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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

State Economic Review


I received a request from Paul Cillo asking if I would help disseminate this report from Public Assets Institute.  I am pleased to oblige.  I've followed Public Assets for quite a while and it is, as far as I can see, the most thorough and clear-eyed analysis of Vermont economics.  I find the data very accurate and the commentary and analysis quite sharp and insightful.  The particular report to which this note refers provides a wonderfully comprehensive snapshot of what is going on in the state.  Here it is:

"Have you seen the State of Working Vermont 2015 chartbook yet?  It’s a great, easy-to-understand piece that provides a picture of the current state of Vermont’s economy and how Vermonters are faring in it. Basically it shows that while the economy is seeing some growth, it has been concentrated at the upper incomes. The middle class is struggling to make ends meets and those in poverty are even worse off. Vermont is not working for a lot of us.

Public Assets Institute has really captured the essence of what’s happening in the economy that I see and experience every day. I’d like more people to see the report (light on text, heavy on infographics and charts). Let me know if this hits home for you too. This information provides a solid foundation for thinking in our community about how to make things better for all of us.

You can view it online or download it here: http://publicassets.org/?p=10590

Paul A. Cillo
President
Public Assets Institute"

»

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a quick summary

This is a simple report to read to get an overview of how the state is doing over the last decade or so. For those too busy working, I'll summarize a bit:

Vermont is similar to everywhere else. The top 1% are getting more wealthy, with more money flowing to them. Middle class are losing ground, and the poor are being forgotten.

The top 1% incomes go to people who pay the lowest rate of income tax. Highest income taxes are on those making $38-58k in household income.

Middle class median incomes have dropped, while rents, childcare, and healthcare have gone up. In 2004, a middle class family might have about 17% of they income for extras. That's down to 5% now.

Note - by age 65, you should have saved about $216,000 for your retirement in Vermont. The majority have under $20,000 saved.

Current poverty rate is about 12% in Vermont, it is climbing. 53% of single mothers live in poverty. (Poverty is defined as making under $11,670 as an individual or $27,910 for a family of five.)

Homelessness is rising.

About 1 in 7 in Vermont use food stamps.

Unemployment, if those not actively looking for a job and those in part time jobs looking for full time work are included, is about 8.8% Vermont has seen job growth in bakers, brewers, winemakers and supermarket employees. We've seen a decline in construction, electronics making, postal workers, and printers.

Hourly wages have risen for those in the highest paid positions. Those at the bottom have seen wages fall. Unemployment has hit men harder than women during the economic downturn.

About the same numbers of under 35-year olds have moved away as have moved to Vermont.

 
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Police Station - $8 million; Job development - $0

It's enough to make one cry.

 
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Sneakyboard

Letter: Sneakyboard, not Select Board
Brattleboro Reformer
POSTED: 04/18/2016

Sneakyboard, not Select Board
Editor of the Reformer:

Extra, extra, read all about it: The Brattleboro Sneaky Selectboard sneaks in a police fire station without taxpayer approval."
Shameful. Dishonest. The Brattleboro Select Board, which I now call the Brattleboro Sneakyboard, because the board, without public approval, sneakily approved this new police fire station even though the public has consistently voted against it. The soft footed sneaky chicanery reaches a new depth even for Brattleboro. As the sign says, "The One and Only." It is now, the one and only, Sneakyboard running our town. This is more of Brattleboro inside trading and corruption, nepotism, and just plain sneakiness that our town is famed for. An arts town with the greatest art as the con artists running the town.

Beneath the veneer of a genteel Vermont town is more manure than the nearest barns. The Sneakyboard without approval from the taxpayers, approved a new police and fire station. They knew that the taxpayers would reject it (again) as they have rejected it previously. Then the news that the town purchased an old and inadequate building to house the police fire station — the Reformer building. It will cost more to rehab the building than it is worth. Who's making money on this deal? It smells like the old familiar smell of Brattleboro town politics and corruption.

For many years, the Sneakyboard, instead of focusing on real economic growth in Brattleboro, continued to push for expensive projects and programs that undermines the tax base. It is weird that as Brattleboro continues to have the largest concentration of low-income housing between here and Hartford, Conn., it is leaving the ordinary Joe and Jane taxpayer high and dry.

Joe Green, Brattleboro

Full text: http://www.reformer.com/letterstotheeditor/ci_29782199/letter-sneakyboar...

 
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How Can This Be?

I know I've asked this before. But how can Vermont, Bernie's state, be this bad off? Could this be a sign that the Socialist Experiment doesn't work? Shouldn't "Progressive" Vermont be much better off than the rest of the country. You've got "hope and change" in the white house and "change you can believe in" getting as much pork fat as he can for his home state.
Could someone explain this.
Preferably a Socialist

 

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