Letters 03 – 30 – 2012

Government acting like schoolyard bully 

Vermont’s reputation as ‘unfriendly to business’ is once again on display via a proposal in the legislature. As far as I can remember, we have been a welcoming state, tough when regulating business, but welcoming.

Recently, however, we’ve set into motion a series of practices that are sending a clear signal to businesses: if we don’t like you, what you do, or how you make your money, we are going to tax you and make life difficult and costly until we force you out. Case in point: a measure being pushed through the state house that would levy a $6 million generation tax increase on Vermont Yankee. Is this ‘payback’ for losing the recent court case?

The legislature is basically saying, “If you want to continue operating, you are going to pay big time – more than twice as much, in fact.” Vermonters need to look at the message this is sending not only to businesses here now, but those that might be thinking of coming. That’s not a message that will encourage job creation and business growth in Vermont, both of which we need.

– David Usher


Behavior more that race dominates relocation decisions

[Kevin Ryan’s] account [of the Trayvon Martin Rally in Burlington] explains (without intending to, I guess) why sorting-out by Socio-Economic-Status and race continues to dominate relocation decisions. Both The Wall Street Journal and the local paper here have described middle-class black flight from Detroit and Memphis, for the same behavioral-threat reasons which have previously motivated white flight from Dorchester and Jamaica Plain. The vast majority of middle-class people would prefer to avoid the risk of these sorts of no-win situations, and they do so by moving. An excellent account can be found in “Right Turn” by Raymond Wolters, in a chapter describing forced school integration in Yonkers, NY, and how whiteflight directly correlated with the increase in the rate of in-school violence in their own kids’ school building. The lesson is that it’s behavior, far more than race, white is the problem, but no one wants to accept the available stats and some school districts, like Burlington with its mandatory SES integration program, simply ignore it. I would bet a large piece of apple pie that upon activation in the City schools, middle-class out-migration to the ring of suburban towns will increase remarkably.

– Martin Harris



Notes & Events

Tuesday, April 10:

Gubernatorial Candidate Randy Brock speaks at the Orange County Republican Dinner in Randolph, Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church. 43 Hebard Hill Rd. (Route 66), Randolph, VT $10/person, $5/person for guests who are first time attendees. Bring a guest!!

Thursday, April 12: Shelburne Republicans host Jack Lindley, new chair of State Republican Party, at 7:30 am meeting at Dutch Mill Restaurant, Shelburne. All are welcome.

Saturday April 14th: Castleton Republican breakfast at the Trak-In on Route 30 in Bomoseen, VT. Breakfast at 8:30 am followed by Guest Speaker Senator Randy Brock. RSVP to Castletonrepublicans@yahoo.com or for additional info contact Al Gustafson at 802-273-3954.

Wednesday April 18: Ethan Allen Institute’s 19th annual Jefferson Day Event, 7:30 PM, Sheraton Burlington – University Amphitheatre. EAI Founder John McClaughry will speak on “Mr. Jefferson’s Economy.” Governor Jim Douglas will introduce John McClaughry.


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