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New Hampshire's working age population is getting smaller

To The Daily Sun,

Paul Krugman wrote an article about 20 years ago titled, "The Myth of Asia's Miracle". In it he made some observations that are still valid. Growth in any economy is the result of increases in labor force participation and productivity. The main drivers in labor force expansion are demographics and education. The main drivers for productivity are capital and technology. Without those factors an economy cannot expand.

The population of New Hampshire is growing at 0.35 percent per year based on the information from 2014. The growth is made up of 0.11 percent from natural change (births less deaths) and 0.24 percent per year net migration (comings less goings). About 47.75 percent of the residents of the state are currently employed. The population under 18 is 20.4 percent of the total which decreased 5.6 percent in 2014. The population age 65 and older is 15.4 percent of the total which increased 11.2 percent in 2014. New Hampshire's working age-population — those aged 18 to 64 — is the remaining 64.2 percent of the total which decreased by 1.4 percent in 2014.

What these statistics tell us is that our working-age population is getting smaller. Our population is getting older fast. The working-age population is being eroded from both ends, meaning fewer young people are entering the works force here and more older people are exiting the workforce. The number of people working to pay for promised governmental benefits is declining. Productivity must rise to avoid the need for decreasing benefits levels or raising taxes.

Our governor wants tax receipts to rise so that she can be seen to be giving us more, which is why she vetoed the state budget. The problem with her economic approach is New Hampshire's economy has structurally limited expansion capacity. We know we have declining labor participation. The governor wants to add tax payment which decreases investment and leads to erosion of productivity. Her vision for New Hampshire amounts to a guarantee of more and deeper levels of poverty. It is unsustainable. It may make for an opportunity for demagoguery when running for office, but it is bad economics and worse policy.

Marc Abear


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Thanks to the many who turned out for the Mill's Summer Soiree

To The Daily Sun,

The Belknap Mill Society thanks the many supporters who turned out for the first annual Summer Soiree on July 10. With entertainment by Rob Thomas, hors d'oeuvres by Christine Richer Catering and more than 25 silent auction items generously donated by local businesses, the Soiree was a big hit.

The night would not have been possible without our many volunteers who donated their time as well as all of our guests who supported our mission on the beautiful summer's eve. We hope everyone had as great a time as we did; and if so, come back for the second annual Summer Soiree in 2016.

Meanwhile, consider joining us for our free summer concerts in Rotary Park on July 16, Aug. 13 and Sept. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Thank you again to our volunteers, donors and guests. The show of community support reinforces our passion for the Mill - this place matters.

Belknap Mill Society Board of Directors

& Managing Director Beth San Soucie



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