but we’re number one in spending cuts! NH cut 41% of the state funding to our colleges. The closest other state was Arizona, who cut a measly 25%.

Our students leave here with the highest burden of college debt in the country. It’s why the best and brightest students of NH don’t stay here when they graduate. There aren’t enough jobs for them, and the potential for opening their own businesses in a state that doesn’t invest in infrastructure is very, very limited.
Our state’s 27,000+ millionaires seem to be failing in their role as “job creators.”

Speaker of the NH House, William O’Brien, announced this week that he wants to eliminate a further $400 million from the state budget next year, if voters are foolish enough to send him back. The last budget shaved some $30 million off the DOT budget, in a state that has the 11th worst infrastructure in the nation. Folks will recall that the DOT planned to deal with these cuts by cutting back on plowing snow on some secondary roads. Rep. Gene Chandler, ever mindful of covering his own political heinie, charged in and “fixed” the situation, just as he’s doing now with the East Conway Road. Lucky for the Speaker Pro Tempore, we had a light winter, and some of those unspent DOT funds are being used to patch up East Conway Road. There’s certainly not enough money to actually fix it – nor will there ever be as long as we vote for the new, even more offensive breed of Republicans who are currently running our state. Don’t forget for a moment that Chandler is part of the O’Brien junta’s leadership team. He’s defended O’Brien, shilled for the dreadful budget passed in 2011, and will do the same, if voted in for another term. In past years, Chandler made sure a whole lot of money went to straighten and “fix” roads in Bartlett that really didn’t need fixing, while doing nothing for roads in other towns. If Conway voters send Gene back to Concord, they’ll continue to get exactly what they deserve. In the meantime, be sure to ask him for a look at the Speaker’s plan to cut $400 million more from the state budget.

It’s difficult to imagine why young families don’t want to move to a state that hates education and infrastructure, isn’t it?

In other legislative news, once again the clown car that is the NH GOP is providing us with more entertainment. NH state legislators have an email system. They can send and receive emails from constituents, and they can send out group emails to their fellow legislators through this system. State Rep. Jerry Bergevin of Manchester has been sending out some questionable commentary recently to all of his fellow legislators. Bergevin, you may recall, is the same fellow who filed a bill to create a “Terry Schiavo Day” in NH, and an anti-evolution bill. Bergevin wanted to teach evolution as a theory, but also to ensure that children were taught that the people who came up with the theory were atheists. He told the Concord Monitor that the Columbine school massacre was the result of teaching evolution. Another of Bergevin’s bills would have provided a “religious” exemption for those who wanted to refuse to provide services to gay folks. In other words, legalizing his own brand of bigotry, with a side order of piety.

Bergevin’s latest hobbyhorse is medical marijuana, and he’s been sending emails out to his colleagues calling them “Potheads” for exploiting the sick and trying to legalize “dope.” He mentions that he’s experienced pain from health problems, but only taken prescription medications. Bergevin predictably found a way to insert some ugly anti-gay commentary into his email. Best of all, however, were his comments on the upcoming elections. Here’s a direct (unedited) quote:

“RHINO republicans Hunting season is about to begin and I Love hunting 
these its going to be a Great Kill this year !”
Given the quality of his prose and his level of punctuation, those prescriptions he touted haven’t yet expired. The Speaker of the House and his Charlie McCarthy (aka Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt) have so far made no comment on Bergevin’s offensive, and vaguely threatening commentary, so one is left to assume that Bergevin’s comments are supported by his colleagues and the House leadership.

Once again, the Freebaglican legislature proves to be nothing but an embarrassment to our state. Despite their claims to be focusing on job creation, instead, they’re creating a climate that virtually ensures that businesses will be fleeing the state. The state’s unemployment rate has increased since the O’Brien junta took control.
Decent roads, bridges, and communications infrastructure are vital to the economic future of our state. Will we vote for the future in November, or will we continue to cling to the failed policies of the past?

Fun Fact: William Loeb – the dead Republican who still dictates NH policy from the grave, lived in a mansion in Pride’s Crossing, a wealthy enclave in “Taxachusetts.”

© sbruce 2012

This appeared as an op-ed in the May 11, 2012 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.


Anonymous said...

Outstanding commentary Susan. As usual, the individuals who need to take note of the facts, will not. Most notable, are the vile, violent and very non pro-life comments by many Reichpublicans. Hunting is not pro-life, whether against ones own species or another. Very telling indeed.

Anonymous said...

NHites (especially free staters) boast about NH's alleged high quality of life in comparison with other states. If that's the case, why the reverse migration out of NH? The population is aging, NH is the fourth oldest state according to statistics, and young people don't want to stay. Why should they? There's nothing for them here. I'd rather live in Boston or NYC than Manchester or Keene.

Sadly, voting people out of office isn't going to solve this problem. Free staters especially have a strategy to gain as much political control as they can, and this was demonstrated last election. We need a completely new strategy. Fight this BS from the bottom-up like OWS is doing. No politics, just social action.

Freeman said...

@Anon#2: Free staters come to NH because it's the least violent state in America, not because of low unemployment statistics or migration patterns. Most free staters work on black and grey markets only anyway.

Yes, YOU'D rather live in Boston or New York (extremely violent cities in extremely statist states) where cops will cage you for anything, but I'd rather live here in NH. Ever since moving I've felt way more free and way less taxed.

OK I know I won't be too welcome on this blog but there's something you should know about the FSP: the FSP's goal isn't to take over NH. It's to create a free and voluntary society within NH. All we want is to be left alone. If you want statism, fine. Just don't drag me or others under it.

susanthe said...

Ah, Free MAN. I guess we should be grateful you didn't call yourself SovereignCitizen or LibertyLad. It's one of the most amusing things about you folks - you lack any sense of humor whatsoever, and you choose dopey names like Free MAN. The FSP does seem to be a rather patriarchal enterprise - no surprise there.

Free Staters come to NH, because that's where Jason Sorens decided you all should come, back when he launched the FSP. Our one term idiot governor, Craig Benson was foolish enough to invite you. NH was chosen (foolishly, in my opinion) over Wyoming and Montana, states that were also on the list. Of course both of those governors told the FSP to screw.

You aren't being honest FREE MAN. The manifesto written by Sorens on forming the FSP says otherwise:

Once we've taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we've accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.

The goal most certainly is to take over our state government, and turn NH into the pinched, mean spirited Randian fantasy you people dream of.

Of course, there's a reason this kind of thing has never worked, anywhere, ever, in history. It's unworkable. Civilized people like society. Most of us enjoy public water, sewer, public health programs, libraries, schools, transportation, and so on. In NH we like our state parks and other public lands. They're a part of our history, our heritage, and our economy. Free Staters hate all things public, especially our infrastructure. NH has 300 redlisted bridges. Our roads are in terrible disrepair, and our communications infrastructure fails the needs of at least half the state.

What's the plan for dealing with that, Free MAN? Individuals will take care of it themselves? They'll individually plow Rt. 93, too, I guess.

It's nonsense. Childish nonsense at that. If you don't like it here, you are free to move. I would encourage you to, in fact. The stated goal of the FSP is to take over the state, and as we've seen in the current legislature, the FSP is working hand in hand with teabaggers and radical right Republicans to pass a load of crappy laws. Free Stater Jenn Coffey filed a bill to put WARNING signs at the NH border. Each bill filed costs NH taxpayers approx. $1500. Mrs. Coffey should have to pay the state back for that bit of idiocy. Free Stater/grifters the McGuires wanted taxpayers to pay the cost of diverting the Suncook River, so that they'd have riverfront property again. Apparently they lost a lot of the property's value when the river moved during a storm.

The Free Staters in the legislature have succeeded in making your boy band about as popular as chlamydia. All of them ran as Republicans, and all of them failed to reveal their connection to the FSP to the voters in their district. FSP'ers Coffey and Cohn may not run again - nor should they. They've made a mockery of our state and our political process.

Bleating that you want to be left alone is very, very funny. You didn't ask US if we wanted you here. If you don't like the reception you're getting, that's your problem.

Freeman said...

Your suffering from a huge amount of cognitive dissidence. No one in the FSP wants to force their views on anyone since we don't believe in the initiation of force. All we believe is that no one should have to force anything on us, meaning if we don't want to pay taxes we shouldn't have guns held to our heads and be forced to.

The FSP was never kicked out of Montana or Wyoming. In fact there's a FSP-Wyoming which is competing with the main FSP for movers. Dr. Sorens picked NH for a number of reasons. Allow me to list some for you:

1) NH's lack of regulations on commerce and taxes. No sales tax, no income tax, no regulations on raw milk or growing your own food, zoning laws are lax, the state doesn't try to extort money from you in every way possible. And according to statistics which PROVE without a doubt NH has the best quality of life AND is the most business-friendly state we can be sure that the relatively free market in NH is working.

2) NH already had a libertarian atmosphere and culture before the FSP started. "Live Free or Die" should say it all. Today there are over 1100 free staters in NH and every single one is active in their own way. There are activists active in creating alternative currencies which can't be inflated, active black/grey markets, homeschool networks and tons of libertarian media.

Civilized people don't steal from their neighbors to feed the poor. Civilized people create voluntary charities to do that. When you talk of how things would get done in NH w/o the state actively robbing people you need to realize that people and the market are just as capable of providing things people need VOLUNTARILY without the violence (taxation).

How do you know Coffey is a free stater?

We didn't ask NH residents if they wanted the FSP because we shouldn't have to. We are sovereign individuals who have the right to travel and move as we please. If your so against people moving to NH with an "agenda" why not pick on the statist massholes who are turning NH into a version of Romney's Mass?

Tell me why you think the only way to get things done is through the use of aggression? Why do we need taxes if the market can provide everything for people voluntarily?

susanthe said...

free MAN: I'm really not interested in your line of anti-societal bullshit. You should go live in a bunker in Idaho, go live in Somalia if you're so intent on not living in actual society. NH may have some tradition of libertarianism, but it also has a tradition of towns helping folks in trouble. Yep, enshrined in the Constitution, it is. No one called it "forcing" or "robbing". It was just called helping.

Can you explain to my readers WHERE on the planet the FSP view has ever worked successfully? What country was that in?

Nice try at obfuscation. I didn't say that the FSP had been kicked out of Montana or Wyoming. I said the governors told the FSP to screw, which is true.

I know Coffey is a Free Stater because she admits it. Because it says so in numerous places on the FSP website. It's not exactly a secret, MAN. Google Jennifer Coffey Free Stater and see what comes up. That said, I know who all the Free Staters currently serving as Republicans in the NH House/Senate are. It's my business to know.

You glossed right over the Sorens manifesto, and the grifters in Suncook. Not even a mention of my comments about the sexism inherent in the FSP. I'm not going to continue to give you a platform for spewing your Ron Paul speak, free MAN.

susanthe said...

Well, free MAN, given that you answered none of my questions, your free ride on my blog has ended.



Anonymous said...

Here is an interview with Sorens. He wants a takeover, at least that's what it seems.

"Life, liberty, and property" is very vague. I don't trust him.

BTW, Susan, from your perspective, would you say free staters are more welcomed or unwelcomed by NH natives in general?

susanthe said...

I don't think most people have any idea who the Free Staters are. They made a big splash when they started moving here, tried to take over the town of Grafton, (in a big public mess) and after that storm of bad media, went underground - only to return in 2010, when a dozen or so of them ran for the legislature as Republicans.

The havoc that this legislature has wrought has brought down considerable wrath from those folks who pay attention to what goes on in Concord, and people who get more comprehensive daily newspapers. The folks in the north don't know much about them at all, because they get bad news coverage, and the FSPers are mostly in the bottom half of the state.

I know two people who have any use for them. One is sort of a libertarian, and the other is bending over so far backward to be fair and balanced that he's going to hurt himself. Neither of these people live in the top half of the state.

As for folks around here - I'm pretty sure that if I did man on the street interviews, most people would have no idea. The political junkies know - but that's about it. Well, the political junkies and my readers. I've written about them off and on since the were invited to NH by our loser governor - Craig Benson.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
susanthe said...

Sorry anonymous. I'm not here to serve as free advertising for the odious Dave Ridley's videos. I paid you the courtesy of taking your question seriously, when you were clearly trolling for the FSP.