Steven J Connolly

Thursday
Apr042013

The Effects Of European Uncertainty.

Yesterday I had an interesting political experience and something I had never done.

So I’m driving south of I-93 listening to NHPR “The Exchange” and the subject was: “The Effects of European Uncertainty.” There were two I’d term Keynesian, Central Banking economics professors on from Dartmouth and Norwich University. They started out the hour long program with a discussion about Cyprus and the economic and financial issues there. They made some quality arguments about what is and what could be the result of the implosion and banking failures in Cyprus and what this means.

Then the discussion drifted over into the European Union (EU) and negative issues that are affecting the U.S. and New Hampshire. I didn’t think their arguments were valid or supportable with facts so I decided to try and challenge their position(s). I figured I’d never get in.

“Hello please state your name and question.” I did stating the current market price of the Euro Currency Unit against the U.S. Dollar (up 22 points), the declining price of gold and long-term U.S. debt instruments like the T-Bond and the T-Note.  The Euro is not only getting stronger but the European economy might actually be improving faster than that of the United States. “This is a good question, try and shorten it I’ll try and get you on the air.” The voice said. Again I figured I’d never get in.

“Our next caller is from Bethlehem.”Hello your on the air.” It was Laura Knoy.

http://nhpr.org/post/effects-european-uncertainty

I’m not going to recite all the details but I think I did okay. I went up against two full-time academians that probably spend some 40-50 hours a week studying global economic policy and finance. And both of their responses to my position-- unemployment statistics in the European Union (EU) which are very high. I didn’t try and argue with them on this point, but unemployment statistics aren’t exactly the leading indicator of overall economic prosperity or bust conditions.

"Trade the facts not the ideas." I said to them.  

I think some of the other New Hampshire callers had valid points too which I also think builds on my position(s) that the EU isn’t as bad as they say it is.

But it was still pretty exciting to be on the air!

Monday
Apr012013

More Welfare. More Progress. 

NH Welfare by Credit Card. If you notice that with the departure of Speaker O’Brien the whole issue of reform to the NH EBT programme has simply gone away.

The statistics don’t go away but the politics does.

The New Hampshire Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) programme overseen by the NH Department of Health and Human Services passes out carte blanche credit card payments to accounts across New Hampshire and even, according to published sources to a few sun birds in places like Florida and New Mexico!

That’s right New Hampshire welfare benefits simply handed out.

This can't be good policy over the long term.

 Does Welfare To Work Actually Exist in New Hampshire?

 

Saturday
Mar302013

The Swearing In. 

April 1st will be a day in New Hampshire history.

A Day In New Hampshire HistoryDRED Commissioner Jeff Rose gets sworn in.DRED Commissioner Jeff Rose.

I’ll have to be honest upfront from what I’ve seen of the Hassan Administration and her Governor’s Council the best that can be hoped for is that the voters see how little that they’re getting from the ambition that exists in Concord.

Darkness Is The Absence Of Light. Notice I Didn't Say Anything About Leadership.Ambition is the right word here.

Notice I didn’t say anything about leadership.

I’m also looking forward to any responses that I get from Commissioner Rose that I submitted via Governor’s Councilor Burton.

I’ll post them here on NHInsider.com.

Saturday
Mar302013

Gun Control In New Hampshire.

NH Doesn't Have Gun Control Laws. It may not even need them.New Hampshire doesn’t have gun control at least not yet.

They might not even need to pass legislation the market may take care of this anyway. Recently, I tried to purchase two magazines for a Ruger Mini 14. And the responses I got including Riley’s in Hooksett.

“You’re joking right.”

“Christmas, we’re supposed to get some at Christmas. But don’t count on Santa Claus.”

Riley’s has an interesting operation especially its phone response system, “Due to the high volume of calls we may not be able to answer your call.” “Press the following options: Press 1 for Law Enforcement, Press 2 for Tactical, Press 3 for?

The inevitible question...

They’re probably politically correct for having law enforcement at the start of the queue. They have a need for weapons more than the general public.

Santa Claus might agree.

Saturday
Mar302013

Some Financial Subsidies Are Good. 

Vermont Rail System heads south from Arlington, Vermont. Hundreds of jobs and taxbase are supported by these trains.I’m often critical and negative on New Hampshire these days. I think special interest(s) are now in complete control of the state including much of its effective policy in issues ranging from transportation to the environment.

This as an example of how it’s going horribly wrong in New Hampshire:

This is a shot of a Vermont Rail System train moving south in Arlington, Vermont later this train will go down to North Bennington and Eagle Bridge, New York and interchange it’s cars with Pan Am Southern Railroad who will deliver a lot of them to their final destination: paper mills in Maine.

The train itself is privately owned while the tracks are owned by the State of Vermont. To my knowledge Vermont Rail System doesn’t receive any operating financial subsidies for its trains but the state does pay for all scheduled and emergency maintenance on the tracks the train does run on, which I do believe qualifies as a subsidy.

This train is also supporting hundreds of jobs and taxbase through the creation of the materials that are inside of the rail cars, a subsidy that leads to greater value than is actually given for the operation(s) of the trains. Let’s put this another way- take away the subsidy, stop the trains and the companies that use the rail would be forced to shut down and layoff their employees or relocate to a state that does have rail service. Vermont is getting it right.

So what is New Hampshire doing?

The state owns in excess of 500 miles of railroad track some of which is in strategic and vital areas like central NH for example. Unlike Vermont the state does nothing to cultivate or even encourage use of its lines to create jobs and build taxbase.

Nothing.

Instead Gov. Hassan and her Governor’s Council award a state contract to Nashua based interests for a $3.67 million dollar consultant feasibility study, a massive ivy league induced report that will say exactly what?

I’m sure Vermont could take that same $3.67 million and actually do something for the taxpayers.