Commentary

Guest Commentary: What Happened to Rule of Law?

By John Klar Not content with disrupting the business of the Vermont House, climate change protestors popped up again to disrupt another much-loved public event. On June 8, Brattleboro hosted its annual celebration of local agriculture, the “Strolling of the Heifers” Parade.  A small group of climate change protesters obstructed the Parade for about fifteen […]

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Commentary: The Authoritarian/Totalitarian Plastic Bag Ban (June, 2019)

By Rob Roper Activists and politicians around Vermont are preening with pride about having passed the nation’s broadest ban on plastic bags and plastic products, with a promise (in the form of a study committee) of more to come. As citizens of an ostensibly free society founded upon the principle of limited government, this is […]

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Commentary: A New Front in the Endless Battle Against Climate Change (June, 2019)

by John McClaughry The Long Range Transportation Plan of 1995 reaffirmed as the highest priority the maintenance and improvement of Vermont’s highways and bridges. Hardly anyone disagreed. But beginning in earnest in 2006, climate change activists have succeeded in progressively shifting the emphasis of transportation policy toward reducing CO2 emissions and defeating climate change. Gasoline […]

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Commentary: A Legislative Wrap-Up for 2019 (May, 2019)

By John McClaughry The 2019 legislative session is now history, and it’s worth taking stock of its accomplishments, both positive and negative. On the plus side, the FY2020 general fund budget is balanced (up 3.1%), that is, it’s balanced if the $55 million FY2019 surplus projected last January actually shows up. The main reason for […]

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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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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

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After a minimum wage increase, these 184 American businesses chose 1 or more of the following between 2015-19: 1) Laid off employees 2) Gave employees fewer hours 3)...

GWSA Passes Out of Energy & Technology Committee

February 14, 2020 by Rob Roper The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) bill passed out of the House Energy & Technology Committee on a 7-2 vote and moved...

VT Childcare Policy: Make it more expensive and less accessible!

February 13, 2020 by Rob Roper The House Education Committee is busy formulating the next steps in what is and has been a long-term, hostile takeover of a...

$200 Million Worth of Climate “Spaghetti”

February 10, 2020 by Rob Roper In a recent interview with VPR, Rep. Tim Briglin (D-Norwich), who chairs the House Energy & Technology Committee, admitted that the state...

Commentary: Vermont Needs School Choice to Fight Racism

February 7, 2020 By David Flemming While Vermont has less of a problem with racism at school than many states, it is still a problem. Recently, some Vermont...

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