• Constitutional and Legal
  • Corporate Welfare
  • Economics and Regulatory Issues
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Food and Agriculture
  • General
  • Health Care
  • Land Use and Property Rights
  • Welfare

  • Constitutional and Legal

    • Sorrell Takes on Microsoft
      Vermont's attorney general jumps into the Microsoft court case to oblige its competitors - and shows high tech firms what they can expect when doing business in Vermont. (10/01)
    • Vermont's Smoking Gun
      The 46-state tobacco settlement is on increasingly shaky legal ground. Its demise would cost Vermont $24 million a year, but we'd get our integrity back. (8/01)
    • One Vermonter's 21 Year Courtroom Odyssey
      In 1981 the city of Burlington informed Paul Preseault that it now owned the abandoned railbed in his back yard. Preseault fought back, and 21 years later he was vindicated. (7/01)
    • The Gun Controllers Return
      The Vermont Supreme Court has given an emphatic "No" to local gun control ordinances - but the people who hail the Court's declarations on school finance and gay marriage are not taking that "No" for an answer. (1/01)
    • Reining in an Errant Court
      Vermont's Five Supreme Legislators badly need to be reined in. But how? (10/00)
    • "Thus Saith the Lord": When a Supreme Court Should be Replaced, Not Obeyed.
      Leading defenders of Vermont's runaway Supreme Court claim that everybody must do just what the Court says. Not at all, reply Hamilton, Marshall, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ethan Allen Institute President John McClaughry. (10/00)
    • Criminalizing Gun Possession
      School boards have long had the power to prohibit firearms on school property. But now the legislature wants to make completely innocent possession into a crime, even when there is no criminal intent. (1/00)
    • More from the Five Supreme Legislators
      The Vermont Supreme Court has instructed the legislature to enact domestic partnership laws -- or else the Court will decide that gays and lesbians have a "right" to marriage. (12/99)
    • Regulation and Taxation Through Litigation
      The legislature won't raise taxes or increase regulation? No problem. Have the Courts do it. (8/99)
    • Plain Language Baffles Supreme Court
      Vermont's Five Supreme Legislators have struck again, misinterpreting another 1786 constitutional provision to thwart religious school choice. (6/99)
    • Stopping the Next Predatory Lawsuit
      First tobacco, next firearms. Predatory trial lawyers are hoping to get rich from both industries. All they need is a cooperating attorney general or mayor. (3/99)
    • Who Owns The Vermont Constitution?
      The defenders of the Brigham Justices seem to think the Constitution belongs to the Supreme Court. It does not. It belongs to the people. (2/99)
    • The Brigham Justices: Should They be Denied New Terms?
      Here's the full argument for why the justices who perverted the Constitution in Brigham should be excused from further service. (1/99)
    • Who Controls the Supreme Court?
      In a democratic government based on popular sovereignty, there must be a popular check on all branches of government. Who controls the supreme court? It's the duty of the legislature to do it, by disciplining justices who lose sight of the constitution. (9/98)
    • Sharp Practice
      Vermont's attorney general urges a disgraceful law to guarantee his victory in a court case.(4/98)
    • When the People Surprised the Politicians
      Twice controversial constitutional amendments passed the legislature with huge majorities, only to be rejected by the people at the polls.(2/98)
    • A New First for Vermont
      A Supreme Court made up entirely of government lawyers.(8/97)
    • Constitutional Principles: The Legislature, the Court, and Education Financing
      Why the Supreme Court can and should be ignored on educational finance. (4/97)
    • The Dooley Principle
      Justice John Dooley comes up with a new legal theory: your life belongs to the state. (3/94)

    Corporate Welfare

    • Tax Credits to the Rescue!
      The Dean Administration faced some real embarrassment for failing to deliver Husky's $6 million bridge in Milton. So it handed out $10.6 million in tax credits to Husky. (10/00)
    • The Friends of VEPC Strike Back
      State tax subsidies for favored corporations has found a champion (in addition to Governor Dean): William Schubart, whose firm pocketed $1.3 million from this sweet deal. (7/00)
    • Crony Capitalism Starting To Get Bad Reviews
      According to a JFO study Gov. Dean's touted Economic Advancement Tax Incentives program is not working out well. Why are we not surprised? (6/99)
    • The Filene's Bills: Greasing the Skids for Burlington
      The main effect of the much-heralded "Downtowns Bill" has been to subsidize Burlington and one favored corporation. (5/99)
    • Crony Capitalism Comes to Vermont
      For your business to have a chance to succeed in Vermont, more and more you have to get in bed with the nice folks in Montpelier. (9/98)
    • Buying An Economy
      Gov. Dean's "economic advancement" incentives are an effort to buy an economy, instead of getting out of the way and letting it grow. (1/98)
    • Corporate Welfare Wins Big
      How liberal Senators slipped in the goodies for Husky, Filene's and big telecommunications users. (5/97)
    • Sweet Deal for the Big Dog
      The amazing lengths the Dean administration went to induce Husky Injection Molding to locate in Milton, and the hypocrisy of "planning". (11/96)

    Economics and Regulatory Issues


    • One Big School System
      Act 60 is leading Vermont into having One Big School System. Hawaii already has one, and it's a disaster for their kids. (1/02)
    • Schoolchildren First
      Act 60 is sinking and will have to be replaced. Instead of accepting One Big School System, why not just empower Vermont's parents to choose what's best for their children? (7/01)
    • Looking Beyond Act 60
      Before long the legislature will have to replace the fading Act 60, It's time tostart looking at the alternatives. (5/01)
    • The Blob Gets Whipped In Court
      For nine years taxpayer-funded Vermont Legal Aid and the state department of education have hounded St. Johnsbury Academy over its fifth-grade skill level requirement for admission to mainstream calsses. Now the U.S. Circuit Court has slapped down the persecutors. (4/01)
    • The Latest Bogus School Reform
      Rutland Northeast Superintendent William Mathis says his district's new "Professional Growth Plan" for teachers will improve "student performance." Actually it will increase teachers' salaries, but it has no demonstrable relationship to "student performance." (11/00)
    • Fraudulent Choice for Vermont Parents
      Gov. Dean and the legislature say they want to expand "choice" for Vermont parents. Their bill is a fraud at best, and a menace at worst. (5/00)
    • A Tiger Behind Every Door
      Act 60, so bravely passed in 1997, is heading for a fiscal crash. Every method for avoiding that crash will make a lot of voters very angry. (3/00)
    • Grassroots Education Reform
      The Education Freedom District bill would let your townspeople escape from the clutches of the education special interest groups, and do school reform on their own. (2/00)
    • What the Teachers' Union Wants
      The VT-NEA wants volunteer teacher Bill Corrow out of a Williamstown classroom - and a continued union-dominated government monopoly over education. (11/99)
    • The School Size Issue Comes Full Circle
      Thirty years ago the state of Vermont was pressuring small schools to close. Now an Education Department report says that smaller schools do better. (6/99)
    • Riley's Class Size Nostrum
      The Clinton Administration and the teachers unions want you to believe that smaller class size means better education. It doesn't. It just means more expense and more union dues. (11/98)
    • Draining the Shark Pool
      Gov. Dean thinks we should do away with the "shark pool" crafted by his friends in the legislature. Chances are real good we won't. (10/98)
    • Parental Choice in Education: An Irresistible Tide
      For the first time the Gallup poll shows clear majority support for parental choice in education. It now seems likely that even a desperate teachers' union won't be able to stop it for long. (9/98)
    • New Brunswick's Lesson for Vermont
      Thirty years ago New Brunswick enacted its version of Act 60. It's not hard to see where Vermont will soon be heading. (6/98)
    • Vermont Gets Mediocre Marks for Education Standards
      The Fordham Foundation rates state education standards for academic rigor, and Vermont doesn't fare very well. (4/98)
    • Educational Financing Lessons from California
      After a property taxpayer's rebellion, California moved to state financing of local school districts. Now the state's education system is a disaster area. (12/97)
    • Local Control, R.I.P.
      How Act 60 sounds the death knell for local control of public education. (10/97)
    • Any Way Out of Act 60?
      A real alternative to centralized state control of education. (9/97)
    • Vermont's New Centralized Education Regime
      How Act 60 will transform public education, for the worse. (6/97)
    • The Brigham Decision as the Route to Education Reform
      How the Vermont Supreme Court's Brigham decision could lead to a really smart educational finance system (but probably won't). (2/97)
    • Why Educational Choice
      Public education has changed; now it exists for the providers rather than the customers. (1/97)
    • Controlling Education Costs
      Why top down cost controls don't work; the ground rules need to be changed. (11/96)


    • Repairing a Breach of Trust
      Two years ago sportsmen, snowmobilers and Northeast Kingdom legislators agreed to Champion lands deal on faith. They now feel that faith has been poorly repaid. (11/01)
    • The Battle of Potash Brook
      Thanks to the efforts of one enviro law firm, the Water Resources Board shuts down development by rejecting of a state of the art stormwater management system. (9/01)
    • Rural Cleansing
      The enviros are succeding in making eastern Oregon an uninhabited area. Meanwhile, they're at work in Vermont too. (8/01)
    • The Arsenic Panic
      Reducing arsenic levels in Vermont's water supplies to 3 ppb will cost a bundle, and quite likely do more harm than good. (5/01)
    • Thirty Years of Straightpiping
      Why does government require thirty years to stop 14 houses from straightpiping sewage into the Moose River? (8/00)
    • The Poster City for Fighting "Sprawl"
      Portland, Oregon is the "New Urbanist" poster city for the war on "sprawl". Ordinary people are paying a high price to realize the dreams of the enviro-engineers. (10/99)
    • Celebrating the Resourceful Earth
      Enviros love to celebrate Earth Day, as their favorite government agencies inflict enormous damage on the rights of the American people and our economy. Now sensible people who believe in human progress are offering an alternative. (4/99)
    • Recycle or Else!
      The enviro police may be looking for you if the mandatory recycling bill passes.(3/98)
    • The People vs. the Despots
      District environmental commissioners are essentially unaccountable to anybody. Here's one way to make them a little bit accountable.(1/98)
    • Here Comes the Carbon Tax!
      Implementing the Kyoto "global warming" treaty could cost Vermont $800 million a year in lost output, taxes, and higher costs. (12/97)
    • A Green Constitution?
      The enviros want to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the annoyance of private property. (10/97)
    • Another Town Whipped by Act 250
      The sad story of Lyndon's town gravel pit. (4/97)
    • Another Small Town Gets the State Hammer
      Why Newport had to dig up rocks and haul them to a different hole. (7/96)

    Food and Agriculture


    • Lessons from the IBM Layoffs
      The state's largest employer cuts back 500 employees. With a sound economic business climate, other firms will pick up the slack. The trick is creating that sound business climate. (12/01)
    • The Budget Hits the Fan
      The surpluses are gone, and the 2002 legislature will have to bite many very distasteful bullets. (10/30)
    • So...How Are We Doing?
      "Government" was the only one of ten economic categories of Gross State Product growth where Vermont exceeded the national average. Meanwhile, 49% of Vermont business owners say the state is "unfriendly to business." (6/01)
    • The Coming Tax Battle of 2002:
      Vermont may soon decouple its income tax from the fedqarl tax code. It's time to think about what an independent Vermont tax system ought to look like. (6/01)
    • The Coalition to Keep People Poor
      Anti-free trade protestors have had their 15 minutes of fame. Now it's time to look at the benefits of hemispheric free trade. (5/01)
    • Vermont Should Focus on the Concept of Liberty
      Seven prominent Vermonters offered their view on "what Vermont should be thinking about" in the 3/4/01 Burlington Free Press. This rejoinder, published 3/27, makes the case for thinking about restoring our disppearing tradition of liberty and democratic self-government. (3/01)
    • It's Time to Cut Tax Rates
      President Bush wants a $1.6 trillion tax reduction package. Vermont's liberals are screaming No! (3/01)
    • The Legislature's Top Ten for the New Biennium
      What our elected leaders ought to be doing in 2001-02. (12/00)
    • Policing the Regulators
      Policing the Regulators: It's about time that elected legislators got control of rules issued by state bureaucrats. (12/00)
    • Making Vermont's Democracy Stronger
      The results of a privately financed citizen initiative in Scotland on gay education in the schools has shaken the Scottish government. Isn't it time Vermonters had a citizen initiative process to shake theirs? (6/00)
    • The Choices of 2000
      Civil unions may look like the Big Issue of 2000, but in the long run the real Big Issue is likely to be preserving the vital energy of a free people. (6/00)
    • Exploring the Big Bill
      Amazing things lurk in the fine print of Vermont's annual appropriations bill. (5/00)
    • The Rise of the Hidden Tax
      Once legislators voted taxes out where the voters could see it. Now they are increasingly finding hidden ways of extracting tax dollars to fund special projects. (4/00)
    • Tocqueville's Warning
      Alexis de Tocqueville warned New Englanders in 1835 that docile subjects of a central power would never be true citizens. When will Vermonters wake up to this eternal truth? (2/00)
    • The Price Fixing "Solution"
      Liberal politicians have discovered that price fixing is just a swell idea - if done by the government instead of corporations. (1/00)
    • Lessons from the Kirby Bridge Saga
      The little town of Kirby want to replace a little bridge. Thanks to overgrown state government, the price tag more than tripled. (10/99)
    • America's Fortunate Consumers
      Measured in the amount of time the average worker has to work to buy consumer goods, Americans are far, far better off than they were 50 or 100 years ago. Even today's poor enjoy a standard of living that was reserved to the near rich, or not even imaginable, a century ago. (9/99)
    • Vermont Needs More Democrats!
      Our system was designed to give effect to the will of the people. Unfortunately the Vermont General Assembly is marching steadily in the other direction. (03/99)
    • The Rise of the Nanny State
      All too often Gov. Dean, legislators and the people running state government seem to think Vermonters are incompetent chumps. Maybe they're right.Our system was designed to give effect to the will of the people. Unfortunately the Vermont General Assembly is marching steadily in the other direction. (02/99)
    • Restoring Vermont's Civic Culture
      Vermont rates high on a political science survey, but its authors miss an important point. (12/97)
    • $60 Million Away From Retirement Fund Reform
      Defined contributions is a far better plan, but first the funds have to be made whole. (8/96)
    • Governing Smarter and Cheaper
      Eight radical but do-able ideas for better - and less expensive - state government. (7/95)
    • Consumers, Bureaucracies, And Reform
      There are two kinds of public policy systems: one where consumers choose what they want, and one where government bureaucracies provide what consumers get (while seeing to their own comfort.) (5/95)

    Health Care

    Land Use and Property Rights

    • The Battle of Potash Brook
      Thanks to the efforts of one enviro law firm, the Water Resources Board shuts down development by rejecting of a state of the art stormwater management system. (9/01)
    • Goodbye to the Spaghetti Lot
      For 30 years the "10 acre loophole" has been a "safe haven" for developers, with very unfortunate land use results. Now it is about to be closed. (2/01)
    • Environmental Board Takes a Big Hit
      The Vermont Supreme Court slaps down the Environmental Board's regulatory power grab. (1/01)
    • Revisiting the Takings Issue
      Oregon voters, fed up with too much land use regulation, have added an important new protection for private property owners to their Constitution, Maybe Vermont should get with the program. (11/00)
    • Tinkering with Act 250
      To the horror of the enviros, the House actually approved some amendments to Act 250 to make it more user friendly. But a wholesale reexamination is long overdue. (4/00)
    • Fighting Sprawl: Start with the Government
      This year's bogeyman is "sprawl". Who causes sprawl? Mainly the government. (11/98)
    • Batscam: The Latest Enviro Attack on Vermont's Economy
      The enviros have found one supposedly endangered bat near (but not in) Green Mountain National Forest. Now all future logging contracts are suspended. (11/98)
    • The State Thinks It Owns Your Woodlot
      Not content to manage 196,000 acres of state owned land, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation wants to manage yours as well. (6/98)
    • The Sprawl Monster is Loose!
      For almost 30 years the land use controllers have invented one land use crisis after another. Now it's the Sprawl Monster. (6/98)
    • Who Owns the Land?
      Vermont's new clear cutting law is one more step toward disposing of private property in land. (5/97)


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