To The Daily Sun,
The empty logic of raising the minimum wage never ends. Liberals, Democrats and union-huggers are forever trying to get people paid more money for doing no more work. If there was ever a sure-fire recipe for further economic decline in this country that is it.
In an economy devaluing labor and in a business world gone global there is no surer path to becoming uncompetitive and bankrupt than paying people more money to do the same amount of work. Higher wages go one place: higher product costs. That harms the living standards of every consumer, every place. Paying people more to do the same work has a name. It is called inflation.
Don't you just hate it when you go to the store and the same product you bought last week now costs $1 more. That is what increasing labor costs without more output does to everyone. It forces the poor to pay higher prices for the most basic products from a McDonald's hamburger to a quart of milk.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office stated unambiguously a minimum wage increase to $10.10 will kill 500,000 jobs. Tell me that is not a moral injustice to a half million people. I laugh when people that try to inject morality into an argument. You only see this from the far left, social justice engineers who anoint themselves god on issues. It is hilarious. They think we are all idiots.
If Democrats really want to show genuine concern for people making subsistence wages, they would be better served focusing on small business owners who spend years trying to create an even marginally profitable business. The small business owner often works for peanuts ($7.25 an hour would be a windfall for him) while risking his and his family's security in the struggle. Many, actually make a negative wage while working 60 to 80 hours per week. That small business owners, the backbone of this country who make nothing should be forced to pay their employees even more, which loses them even more money is indeed more than a moral injustice.
Small business expansion is the jobs engine of this nation. Small business creation has gone to sleep under Obama. Forcing small business owners to pay higher wages while they make nothing is just his latest assault on them by Obama.
Let's guarantee every small business owner $7.25 an hour for their work in the name or moral fairness. I suggest we fund it by federally mandating union dues cuts. This would increase union workers' pay checks while underpinning the small business owners who are the heart and soul of America. The other benefit, lower union dues means less money trying to buy a political outcome, which is where 80 percent of union dues go. Democrats are always looking to reduce outside money in politics. This would be a good start.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 09:35
To The Daily Sun,
I have been following the news regarding the Meredith Senior Center with considerable interest. I am one of those Meredith taxpayers and voters who hopes that the presence of the Senior Program in the Meredith Community Center can yet be sustained.
It appears that the future of the Meredith Senior Center has been jeopardized by the inability of CAP and the Meredith Selectboard to reach agreement on a reduced rental fee. At the Oct. 21, 2013, Selectboard workshop, CAP stated that it had lost federal and United Way funding, hence the need for reduction in rent. According to The Laconia Daily Sun's April 24 article on the Senior Center, CAP proposed that rent be reduced from $1,200 a month ($14,400 a year) to $600 a month ($7,200 a year), and the Selectboard responded with an $800 a month ($9,600 a year) offer. The Daily Sun's May 6 article on the same subject gave somewhat different figures: Current annual cost = $14,400, CAP's proposal = $8,000, Selectboard's counter-proposal = $12,000. I gather that the Selectboard's offer was not acceptable to CAP, thus they decided to close the Senior Center.
Regardless of what the true numbers are, I wonder why the negotiation seems to have been aborted without further attempt to reach compromise. Both parties have valued the Meredith Senior Center. I doubt that the Selectboard's proposal was a take-it-or-leave-it offer. Perhaps the board expected CAP to continue the dialogue if necessary, and selectmen were as surprised as the public was by CAP's decision to close the Senior Center. I hope the discussion will be reopened by the parties. Dickering is as American as apple pie and motherhood.
I appreciate the initiative Robert Franks has expressed regarding volunteers serving senior lunches, but I believe the Senior Center will have a stronger future if administered by CAP. Should the Town of Meredith require a volunteer program to pay a rental fee, where will those funds come from, and how sustainable will they be year-to-year? We don't want a Gilmanton Year-Round Library brouhaha to unfold here in Meredith.
As it stands now, the Town of Meredith will lose $14,400 in annual revenue if the CAP-sponsored Senior Center is terminated. If the Community Center building is closed Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the school year, there will be some cost savings, but the town's budget will still take a significant hit from loss of the Senior Program. Closure of the Community Center during those hours would be a loss to Meredith residents.
When the Senior Program moved to the Community Center, it was a vibrant program with able and charismatic leadership. The relocation of the Senior Program was one of the selling points for the funding of the Community Center, which seniors supported. The space was designed to accommodate the Senior Center, and it was anticipated that the Senior Program would be housed there indefinitely. I believe it is one of the finest Senior facilities in New Hampshire. I was elected to Meredith's Selectboard the year that voters approved the Community Center warrant article, and I served on the board while the center was constructed. I distinctly recall that some of the interior space was designed for optimal use by the Senior Center.
At the 10/21/2013 Selectboard workshop, CAP reported that the number of lunches served daily by the Meredith Senior Center had decreased from an average of 58 to 12 within the past year. Assuming that the quality of the food had not significantly deteriorated, the most likely explanation for this is a decline in leadership. That is regrettable, if true.
Considering that the leading edge of the Baby Boom tidal wave has crested age 65, this is a most inopportune time to be shutting down a Senior Center. This vastly increased senior population will impact all aspects of American society. The Town of Meredith is as unprepared for this senior explosion as all municipalities in the United States are. But because Meredith, like many Lakes Region towns, is a retirement destination community, the effect of aging Baby Boomers will be felt more intensely here.
Some of the consequences, such as an insufficient number of doctors, hospital beds, and assisted living facilities. are predictable. Reduced Social Security and Medicare benefits seem probable. As these seniors move money from growth funds to lower risk securities, there could be profound impact to investment funds, the stock market, and seniors' net worth.
Those seniors who remain affluent enough to pay for some degree of in-home care may encounter a shortage of hirable workers due to an insufficient workforce. Meredith will be competing with other localities for those workers, who are much more likely to live in Ashland, Bristol, Tilton, and Laconia because housing is cheaper there. Because seniors' life expectancies have increased, and because there will be so many more widows and widowers than ever before, there will be a need for those workers. As it stands now, Meredith will not be able to provide for itself in this regard.
A vibrant Senior Center with forward-thinking leadership can help Meredith prepare for this impending future. Many wonderful things can be accomplished by a Senior Center, in addition to serving nutritious lunches and offering fitness classes. Even as bodies deteriorate, minds can stay keen and productive, and seniors can experience rewarding fulfillment to their dying breath with encouragement and imagination.
By intending to serve all ages of people and bring them together under one roof, the Meredith Community Center embraced a priceless vision of community. The elderly are at considerable risk of age segregation. But most elderly people want to stay involved with younger folks because of their youthful optimism and the future they represent. The Community Center is a natural way to bring old and young together. The Senior Program can facilitate this and all the other objectives I have mentioned. Thus I hope that CAP and the Meredith Selectboard will resume discussion of how to perpetuate the Meredith Senior Center.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 09:21
To The Daily Sun,
On Sept. 9, we will vote on the many candidates who have been campaigning all through the summer for the U. S. Senate and Congress, for the N.H. House and State Senate, and for many local offices, such as county commissioner, etc. This is called the Primary Election.
Before we can vote in the Primary Election we have to select which party we want to vote with because there is a Democrat ballot and a Republican ballot. You can only select one. So here is a bit of important information.
If you wish to change the party you are now registered with, you have until June 3, 2014, to do so with the Supervisors of the Checklist.
For instance, you may not come to the Primary Election as a registered Democrat and ask for a Republican ballot. You must declare yourself a Republican or Democrat or Undeclared no later than June 3. The only exception to this rule is if you are now registered as Undeclared.
Before checking in with the ballot inspectors to vote, you must choose to vote as either a Republican or Democrat by going to the Supervisors of the Checklist first. However, after you have voted, you may revert to Undeclared status by returning to the Supervisors of the Checklist before you leave the polls. If you do not choose to revert to Undeclared, you will remain with the party you have selected.
In November, at the General Election, this isn't the case. You will receive one ballot. There will be opposing Democrats and Republicans on that ballot. No matter which party you are registered with you may vote for anyone on the ballot. Write-in candidates are allowed on all ballots.
See you at the polls.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Monday, 12 May 2014 09:02
To The Daily Sun,
I read in The Sun that the Sanbornton Conservation Committee has proposed putting 100 percent of the land use change tax into their land conservation fund. Gilford has been doing that for years, now, and it is because our voters had the foresight to agree to a similar article that we have been able to protect approximately 1,000 acres of our key natural resources while assuring our goals to keep our rural character.
Pretty obvious that the price of land is expensive and will only escalate in the future, so voting in favor of this proposal will give much needed funds to help meet Sanbornton's desire to also remain a rural community. The money comes from large parcels that landowners have enjoyed significant tax breaks for years because they have been held under current use. When land is pulled out of current use for development, the tax is 10 percent of the value. Towns have recognized that it only makes sense that with major losses of large tracts of land to development, it is imperative to put that small amount of tax money into their land conservation fund to try to protect critical natural resources without asking for money from taxpayers. The other plus for for putting 100 percent of the money into the land conservation fund is that it can be used as required matching funds for important land conservation grants, thereby doubling the purchasing power.
There aren't many avenues where we can help provide a lasting and important benefit to this world, but land conservation is certainly right at the top.
To Sanbornton voters, please support your local Conservation Commission's efforts to receive 100 percent of the land use change tax so they will have the much needed funds to protect your most critical natural resources and help maintain that beautiful rural character that make Sanbornton such a beautiful scenic community.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 May 2014 08:24
To The Daily Sun,
It was very disheartening to read another example of Senate Republican Leader Jeb Bradley using half-truths and fear-mongering to pander to the extreme right wing of his party. In order to garner votes in November he has cynically criticized Bill Duncan's nomination to the New Hampshire Board of Education.
Bradley is quoted in a Concord Monitor article Tuesday, May 6, saying, "Duncan is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the business tax credit that gives scholarships to students who attend private and religious schools, and he opposes charter schools." What Bradley fails to include in his limited information statement is that there is a good chance the NH Superior Court will find the business tax credit (passed by the Republican controlled Senate and House in 2012) unconstitutional just like the Medicaid Enhancement Tax was in April 2014.
Now some of those same Republican legislators are dancing as fast as they can to figure out how to compensate for the multimillion-dollar hole they created with their votes, Bradley being one of them. Who knows what further financial damage will be done to the state budget if the thinly disguised business tax credit (a voucher system in reality) is also found to be unconstitutional.
I am glad the Executive Council saw fit to approve Gov. Hassan's nomination of Bill Duncan. New Hampshire students, families and taxpayers need a knowledgeable advocate who will protect every child's right to a quality, standards-based education, taught by caring and qualified professionals.
Kay M. Anderson
Last Updated on Monday, 12 May 2014 08:21