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Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

All law is based upon morality, and morality is itself based upon religion. Therefore, when the religion of a people is weakened, so also is its morality undermined. The result is a progressive collapse of law and order, and the breakdown of society.
Men, though, see law as a limitation on their liberty, and Christianity is held to be the most restrictive with its emphasis upon Biblical law as the foundation for morality and liberty.
Humanistic man wants total liberty, but he does not realize that total liberty leads only to total anarchy, and that leads to the death of law and liberty. Unless every man's liberty is limited by law, no liberty is possible for any one.
Rousas J. Rushdoony

0 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Samuel Shultis on 03/22/2019 at 12:07 PM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

Part 2 - my critique and suggestions:

I think this grant should probably require that you move to a rural area that needs this kind of investment. My friends who are educators would like to head out as well, if the program is expanded, and would also prefer to live rurally. The jobs are available, the houses are available, but for teachers it's more of a financial strain to relocate across the country. The $10K would make the difference between moving and not moving, for them.

Is the program perfect? No. As it stands, it mostly brings in tech-elites who can buy higher end houses in higher income areas, which isn't ideal - but will in the end put money into the state's coffers at least. To generate economic benefit on the local level, it should ABSOLUTELY be expanded to include workers who are willing to fill those vacant rural jobs. Maybe there should be a clause that requires a certain length of residency. We'd sign off on that in a heartbeat because once you get here, you realize it's AMAZING HERE. But it's a fair criticism to point out that we could have come here anyway.

Please help get the people who can't move so easily but would actually be MORE of an asset to your state to do the same thing we did, Vermont.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Marya Llovet on 03/22/2019 at 11:42 AM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

The program motivated us to move here, but we haven't turned in the grant application yet and I don't know if we'll bother, because cost of living here is lower than where we were, so we're already better off.

This is a great place to live. I don't see us leaving anytime soon. Our kids go to a phenomenal public school with fantastic teachers. We're not in the 'half-a-million dollar house' range, though we're definitely above the poverty line. We didn't want to live in the city, and sought out a rural home with EC Fiber. The previous owner of our home has settled into a retirement condo nearby. We keep in touch with her.

Since we moved we shop locally. We hired a local dude to plow and sand our CRAZY driveway, purchased firewood, adopted two dogs locally, and will be hiring someone local to do some considerable contracting/fencing/renovation work -- if the snow ever stops. (Does it stop? Just kidding, we moved from another snowy place.) We've had our Prius (I know) removed from snowbanks/repaired by locals. (More than once.) Even online buys are delivered by local people who work for the Post office/UPS/Fedex.

We've already dropped EASILY $5k into the local economy by patronizing local businesses. So if we DO apply and Vermont gives us $5k for moving here, then we've broken even on our moving costs, but whether we get the grant or not, $5K has already been diverted into the pockets of people around here who need it. Grant $$$ is another $5k to spend locally, so $10K to local people (whose expertise has been priceless) in six months.

Continued in Part 2 - my critique and suggestions:

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Marya Llovet on 03/22/2019 at 11:41 AM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

All of the hype in both local and national news about the historic low unemployment rate leaves out one glaring problem: the high poverty rate in this country. A statistic that cites low unemployment rates while ignoring whether people are actually earning a livable wage is meaningless, and effectively becomes a type of propaganda and a smoke and mirrors show to distract away from the fact that so many people in Vermont and the nation are absolutely struggling just to make ends meet.

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, of The Poor People's Campaign, summed it up on MLK Day, 2019:
43% of Americans live in poverty. 62 million Americans work every day but do not earn a living wage.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ernie Hotchkiss on 03/21/2019 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Crumbling Local Roads Fuel Talk of a Vermont Gas Tax Hike

Just to keep up with what the fuel tax was in 1970, the Vermont gas tax should be 16 cents a gallon higher and the Federal tax should be 9 cents higher. Add to that the fact that most cars get far higher MPG today than they did decades ago together with the number of hybrid and electric cars on the road, and you can see why there is not enough money in the transportation fund to handle the maintenance and new construction needed. It also doesn't help that millions of dollars are transferred every year from the transportation fund to the education fund.

Posted by John Mandeville on 03/21/2019 at 12:44 PM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

As a Burlingtonite who can barely make ends meet and afford to live where I am from, I find this whole program a horrifying and tone-deaf misuse of our tax dollars.

43 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kae Burdo on 03/21/2019 at 1:36 AM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

Hahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by doom on 03/20/2019 at 8:07 PM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

So, our tax dollars are subsidizing people that can afford to come here and pay $350k and $450k for their homes while while many of us struggle to afford to have our homes remodeled, weatherized, painted, etc. partially due to low wages and the high tax burden that come with living in Vermont. We middle income people continue to get the shaft as our pockets are picked by the state for the benefit of others. Im okay (up to a point) with my money going to benefit the poor and help them get on their feet but this, subsidizing the well heeled, is another thing.

68 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Roy on 03/20/2019 at 12:36 PM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

They could afford a 450k home and our tax dollars helped them out? How many life long Vermont residence are below the poverty line and could do amazing things with up to 10k free dollars? Insulate a house, pay off a car, get into safe housing... lift them selves out of poverty.

74 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by justahuman on 03/20/2019 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In

"That's 50 people that weren't in the state two months ago," Goldstein said. "I feel good about that."

Fact check: The in-migrants bought homes that were previously occupied by other people so I'm not sure we can say there are 50 new residents. Moreover, the prior residents paid income, property, sales, and other taxes. So while I welcome our new neighbors, I remain suspicious about the cost-effectiveness of this program.

60 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Doug Hoffer on 03/20/2019 at 10:47 AM

Re: “Footloose and Car-Free: Curt McCormack Drives State Transportation Policy

While the trip to Maine is impressive, I wonder how McCormick got to Camel's Hump? No trains or buses go there so hope his son picked him up in an EV. In my experience, people who live in Burlington and don't own cars rely on others (namely car-owning friends) to provide transportation to out of way places. That said, I am all in favor of expanded transit options to rural areas and suggest we look at other countries, such as Switzerland for examples. Transit buses double as school buses and also carry mail. They also reach tiny towns in the country on a regular and reliable basis. Would also suggest that Vermont look at what the California legislature is considering for tax to replace the gas tax as alt-fuel vehicles become increasingly common.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by monica m. on 03/18/2019 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Footloose and Car-Free: Curt McCormack Drives State Transportation Policy

All road users can contribute to the costs, perhaps proportional to their impact on costs? Heavier and wider vehicles cause costs. So we could allocate some costs to bikes and the current crop of small EVs, but they aren't causing significant costs; their share might be too small to bother collecting.
https://www.raponline.org/knowledge-center/revisiting-the-gas-tax/

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Damon on 03/17/2019 at 2:55 PM

Re: “Footloose and Car-Free: Curt McCormack Drives State Transportation Policy

Maybe we could register all the bikes that use the road when the rider is over 16. We register every other vehicle or type of transportation that uses the roads. This would give us revenue from another source.

13 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Yolanda Degree on 03/14/2019 at 10:39 AM

Re: “Footloose and Car-Free: Curt McCormack Drives State Transportation Policy

Raise the gas tax! Fix the roads! They're a complete disaster.

8 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by lassy2 on 03/13/2019 at 7:07 PM

Re: “Footloose and Car-Free: Curt McCormack Drives State Transportation Policy

The Agency of Transportation has a BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN COORDINATOR? Really? I wonder if New York and New Hampshire have one of these? Maine, perhaps?

7 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Walter Moses on 03/13/2019 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Critics Say Gov's 'Piddly' Electric Car Plan Can't Go the Distance

Take a look at the number of clunkers on the road because most Vermonters can't afford to buy a shiny new car. Or stay in your Burlington bubble and forget that small towns all over the state are full of gas guzzlers and carbon spewers because they're the only game in town. Time for some creative thinking away from the personal automobile that helps our rural communities and keeps far-flung parts of the state connected by more than the 9-5 Monday through Friday business week. Living is a 24/7 process, and creative minds should be arrayed thinking in those terms, not business terms. We should be working to live, not living to work for the man.

Posted by Barbara Alsop on 03/12/2019 at 4:36 AM

Re: “Critics Say Gov's 'Piddly' Electric Car Plan Can't Go the Distance

Misleading headline as it appears the state legislators, not just the Governor, who must lead by example, have fallen off the carbon reducing compliance chart. Out of the state fleet's of 2,220 vehicles, just 27 are EVs. Many of the state vehicles are heavy-duty trucks with no electric alternatives, such as snowplows and four-wheel-drive vehicles. In addition, the battery technology is not where it needs to be to accomodate our long harsh winters and the number of charging stations is dismal. Let's put this on the backburner, we've got other priorities like trying to attract new business and lower the tax burden on Vermonters.

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave Hughes on 03/07/2019 at 8:38 PM

Re: “Critics Say Gov's 'Piddly' Electric Car Plan Can't Go the Distance

Perhaps when the economy started to pick up, people were more concerned with righting their own finances than spending a lot more for electric vehicles. EVs make sense in Chittenden County but when you get outside of Chittenden County, people do not have the extra income to buy more expensive cars, they are buying used vehicles and driving 25 to 30 miles to work. Keep making it more expensive to live and see what will happen..

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ConcernedVter on 03/07/2019 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Vermont Senate Seeks to Tear Down Employment Barriers for New Americans

"The state has tried to boost the workforce by...encouraging employers to hire workers with criminal records or in recovery from addiction."

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Most of the credits are for $2,400, but some go as high as $9,600 (disabled Vets unemployed for 6 months).

In the last five years, VT employers have received tax credits worth almost $10 million for hiring over 3,000 Vermonters from one of the eligible categories, although only 434 in the last 3 years. Most new hires were receiving Food Stamps, TANF or SSI.

Over that period, only 18 qualified ex-felons were certified (and only 5 in the last 3 years).

Veterans are also eligible, but only 3 have been certified in the last 3 years.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Doug Hoffer on 02/24/2019 at 6:38 AM

Re: “Malletts Bay Sewer Proposal Hits Choppy Waters

Thanks Molly for a timely overview of the Malletts Bay sewer issue. Two important points need clarification. Defeat of the $14 million sewer proposal does not mean Colchester residents must live with polluted water in the inner Bay. Rather, it opens the door for real progress against both point-source and non-point source pollution.

First, camps, being converted to permanent homes along East Lakeshore Drive, notably at the Mongeon and Lefebvre properties, are not squeezing septic systems onto small lakeside lots. Rather, they are pumping wastewater to state-of-the-art septic mound systems on the land side of the road. Such developments called "Decentralized Wastewater Management Systems'" are sanctioned by the EPA and Vermont.

Second, the town owns sufficient land on and near East Lakeshore Drive and Goodsell Point to implement a multi-mound system for some 60 homes/camps on the rim of the Bay. In Charlotte, officials and volunteers developed a four-mound septic system for 112 camps on Thompson's Point. Built over 20 years ago for less than $2 million, it has eliminated any trace of human waste from these camps into Lake Champlain.

If Charlotte, Bristol, Rochester, and Shoreham can successfully solve the "failing septic" problem with decentralized wastewater systems, surely we can do the same in Colchester.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jack Scully on 02/22/2019 at 12:43 PM

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