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Author Topic: Vermont  (Read 42710 times)

Solitar

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Vermont
« on: August 21, 2002, 09:15:45 pm »

Jason,
For its Constitution--especially the original versions and the amendments thereto
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/statutes2.htm

for an article on growth which any of the eastern states are struggling with,
Vermont is an example in this report.
http://www.asu.edu/caed/proceedings98/Daniel/daniels.html

More on growth in this Vermont town meeting
http://town.colchester.vt.us/select/may8-01.htm

more sites
http://www.state.vt.us/vtne.htm
http://members.aol.com/frotz/places.htm

The lack of large metro areas in Vermont is a benefit because urban/metro areas have generally been breeding grounds for statist authoritarians and the laws and regs they brew up. This lack may also be a disadvantage because of the difficulty in sustaining an hi-tech economy and lots of jobs. Does anyone from Vermont have more to add to Jason's report?

edited to update Vermont link
« Last Edit: September 09, 2003, 12:10:32 pm by JasonPSorens »
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Vermont - more reports, articles, stories, data, etc.?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2002, 10:57:12 pm »

I would like to echo the call for a Vermonter to enhance my report.  I think a very strong case can be made for Vermont.  Even on the state comparisons matrix, it consistently comes up in the top 6 or so, and it has some more "subjective" benefits as well.
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craft_6

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Re:Vermont - more reports, articles, stories, data, etc.?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2002, 10:10:57 am »

An interesting tidbit on Vermont election rules, from the Associated Press:

"In Vermont, two minor party gubernatorial candidates, independent Cornelius Hogan and Progressive Party candidate Michael Badamo, could put the outcome in limbo until January. Vermont's Constitution requires that gubernatorial candidates win with more than 50 percent of the vote; if not, the Legislature selects the governor."

If the FSP were to select Vermont and form a new third party, or reinforce the local LP, a strategy of targeting state legislature districts first could establish a majority or strong minority position.  An FSP gubernatorial candidate would then only have to do well enough to keep the front-runner below 50%, throwing the race into the legislature.  Even if the FSP did not have a majority in the legislature, Republicans might side with the FSP candidate, to avoid a Democrat/socialist from winning.

Vermont has often been written off as a candidate state because it is notoriously left-leaning, but it does have low population and small size in its favor.  Some left-liberals could probably be converted to support libertarian candidates, if the FSP could make a case for private alternatives to current government programs, since the libertarian candidates would already be strong on social issues.



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George Reich

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Re:Vermont - more reports, articles, stories, data, etc.?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2002, 10:29:42 am »

A Vermont resident who is a member of the Vermont LP posted on the Yahoo group Friday or Saturday. Maybe one of the moderators could get in touch with him/her.

 :)
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Chuckster

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Re:Vermont - more reports, articles, stories, data, etc.?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2002, 06:32:20 pm »

I am not, at present, a Vermont resident.  Having said that however, I do know quite a lot about the state.  I am a native Vermonter and my family goes back at least four generations in the state.  About four years ago, long before I heard about FSP, I started investigating the prospects for relocating to the mainland ( I have been living and working in Hawaii for the past 25 years).  My criteria were similar to the FSP with the added condition of my wife's desire to raise and train horses.

We went through many of the same arguments presented in the FSP forums and, not surprisingly came up with a short list of states very much like that of the FSP.  MT,WY, ID and SD were on the list.  Also on the list were VT, ME and NH.  Since I am near my early retirement goal, employment prospects were less of a concern than availability of good land suitable for raising horses and living in a rural environment far enough out of the way so as to limit the likelyhood of development in the forseeable future. We considered the political climate and what kind of people we would have for neighbors as well as cost of living and other things that are important to us.

We did considerable research on all of the states on our list and got down to three, Montana, New Hampshire and Vermont. I was leaning towards VT because of my family history, Laura was favoring Montana because she didn't know any better (Being from BC).  After a two week visit to VT including a day at the UVM Morgan horse farm, Laura was convinced.

To make a long story a bit shorter, we found a very nice piece of property in Orleans County, 38.7 acres with power and phone lines along 300 feet of road frontage (Town road, gravel surface, plowed in winter), 900 feet of river frontage on the Missisquoi, a stream with an old beaver dam, at least two springs, 20 acres of woods, mixed hard and soft, maples, raspberries, apple trees and more, about 18 acres of meadow/old pasture.

See 7 pages of photos at http://groups.msn.com/SVLealeaandCrew/vermont.msnw

Oh yeah, almost forgot the best part - $34,000 :D

Our place is almost exactly half way between the two villages that make up the township of Troy, 3.5 miles either way on the River Road to the Post Office, bank, general store, cafe, restaraunt etc. and about 12 miles to Newport for major shopping or 8 miles to Jay Peak Ski Areas.

During our search for a place we found land (Undeveloped) from $500 an acre and houses in the village with anywhere from 1/2 to 5 acres from about $45,000 for a 100 Y/O fixer upper on a 1/2 acre to a brand new 2 B/R ranch on 5 acres for $65,000.  We were shown several HUGE houses on really big lots, 5 or more bedrooms on 20 acres seemed to be the norm, for under $100K.

Burlington is the only city in the state worthy of the name with about 65,000 population.  Montpelier, the capitol, has a population of only about 12,000.  I've seen mention of concern for jobs itn the IT field so I'll remind everyone that IBM is in Burlington and is the major employer in the state.  Burlington is a pretty and bustling little university town on the shore of Lake Champlain, very attractive as towns go IMO, much improved over the days I lived there as a child in the fifties.

 It seems to me that Vermont is best suited for folks who want to do a little subsistance or hobby farming or entreprenureal (sp?) types.  Vermonters are fiercely independent and liberty loving folks with a colorful and fascinating history.  The one down side is the apparent leftist political climate.

On the politics of Vermonters, all I can say is that in all of my visits and correspondence with Real Vermonters (tm) I saw none of the big government/welfare state mentality that one might expect.  These people more readily fall into the category of "Classical Liberal".  Without exception I found the people there to be, above all, INDEPENDANT, liberty loving and active participants in the democratic process.  I LOVE the town meeting system!  When I asked how, given how everyone I talked to seems to feel, the state has such a reputation as a hotbed of liberal activism, they all said just one word..."Outsiders".  It seems the leftists recognized the vulnerability of Vermont and exploited it.

I think that Real Vermonters(tm) would welcome the Free State Project.

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Chuck

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Mark Alexander

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The Vermont Papers
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2002, 11:01:58 am »

In a thread that I can't find now with Search, someone recommended the book The Vermont Papers, by Frank Bryan and John McClaughry.  I bought a copy and have read only the first four chapters, but the authors have already half-convinced me that Vermont might be the best choice for the FSP.  They make a convincing case based on the state's unique history and geography, which gave it a strong dedication to both liberty and a vibrant community life.

The authors don't pull any punches describing the threat to Vermont, however.  This is what some folks on this forum refer to as the state's creeping socialism.  The book describes this as the result of the influx of "flatlanders" in the 70s, who came with good intentions and reasons, but who also brought with them the seeds of their new home's destruction, an addiction to anti-democratic urban modernism and the nanny state.

Still, the book seems hopeful for Vermont's prospects, and it spells out a program for renewal of democracy that is remarkably similar to the FSP.  It may be that the state's existing emphasis on decentralization in government could give the FSP a bigger advantage than in big western states that have less focus on community involvement.
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JT

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2002, 12:52:07 pm »

Where would I go to find info on VT?

How big is the state LP, just how Socialistic are they, level of taxation, Homeschool laws, etc...
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JasonPSorens

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2002, 02:03:41 pm »

As for all candidate states, most of this info is available here:
http://www.freestateproject.org/state.htm

;)
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BillG

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2003, 11:36:33 pm »

Hey Mark that was me that recommended The Vermont Papers

I am glad you liked it!

You may also be interested in another post of mine that starts to weave some of the ideas in the book to a Green Party platform in NH:

Quote
Here in NH - which is one of the most Conservative (of the Yankee variety - fiscally prudent) & libertarian states in the nation. W/ no broadbase taxes only local property tax and many towns still being governed via the local town meeting (plus 1 state rep/3,000 citizens). This is what a basic Green Libertarian platform might look like (with a decidedly Geoist slant).

1. shift all taxes off of buildings and onto land (collecting "economic rent") to end speculative profiteering by individuals of socially created wealth.
- housing (single family homes & apt.) prices would drop
- construction jobs would increase
- sprawl would be curtailed while downtowns revitalized.
2. gradually start collecting "environmental utilization rents" (put into a trust) from activities known to pollute our air and water which keeps us all from the enjoyment and right to a healthy world.
- alternative/decentralized energy systems would be encouraged cutting down on foreign oil dependence.
- trust would rebate to all a "citizens dividend" directly bypassing gov't coffers.
3. end all corporate tax breaks/subsidizes and challenge the corporate "personhood" status.
4. devolve power from the state to "shires" (small groups of towns based on bioregions) that encourage face-to-face participatory democracy.
- create locally based currency to stimulate local economy
5. in exchange (voluntary) for "citizens dividend" encourage everyone to participate in the creation of a vibrant civic & artistic culture to counter the growing influence of corporations in our political institutions.


You may also be interested in a book called The Breakdown of Nations by Leopold Kohr.

Here is an excerpt:

Quote
There seems to be only one cause behind all forms of social misery: BIGNESS.

Oversimplified as this may seem, we shall find the idea more easily acceptable if we consider that bigness, or oversize, is really much more than just a social problem. It appears to be the one and only problem permeating all creation.

Whenever something is wrong, something is too big.  And if the body of a people becomes diseased with the fever of aggression, brutality, collectivism, or massive idiocy, it is not because it has fallen victim to bad leadership or mental derangement. It is because human beings, so charming as individuals or in small aggregations have been welded onto overconcentrated social units. That is when they begin to slide into uncontrollable catastrophe.

For social problems, to paraphrase the population doctrine of Thomas Malthus, have the unfortunate tendency to grow at a geometric ratio with the growth of the organism of which they are part, while the ability of man to cope with them, if it can be extended at all, grows only at an arithmetic ratio. Which means that, if a society grows beyond its optimum size, its problems must eventually outrun the growth of those human faculties which are necessary for dealing with them. Hence it is always bigness, and only bigness, which is the problem of existence.

The problem is not to grow but to stop growing; the answer: not union but division.  

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freedomroad

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2003, 04:04:32 am »

Here in NH - which is one of the most Conservative (of the Yankee variety - fiscally prudent) & libertarian states in the nation. W/ no broadbase taxes only local property tax and many towns still being governed via the local town meeting (plus 1 state rep/3,000 citizens). This is what a basic Green Libertarian platform might look like (with a decidedly Geoist slant).

Just for the record.  NH has a state property tax which is broad based.  Also, NH has a state corporate tax.  Certainly, the taxes are higher in NH than a couple other states.  Also, NH has 1 state rep for every 5000-20000 people or so.  The number varies.  In fact, NH is worst or 2nd to worst in this important considering factor.  VT does best, I think.  However, VT is worst in taxes (or it could be ME, that other state next to NH.  Both VT and ME are 1 and 2 worst for taxes).
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BillG

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2003, 01:23:28 pm »

NH recently enacted a state wide property tax to pay for local schools but will be repealed shortly by the new incoming governor who believes the state has no constitutional role in educating our children - this should be a local issue.

Quote
Certainly, the taxes are higher in NH than a couple other states

from the Free State project website:

Low State and Local Taxes ("Tax" variable)
1. Alaska
2. New Hampshire
3. South Dakota
4. Wyoming
5. Montana
6. North Dakota
6. Delaware (tie)
8. Idaho
9. Vermont
10. Maine

Keep in mind that Alaska rebates all of their citizens from an "oil trust"

Quote
Also, NH has 1 state rep for every 5000-20000 people or so.  The number varies.  In fact, NH is worst or 2nd to worst in this important considering factor.

From the NH Legislature's website:

Quote
NH has the third-largest parliamentary body in the English speaking world. Only the U.S. Congress and British Parliament are larger

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/history.html

There are 400 members of the house and 24 members of the senate and a population of 1.235 million (2000 census)

That works out to 1 politician to every 2,914 citizens - the best out of any other state on the list!

Now would you like to comment on any of the other subject matter which were the main points of the post?
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BillG

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2003, 09:09:08 pm »

Read the Vermont Manifesto and reconsider Vermont as the best place for the Free State!

Quote
If your nation is making itself into a big target for hate, and if its apparent priorities run counter to your values, would you consider rebelling or seceding? What if your very survivial depended on it?
 
Here is an interesting article, reprinted last summer by the Texas Observer after originally running in "Vermont Green Mountains - A Voice.

http://www.progress.org/2003/vermont1.htm
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freedomroad

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2003, 01:30:13 am »

NH recently enacted a state wide property tax to pay for local schools but will be repealed shortly by the new incoming governor who believes the state has no constitutional role in educating our children - this should be a local issue.

Quote
Certainly, the taxes are higher in NH than a couple other states

from the Free State project website:

Low State and Local Taxes ("Tax" variable)
1. Alaska
2. New Hampshire
3. South Dakota
4. Wyoming
5. Montana
6. North Dakota
6. Delaware (tie)
8. Idaho
9. Vermont
10. Maine

The FSP data seems to be wrong.  The FSP data does not include corporate tax and other taxes, as far as I can tell so that might be why.  I have done the math several different ways and WY always seems to have the lowest taxes.
Quote

Keep in mind that Alaska rebates all of their citizens from an "oil trust"

AK does not rebate its citizens.  AK gives the people of AK their money.  AK acts as a distributor.  This money is not a rebate.  The AK people never paid this money in as taxes.

Quote
Quote
Also, NH has 1 state rep for every 5000-20000 people or so.  The number varies.  In fact, NH is worst or 2nd to worst in this important considering factor.

From the NH Legislature's website:

Quote
NH has the third-largest parliamentary body in the English speaking world. Only the U.S. Congress and British Parliament are larger

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/history.html

There are 400 members of the house and 24 members of the senate and a population of 1.235 million (2000 census)

That works out to 1 politician to every 2,914 citizens - the best out of any other state on the list!


If that were true it would be the best.  Joe already explained all of this data.  He was the one that first thought NH was good because it had a low citizen to house member ratio.  We later found out that VT was the best and NH was at the bottom of the list.  NH's seats are at large with many people running and the top vote getters winning.  Check out the thread that was started to explain this.
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1002;start=0

Also, for the record, I think a 400 member house is a bad thing.  In fact, I want around a 100 member House.
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JasonPSorens

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Re:The Vermont Papers
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2003, 09:02:50 am »

The FSP data contain all taxes as a percentage of income, which is the right way to calculate the variable.  (Some would make an argument for taxes per capita as well, which closely tracks taxes as % of income, except that SD slips ahead of NH.)
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