• Vermont is anachronism
    September 08,2012
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    I read with bemusement your recent editorials “Shifting Tides” and “Dear Mitt,” castigating the Republicans’ “Dixie-inspired agenda,” while celebrating Vermont as a “bastion of liberalism.” A reality check along with a little self-actualization might prove to be therapeutic.

    In fact, Vermont is an anachronism. Not in the positive way that most of us appreciate (the village greens encircled by historic white clapboards and billboard-less highways). No, I refer instead to its politics.

    While progressivism suffers through its death throes in Europe, California, and Illinois, and has already been buried in its birthplace (when was it that Wisconsin got transported to Dixie?), Vermont’s political class along with the Rutland Herald editorial board plead for, to quote Oliver Twist, “more please.”

    While Spaniards flee their supposedly magical “green economy,” you pine for the perpetually mythical “hopes for nurturing sustainable energy” by blasting away our most valuable asset, our beautiful ridgelines. Our version of Solyndra comes in the form of government-subsidized windmills benefiting only the governor’s cronies.

    As you proudly thump your chest about using the 1 percent who live in Vermont as ATM machines (“we’ve generally found ways to relieve them of part of their treasure”), you’d better hope that they don’t go the way of the wealthy Spaniards and abandon a state that depends so heavily on means-tested property and income taxes for its revenues.

    Your lauding of our low unemployment is comically ignorant of its origins. It’s not low because we create so many jobs (we’re rated 39 among business-friendly states by CNBC). It’s low because anyone under age 55 with marketable skills has left for greener pastures in the “red states,” making Vermont the most geriatric state in the nation.

    Unfortunately, for those of us still here, Vermont’s day of reckoning is coming. Our unfunded multi-billion dollar public employee pension liability and newly minted single-payer health care entitlement will force us, inevitably, to borrow beyond our means and then go the way of Stockton and Greece.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    JERRY STEIN

    Wells
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