I was fortunate enough to visit the northernmost part of New Hampshire this past week as part of a family vacation. For those who have never been, it is a truly awe-inspiring place that combines the greenery of the north woods with the majesty of mountains. It has lakes and streams dotting the landscape that are misty in the mornings and glitter in the evenings. There are even picturesque towns and small resorts that offer an excellent complement to the natural beauty of the area.
There is, of course, another side to this coin. The economic recovery so highly touted by some and represented in the financial markets has not yet reached this part of America. There are abandoned lots, rusted out cars and decaying structures dotting the landscape. Where there were clear signs of economic vibrancy there is now silence.
What then, are we to do?
The country is, in many ways, in much better shape today than it was at the beginning of the Great Recession and many areas are picking up steam. What about the areas that are still struggling?
Do we need different policies or do we need to face a new reality where places like rural New Hampshire will not be like it once was?
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