Here is an old chestnut from Amity Shlaes. (The tiger is still sleeping, Amity.)
A tiger slumbers in Maine's northern woods
Geography is no excuse for the state's economic stagnation. Its policymakers should take a leaf from Ireland's book Picture two rocky, northern outcrops on the far edges of prosperous regions. Despite great natural beauty, neither of these remote places seemed able to overcome poverty. Their history was rich, their people were resourceful, their potatoes were famous. But, economically, both of them lagged behind and were regarded by others as permanent problem territories. Their names were Ireland and Maine.
What do they mean that college education is "basically free"? Someone is paying for it. Does that mean "free" like the US's publik skool system is free?
It means you don't have to be the son/daughter of a kennebunkport millionare to go to college.
quote:Originally posted by Stratton:
[b]It means you don't have to be the son/daughter of a kennebunkport millionare to go to college.[/b]
Wow, no liberal delusions there. :roll:
quote:Ireland's turnaround began in the late 1960's when the government made secondary education free, enabling a lot more working-class kids to get a high school or [b]technical degree[/b].
A plumber or an electrician can make more than a person with a college degree. Have you tried to hire one lately?I've done some long haul trucking when there weren't logs to haul. People would come up to me when they saw Maine on the door of the truck, and tell me they were from Maine. To a person they would move back in a minute if they could make a living.How many former Mainer's have the skills we need for almost any industry under the sun, and would be glad to come home.
Step #1 Get the Legislature to CUT SPENDING. Step #2 LOWER TAXES.
The government enables or disables. Why do you think manufacturers want to sell in the U. S.? We have the largest most affluent market, with the EEC rapidly catching up. Why would anyone want to manufacture in the U.S. when it is obviously cheaper to manufacturer in third world countries? Transportation cost, in particular automobiles and in some instances government required local content make up most of the reason. Our free trade policy, promoted by U.S. corporations who need external sources to manufacture competitively and government support to protect their markets have resulted in the export of manufacturing jobs. Without government tweeking, all manufacturing jobs would move to cheaper labor market countries. If we didn't have extremely low labor content agriculture, China would soon cut into our agriculture exports as well and we'd be buying Chinese rice. In my opinion, Free Trade stinks.
quote:Originally posted by Brent Bowen:
[b]Read this in the New York Times today. It's interesting. It closely parallels Maine's current fiscal situation. If you don't have a nytimes.com account, I suggest that you get one because this opinion article is truly great! Source:[url=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/29/opinion/29friedman.html?ex=1120795200&... end of the rainbow[/url][/b]
Something else pretty much unknown...Dublin has the highest cost of living in Europe.A $8 book costs over $15. A $20 Maine diner in a restaurant runs over $60 in Dublin.Ireland is very prosperous but there are down sides. The locals call it ROI for Rip Off Ireland.They decided to create a society that soaks the tourists as much as is possible. The unexpected result was that the costs for residents for about everything have sky rocketed.
An enterprising Mainer would scheme a way to sell used cars and trucks to the rich Irish who pay about twice what we do...check out the IRISH TIMES some day for the opportunities!The ECONOMIST has featured the Irish economic miracle at least once; and it is worth reading when you start doing comparisons between Maine.--try this results URL for starters [url=http://www.economist.com/search/search.cfm?qr=Ireland+economy&area=5&Sub...
..lot's of basic differences, starting with the quality of the labour pool and the schools. For incentives, well, the IRA has a nice motivational philosophy Maine could adopt! :roll:[ 07-02-2005: Message edited by: FJH ]
Re: Doug's post about moving back to Maine. I am an economic refugee from Maine and have lived in the Midwest for nearly a decade. I'd be delighted to move back if I could make the income I need AND if the political climate were more favorable. I pay less for most consumer goods and am not so heavily taxed. The house I bought here would sell for half again as much in Maine. My Republican senator even acts like a Republican about half the time.
quote:Originally posted by Doug Thomas:
[b]A plumber or an electrician can make more than a person with a college degree. Have you tried to hire one lately?[/b]
My brother-in-law is a plumber and makes very good money. He went back to school in his 30's and has had no trouble finding work since he graduated. He works hard, but so do many people who make much less.I agree entirely with Doug that we should encourage more people to look at the trades. Someone who has such skills and a license will hardly ever have a hard time finding work and making good money.But one important point is that most people today do not get to be a licensed plumber or electrician by learing entirely on the job. It is possible, but most people need to spend some time in school. A two-year degree from our community college system is the best place to start for most people interested in such a career.
quote:They decided to create a society that soaks the tourists as much as is possible.
Ayuh! Sounds like Maine, all right. :D
Ireland is to the north and way out in the Atlantic from Europe.
Maine is to the north and juts out into the Atlantic from the U.S.
Economically, much is different, much is the same.
If the government implimentation of more programs and policy was for the better, why aren't we ,,,,well, better?D
Grass is always greener. I graduated from UM. What a bargain for a quality education and have benefited with high income ever since. Maine benefits too from higher income and sales tax receipts from me.
I left Maine for about 8 years and returned. I can now really appreciate what we have that others don't. Never leaving again.
There is a continuing theme in this thread. Mainers who could come back would. On the rare occasions when I travel outsiode Maine, total strangers come up to me and say they want to live here some day or that they just love Maine. Lets allow them to come home. We have an opportunity in 2006 to postpone the looming disaster. Given a second term in Augusta we can prevent it and begin to recover as Ireland did.We don't need to soak anybody to do it.
Change in Augusta is a start but the problems run much deeper.Mainers have got to lose the NIMBY attitude.No matter what or where some one wants to build something,the Not In My Backyard crap starts.Mainers whine about no jobs than when some one wants to do something about it they go to the polls and vote it down.I just don't get it. :confused:
I am just hacked off that Ireland wrecked one of my favorite jokes, 'Ireland must be very wealthy for it's capitol has been Dublin' for years!' You see, it SOUNDS like capital has been Doublin', as in money, you see. that would be the funny part, you see. don't fall down laughing now.