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We risk becoming a backwater, with young people our greatest export

To The Daily Sun,

It now appears that we will all be facing higher electric bills for the foreseeable future. I take no joy in saying "I told you so," since it will make it that much harder to attract and maintain manufacturing and high-tech jobs in state, both of which need copious amounts of electricity at a decent price. Our reliance on natural gas power plants has left us up the proverbial creek. We have the power plants, but don't have the pipeline capacity to fuel them and that won't change in the near future.

Already the NIMBYs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire are gearing up to oppose the pipeline and tie it up in endless regulator red tape and lawsuits that could drag on for years. Meanwhile we will be paying the bill and may even see brownouts or rolling blackouts. Even if Northern Pass and every other form of alternative energy came on line tomorrow, it wouldn't be enough to offset the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant which is scheduled to close in just a few weeks.

We are part of the New England Power Pool, so we can get some extra electricity from the pool. But it will cost us dearly. Politicians of both parties know this but can't resist pandering to environmental groups who oppose any form of hydrocarbon infrastructure,­ period. It defies all reason, but the greenies seem to want to go back to some nostalgic rural utopia powered by solar panels and woodstoves and living off the land, though I doubt that any of these trust funders could handle the work to do it.

Business knows no loyalty to any state. They will move to where they can maximize their opportunities. We already have some of the highest energy and electric cost in the country because we haven't provided the infrastructure needed to support a prosperous industrial economy. The state is littered with abandoned mills that moved out to look for lower costs. The result is a brain drain where the best and brightest of our children fan out across the country to find decent jobs, leaving behind an aging population behind.

New England in general is very conservative and slow to adopt new ideas and technology which is part of what makes our area so charming. Almost any form of change brings protest from traditionalist and other groups. We have a very long history and are slow to change the things that have worked so well for so long; and frankly much of the changes offered aren't worth having.

But if you want a prosperous economy, you have to be willing to pay the price for the necessary infrastructure to support it. We need to bring our energy costs in line with other parts of the country to remain competitive. Without some changes we risk becoming a backwater and our young people our biggest export. All benefits come with a cost, because in life­ there's no free lunch.

Andrew Bourassa

Ashland

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Liberalism is misguided belief that is hardening nation's arteries

To The Daily Sun,

While everyone is waiting with bated breath for relief from the fire breathing dragon known ironically as the Affordable Care Act, more hospitals continue to burn through short revenues and close their doors.

Dr. Lee Hieb, an orthopedic surgeon and past president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, reports that 18 acute care hospitals closed their doors in 2013. She also reports, "Today, all over America, small- and mid-sized hospitals as well as hospitals in inner city, poor areas are closing." She says that the reasons are not surprising since most of the victims are the smaller hospitals in those poor areas who serve a greater percentage of patients who have Medicaid and Medicare as their insurance. With reimbursements barely covering expenses in many cases, more doctors are requiring private insurance in order to remain solvent and in business. Others have chosen to take early retirement rather than risk suffocation from the mountain of regulations that tend suck the oxygen out of their desire to heal the masses.

It is no coincidence that the hospitals most dependent on government payments are failing at disproportionate rates. Physician shortages will continue to proliferate and quality of care will continue to suffer. The poor who are supposed to be helped the most by subsidized Obamacare-sponsored programs are actually getting hit between the eyes by the two by fours used to board up these hospitals. And just wait until the rest of the "Unaffordable and Inaccessible Lack of Care Act" regulations take effect in 2015.

The Congressional Budget Office previously reported that Obamacare will result in 2 million fewer full-time workers. It has already been shown to be a disincentive to work as more folks are forced into part-time work while the expansion of the welfare state continues to accelerate. Liberal-progressive types such as Nancy Pelosi actually believe this is a good thing because it releases workers from the chains of "job lock" to pursue leisure activities.

Who of sound mind and body actually thought that the way to fix the shortcomings in our health care system was to have the government run our health care, thereby taking over one sixth of the U.S. economy? Of course, that was precisely the goal of the Democrats. It had nothing to do with improving our health care system. Thank you for speaking the truth Jonathan Gruber. He is the new poster child for the arrogant religion of liberal, progressive ideology. They really believe the end justifies the means because they just know they are right.

Modern day liberalism is nothing more than calcified condescension borne of closed-minded elitist academics and bureaucrats. It is a terribly misguided belief that has begun to harden the nation's arteries and threatens to cut off the very lifeblood of this constitutional republic.

"Good intentions and bad results" equal the modern day, liberal progressive model. The result is untold misery and death. Don't believe me? Read J.R. Dunn's, "Death by Liberalism." It is a meticulously sourced book that brings into clear focus the "fatal outcome of well-meaning liberal policies." A socialist model of government has never, ever been proven to be successful in the long run. It has however caused the death of untold millions for many centuries.

As former prime minister, Lady Margaret Thatcher reminded us, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Or in this case, you run out of the necessary quality and quantity of medical personnel and facilities. This will only continue to get worse unless, somehow, some way, we can scrap this Godzillian travesty by taking the air out of this bureaucratic behemoth before many more lives are shattered and lost. Republicans, it is time to put your big boy and girl pants on in January and save the best medical care system the world has ever known.

Russ Wiles

Tilton

  • Category: Letters
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