A story in the Mountain Times, Woodstock struggles to solve restaurant shortage, describes in detail the tourist town’s “impossible equation” with labor, regulatory, and supply issues that are hampering the overall ability to meet the needs of visitors. Many restaurants can’t open seven days a week because the federal government is paying workers not to work. It’s gotten so bad that when a tourist bus showed up in the popular Vermont tourist town and disembarked 44 hungry people, there was no place open for them to eat. Can you say “hangry”? The tour company subsequently canceled its future bus trips to Woodstock.
Vermont Digger published a noteworthy story July 21 by reporter Sophia McDermott-Hughes. It’s about the largest anaerobic digester in the Northeast that has just begun full-scale production of renewable natural gas on the Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury.
If you have solar panels connected to an electric grid in Vermont, you may have been caught off guard recently by a sizeable increase in a subtle change to the “Energy Efficiency Charge (EEC).”
Three years ago Vermont raised the age for purchasing any firearm from 18 to 21. But on July 13, a three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Federal law barring the sale of handguns to persons under 21 was unconstitutional, calling into question Vermont’s 2018 action.
Last week I reviewed the new book by physicist Steven Koonin entitled Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, in which he explains how most of what you hear about climate science is, to put it mildly, exaggerated or insupportable.
Steve Klein of the Joint Fiscal Office briefed the Pension and Benefits Task Force, which is looking into how to fix the state’s $6 billion unfunded pension liabilities, on the current state budget as well as impending budget pressures in the pipeline. Klein’s slide show revealed a frightening increase in spending with daunting implications for Vermont taxpayers.
Drew Cline of the Josiah Bartlett Center in New Hampshire noted that New Hampshire’s Business Profits Tax rate was 8.5% in 2015, making it the third-highest corporate income tax in New England, after Maine and Connecticut.
At the July 26 meeting of the Vermont Climate Council, member Richard Cowart raised what he admitted might be “a thorny question.” Thorny or not, it was a very good one. It illustrates very clearly how government interventions in the free market, using carrots and sticks to influence people’s behavior in singular, predetermined ways can lead to disastrous conclusions.