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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (175)

Saturday
Sep052015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Newton's Law of Politcal Mechanics and Occupational Licensing

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

Debt and Issac Newton's Law of Political Mechanics

Political candidates insist on talking about trees and trust you will ignore the forest. The federal budget mess becomes a bigger and bigger problem because they know you don’t care about the big picture and can be counted on to ignore their pathetic record. The federal budget cannot and will not be balanced simply because it doesn’t have to be balanced and you don’t care that your politicians don’t care.

Last week the Congressional Budget Office released its semi-annual budget report and no one particularly noticed. It was a shame because the numbers suggest growing debt and endless deficits don’t have to be the accepted norm and might easily be erased. 
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Live Free, But Ask First: Occupational Licensing in NH

In the effort to rejuvenate New Hampshire’s economy, occupational licensing is an important puzzle piece that is often overlooked. With the ostensible aim of protecting consumers, occupational licensing regulations set up barriers to entry, potentially preventing countless workers who would readily contribute to economic growth, but find themselves blocked by restrictive policies. The result for the consumer is higher prices and fewer choicesClick here to keep reading.

Saturday
Aug292015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Tax Policy Advice from Kramer 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

The Problem with Tax Write-offs

The best discussion of our understanding of modern tax policy comes from the classic television show Seinfeld. Everyone’s favorite economist, Kramer, encourages Jerry to defraud a company because big companies don’t need to worry. “Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.” Jerry claims that Kramer doesn’t even know what that means. Kramer’s defense: “But they do and they’re the ones writing it off.”

These mystical write-offs emerge in political rhetoric as giant subsidies to big corporations, illusory money floating through the corporate air. In an election, politicians want to eliminate them all. The right accuses the left of passing out subsidies like candy. The left accuses the right of hypocrisy, especially toward the dreaded evil Big Oil.
 
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Tackling Education Issues at the State Level

Americans have become accustomed to viewing public education through a national lens. In the past, most power was left to local schools and politicians. However, since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1950 and continuing to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Department of Education’s Race to the Top initiative of 2009, the federal government has taken and maintained increased control over schools through mandates, incentives, and funding. Although these initiatives represent sincere efforts to improve a struggling national public education system, the reality is that increased federal oversight often has the opposite effect by complicating matters with complex rules and regulationsClick here to keep reading.

 

Saturday
Aug222015

Josiah Bartlett Center - NH Primary Myths and Employee Freedom Week 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

The Great Myths About the NH Primary

Much of what you know about the New Hampshire primary is wrong or misleading. Six months before the election seems like a good time to sort out some fact and fiction.

Many Granite Staters like to think that New Hampshire has some inherent right to the primary because we pay more attention, are more involved, and take our job more seriously. The story of the noble activist fighting a grass roots battle is best explored in Dayton Duncan’s wonderful portrait Grass Roots: A Year in the Life of the New Hampshire Primary — sadly out-of-print but available used. 
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Happy Employee Freedom Week!

Happy National Employee Freedom Week! This week is a nationwide campaign to let employees know they have the freedom to opt out of paying their union dues. Polling done on this issue shows nationally that 40 percent of union members do not know they have this option. Here in New Hampshire, more union members are aware of this option, but a recent survey shows 25 percent still do not. So if you are one of those people in the 25 percent, and want to leave your union, you have two options: just pay the agency fee, or become a religious objectorClick here to keep reading.

Saturday
Aug152015

Josiah Bartlett Center - No One is Winning or Losing Despite What You Read 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

No One is Winning or Losing Despite What You Hear

Right now you should pay less attention to presidential election. Paradoxically though, you should also paying more attention. The real problem is the media covering the election acts as if they’ve never covered an election before and have no familiarity with elections in general.

No one is winning and no one is losing yet. The large number of candidates in the race make some in media eager to start eliminating candidates and to indulge in breathless discussions about momentum. History suggests media discussed polling momentum is silly and meaningless.

No one’s campaign is on life support and no one is inevitable. You should feel free to listen to and evaluate multiple candidates. For example, Fox would have had you believe that you should ignore all but ten candidates. They relegated all the other — the losers in the so-called Fox primary — to a junior varsity debate. The losers were allowed to talk at 5:00 (2 in the afternoon on the west coast) but prohibited an audience. Yet the candidate who most improved his or her position as a result of the events was Carly Fiorina, one of the candidates we were told to ignore.... Click here to keep reading.

Friday
Aug072015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Budget Squabbles Can't End until October 

Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

Budget Squabble Can't End Before October

The ongoing state budget fight is about yesterday not tomorrow. Big government squabbles are never about what the press release claims. This one won’t and can’t be resolved quickly. The press conference phase of the budget that we are currently undergoing amounts to positioning before negotiations which can’t begin until official documents are released at the beginning of the Fall.

Democratic Gov. Hassan vetoed the Republican legislature’s budget last month. The public fights between those two parties have been over tax cuts, tax hikes, state employee raises, and expanding the Medicaid program. The real fight, however, is all about last year. 
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Impatience of the Political Class Ruins Elections

The political chattering classes would prefer primaries and debates to be run for their own entertainment and are generally annoyed at the patience and caution with which the vast majority of voters approach the process. No one votes for six months yet but they are already tired of the candidates, bored by substance, and itching for juvenile name calling to begin. Their annoyance with the first debate earlier this week highlights why you should be annoyed with them.

Every four years a host of candidates spend numerous months exploring a presidential campaign and begin introducing themselves first to a very few insiders, operatives, and reporters. They then branch out to the few actual voters interested very early in the process and graduate to the electorate at largeClick here to keep reading.

 

 
 
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