The NH Legislature's Latest Protection Racket - Granite Grok

The NH Legislature’s Latest Protection Racket

Bio Mess EnergyYou’ve seen movies where a couple of Goodfellas in suits show up at a business and the proprietor, looking uncomfortable, hands them a bag of cash. New Hampshire has this too. Some nicely dressed guys (and girls) are using the state legislature to force a business to extract protection money from you. (Again.)

This time around it’s your electric rates (Again?). The Senate passed changes that would turn electricity providers into enforcers for a protection racket that takes money from you to line other people’s pockets.

What’s new about that? Nothing. What else does government really do? Not much. But this abuse is so obvious and such a blatant redistribution scheme whose purpose is so contrary to its stated goal (saving jobs) it is requires further attention.

Keep in mind that these acts of extortion still have to pass the House, so before that happens perhaps they should read this from Drew Cline over at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.

At the public hearing on Wednesday, numerous speakers said the subsidy was critical because without it 900 jobs in the wood products industry would be lost. Though sponsors could not say how much the bill would cost ratepayers, no one disputed an estimate of $20 million per year.

So to save 900 jobs in a state with a 2.6 percent unemployment rate and more than 15,000 job openings, legislators want to make everyone else in the state — including the employers of the state’s remaining workforce of more than 703,000 people — pay $20 million more a year for electricity.

New Hampshire Employment Security projected just this month that New Hampshire would produce 83,822 job openings this year. That’s 82,922 more jobs than would be lost if the state’s six biomass plants closed.

That’s another 20 million. We’re already paying more to prop up biomass from a previous scam on top of other energy mandates that drive up the cost of living and doing business. Things that send a contradictory message despite efforts to appear friendly by cutting business taxes.

Any chance we could get away from the mixed messaging?

Couldn’t the legislature invest some of its time and our money into finding a more productive use for wood products? One that doesn’t require rate-payers to pay more for less by force? Like doing nothing.

Doing nothing would save money and redirect labor to more productive purposes.

Ratepayers would save 20 million a year which would be redirected into the local economy by the people who earned the money the legislature did not force utility thugs to extort.

Those acts of commerce or investment will create jobs the economy needs and can use. That will make New Hampshire more inviting to outside job creators and investors who might otherwise be put off by a state government that uses the law to bilk cash for pet projects or petty interests.

New Hampshire has a labor shortage. Labor moving to where the work is was what peopled our great land. and when the work was no more they moved again.

Am I asking for too much here? Is free-market capitalism a bridge too far for a majority Republican legislature and a Republican governor in a state with the motto “Live Free or Die?”

It appears that I am.