According to a recent WCAX-TV article: “The harsh reality of the recession was put into numbers Thursday, and Vermont saw the largest drop in average household income in the country“. Here are some specifics: “Nationally there was a 2.2 percent drop in average household income to $50,000. In Vermont there was a 6.1 percent drop to $49,000 per household, meaning fewer people can afford their homes“. Although unemployment was a factor, another factor, according to economist Jeff Carr, is Vermont’s dependence on non wage passive income: “Vermont is one of the largest states in terms of its percentage of income that is nonwage income, meaning it comes from places like the stock market and other forms of capital gains. No surprise there is pressure from that“.
Martin Harris, a regular commentator to True North, has written frequently on the move of Vermont’s economy away from productive industry to one more and more dependent on passive income. I have my doubts as the the sustainability of such an approach and think that we need to do more to make Vermont more business friendly so as to generate more of our income from productive endeavors.