Debbie and I just returned from a three-day back roads tour of Vermont’s small towns and countryside.
Scenic? Yes. Cows? No. Instead boarded, dilapidated barns and farmhouses, closed country stores, and zero modern manufacturing facilities were to be found.
Our concluding thought at the end of each depressing bend into another stagnate village was “where are Vermont’s jobs.”
For many years, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has presided over Vermont’s sinking fortunes, all the while preaching his rabid brand of strangulation socialism.
Sanders socialism has been an unqualified disaster for the Vermont economy, with its young people continuing to depart the state.
Debbie and I have spent decades crisscrossing Vermont on our Harley’s and there is hardly a corner of the state we do not know well. We have spent dozens of nights in small town country inns visiting with residents and employees that we, in many instances, have known since their earliest days of employment. The story is universal. Vermont’s economy is shot.
Vermont is not a competitive state. Taxes, especially on second-home owners, are wicked. Electricity prices are astronomical. The farm industry, Vermont’s historical foundation, has been largely wiped out. And family farms continue to disappear.
Americans even thinking of casting a vote for Mr. Socialism Bernie Sanders would be wise to consider their options. The Sanders program is a non-starter. No doubt about it.