Bean: The real problem with Vermont

by Paul Bean

Warning: this might make you angry if it applies to you.


It is why business fail. It is why we fail to meet housing demands. It is why no one wants to do nor build a business here.

And most important (to me) it is why young people are leaving in droves.

What exactly am I talking about? Well it is much more then your typical “NIMBYism.” (For those of you who don’t know, that means “not in my back yard).”

This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats because it transcends political attitudes. Instead there is a general attitude that everything new or exciting is bad and will ruin “the way we always’ done it….”

Examples? here:

God forbid someone presents a new idea, or brings new energy to a business or workplace.

God forbid we build a housing complex to meet the demands of the housing crisis.

An economy that welcomes new ideas, new business, new people, and doesn’t only cater to the wealthy and old?

Blasphemy! Absolutely not in my back yard!

I’m not necessarily coming at anyone in the Legislature. Let’s be honest. We elected them.

Every single Vermonter is responsible for this mindset change. Or Vermont will simply continue the same direction.

A relic in time. An “old timey quaint exhibit” for retirees, and tourists. Continually making it difficult for any business to produce anything.

We should welcoming new ideas. New businesses, new people.

I love Vermont for what it is as much as anyone. I don’t want to see this place turn into another strip mall paradise.

But, I’d argue that it’s gotten worse since “the old days” we all wish to be in.

We all think we’re just hiding in the hills up here, but it’s time to come down to reality.

Growth does not have to mean “bad.” What happens when growth is actively suppressed? Stagnation. Economic Depression. Misery.

It’s time for an attitude change, Vermont. Just some thoughts of a failed candidate 2022.

The candidate is a Northfield native who ran for the Vermont Senate in 2022, finishing fourth in a three seat district, and first among the three Republican candidates.

Categories: Commentary

27 replies »

  1. Re: “God forbid we build a housing complex to meet the demands of the housing crisis.”

    I was all in with Mr. Bean until his camel’s nose popped in under the tent.

    God isn’t forbidding the building anything, let alone a ‘housing complex’. What God is forbidding, though, through each Vermonter endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, is the right not to be forced to pay for someone else’s folly. This IS how businesses fail.

    Then I noticed that Mr. Bean provided no tangible recommendations. Nothing new, indeed. In this regard, he seems to fit right in.

    • Exactly. As the signatories to the Declaration said, Government was instituted to protect our God-given rights – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (aka property rights). Government is not the solution; it is the problem. Check out this speech by Senator Paul about Congressman Davy Crockett and his remarks, “Not Yours to Give”:

  2. As I respect the opinion, I disagree with the reasoning. Vermont is dead because the main industry is built on a behemouth welfare system pork-fed by the DC swamp. The smart kids move away because they are not down with being taxed into endless servitude. Also, hope of earning wages into a higher tax bracket is non-existent – unless you are woke and tow that line regardless of the coercion behind it all. Why do one in seven Vermont residents work for a non-profit? The real “big” money in Vermont is made through corruption and unethical means. It is a cesspool of corruption and a grifter’s paradise. New ideas are not unwelcome, but if it does not fit the established “narrative”, it will not be considered or contemplated by those in the big seats with the big ill-gotten money.

    • BRAVO; totally agree with your assessments. I moved here @ 30 years ago from NYC; to raise my kids. They couldn’t wait to leave. My son, 29 lost a dear friend to an overdose/fentanyl in recent years. He presently resides in Denver; more job opportunities. My daughter, 28 (nurse) is NOT interested in what goes on here salary-wise/socialized medicine. BTW: while attending Norwich U, her tuition/room-and-board went from $38k to $58k by the time she graduated @ five years ago. As a nursing student, you cannot transfer to another school…

  3. “God forbid we build a housing complex”? Who is the “we”? Housing has traditionally been a venture of the private sector. When it was declared that “housing is a human right” and gov’t got public money involved, we ended up with HUD producing lawless highrise hellholes in urban areas that even the police avoided. When it was decided that Section 8 should allow that public funding to spread out into “nicer areas”, “we” brought that lawlessness to the “nice” areas. In Vermont, the “public housing” has taken over numerous motels with the result being burglaries to nearby homes, car break-ins and surrounding businesses are being shoplifted into bankruptcy. When someone proposes a housing project in Vermont, the NIMBY neighbors typically would object due to it “changing the character of the neighborhood”. In older times, that meant some increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic and maybe a little more dog poop. Now it means property crimes and bloody syringes in the gutter. When we have a government that re-establishes traditional demands for personal responsibility, people will welcome more development. With the current climate of moonbat prosecutors ignoring serious crimes and hating on the police, neighbors are justifiably skeptical of new “development”.

  4. When it was decided that Section 8 should allow that public funding to spread out into “nicer areas = where we white folks live”, “we=govt” brought that lawlessness to the “nice” areas. In Vermont, the “public housing= empty buildings used so homeless people dont die on the street” has taken over numerous motels with the result being burglaries to nearby homes, car break-ins and surrounding businesses are being shoplifted into bankruptcy. When someone proposes a housing project in Vermont, the NIMBY neighbors typically would object due to it “changing the character of the neighborhood= more black people in our neighborhood”.

    • I cannot figure out where you’re coming from anonymous? is this sarcasm or more color theory……I’ve had it with color theory; its how the powers implement division among humans……color, ethnic origin……and so forth. Tired of it.

  5. Couldn’t agree more. From my experience, in most cases, the minute a new idea is brought up the initial response will be why we can’t do that. I have served on many boards over the years and have finally given up because even the most minor change proposal will be ridiculously difficult to implement.

    • And Yet…………look at how Vermont is NOT the state to stay in, live in, raise children in……..anymore

  6. Not a failure in my book. Bounce back, please, for the next time people vote! Thank you for running and doing what you could.

    • Excuse me, sir, but until the election fraud is taken care of–in doing away with mail-in AND (hackable) machines, we will NOT have a legit voting system. We need a return to paper ballots ONLY.

  7. I appreciate your commentary Paul and agree with the part about places where Vermont falls short.
    My finger is pointed directly at the legislature for throwing up roadblocks in the form of taxes, fees, regulations, rules, restrictions and others that stifle and discourage any and all new enterprises …. that is, without government assistance, you know, those agencies that show their love by offering grants and assistance to aid entrepreneurs in their quest to negotiate the roadblocks. Even so, with their compliant building, beautiful new sign and website they will, eventually be left out in the cold.
    Thank you for your contribution.

    • A majority of the VT legislature are bullies in a China shop. They rushed through Act 60 when my kids were entering public school @ late 90’s; with no local input allowed. The Progressive/Dems are only concerned with their equity BS which is NOT supportive of hard-working Vermonters as it relates to regs, schools and taxes. Vermont is fast-becoming a destination point for the wealthy and those on public-assistance/UBI. In fact, all of New England is slated for a depopulation agenda by the WEF.

  8. I have said this before and I’ll say it again, This is what Vermont has been working towards for the last half century or better. In the first 70 yrs of the twentieth century we took raw materials and made stuff to sell to the world. It gave jobs to folks and a future to look forward too. Then with the advent of cheap labor half way around the world and the ease of shipping, the relaxation of heavy duties Vermont now has become the playland of the affluent from down country. They want to keep the postcard state and the rest of us be damned, They keep enough of us around to keep things running, and the smart kids get out of Dodge and find opportunities elsewhere I don’t see this changing in the near future.

  9. As an employer that has struggled to grow. Having interviewed and hired many young people I have first hand insight to why our brightest and ambitious are leaving in droves. It’s as simple as inability to build equity for a secure future.

    Essentially it’s a Catch 22. Great paying, tech employers avoid Vermont because no labor pool or support exists. And, a suitable labor pool doesn’t exist because there are no exciting jobs awaiting students. Asking a dropout why they didn’t finish, one explanation is given time and again. “No one could give be a good excuse not to drop out.” They had no future in Vermont either way.

    For generations the highest standard of living in Vermont was offered by towns embracing precision manufacturing, fueled by a labor pool of trade accredited students. Today, communities outside Vermont hosting medical science and aerospace/defence manufacturing fill that distinction.

    Elected and appointed Vermont officials have done everything conceivable to destroy tech, jobs. Schools are unable to generate accredited tradesmen. Instead, vocational/tech facilities are used as a dumping ground for the academically challenged. Lip service is paid by CCV to a STEM program. (Just ask about enrolment outside Chittenden Co.) CCV offers dozens of art courses, but only 4 in manufacturing. Community development grants are directed at tofu retailers, novelty breweries and trendy coffee shops. All of which yield low pay for no skill jobs. The Dept of Labor condones untrained VOSHA inspectors vindictively fining accident free, small manufacturing businesses into bankruptcy.

    Before leaving Vermont, a friend closing and liquidating a professional, science laboratory told me, “unless a firm knits organic teddy bears, it has no place in Vermont.”

    Want a professional job with advancement? Further your education in technology? Buy an affordable, starter home to build equity? With success trade up to a nicer home with a comfortable lifestyle? Leave Vermont. Your future is not here.

    • Bingo. I’ve been a Vermont and a NH employer for more than 40 years. Your assessment is spot on.

  10. Vermont is guilty of ignoring its great resources, and the Democrat controlled brain dead Legislature is responsible. They promote, in their purpose, the development of light industry, data management systems, and other “green new steal” ideas for our economic base.
    But Vermont stone built the monuments in Washington, DC, made the balustrades around the. Capital. Our marble is exceptional for its lasting translucent properties and long wearing surface. Our granite built buildings, bridges, curbing, as well as monuments.
    Our railroads were built to transport quarried stone. It is cheap and efficient transportation for materials that are permanent.
    But the Legeslature says, NO. They want to buy cheap, quick fix, quickly decaying concrete from highly energy consuming and polluting cement plants. Banks make huge profits.
    Until Edmonton throws out the donkeys in the Legislature and tio us on using our e here t resources like sny smart people would, we will not have the businesses, the engineering skills, nor the economic advantages to be great again.
    Mr. Bean, tell your representative, your Senators, to get a brain.
    Thanks for letting them know what you think.

  11. Correction: “Until everyone throws out the donkeys in the Legislature and focuses on using our inherent resources like any smart people would, we will not have the businesses, the engineering skills, nor the economic advantages to be great again.”

  12. Bottom line, Democrats and Progressives have pretty much devastated Vermont. Many in the legislature are old and behind the curve of up to date intelligence or from out of state here to prime their ego. What group of rational people could believe that Vermont can change the climate of the earth by punishing it’s citizens as the rest of the world continues as it always has?

    From the first Democratic governor, Phil Hoff from Massachusetts and a string of others like Salmon, Kunin, Dean and Shumlin and the ensuing progressive invasion, the ideology has not been to foster growth of opportunity for it’s citizens it has fostered an ideology to expand the government and the welfare class to perpetuate it’s continued government power. And here we are today.

    After all of the years of one ideology bent on power and control of the people, we wonder what went wrong. Vermont is no longer a free state and there is no unity. Those are empty words on a flag. Vermont Strong is another fallacy to sell license plates. Vermont is weak and broke. The legislature is bought off by green lobbyists and the media as an unofficial wing of the party keeps the voters as useful idiots by selectively choosing what the public hears and sees. And here we are today wondering what went wrong.

    One of my children left the state years ago, the other works 2 jobs and her partner also has 2 jobs. They are in their 30s and can’t afford a house. I told them to save their money and buy a house in another state. There is no future for them here. I’m still here because I’m single and a widower and trapped. My story could be repeated a thousand times and therefore the older population stays out of being unable to replace their housing and unable to move because of being unable to replace their housing somewhere else. I should have left years ago but I always loved Vermont but that has changed.

    I applaud this young man’s attempt at shining a light on some problems, however his reasons are misplaced. 40 or 50 years of one party rule has ruined Vermont. There is no future for the young people to stay and that is not going to change as long as the voters here continue to vote for the same failure expecting a Utopia to emerge from the chaos as we struggle to survive, And here we are today still trying to figure out what went wrong.

    • Vermont is doing just fine?

      Not when 60% of its public-school students can’t read, write, or do arithmetic and science at grade level. Not when 90% of those students graduate anyway. And not when we spend as much to educate those kids each year as it cost for them to attend one of our State Universities… including the cost of college room and board.

    • How is Vermont doing fine John, when the state gets 35% of it’s budget from the federal government? The state teachers and state employee pension funds are $5 billion dollars in the red and 40% of the working population is employed by the state. The legislature is chasing windmills and solar panels to eliminate your choice of what to drive and how to heat your home to save the planet from Vermont. That in and of itself is insanity. The earth is 4.5 billion years old and these ego driven lawmakers are not going to have any effect on weather patterns or climate. You appear to be a shining example of one of the voters who continues to vote for failure, the useful idiot unable to see or learn and a supporter of 50 years of failure. Maybe you are financially okay but the majority of working class people are not okay. None are so blind as those who refuse to see! The state of Vermont is broke financially and ideologically. We need a change in the way in which the government operates. Vermont is circling the drain and the big flush is coming. Wake up!

  13. Vermont is not doing fine,and it’s not doing fine by those of us trapped here! I voted this year as usual, possibly one person I voted for was elected. As usual I am too Conservative and I guess many vote for the Nanny state Green Party candidates! I feel as if I waste my time voting! Vermont legislature is so hellbent on being green they will do anything to tax or ban anything that they think helps their position,no matter how many others can’t afford it or it brings a hardship to!
    As someone else stated they want Vermont to be the green beacon in the sky no matter how many other states go along as normal.. our changes amount to a hill of beans on the big scheme of things, sort of like how I feel after I vote the last few years! What a waste!

  14. Born in 1944, I have seen very much to appreciate and benefit from VT.
    But when Vt went pure socialist, power hungry, Not so good
    Will our children even know what has happenned to them,
    when their “knowledge” came from the Education Unions

  15. The population age between 18-24 remained stable according to the census. So putting a headline that says that they are leaving in droves is incorrect. Thank you.

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