There Goes The Neighborhood…

Well, the Boston Globe has finally noted and put number to a phenomenon we here in New Hampshire have been commenting on for some time: people are moving to New Hampshire.

It’s a good article, some fascinating information and intriguing statistics and anecdotes. But it is equally fascinating to see what sorts of things are not mentioned. Things that would tend to discredit the Boston Globe’s preference for the way they wish the world worked.

Things such as noting that while New Hampshire is having a little “population boom” from people moving here, Massachusetts is losing people so quickly that they are likely to lose at least one and possibly two of their Congressional delegation after the 2010 census.

New Hampshire has been for decades a conservative bastion, with small government, low taxes, and a heavy dose of individual freedom and responsibility — but that has been changing over the past decade or two. 2006 was a watershed moment, when Democrats kept the governorship, took both US House seats, and won majorities in the Executive Council, the State Senate, and the State House — and promptly jacked up the state budget 17.5% in a single year, threatening New Hampshire’s historical and proud status as one of the states with the lowest tax burdens.

When one looks at where these new lawmakers came from, the correlation to those areas most popular among new arrivals — especially from Massachusetts — is unmistakable.

It’s like those people come to New Hampshire to escape the conditions of their home states, then promptly started agitating for the benefits they previously enjoyed — not recognizing that they came at a price, namely the high taxes that they fled from.

No, it’s not like that. It’s exactly that.

Our low-tax system is based on a simple principle: we don’t want to give the state too much power over us. Even if that power means that it can do more things for us, we recognize that there is a price to be paid for that privilege — even if it’s purely financial, and not at the expense of some right we presently enjoy. As Gerald Ford famously said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

At least, we used to recognize that. And a lot of those who come to New Hampshire come precisely because they recognize that. (Yes, Free State Project, I’m thinking of you. You, too, Bruce.)

But far too many want all the benefits of living in New Hampshire, with all the conveniences they got tired of paying for back in their home states, and can’t see the connection.

And in the process, their ignorance is threatening to ruin MY state for all of us.

Thanks heaps, new neighbors.

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