To The Daily Sun,
I'm running to represent you in the Legislature from Northfield and Franklin Ward 3. As I see my opponents' campaign signs appear, I wonder what possible record they think they can run on? A fair assessment of their voting record shows that they've been on the wrong side of every major economic issue affecting our lives.
The economy — and jobs — should have been Job #1 for our representatives in Concord. It hasn't been.
Last week I wrote that the Democrats in Concord passed no bills that would help businesses. Of 130 bills passed last session, none improved the business climate. None made it easier for businesses to expand, create jobs, or increase employment.
There is one bill the right Legislature could pass next January that has proven to increase jobs and wages. It's a bill the current crop of Democrats refuses to consider. My opponents are part of the problem.
States like New Hampshire that have seen stagnant job growth have also seen their young citizens leave to find good wages and good job opportunities in states that provide an attractive business climate. As a financial planner I am trained to look for long-term trends. Examining the years 1990-2012, I see states that passed this legislation gained 42 percent in employment and states without it gained only 19 percent. Eight of the top ten states in job growth had passed this legislation while nine of the bottom 10 states did not.
During that same time, 35 states saw increases in labor income while 15 suffered income declines. Half of the states that saw increases in income had this legislation in place. Sixty percent of the states that saw declines did not have this legislation.
A study that controlled for economic conditions compared states' wages and found that states with this legislation averaged 6 percent higher wages. Another study focusing on economic growth found, on average, an 11 percent improvement in states with this legislation.
It's clear to me that passing this bill is critical to increasing jobs and increasing wages in New Hampshire. While it's not a silver bullet, it would put us on the path to regaining the New Hampshire Advantage. If we are going to grow our way out of the bad financial times we've been stuck in during the years the Democrats have controlled the state finances, passing this legislation is a necessary first step.
This key legislation is called Right To Work. But I call it "Good Wages, Good Jobs, and Good Sense." My Democratic opponents have voted against it every time it's been introduced. I promise you that, if elected, I will vote "Yes." I support good wages and good jobs. I will work for you to bring back the New Hampshire Advantage.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 10:01
To The Daily Sun,
At the last Governor and Executive Council meeting in August, a very important contract was passed for our travel and tourism business community. It is called the Joint Promotional Program and I was glad to support it.
Many of the grants to be awarded are in Executive Council District 1 directed at many of our natural resources and vacation sites. The action taken at the Governor and Council meeting allowed for the Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Travel and Tourism to award grants to the organizations in the total amount of $649, 676.27 for their 2014/2015 in-state and out-of-state marketing projects under the Joint Promotional Program.
The Joint Promotional Program is a matching-funds program within the Division of Travel and Tourism Development designed to invest in tourism promotion initiatives developed by groups such as chambers of commerce and regional associations, in advertising and promoting projects in-state and out-of-state. Funds for specific projects are recommended by the Joint Screening Committee to the Commissioner of Resources of Economic Development. Each project will be evaluated by the Institute for New Hampshire Studies of Plymouth State University and the Division of Travel and Tourism Development. Conditions listed on the grant application must be met prior to reimbursement of funds approved.
The list of Joint Promotional Program Grants submitted includes:
— Laconia Motorcycle Week Association - $36,870.25.
— Lakes Region Tourism Association - $106,935.
— New Hampshire Campground Owners Association - $50,664.52.
— Ski New Hampshire Inc. - $64,655.
— Waterville Valley Resort Association (WVRA) - $46, 650.
The contract can be reviewed by the public at the following link: http://sos.nh.gov/nhsos_content.aspx?id=8589938188
For any follow up questions please feel free to contact my office at 271-3632.
Joseph D. Kenney
Executive Councilor District 1
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 09:42
To The Daily Sun,
Two years ago at the polls on election day, one of my opponents said that I was an anarchist. I wasn't offended, but I have to ask, compared to what? Our country, as we are taught in school, operates on the rule of law. We are not the subjects of monarchs, and we shall not be ruled by the whims of petty tyrants. If this is indeed a nation ruled by law, should not those laws apply to all equally?
On Aug. 28, Belknap Superior Court Judge O'Neill issued a preliminary injunction against the Belknap County Board of Commissioners, described by the Laconia Daily Sun as "unequivocal." The language of the statues related to county budget appropriations is quite clear, and where the authority lays to make appropriations is just as clear. RSA 24:14 I-a. states "In this chapter, an appropriation means an amount of money authorized for a specified purpose by the legislative body." That is the law. Are your county commissioners above the law?
The commissioners didn't like the constraints of the law so they fabricated their own interpretation of the statute. Furthermore, they spent hard-earned taxpayer dollars to find lawyers to back up their opinion related to appropriations. You might wonder why they would take this matter to court and spend more tax dollars defending such a ludicrous position. The answer is simple. They are not paying the attorney's bill. You are.
One of the last arguments posed by the commissioners, through their attorney, was that the people of the county would be able to hold their elected officials accountable via the upcoming elections. While it is true that the people will get an opportunity to rearrange the composition of the Board of Commissioners and the County Convention, I must ask, does that equate to accountability? Damage has been done to the taxpayers of Belknap County. At the very least large sums of money have flowed to lawyers which will not go toward improving our jail, or nursing home, nor will it pay for health insurance. Will an election restore all that wasted money? I don't see an elections as holding politicians accountable.
Accountability can be found in the statutes if you follow RSA 24:15, "Exceeding Appropriations. – I. No county commissioner, or elected or appointed county officer, shall pay, or agree to pay, or incur any liability for the payment of, any sum of money for which the county convention has made no appropriation, or in excess of any appropriation so made...", which leads to RSA 24:16 which reads: " 24:16 Penalty. – Any violation of the provisions of the previous section or of provisions of RSA 29:8 shall subject the person or persons so violating to the provisions of RSA 661:9, providing for removal from office. A petition of 5 resident taxpayers of the county may be made to the superior court for such removal or for removal for official misconduct."
It is clear that the Commissioners have violated 24:15. Are there five resident taxpayers willing to step up and demand true accountability from their County Commissioners? I'll step forward as one.
State Rep. Mike Sylvia
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 09:16
To The Daily Sun,
Russ Dumais is an especially qualified candidate to represent Gilford and Meredith in the N.H. House of Representatives.
Russ is a long-time resident of Gilford and lifetime resident of the Lakes Region. He has successfully served several terms on the Gilford Board of Selectmen. He has been a long-term member of the Laconia Airport Authority. He served eight years as a member of the N.H. Water Supply and Pollution Control Commission. He has been a successful local businessman.
In addition to years of living civic responsibility and public service. Russ has a reputation for common sense and solving problems.
This is an important Republican primary. I hope you will join me in supporting Russ Dumais on Sept. 9.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 09:05
To The Daily Sun,
Nowhere is the one-dimensional thinking of the left better revealed than when discussing minimum wage laws. By advocating greater government control over the exchange of labor and wages, liberal thinkers ignore not only the coercive nature of minimum wage laws but also the unintended effects of using a blunt instrument to manipulate complex economic systems.
The pro-side of the minimum wage debate is dominated by people who don't acknowledge the reality of the market. They want to believe that changing one variable won't affect other variables — or at best are selective about the variables they choose to focus on. Wages are just one component of employee compensation, and compensation costs are integral to pricing and business planning. Changing one variable changes them all as the system achieves a new equilibrium.
So while it might feel good supporting an increase in the hourly rate of a person working hard to support a family, methods and outcomes matter. Setting aside the liberal fallacy that people don't move up and down the income ladder — today's minimum wage earner is not necessarily tomorrow's — what we can predict is that the labor market will compensate for the higher costs imposed upon it.
Asian Weekly reported recently about a Seattle suburb raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour. A hotel worker admitted that while the increased wage seemed good at first, she and her fellow employees had lost their 401k, health insurance, paid holidays and vacations. No more overtime, free food, or free parking. Her employer didn't have the luxury of passing along higher wage costs to customers, so it offset the mandated increase in wages by reducing benefits. Unless you're willing and able to pay substantially more for a wide range of products and services, employers will do what they can to maintain price points.
Proponents of increasing the minimum wage tend to gloss over the fact that price sensitivity and cost of living are not the same everywhere. Profit per employee differs markedly within and across industries, and costs of living are very different in Nashua, Laconia, Wolfeboro, and Berlin. How can a one-size-fits-all minimum wage make any sense given that reality?
It doesn't make sense, but politicians of a certain stripe think they sound "caring" when they promote such policies. They know they'll never be held accountable for the consequences. It's easy to create a political ad showing a few people ostensibly helped by getting raises. It's much harder to counter with the jobs that weren't created, the people not hired, the extra hours not worked, the loss of non-wage benefits, or the businesses that chose not to expand. Those are the effects that manifest themselves after the politicians' sound bites are printed and the cameras are turned off.
Professor Mark Perry, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, calls minimum wage laws "coercive government-mandated price controls" that give politicians and government bureaucrats greater control over the lives of ordinary citizens. He ended a recent essay by asking, "If you're willing to allow and accept government control over the wages for unskilled workers, what other powers are you willing to grant the government, and what other freedoms are you willing to sacrifice?" That's a question we should be asking ourselves while demanding answers from those campaigning to represent us.
There are real and damaging consequences to giving one-dimensional thinkers greater control over us in our multi-dimensional world. In November we'll have a chance to change the thinking in Concord by voting for representatives who will support policies that promote business development in general rather than trying to micromanage businesses. If we vote wisely, we won't have to fight the minimum wage battle again next year.
Instead of electing politicians who see every issue as an opportunity to extend government's reach into our lives, we'd all be better off trusting in ourselves, our neighbors, our fellow citizens — job creators and job seekers — all playing our small parts in a vast and complex economy. That was at the heart of the N.H. Advantage, and could be again.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 09:01