It may be a leap – but perhaps not much of one – that a lower population is an indication of things and a cause of things. (Here’s a link to a story about the population drop.)
It indicates that there are not enough job opportunities to keep high school and college graduates in the Pine Tree State. And it causes lower-than-expected tax revenue, because there are fewer people earning and spending wages and paying taxes.
The state’s unemployment rate is at 8 percent, which is better than the national rate and better than many states, including California where I live (12.2 percent statewide; the county in which I live is at more than 16 percent).
I hope Maine’s political and business leaders are ready to move in 2010 to reverse the downward population numbers by building and expanding on business opportunities.
My preference would be to see green and sustainable business practices at work; Mainers are about their land, forests and sea, because that’s where they make their living and their life. And it is where their future generations can, too. It may not seem like it now, but it can happen.