Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Vermont Being Evacuated

How long until it is a red state?

"Vermonters leave state for complex reasons, survey shows" by Wilson Ring Associated Press  May 09, 2015

MONTPELIER — As Vermont struggles to keep people in the state or draw them here, researchers at the University of Vermont say a recent survey found some familiar culprits for the migration — jobs and higher wages elsewhere — but also suggests there are more complex reasons to explain the exodus.

One conclusion of the survey is that the best-educated Vermonters, people with master’s degrees or higher, were more likely to leave the state; those with less education were more likely to stay.

Jobs, higher wages elsewhere, and a desire to live in more culturally diverse communities were all mentioned.


Cheryl Morse, an assistant professor of geography at UVM and an author of the report released last week as part of the Vermont Roots Migration Project at UVM’s Center for Research on Vermont.

Morse was surprised at how many people said the state remains important to them even after they leave. The survey also found that for those who leave, 85 percent say they're homesick.

"They write really poetic, beautiful descriptions of chopping wood and the smell of wood smoke, and the rolling green hills and the water," she said. "They just go on and on."

We are all living in a matrix of ma$$ media contrived myths.

The survey used social media and other methods to reach people of different ages who attended Vermont high schools. Researchers had hoped to collect 75 stories, but got just under 3,700 responses.

Based on the information from the survey, creating good jobs will help the state retain and attract people. But more could be done, including celebrating diversity and improving infrastructure to enable people to get around more easily.

The study noted that in each decade between 1850 and 1900, about 40 percent of native-born Vermonters left the state. Through the middle of the 20th century, the state's population remained relatively stable and from the 1970s through the 1990s, the population grew at about the same rate as the rest of the country.

But over the past several years, Vermont's population has remained stagnant. In 2012, the state saw the first decrease in population since 1944. There was another slight decline in 2014.

"In a sense, Vermont is now going back to what has been its past history for almost its entire existence," said UVM associate economics professor Art Woolf, who has also studied the state's population trends. "From about 1820 until about 1960, Vermont exported a lot of its young people because of better opportunities elsewhere."

The challenge of keeping people has bedeviled Vermont's political leaders for years.

Last year, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a law that reimburses students for a full year of a four-year degree if they agree to live and work in high-need economic sectors in Vermont for five years after graduation. He has also ordered the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to market the state to young people

That's the problem right there. These guys think marketing campaigns solve everything.


Looks like the Globe left early, and why did they forget to mention the heroin epidemic that goes hand-in-hand with such a thing?


"Governor Peter Shumlin, who narrowly survived a re-election bid last fall from a little-known candidate and then had to abandon his signature goal of a state-run single payer health care system, said Monday he would not seek a fourth two-year term next year. Speaking at the State House in front of a bust of Abraham Lincoln and surrounded by current and former staff members, the Democrat insisted his political setbacks played no role in his decision and that he had always believed six years was the correct tenure for a Vermont governor."

Yeah, he's done a great job.