Commentary

Commentary: Politicizing Our Kids and Rising Suicide Rates (May, 2019)

By Rob Roper A month or so ago several national media outlets covered a study about spiking teen suicide rates. And not just suicide: “We found significant increases in major depression, serious psychological distress which includes anxiety and hopelessness and suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among teens and young adults with smaller, more inconsistent increases […]

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Commentary: Public Policy Informed by Science, Not Nixonesque Fear Mongering (May, 2019)

May 10, 2019 By David Flemming Last fall, the Vermont Department of Health announced that it was considering adding new chemicals to Vermont’s Safe Product Act, giving Vermont the chance to make its blacklist of chemicals more scientific. Unfortunately, activists are trying to stigmatize many of these chemicals before their effects can be scientifically tested. Some […]

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Commentary: Sneaking In the Seat Belt Mandate (May, 2019)

by John McClaughry The Vermont House is, for the seventh time over 37 years, trying to enact a primary seat belt law for over-18 drivers.  Worse yet, this time its backers are trying to slip their cherished bill through where it won’t be noticed. Fortunately, it’s been noticed.  Here in Q&A format is what you […]

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Commentary: Will Mandating a $15/Hour Wage Benefit Vermont? (April, 2019)

By John Goodrich The legislature is working toward mandating a universal $15/hour minimum wage. I have been in a position to see the real effects of such a step. For many years I led a major St. Johnsbury manufacturing firm with as many as 300+ employees and as interim CEO at a St. Albans plant […]

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Commentary: Our Seriously Unserious Legislature (April, 2019)

By Rob Roper Recently the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce surveyed 500 young professionals, primarily Burlington area residents between the ages of 22 and 34, and learned that over 40% intend to leave Vermont. Why? The high cost of housing, the overall high cost of living, and the lack of upwardly mobile career paths. While the […]

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Commentary: From Heating Fuel Tax to a Green Police State (April, 2019)

April 23, 2019 by John McClaughry The House-passed heating fuel tax bill (H.439) is now in the Senate Finance Committee, but the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee is busy crafting its own version  (S.171). That version offers the same heating oil and propane tax increases approved by the House, doubling the rates to four […]

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Commentary: The Latest Big Idea: Taxing Heating Fuels (April, 2019)

by John McClaughry Last week the House passed a bill that raised taxes on the wrong people to support a worthy cause for, in large measure, the wrong reasons. Back in the 1970s Vermont’s community action agencies, created to wage the war against poverty, hit upon the idea of weatherizing drafty homes of low income […]

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Commentary: A Lot of Little (and Some Big) Taxes Add Up (April, 2019)

by Rob Roper Let’s say you run a small, struggling business in Vermont and, like many if not most, are operating on thin profit margins. If our legislature has its way, after this year you will have to pay your employees a higher minimum wage on the way to $15 an hour, devote time to […]

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Scrapping the Health Insurance Penalty Tax (March, 2019)

March 27, 2019 By John McClaughry             The House Health Care Committee has brought out a bill (H.524) that at best has nothing to recommend it, and at worst, would make Vermont’s health care situation worse for thousands of innocent people.             The main impetus for this bill seems to be the determination of Chairman […]

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Commentary: The Disappearing Reappearing Carbon Tax (March, 2019)

by John McClaughry On February 10, VTDigger political columnist Jon Margolis declared that “the carbon tax is dead”. The Democratic leaders of the House and Senate have pretty clearly said “not this year”, and Gov. Scott has repeatedly promised a veto. Margolis wondered why the carbon tax opponents were so unwilling to declare victory, and […]

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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

VT Should Borrow Tax Exemption from Bernie’s Fatherland

July 15, 2019 By David Flemming What public policy has the best chance of convincing 20-somethings to stay in Vermont? A) Adopting a $15 Minimum Wage B) Passing...

Behavioral economics shows who’s responsible for rise in racism (if there really is one)

August 14, 2019 by Rob Roper Many news stories and opinion pieces in the Vermont media are opining about a rise in racism around our state and perhaps...

Statewide School Choice an Imperative as Schools Push Political Agenda

August 12, 2019 by Rob Roper For the past year or two, Vermont public schools have become increasingly, overtly political in the indoctrination of students to a political...

When the Rules Don’t Apply to Progressives

August 8, 2019 by Rob Roper So, Google hosted a three day summit on climate change in Sicily. Attendees, including the likes of Barak Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, and...

VT Unaffordability Overshadows Unique Benefits

July 7, 2019 By David Flemming Wallethub completed an extremely compelling survey which looks at the “best states for Millennials.” Vermont didn’t do too shabby, coming in at #13...

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