February 15, 2009

WE ASKED FOR MEXICANS, NOT BAY STATERS:

Invading New Hampshire: How the Bay State transformed its northern neighbor. (Tom Keane, February 15, 2009, Boston Globe)

For years, the folks in the Granite State would chortle about how alluring their brand of low-tax living must be to Massachusetts residents. In fact, it seems, it was. From 2000 to 2006, even as Massachusetts's population remained stagnant, New Hampshire grew by 6.4 percent, according to a 2008 report from UNH's Carsey Institute. Most of that population increase was due to migration from other states, and the number one contributor was metropolitan Boston. During that time, New Hampshire had a net gain of 44,000 from this region.

And why the rush to move north? A Globe poll from 2006 found that most who left Massachusetts did so because of our high cost of living. Another 30 percent cited taxes and a good chunk -- more than 10 percent -- named the state's liberal politics and political leadership.

How deliciously ironic. All of those emigres may have thought they had abandoned Massachusetts, but it appears many carried its politics with them. On the streets of Nashua and Manchester, they're now building their own little Bay States. Why are they re-creating the very thing they left behind?

My guess is that while it's easy to complain about state government in general, when it comes to specifics, people like having the government take care of them. Onetime Massachusetts residents are still in thrall to the lures of well-funded schools, decent roads, and readily available healthcare.


Except that we had better health, education and infrastructure than MA before they got here.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2009 9:31 AM
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