Commentary

Commentary: Seizing the Teacher Health Insurance Opportunity

by John McClaughry The sudden political struggle over health insurance for unionized teachers isn’t over but some useful lessons are emerging.  This struggle was triggered by a provision of ObamaCare called “the Cadillac tax”. Starting in 2018, plans with premiums of over $10,800 a year for individuals and $29,500 for families will face a crushing […]

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Commentary: Four Very Serious but Widely Ignored Threats (May, 2017)

by John McClaughry If you watch the news media, and especially the accounts of things like the Peoples’ March for Climate, Jobs and Justice, you would believe that the most critical  problems facing America are deportation of immigrants for entering the country illegally, employer resistance to paying low skilled workers $15/hour, carbon dioxide emissions that […]

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Commentary: If Science Is the Standard…

By Rob Roper Folks celebrated Earth Day this year with a “March for Science” around the nation. The marchers’ message is, ostensibly, that policy should be based on science and not things like emotion, morality, or politics. But is this really what they’re after? Or is this more of an attempt to legitimize their own […]

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Commentary: Four New Bills to Levy a CarbonTax (April, 2017)

by John McClaughry Not so long ago – 2015 – the carbon tax was all the rage among such organizations as VPIRG, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation, and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Their argument was straightforward. Humankind’s penchant for making use of fossil fuels is (so they believe) inexorably driving the planet […]

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Commentary: Examining Equity In Our Public Schools

By Rob Roper Equity and access to educational resources has been a hot topic surrounding the rules (or changes thereto) governing independent schools that accept tax dollars through Vermont’s tuitioning system. Some argue that if a school takes state money it should accept any and all comers. But what about public schools? There is a […]

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Commentary: The Benefits of “Grotesque Inequality” (March, 2017)

by John McClaughry In a recent talk before students at St. Johnsbury Academy, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that although we are living in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, “the nation’s wealth is in the hands of a privileged few”, producing what he called an “unfair and grotesque level of income inequality.” […]

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Commentary: The Carbon Tax Game Plan for 2017 (March, 2017)

by John McClaughry Last year the intense efforts of the “Energy Independent Vermont” coalition to sell Vermonters on the merits of a carbon tax ran onto the rocks. But the friends of the carbon tax in the Vermont House and Senate aren’t giving up. Three years ago the EIV coalition burst upon the scene. Spearheaded […]

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Commentary: Universal Pre-K Is A Problem, Not a Solution (February, 017)

By Rob Roper Vermont has been actively expanding taxpayer funded universal Pre-K since 2007 (Act 62). The claims back then and the claims today haven’t changed. Advocates promise that in the long run, these programs will prove great for kids and taxpayers! But ten years later, as we’re looking at an even more dramatic and […]

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Commentary: The Lake Champlain Phosphorus Crisis (February, 2017)

by John McClaughry The Vermont legislature is now well into the final chapter of a high-stakes saga that began in 2010. At its center is the phosphorus level in Lake Champlain, especially in St. Albans and Missisquoi Bays. As a state document explains, “In excessive amounts, phosphorus and associated algal growth can impair recreational uses […]

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Commentary: Every Student Deserves The Opportunity I Had (January, 2017)

by Rob Roper When I was in second grade, my parents moved our family from Virginia to Connecticut because Dad took a job in New York City. They chose the town of Riverside to live in based largely on the quality of the public school system. We were lucky to be able to afford to […]

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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Latest News

Stop Calling Them Snowflakes

by Rob Roper Since the election of Donald Trump, the Left has had a revived interest in the works of George Orwell, 1984 and Animal Farm. I’m not...

Unresolved Issues Left for 2018


by Rob Roper Several issues remain unresolved following the 2017 legislative session. Two big ones are the $15 minimum wage and Paid Family Leave. Both will be top...

Roll Call! Senate Passes $5.83 Billion FY18 Budget

  . H.518 – AN ACT RELATING TO MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT . PASSED in the State Senate on May 18, 2017, by a vote of 22-6...

Roll Call! House Passes $5.83 billion FY18 Budget

.  H.518 – AN ACT RELATING TO MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT  . PASSED in the State House of Representatives on May 18, 2017, by a vote of...

Venezuela’s Slide into Chaos

by John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS—Storm clouds are buffeting the coast of Venezuela, the once rich South American state which is sliding into economic chaos and combustable political...

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