Proposals at the state and national level to increase the minimum wage will hurt the job market, decrease the number of jobs available, and hurt the people advocates are trying to help. Specifically, the higher wage will make it more expensive to hire entry level workers and reduce opportunities for lower skill workers trying to build job experience.
New Hampshire is complacent. As a state we seem to have accepted stagnation as a way of life and are just trying to figure out how to adapt to it. The vision of New Hampshire as an island of prosperity is receding as policymakers increasingly decide they must adopt rather than fight economic mediocrity.
Most of us would not want to be judged for the rest of our lives based on what we did when we were 17 years-old. Unfortunately, this is the reality for too many youngsters in New Hampshire since the state lowered the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 18 to 17 in 1996.
I hesitate to say this but Washington should be more like Concord. Discussions about federal budget and policy changes take place in a language completely divorced from reality and designed quite purposefully to keep anyone from figuring out what is going on. Language and culture matter. The language of Washington creates a culture designed to make us all cynical and apathetic.
When it costs more to heat your house, your electricity is cheaper. Actually there isn’t a direct correlation between the two but cold weather – and we’ve had plenty of it – drives both dynamics. One utility-owned power plant in New Hampshire is something of a political football but is currently saving ratepayers well over $100 million this year.
Wilkins Micawber had figured out the central organizing fact of modern life when he suggested to young David Copperfield, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the God of day goes down upon the weary scene, and – and in short you are for ever floored.”