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Old 06-24-2015, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
while just over 15% of native Vermonters have college degrees
I'd like to see your source on this, please.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,771 posts, read 53,934,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyPT83 View Post
Ummm, from what I've read about the history of the region and about how the Abenaki feel about it, it's all a bit different and "less flattering" than your version of it (about persecution and drastic, unwanted changes to their way of life-rings a familiar bell-and how they are in fact regarded as the Native Americans of Vermont; the settlers certainly not being so in any event, regardless of how "nice" they think they were to the true natives), but since I don't care to argue the point more than either of us can find by simply reading history and making up our own minds-with which I respectfully disagree with you on-I'll simply say that I stand behind everything I had written before and ask you not to take much offense in it, as my heart was in the right place, and I will acknowledge your version of the facts, and simply bid you a good day, sir!

PS: Though I must add that I don't see how a Vermonter can think insulting all newcomers/out-of-staters in a derogatory way and blaming them for all of Vermont's problems (and even "writing off" the Abenaki people for that matter) comes off as "far less rude", when it's really no different than people in the SE blaming "yankees" for all their problems, or calling minorities derogatory and divisive names and scapegoating them. I've always looked at Vermont and thought it was the one place that can't be like that, and I'm now disappointed that there are people are like that everywhere you go. But I hope you can show some more tolerance for your good-intentioned newer neighbors as you say your people did with your older neighbors (or non-neighbors, or whatever), and keep being an awesome Vermonter. And I'll keep reading up on the Abenaki! Thanks again!
I don't take offense to legitimate disagreement. You dragged up a thread started by a rant against all Vermonters, where the OP stereotyped all Vermonters in one swipe. Personally, if you want to toss around the "insult" word, I found that original post highly insulting, even though it was somewhat amusing.

The people in the southeast - note where I post from now - had serious problems with the change from a confederation to a strong arm Federalism that just happened to result in a war and a lot of dead relatives. As a native Vermonter living in the south, I don't particularly find their disdain of "Yankee" pushiness rude or insulting. I actually tend to agree with them, and find Sherman's March through Georgia to comes as close to a war crime as many the U.S. media and government has railed against.

If you really mean what you say about reading more about early Vermont, I would suggest Colin Calloway's "The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600-1800" which is quite enlightening and lauded among historians. If you want something more general, Sherman, Sessions, and Potash's "Freedom and Unity, A History of Vermont" is a good capsule of the broader view of the state. The Vermont Historical Society can guide you to other good reads.

FWIW - It also pays to remember that the relatings of history by the various tribes are colored by their own disputes and internecine machinations. What one tribe says is often disputed by another, just like has always been the case with history and is the case with U.S and European history. What I was taught in school about the noble confederation of Indian nations bears little resemblance to what I have learned with more in-depth study.

Flatlanders and change:

I'll be candid and say that the issues native Vermonters have with immigrants (flatlanders) is largely the responsibility of those who Vermonters elected. Back in the 1930s, the Vermont legislature determined that the state was not bringing in enough money with agricultural products and set about to ACTIVELY promote Vermont as a tourist destination for wealthy New Englanders and New Yorkers. Tourism had been done before in the early days of the railroads with mixed success, and I don't think they had any idea what changes would eventually be wrought by their decision.

The next big change was legislative reapportionment, which was forced upon the rural Vermonters. In summary, it changed Vermont politics from being oriented to the farms and small towns to being focused on Burlington, which had different politics and goals and even to some extent different ethics. The old Vermont largely died that year.

The last major change was the passage of act 250, which, in order to "preserve" a Vermont as a larger Shelburne Museum, and continue to promote a tourist Mecca, started the anti-business mentality of the state that has rankled most of the hard working natives for years.

One does not settle in Northern Ireland without quickly having to come to terms with the history and attitudes based in the troubles. One does not settle in Quebec without coming in contact with fallout from the expulsion of loyalists from the U.S., the French influences, and past wars. One who settles in Vermont and through laziness or ignorance remains unaware and uncaring of its history while focused only upon personal goals, just MIGHT run into problems with the natives being "rude."

When the police force in Williston is turned to harassing the users of the LEGAL local gun range, because of "noise" complaints from new residents - even though the hours of operation make concessions, then native Vermonters of the old stock are bound to complain bitterly about yet another chipping away of the old life.

When "farm run-off" is trundled out as the cause of algae blooms in Lake Champlain, and storm water runoff and city landscaping and other sources are downplayed because it is easier to target cows and regulate where they poo, rural folk tend to roll their eyes. Poor land, low milk prices, and being blamed to death will destroy the rural paradise that once existed.

When people move to Vermont expecting great views, and bring with them preconceptions of how farming "Should" be done in an ecologically sensitive manner, they put farmers out of business, and for some strange reason, trees grow up in what used to be open fields, blocking the very views they came to Vermont to enjoy.

The irritation about flatlanders isn't about any specific individual (some jerks excepted) but what flatlanders represent and the grieving over a vanishing way of life.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:32 PM
 
13,758 posts, read 7,301,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

<snip a very well written and entertaining essay. Thanks for the good read!>

The irritation about flatlanders isn't about any specific individual (some jerks excepted) but what flatlanders represent and the grieving over a vanishing way of life.
I think it depends where you are. Most of the state outside of Chittenden County survives off the tourist industry. Service jobs do not pay well. The brightest and most motivated tend to leave the state for better opportunities. If you're scratching out a living trying to figure out how to keep your car on the road, pay health insurance, and put food on the table, you're not going to look all that favorably on the 1%-ers and 5%-ers who make up most of the tourist and vacation home people. Their problems are different. Their BMW 5-series broke down. A pipe in their expensive vacation home sprung a leak. Their $50 per person meal turned out wrong. It's not surprising there is a lot of resentment. The people who flee from the congestion of metro-NYC and southern New England and move to Vermont typically show up with a college education and some assets. They're more like the best & brightest 10% of Vermonters who left the state than those who remained behind. Again, there is bound to be some resentment.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:27 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA & Sharon, VT
168 posts, read 186,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I think it depends where you are. Most of the state outside of Chittenden County survives off the tourist industry. Service jobs do not pay well. The brightest and most motivated tend to leave the state for better opportunities. If you're scratching out a living trying to figure out how to keep your car on the road, pay health insurance, and put food on the table, you're not going to look all that favorably on the 1%-ers and 5%-ers who make up most of the tourist and vacation home people. Their problems are different. Their BMW 5-series broke down. A pipe in their expensive vacation home sprung a leak. Their $50 per person meal turned out wrong. It's not surprising there is a lot of resentment. The people who flee from the congestion of metro-NYC and southern New England and move to Vermont typically show up with a college education and some assets. They're more like the best & brightest 10% of Vermonters who left the state than those who remained behind. Again, there is bound to be some resentment.
I disagree with this analysis. I think the anti-flatlander resentment being discussed, that triggered this thread, is directed at residents, not tourists passing through or vacation-home types. And from my view a lot of non-natives who move to Vermont are *not* the 1% or 5%... they are ordinary people who just want to live in Vermont. On this board alone, in the last couple months, we've heard from potters and coders and a very entry-level lawyer; I have non-native friends in Vermont who are organic farmers and physical therapists; and in my own case, I was driving an 8-year-old Pathfinder, not 5-series BMW, and living in a small rented townhome in South Burlington, not some manor in Stowe or Killington.

What these people have in common is loving Vermont and wanting to be there - not that they're wealthy and jetting around for fun - yet they're frequently met with a level of disdain or outright hostility that can be downright shocking.

If this were due to the tourism and service economy, then how do you explain Florida, Nevada or Arizona, which have huge service economies and a huge number of non-native residents, but which welcome new residents with open arms? I never hear anyone in those states complaining that they were told they didn't have a right to participate in the political process, or offer an opinion on a local matter, because they weren't originally from there (let alone they didn't have "4 in the ground"). Similarly I don't think it's due to geography or the rural character; I'm originally from West Virginia, and while there's definitely a lot of "Mountaineer Pride" in West Virginia (and it can definitely get defensive, such as when people make hillbilly jokes), nevertheless people there also welcome newcomers and work to bring them into the fold - not shun them or dismiss them.

Look, I love Vermont, that's why I'm on this forum and that's why we own property there - which we spend hard-earned money to improve, and on which we one day hope to build a retirement house. But the whole anti-flatlander thing is real, and it is at least somewhat unique to Vermont, and IMHO it is probably the single biggest turnoff there is to the State and its culture - high rates of taxes and paternalistic bureaucracy included.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,771 posts, read 53,934,698 times
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"then how do you explain Florida, Nevada or Arizona, which have huge service economies and a huge number of non-native residents, but which welcome new residents with open arms?"

I am so thankful I put my drink down before reading that. I lived in Florida for about 20 years. I'll comment later when I have time.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:30 PM
 
Location: CA--> NEK VT--> Pitt Co, NC
375 posts, read 287,390 times
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OMG...Thanks for the laugh. This thread was mostly hilarious.

As for the OP...if you live here for any length of time, you have been behind some bonehead driving significantly below the speed limit. Luckily in this state (unlike NH) you can pass on a double yellow line. Yeah they tend to honk at you like you were the problem (young speedy whippersnappers), but meh...at least you can pass them and get on with your life.

Maybe I passed over since I married a 7+ generation VTer, but yes there is plenty of good natured ribbing about flatlanders unless you are obnoxious and then it's on. Other than Mass-holes, we love our flatlanders.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,771 posts, read 53,934,698 times
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Got a few moments. Native Floridians hate (with good reason) the influx from up north and from the islands in the stream. I vacationed in south Florida in the 1970s and was impressed enough that I determined to live there if I could (perhaps the fact that when I returned to Vermont from vacation in sunny Florida on April 15th and was greeted with a fresh 13 inches of snow had something to do with that). The Florida of the 1970s was as amazing as Vermont, but in a different way. By the time we left Florida in 2007, that Florida was unrecognizable.

Florida and Vermont have a lot in common with the focus on tourism as an industry. IMO, it has DESTROYED both states, utterly and completely. The friendly Florida I knew turned upside down. I was servicing my point of sale system at the theatre in the following link and drove up five minutes after the ambulance left. Quarrel At Cinema Costs Sunrise Retiree His Life - tribunedigital-sunsentinel The customers at that theatre were fully as mean as the press portrayed them. I had seen them previously reduce concession workers to tears, and the managers have to upbraid them like I have NEVER seen before or since, just to keep order.

The resettlement of New Yorkers to Kings Point (served by the Tamarac Theatre) changed that area. It literally had to be seen to be believed. Floridians left Florida the same way that Vermonters left Vermont - in search of places with REAL family values and community and to avoid many of the immigrants.

I had thought about responding directly to the potter you reference, that Vermont had already gone through the love affair with potters (Bennington Pottery and countless other independents) and has moved on. It isn't about pottery anymore. It isn't about Goddard anymore. It isn't even about IBM anymore. Vermont these days is like parts of Florida - a largely post-tourist economy (outside of a few world-class destinations) where natives not in the craft brewery or other niche markets struggle and often depend on resources outside of the state economy to survive.

My cousin tried just about everything to keep the family farm in Vermont (generations old) going. He tried milk, he tried goats, he tried custom cutting, he tried to keep the sugarbush going, he literally wore his hands out and lost teeth from being frugal with expenses. He tried to leave something for his son. He eventually had to call it a day. The spiles in the sugarbush didn't meet standards (even though the syrup kept generations alive into their 80s and 90s and beyond), the milk prices couldn't support a tractor much less a farm, and tourism was more of a burden than a boon.

Were the flatlanders to blame? No and yes. The reasons are complex, but the bottom line is the influx of outsiders didn't do any favors.

As I've said before, where I live in Alabama is far closer to what Vermont was when I was growing up, than Vermont is now. Hopefully, it won't be "discovered" by tourists until after I have passed.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:23 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,658 posts, read 18,723,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Got a few moments. Native Floridians hate (with good reason) the influx from up north and from the islands in the stream. I vacationed in south Florida in the 1970s and was impressed enough that I determined to live there if I could (perhaps the fact that when I returned to Vermont from vacation in sunny Florida on April 15th and was greeted with a fresh 13 inches of snow had something to do with that). The Florida of the 1970s was as amazing as Vermont, but in a different way. By the time we left Florida in 2007, that Florida was unrecognizable.

Florida and Vermont have a lot in common with the focus on tourism as an industry. IMO, it has DESTROYED both states, utterly and completely. The friendly Florida I knew turned upside down. I was servicing my point of sale system at the theatre in the following link and drove up five minutes after the ambulance left. Quarrel At Cinema Costs Sunrise Retiree His Life - tribunedigital-sunsentinel The customers at that theatre were fully as mean as the press portrayed them. I had seen them previously reduce concession workers to tears, and the managers have to upbraid them like I have NEVER seen before or since, just to keep order.

The resettlement of New Yorkers to Kings Point (served by the Tamarac Theatre) changed that area. It literally had to be seen to be believed. Floridians left Florida the same way that Vermonters left Vermont - in search of places with REAL family values and community and to avoid many of the immigrants.

I had thought about responding directly to the potter you reference, that Vermont had already gone through the love affair with potters (Bennington Pottery and countless other independents) and has moved on. It isn't about pottery anymore. It isn't about Goddard anymore. It isn't even about IBM anymore. Vermont these days is like parts of Florida - a largely post-tourist economy (outside of a few world-class destinations) where natives not in the craft brewery or other niche markets struggle and often depend on resources outside of the state economy to survive.

My cousin tried just about everything to keep the family farm in Vermont (generations old) going. He tried milk, he tried goats, he tried custom cutting, he tried to keep the sugarbush going, he literally wore his hands out and lost teeth from being frugal with expenses. He tried to leave something for his son. He eventually had to call it a day. The spiles in the sugarbush didn't meet standards (even though the syrup kept generations alive into their 80s and 90s and beyond), the milk prices couldn't support a tractor much less a farm, and tourism was more of a burden than a boon.

Were the flatlanders to blame? No and yes. The reasons are complex, but the bottom line is the influx of outsiders didn't do any favors.

As I've said before, where I live in Alabama is far closer to what Vermont was when I was growing up, than Vermont is now. Hopefully, it won't be "discovered" by tourists until after I have passed.
I can't rep you again but you are so right. I still do have relatives farming in the NEK but everyone else left long ago. Florida in the 1970s, yes, it was lovely. Now it's fast food joints and tourist traps--I don't even know what else because I didn't even want to stay very long last time. It's ruined.

No one can blame people whose families have lived there for generations when their way of life is threatened. Look at the part of VT that's near NY, it may as well be NY. No one wants their way of life pushed aside by anyone. I don't know what else to say.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:10 PM
 
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Well, I've been all around the US and Europe (army brat, here) and met all different kinds of people, and I was able to get along and be "accepted as I am" in all but one place: Alabama.

And it has nothing to do with me being "city" (I'm no more city than I am rural; actually lived in Alabama for most of my life) or "liberal". My family and I never got to open our mouths about "changing their state" before they were publicly humiliating us, not letting us work, destroying our property, killing our pets, kicking us out of public property, trying to stop us from voting; you name it. And there is nowhere you can go around here for "justice" because everyone either does this stuff or they're "used" to it. Our only "offense" was not being "real southerners" or for being "yankees". There's no acceptable explanation why anyone from Alabama has any right to hate anybody from the north. Disagreements? Sure. And the north can have those with Alabama, too. But hatred and exclusion of fellow Americans and taxpaying citizens of Alabama? Nope.

So, naturally, we stopped beating a dead horse with Alabama and tried to find a place where this stuff wouldn't be acceptable. Stupid me, I thought "if any place would be alright, it's gotta be Vermont". Boy did I get a wake-up call when I talked to a real estate agent in Newport who said she "could see where the Alabamians were coming from", because "Newport does the same thing to 'city-slickers'".

Wow.

Not feeling the friendly.

And of course, I don't want to paint all Vermonters with the same brush (any more than Vermonters should about "flatlanders"), but after having nothing but the most horrible time getting a house anywhere in Vermont (these real estate agents... I don't think citing "housing discrimination" would be out of line), and all this resentment I keep hearing from people who live in Vermont against "flatlanders", and people who moved there being tired of the misplaced resentment, and people who moved away from it (due to jobs, or flatlanders, or old-fashioned attitudes, or taxes; I've heard it all) and got welcomed with open arms in "the flatlands" with little problem...I think there is a prejudice problem in Vermont that's not great for out-of-staters to need to live through.

And even though I admittedly have no desire to "imitate Old Vermonters", I did want to move there, and pay taxes, do my part, and take part in my community (and yes earn, be given, respect, and mind my own business until such time that might be impossible), just the same as it is with most people in most places in America, but I did not want to be treated like a foreigner, or like a 2nd class citizen, or have anyone's anger (anger that I think is at least half-misplaced about "flatlanders" ruining everything about Vermont) being taken out on me or any other newcomer who hasn't even done anything to earn that hate.

Also, from what I'm hearing, a lot of younger Vermonters leave (for education or money) and find out for themselves that flatlander "tourists" aren't all to blame for Vermont's troubles; the closed-minded "change-resistant" attitudes of Old Vermonters are hurting the economy, too. It's weird to complain about no jobs and too many tourists and flatlanders and needing money on one hand, while shooting down any call for economic growth or change with the times as "flatlander heresy" on the other. You need jobs to make money. You need change/growth/development for jobs. How much should be determined by all Vermonters. And I also noticed that, for all the talk about flatlanders, the flatlanders who live there are neither tourists nor rich, but they get all the ire.

Which reminds me: I did read more history about Vermont, and for one: the stuff about Abenaki Indians is as most people would think: they did populate most of Vermont for over 10,000 years (right into the Green Mountains; with settlement ruins and implements dated within 3,000 years from now), and that people who think they didn't haven't overcome what archeologists term "historical bias". The myth that they weren't there when the Europeans came has been busted. The Abenaki are the "Original Vermonters", and the French/British "flatlanders" did worse to them that Vermonters think us terrible flatlanders are trying to do to rural Vermonters, and so there's hypocrisy there.

Another thing: reading further, it seems that no matter what, Vermonters always have had problems with newcomers. There's been times in Vermont's history when the economy was having trouble, and "flatlanders" would come in an "do the work the Vermonters wouldn't" and get resented/discriminated against for it. And in doing so, these "flatlanders" would be forced to form their own communities and continue in their non-Vermonter ways as a necessity, further driving a cultural wedge between "flatlanders" and "Old Vermont". So history keeps repeating, here. The only way I know how to stop it is for the "New Vermonters" and "Old Vermonters" to actually change and work things out. I think the problems in Vermont goes both ways.

But like I said, I'm not looking for trouble in Vermont any more than I was with Alabama. But I suspect that people are going to keep moving around in the US (and to Vermont, as well as away from it, of course); no state belongs to any one people, and change is going to keep coming. Either things will get worse or better, depending on how much people respect each other, and the land where they live, of course. But all this talk about who gets to hate whom is nothing but clear-cut prejudice, and I still do hope it's not representative of most Vermonters (though I'm too afraid to find out, after how I was treated in Alabama, so between the prejudice, the taxes, and jobs situation in Vermont, I somewhat heavy-heartedly am looking to be a Massh**e; the winters are no problem for me when it comes to Vermont, as I lived in similar conditions in Germany; the prejudice thing is a deal-breaker, though.)

A bit long-winded version of saying that I agree with Sierrajeff said. I love Vermont, was thrilled that we could get a loan there (as I am not rich and I'm am not a jet-setting city-slicking elitist but a low-middle class, relatively-liberal, mostly "mind my own business", guy from rural Alabama, but am ashamed of the kind of odd, shocking, and undeserved treatment (going towards out-of-staters as well as coming from Vermonters) that does seem to be a brand all its own from Vermont. The only way I'm convinced that I'd actually be treated decently as a "flatlander" living in Vermont is by living amongst other "flatlanders", which nobody should have to do.

Last edited by TonyPT83; 06-27-2015 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:08 PM
 
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The flatlanDer thing is utterly obnoxious. If Vermonters KNEW anything, and drove around New England, it all LOOKS the same, feels the same, and has the SAME people. Massachusetts has Boston, but most of Mass. Looks JUST like Vermont. But Vermont ers think they're so unique and special. They're NOT. Maine, Nh, VT Mass, CT have plenty of country bumping. RI, not as many. Vters have to stop thinking they have the only state with trees, or cows, or farms, they're obnoxious. Most of NE is old and falling apart, and Vt is no different. Get with the times. Vters only wear rose colored glasses , and that's their biggest problem
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