The latest in the alphabet soup of government - LOLIf you're looking for some New Hampshire autumn fun before the big election, what better way than to read the Granite State's MAIED ("Monthly Analysis of Industry Employment Data") from one year ago this month.(All right, it was a tough summer for humor, and logic like the above is why I'm often not invited to my own book signings.)Undeterred, I find that all other humor column fodder pales in comparison to local government and its undoings. I say "undoings" because it is the well-accepted purpose of all homegrown legislative assemblies to fix the unbroken, complicate the simple and monitor the immutable.Example? Did we really need a law outlawing intoxication in a cemetery? We have such a statute in New Hampshire, but at the risk of exposing my social circles, I was unaware that an influx of happy hour celebrants was running amok in the one place no one would complain or need a designated driver.Or, was it necessary to use nearly 200 words in another New Hampshire law (counting all the "hereinafters" and "whereinunders") to proclaim that no makers of New Hampshire imitation cheese shall label their products with lettering smaller than THIS?My vote? I say that imitation cheesemakers in this state should be outlawed or banished to Vermont, period, and regardless of any wheretofore font size! Can I get an attaboy, or at least a "Sherman For Senator!" rallying cry?New Hampshire's October 2007 MAIED was published by our ELMIB, ("Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau") and was never meant to be a funny document. Humor has no place in government, and if you believe that, you haven't read the Congressional Record.Still, determined to find some comic relief in the financial state of our state's finances, I waded into the heady retrospect and read our ELMIB's MAIED (one more unspeakable acronym, and I will declare TMI and go MIA).You'll be pleased to know that New Hampshire's "total non-farm employment levels" went up by nearly 11,000 a year ago. Non-farm employment. I like that. Makes us sound like we prize our farmers above all else, and that our non-city unemployment levels are the lowest anywhere.This must be true, if you subscribe to SURE ("Sherman's Underwritten Rule of Equitability"), which states that every action has an equal and opposite government employee.I won't trouble you with the MAIED's head-pounding phraseology that I had to dumb down en route to a simple understanding of New Hampshire's workload. Yes, this industry expanded and that manufacturing force trimmed its ranks. Over here we boomed and over there we fizzled. Last year we minified and next year we hope to maximize that minification. Egads.My favorite statistic was the one we already knew like the backs of our bag-balming hands: The industry with the biggest job growth? Government. The biggest losses? Leisure and Hospitality. This is where I'd cite my campaign pledge: If elected, as a government worker I promise to spend more time relaxing and being friendly.Come next October, we should have a sound economy or a reasonable facsimile of a good imitation, at least until the real cows come home. NHB. Elwin Sherman is a non-farming humorist who lives in Bethlehem. Apolitical pledges accepted at elwinshumor.com.
This article appears in the October 2008 issue of New Hampshire Magazine