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'Free' is biggest con game ever perpetrated on 'intelligent' life

To The Daily Sun,

How about an honest, scientific discussion about the minimum wage? That won't come from any politician seeking election. The minimum wage is just another bead and trinket used in the same fashion they were to seduce the trust of American Indians.

The fallacy is raising a persons wage increases their buying power. This lifts them up the economic ladder. It simply isn't true, as wonderful as it sounds. If it were true, why is it 70 years past the greatest "give away" president of all time, FDR? It's decades past multiple minimum wage hikes, decades past lucrative union contracts; decades past Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and disability, and years past Obamacare. Yet, economic inequality stands at a record high in America in 2016. All in the backdrop of a never-ending expansion of government with its endless, sure-fire recipes to cure inequality.

Wages are vastly higher today than they were 10 years ago, 20 years ago and 30 years ago, with employee benefits far more generous, while more things are free today or subsidized than at anytime in history. The programs that pay for these things are all insolvent with forward cost projections revealing Greek-style levels of indebtedness.

Still Bernie Sanders and millions more are screaming for a higher minimum wage, demanding more stuff "free" because people deserve them to make things right and even. It is pure poppycock.

There is no greater political fantasy or con job being put over on voters than the illusion higher wages, minimum or otherwise, will make any person's life better. It won't happen. It has never happened. Every penny of increased wages not earned or "paid for" with higher output (greater efficiency) or improved quality is simply going to be passed through the production chain as higher prices for goods and services to every other consumer.

There is no mystery to this. Any elementary analysis of basic economics proves this to be the resulting effect. Higher (economically undeserved) wage hikes are why the car you bought in 1970 for $10,000 now costs $30,000, and the college tuition that cost $6,000 15 years ago now costs your son or daughter $15,000. Unpaid wage hikes by government mandate, or from unions with a gun to the head of their employer cause price increases in lockstep with the higher wage.

Every dollar of your increase is eaten up paying higher prices for every good or service you buy made more expensive by others getting the same unpaid-for wage hike. Your living standards were not raised one iota, no matter your higher income. In fact, after taxes you're (income has) likely (fallen) behind. You can't defy the laws of gravity and you can't defy the laws of basic business economics no mater how many politicians, starting with FDR, have tried.

Bernie Sanders is the latest quack. Risk capital will demand and get its appropriate return for that risk no matter who is president, or there will be no business investment, no jobs or tax income to pay for all the free stuff.

If you really want raise people's living standards we need to rediscover electricity, the telephone, the internal combustion engine, the steam engine, the jet engine, the computer chip, the automobile assembly line and the flush toilet.

Politicians demanding higher wages, more expensive government, and things "free" is the biggest con game ever perpetrated on a class of life that is supposed to be superior but reveals, time and time again, the thinking power of a single-cell amoeba.

Tony Boutin

  • Category: Letters
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Selectmen have 'sealed' minutes of meeting made public long ago

To The Daily Sun,

After years of following Gilmanton's town government and how it manages its affairs, I have finally come to the point where I can say, without hesitation, that I have seen it all. In the most ridiculous and unprecedented move imaginable, the three selectmen and town administrator have sealed minutes that were made public over a month ago (Story on May 30, page 16.) Here's why:

Town governments, in this case Gilmanton's three selectmen and town administrator, are governed by statutes. Statutes are laws drawn up by legislative bodies and are designed to preserve our democratic process. These statutes are not guidelines. They are laws. They are not to be ignored or passed over. They are to be followed. According to the public record of the April 4 selectboard's minutes and audio record, not only were they not followed ... they were trampled on.

Consider RSA 91-A:3 ... item B. At the April 4 meeting the selectman went into nonpublic session three times. The only reason given in the minutes that it was to discuss a personal matter. The aforementioned statute reads: "to enter nonpublic session (the governing body) shall state on its face the specific exemption under paragraph II". For those who may not know, there is no such special exemption under article II that reads "a personal matter." To illustrate my point further, I randomly checked minutes from past years and indeed, on every single nonpublic session there was listed a specific exemption under article II.

Then, RSA 91A:3 ... item C: The statute governing reasons to go into nonpublic session reads: "Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely effect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the public body itself". Simply put, because of the public account (now, laughingly, "nonpublic" minutes and an audio CD of that April 4 meeting), the selectmen and town administrator demonstrated an unbelievable free-for-all/devil-may-care barrage of negative comments directed at more people than this letter could possibly list. Damaged reputations? Absolutely! Comments that could hurt a person's future as a productive member of our town or an employee of this town? Without question!. Understand this: if you listen to this audio transcript, these are not hapless mistakes or unfortunate indiscretions made in the heat of the moment. They are in fact, in my opinion, deliberate and a demonstration of a total disregard for this town and it's people and for the process of government we rely on.

Finally, at one point in the minutes, one of the selectman is described as "offended by the line of questioning," and that he will listen to "only comments which he considers constructive" and then is later heard to say "let's make sure he gets as little information as possible ... he just wants to stir things up" and then "we feel that it is not something the board has to explain the reasoning for their action" and then there seems to be a deliberate attempt to manipulate minutes to "reflect favorably" on the selectman's conduct. I could go on and demonstrate how these (and other) comments and actions violate every statute under 91-A:2 "Meetings Open To Public", imaginable. Also, how the minutes themselves, eye-popingly skewed and out of sink violated the guidelines under Section 91-A:2 "Minutes" ... but why bother.

Under articles 91-A:7 "Violations" and 91-A:8 "Remedies," this town and the offended members have recourse. They should take it. As for the three selectmen and the town administrator, in my opinion, I would suggest they step down. You do not rule this town — you serve it. You've come to the wrong place to practice your form of government.

This is a Democracy, gentleman .... not a dictatorship!

Al Blake

  • Category: Letters
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