By Dan Moriarty
Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon? If you were there would you ask yourself how you can spend people’s taxes to attract more visitors? While waiting in line to enter the sold-out Zion National Park would you think of ways to get more millennials to visit?
New Hampshire has many fine qualities. Near the top of my list is its low population which results in rare traffic problems and short lines virtually everywhere. Even in the heat of summer, it’s not too hard to find a place to spread out on the beach at Wallis Sands State Park. In the fall rush, a person can hike the trails of Pack Monadnock and still enjoy seclusion in the woods. In the summer, a family can get a ticket to the minor league ball game for cheap and not get turned away due to a sell-out.
At no point do I ever say to myself “I wish there were more people here.”
For two hundred years the whole point of New Hampshire was to enjoy it for what it is and for what it has been – a center of the American Revolution and birthplace of representative democracy. Its history and geography have defined what the state has become. If you need a visual summary of what New Hampshire is all about then visit the Manchester Airport baggage claim area and take in those three enormous pictures along the wall – the rolling hills of a town center, a resort in the mountains, and a seacoast port.
While admiring those three photos, I never thought to ask how we can spend tax dollars to increase the population in those iconic scenes.
The economy of New Hampshire is doing very well. The unemployment rate here is one of the lowest in the nation. We don’t need to make drastic changes to attract more people. What we need is to continue what we’ve been doing for two hundred years, and that does not require taxing people out of the state so we can build shiny luxuries to attract different people to move here. If the job creators need more employees let them offer higher salaries, not government subsidies.
If you are bored with small-town NH, then learn to ski, hike, or fish or simply watch the traffic go by. If you can’t stand it here then maybe New Hampshire isn’t for you. I like it here. I’m staying.
Some have said we should provide all sorts of public support to attract people who need it. Let’s spend two hundred million dollars on a train to make it easier for people to work out of state. Let’s spend another hundred million dollars on full-day kindergarten so couples who can’t afford to stay home and raise their kids can move here. Let’s spend tens of millions of dollars on an arts center or something like it so people who can’t afford to pay full price for one can move here. Basically, the big spenders are saying let’s provide all kinds of public support to attract people to move here – who will then need more public support once they get here, and so on.
Ask anyone to guess the current NH population. Ask them what it should be. Even if a progressive doesn’t know the answers to those two questions how come (like with government budgets), they insist that whatever it is it needs to be more.
Instead, let’s ask ourselves what is it that’s made New Hampshire so attractive in the first place. We should wonder why people came here and why they stayed. For sure the answer to both of those questions isn’t a train, isn’t all-day kindergarten, isn’t an arts center, isn’t expanded Medicaid and it isn’t anything that doesn’t already exist which the liberals are intent on creating.
New Hampshire speaks for itself. Its very existence is enough. Just as the Grand Canyon will do just fine without any government subsidies so will the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, and the rolling hills of southern New Hampshire. Our state and local governments need to remain focused on providing the essentials and avoid wasting money on growing our population and then entertaining them once they get here.