education

ASR Interviews Neil Randall, Former Libertarian-Republican Vermont Representative

ASR (American Socialism for the Rich) recently interviewed Neil Randall, Libertarian-Republican, Vermont former Representative ’98-’02. 

During the interview they covered topics such as GM Bailout, Vermont Budget Passes, Libertarianism and the party in Vermont, Dairy Industry/Government, Campaign Finance Reform (Act 64), education, Ron Paul and more.

Watch the whole interview below…

Neil Randall on ASR from Matthew Cropp on Vimeo.

Today on You Can Quote Me

Today on “You Can Quote Me” they were discussing the graying population of Vermont and how it is affecting Vermont.

The areas of concern where:

  • Jobs/Workers – it was stated that our biggest export as a state is skilled labor. Many kids go to school here, but then leave once they get their degree. This means less young skilled workers here in the state. People that might have larger incomes, create businesses, be active in the community.

  • Education – Education costs are very high throughout the state. The main reasons suggested include teacher’s salaries and benefits are skyrocketing as well as inefficiencies in the public school system.

  • Housing – The state as a whole is lacking in affordable housing and the costs of housing are increasing. This is most likely due to the stringent zoning and regulations as well as taxes imposed on developers, landlords and home owners.

I believe that because everything is just so expensive in this state, because of the taxes and regulations, that young people that are not tied to the area, feel no reason to stay here when they could move to New Hampshire, get a higher income, pay less taxes and buy everything at far lower prices and have a similar atmosphere as Vermont. Why should someone stay under these conditions? Myself, I moved to Texas for several years to go to college at a fraction of the cost of schooling here… only $1,700/semester. I lived on a minimal pay and was still able to save up enough to buy a place when I moved back here to Vermont. Since moving back to Vermont after college, I have not been able to add to my savings as everything is so much more expensive here… no more .95 gas, no more .50 bread, $1.95 milk, $1lb beef, state income taxes (Texas and New Hampshire have no state income taxes).

I have often suggested that if one wants to get ahead, they should leave the state for a few years, as I did, and once they are stable with some savings enough to put a good down payment on a home and still have some savings left, move back. As I see it, this is the best way for a young person to get a good head start and not have to struggle daily through their prime years of life. It comes down to quality of life!

Chittenden County FreedomWorks Meeting

Tonight, Heavenly and I attended the Chittenden County FreedomWorks meeting. I thought it was a very interesting meeting with a good turnout. We discussed the top issues facing Vermont including Health Care, Education, Taxes, and Property Rights.

The mission statement for FreedomWorks is:

“To return the principles of lower taxes, small government, and economic growth to Vermont through a combination of organized grassroots pressure, direct lobbying, paid advertising, and creative use of alternative media.”

The following are the primary issues (but not limited to) the group will be focusing on in the upcoming legislative session:

Health Care
It was widely agreed that the proposed single payer program is very dangerous and that it will most likely not be supported by unions such as the teacher’s union, senior citizens that don’t want to give up their medicare benefits, blue collar workers and small business owners, which will face higher payroll taxes. Market-based solutions were suggested as being much better. This includes the use of health savings accounts, tort reform aimed at reducing legally-defensive medicine, legalizing the interstate purchase of lower cost health insurance (just like any other kind of insurance), and lower premiums for citizens who live healthy lifestyles.

Education
The group supported efforts to expand parental choice. The group also does not support the current attempts to expand the public school system by two years at taxpayers’ expense to include Universal Preschool for all 3 & 4 year olds. It was suggested that expanding the responsibilities of the public school system to include more grades will inevitably lead to higher property taxes — which Vermonters can not afford at this time. It will increase regulation on the most vulnerable small businesses that are performing vital services for the community, while decreasing their ability to compete. And the group was most worried that as a result, parents will face fewer and less flexible choices for their childcare needs.

Property Rights
The resulting Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court decision is of great concern. It’s believed to have created a demand for legislation that would protect property rights in Vermont. The group wants to work to ensure that such legislation is not only passed in Vermont, but also that it has teeth, and that it is relevant to threats posed to property owners in Vermont – protecting the control, enjoyment, and value of owners’ property from over-zealous government action.

Taxes
The groups believes that we need to begin laying the groundwork for fair and reasonable taxpayer protections, such as a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

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