"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Monday, April 6, 2015

Changing Times

The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies earlier this year issued a report  entitled "Changing Times" , which was presented to the NH House Finance Committee in January 2015.
New Hampshire has the third highest median age in the country.
We just can't get away from the "getting older" fact of life. In 2015, 6% of NH's population was 75 or older. That is predicted to increase to nearly 18% by 2040.  The state also lost 22,000 school age children since 2000. As the following slide indicates, there will continue to be a decline in the working age group:

“The Young and Restless—25 to 34 year-olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education—are increasingly moving to the close-in neighborhoods of the nation’s large metropolitan areas. This migration is fueling economic growth and urban revitalization.” 
As this inevitable migration continues, it has had a positive impact on job growth in parts of NH,  but has a profound negative impact on most of the rest of the state, at least in terms of job growth. It would seem logical that if you are building a large business you would want to locate it closer to where you have a larger pool of workers to pull from.

The study offers some suggestions on how to turn the tide.  The question still remains though, that even with good safe schools, low crime rate, low tax rate etc., where will people that come here work and live?  The majority of people move here to retire or are in a position to own a second seasonal residence. The ones that are already here are getting older and their kids are moving on.
"Better educating our own" is an excellent recommendation, but the fact is that our University system in-state tuition is the third highest in the country. Our high school graduation rate is 4th highest in the country, but a mediocre 24th in the country in high school graduates going on to a degree granting institute.

In summary, NH is getting older, growing very slowly, younger working age residents are moving away and we don't have a long term plan in place at the state level to even begin to address the impacts of these "changing times."
As stated in the study "Virtually all our public policy is based on a picture of ourselves and trends that are not really true any longer." 
Change is not only coming, it is already upon us. Planning for the future based only upon the past is bad public policy. Failure to find a compromise on important issues and the continual polarized politics that we have been enduring for too long is even worse. We have taken our collective eye off the ball and we are behind on the count.


Anonymous said...

The report reenforces one of the reasons retirees choose to live in New Hampshire, low taxes. It's certainly not jobs.

George Orwell said...

Sounds like a gym feasibility study is not where we should be expending OUR resources. We have all known for quite a time that there will not be any young people here in the US to care for the aging population or to fill the coming open employment positions.
We have dummed our children down to the point that they have little to no marketable or life skills when coming out of public education. There is nothing for them to do but suck on the tete of government and shoot heroin.
My step-son, who is competing in the state and national Skills USA program will be doing so not by his instruction in public education. Quite the opposite as he tells me recently that he is not allowed to "plug in" shop tools as it is too dangerous in a school type environment. He claims the equipment is unusable and broken in his shop class, yet NHHS budget is somewhere in the neighborhood of $824 million. We steal children in the name of safety and expect public schools and police departments to raise them into productive citizens. It is NOT working!
Where are the craft committees helping to steer education to prepare students for the work force? Oh, that's right, local businesses can't/won't hire our young people as they are more of a liability than an asset. Thank God for common core. (sic) Perhaps they can all work for DHHS and monitor each-others children to ensure no one will be able to do anything. (AH-Nirvana)
Remember this, the only way to have true equality is for everybody to have nothing!



Anonymous said...

Let's not over complicate things. High achieving students will seek and attend top universities and grad schools which will invariably lead them to highly selective employers who offer very competitive employment packages. The beautiful Lakes Region simply cannot compete in this game. The same theory holds for nearly every career path available. Ambitious young adults migrate to opportunities that provide more challenges and better pay, neither of which are available here in sufficient numbers. So while we explore sidewalks and extra gyms while ignoring demographic sea-changes; while we ignore that too many locals kids could never afford to buy a home in the neighborhood they grew up in, while we turn to retirees and second homeowners for tax money we assume they must be able to afford to contribute...consider this: pray our successful kids fondly recall their beautiful Lakes Region and that the beauty and economic attractiveness will still exist so that they and others will want to return and/or retire here.

Anonymous said...

George Orwell,

What on earth are you talking about?! If you want to complain about public education, perhaps you should become more involved in your step sons life and learn what really happens in school. To claim that they not getting a proper education is beyond ridiculous. Just take a look at the yearly list of students moving on to higher education and know we have some amazing, smart and talented children in this this town. Perhaps your step son is not friends with these fine students. I don't understand the rationale (or lack of) that we shouldn't be drawing young families to our wonderful town. We need to stand out and give people a reason to move here. Otherwise, enjoy the increased tax rate so many of you have been complaining about.

George Orwell said...

Anonymous@ 12:44,

Read my comment again. It is only by virtue of education received at home that the boy will compete in the competition. And although I am quite aware that many "graduates" of MA will go on to "college" many will/do not have the necessary skills to survive in those environments. The LRCC in Laconia has had to add an introductory math class as the incoming students can not perform basic college math. The technical programs have had to "dumb-down". their curriculum s to accommodate the incoming students as they have NO technical abilities. I mean they cannot apply an air chuck to a Schrader valve. This something that in 1975 every 9 year old could perform. The student cannot use simple tools, they have no understanding of simple machines or industrial etiquette. no understanding of systems or processes in their immediate environments.
I am quite involved with my step-son and his education. We speak daily of it. What I hear is social conditioning, not education. The patients are running the asylum!
In response to "drawing young families to our wonderful town", how exactly is public education going to facilitate that? Most of the full time residents here are existing within a tourism/service economy that is seasonal at best. Unless you have a specialized skill set there are no livable wage employment opportunities here. Well, unless you aspire to "work" for a municipality deriving your income from the tax-payers.
There will never be any new industry here as our infrastructure is crumbling and difficult to navigate. So unless you plan on being a school psychologist or a social worker who produce absolutely nothing but liability, the prospects aren't great.

Ignorance is strength! War is peace! Freedom is slavery!


Anonymous said...

Mobo Acedemy ... a public school education at a prep school cost.

Hello? said...

Anonymous 12:44
Why would young families move to our wonderful town if there are no good paying jobs?