Welcome to our state, please help keep it
|Title:||Welcome to our state, please help keep it|
Welcome to our state, please help keep itby Keith Murphy 08/29/05 Guest Commentary
DEAR NEW neighbor,
Welcome to New Hampshire. You have made a tremendous decision in moving to this state, this hidden jewel. It is a not a decision you will regret.
New Hampshire's crime rate is consistently ranked among the lowest in the United States, while the per capita income is among the highest. For two years in a row, New Hampshire has been recognized for having the highest quality of life in the nation, as well as for being the healthiest state in which to raise a family. For a small state, New Hampshire's terrain is amazingly diverse. From the tallest peak in the Northeast to the shores of the Atlantic to idyllic New England towns, you will be stunned at the sights you will see and the experiences that await you. New Hampshire is as America was, and we welcome you.
In adopting New Hampshire as your home, you have adopted a sacred duty: to keep it the special and unique place that brought you here. To do this, you must understand why New Hampshire remains the fastest growing state in the Northeast while our neighbors struggle with social and economic instability.
The key to New Hampshire's high quality of life is that our government is small. Our citizens have wisely avoided a general sales or income tax, starving our government of the main sources of funds that have created bloated, ravenous bureaucracies in other states.
We know that the proper purpose of government is to protect people from each other, not to run a giant charity operation. Even if it were moral to take money from people and give it to others, government is inefficient at it anyway, and taking care of the needy is too important not to leave to voluntary church and community groups.
New Hampshire's tiny government, small tax rates, and high incomes and quality of life must seem a contradiction to people in other states. The truth is that because our government transfers less money to the needy, we're more likely to help our family members and neighbors in private ways, without a tax agency getting involved.
Most of our legislators still respect our inherent rights as a free people, rights that have been declared archaic and legislated away in other states. In New Hampshire, we are still free to carry a firearm in public if we choose. Again, this fact combined with our minuscule crime rate must strike people from elsewhere as a contradiction. The truth is that because we are free to carry firearms, criminals live in fear of us and not the other way around.
We are free to not wear a seatbelt, or to not wear a motorcycle helmet. Most of us do these things anyway, given that it is good common sense, but we recognize that legislating common sense is a dangerous slippery slope we don't want to approach. We are happy to make our own decisions as adults, and to let our neighbors make theirs, knowing that each of us must live with the consequences of our decisions.
In short, it is because we are still free that we are so successful as a state. We ask no more of our neighbors than absolutely necessary, and when it cannot be avoided we keep the decision-making as local as possible. Thus, whereas most of the "local" decisions nationally are made by counties or regional authorities, we in New Hampshire still prefer to do nearly everything at the town level.
If a native should give you a sideways glance upon learning of your foreign origin, please understand it is because many thousands of people have been drawn here by our freedoms and the resulting opportunities. So many of these people fail to realize what makes New Hampshire such a great state, and upon arrival they set about voting for bigger and bigger government. The tragedy is that they could unwittingly change New Hampshire into the place from which they've just escaped. This year's cigarette tax increase and law mandating bicycle helmet use for children are just the latest holes in the dike.
Please, now that you know what makes your new home so special and unique, help keep it that way. Vote for candidates and policies that will result in smaller, less intrusive government.
"Live free or die." Welcome home.
Keith Murphy, originally from Baltimore, Md., is an adviser to the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance and a candidate for selectman in Manchester's Ward 3.
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