New Englanders were once known as being very self-reliant and, I might add, miserly. They would watch every cent, capitalize any opportunity to scrape up more cents, and they would never ask for a hand-out. Some would go so far as to cut their hands off if they even thought of asking someone for help. That’s why they were called, Yankees.
In fact, we were at one time not just known as Clipper City. We had another nickname, Yankee City. In fact, we were considered the typical type so much so that an anthropologist, W. Lloyd Warner did a study of Newburyport called, The Yankee City Project.
And then the late twentieth century came upon us, and members of both sides of the political spectrum came up with this crazy idea. We’ll tax everyone in the state and spread it out equally to all the communities. This way the poor communities will get what they need and the rich communities will learn to share their bounty.
I wish I could blame this disastrous idea on leftist Democrats but apparently Republicans were drinking out of the same cool aid.
This whole thing was falsely based on two errant concepts: Politics is rational and human beings are inherently good.
Now, years later, with great sums sucked up by special interests and to whom ever had the biggest lobby; the state is broke. I knew it was all over when Representative Stanley stood up at the Parker River Clean Water Association’s annual meeting and said basically, the party is over – don’t expect anything from the state. (Except perhaps a great sucking sound (my comment))
So, let’s get back to Yankee City shall we?
We need to be self-reliant and understand that the state “pool” is going to shrink year after year. Now, we can continue drinking the cool aid and hope the situation will get better or, we can realize this as a tremendous opportunity to be self-reliant again.
As stated in the Daily News on Monday, only 7% of our city’s budget comes from the Commonwealth – and the prospect is that it will shrink further in the near future.
The Mayor has taken a lot of heat trying to diversify our income sources, but by generating local fees and taxes that go directly back into the local community, she is laying the groundwork for our self-reliance.
We need to train ourselves that we can no longer expect handouts from the Feds and the State and realize that we can still do a lot by using our creativity and our wits. And we can do it with a balanced budget.
By doing this on a regular basis, we can then grab hold on self-reliance and be again, Yankee City.