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Old 04-09-2015, 06:56 AM
 
68 posts, read 59,882 times
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Although it's common to hear people claim that Vermont is a poor state, but that's simply not true. Our personal income per capita is above the national average. We rank 18th in the nation, well in the top half of the states. And our median household income is also just above the U.S. average. Vermont was a low income state in the past, but that characterization is no longer true.

Vermont's personal income above U.S. average
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:54 PM
 
809 posts, read 676,769 times
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Another thing to tie in to the equation is Vermont's Gini coefficient, a measure of income. According to Wikipedia, Vermont's is 44.4 and the US average is 46.9. A co-founder of Campaign for Vermont Prosperity, Tom Pelham, attributes Vermont's number to a thin bench of millionaires in the state. Vermont's got about one millionaire household per 1,200, while Texas has one per 200.

Gini numbers bear on comparable governmental policies: The World Bank states US post-tax income Gini is 41.1 and Denmark's is 20.4 (pre-tax, they're about 40.8 and 40.1 respectively). Which might explain differences in quality of life, such as the "f--- you, kid" attitude to college loans in the US, while in Denmark, it's "College is free, and we also pay you $900 a month for living expenses."
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Vermont
32 posts, read 46,775 times
Reputation: 81
That may be true but I am not moving here (I write this as I sit in our condo in Warren) anytime soon. The taxes are just excruciating and I live in MA! VT seems to have figured out a way to tax everything and it appears no end in site. Makes MA look cheap.

That said I love everything else about the state and the people. I just think the state and local governments need to get a grip on the tax policies or nobody with a decent income will move here.

We are looking to retire in a few years and VT just drops off the list when we look at the tax situation.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
2,867 posts, read 2,984,643 times
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Yeah, 90% of the mills have closed down and the people that worked in them have mostly retired or gone elsewhere. A LOT of your "Vermonters" live in Vermont but commute out of state to work because if they tried to work in Vermont they'd end up with an 8-10 dollar an hour job. You won't survive in Vermont on one of those, two or three maybe, but not one. Except of course the "professionals", the doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs that can raise their fees at will to compensate the cost of living increases. Vermont of course doesn't like business. Well they do, only to tax it but they don't seem to lie anything except the little eclectic "mom and pop" businesses. Anything with over ten employees forget it. And someone mentioned taxes? I have a realty site that I go to in order to check realty, which also lists taxes, and Vermont's has just been going up and up and up. Not by small jumps either in some situations. Ten years ago I used to watch the intersection of I-89 and I-91 from my work location. A ton of traffic going north on a Friday night, a ton more going south on a Monday morning. People "park" their families in Vermont and work elsewhere. It has become a big "bedroom community" of the northeastern cities. Hell, even my son lives in Vermont and works across the border in NH. Another person I know from years ago lives in Vermont and works in Albany, NY. Yep, Vermont is becoming just one picture postcard perfect paradise with an ever shrinking middle class.
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Vermont
32 posts, read 46,775 times
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But if you live in VT and work elsewhere you are stuck with the VT income tax - correct? Top rate is 8.95%. MA is 5.15%. NH is of course 0.

VT also taxes SS income!

We are looking at CO in retirement.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:14 PM
 
809 posts, read 676,769 times
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So, what portion of their income do other people pay in property and income taxes? My federal and state income taxes plus Vermont property taxes are 25% of my income-- and I still have $12,000 annually left over after those plus living expenses. How about others' experiences?
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Vermont, The land of cover bands & Dj's
4 posts, read 4,025 times
Reputation: 20
[SIZE=5]domc[/SIZE] I was really going to roast your post but, I decided I just don't have the energy today. I was born & raised here, 4 generations of Vermonters! I have left several times, each time I'd return. Now I am planning on leaving forever (God please) except only to return for Holidays & funerals. It's hard for me not to see the first post as a "promotional" one, as if somehow you are "plugging" the State of Vermont which is fine...if your statements were true. I mean, lets go for even close to or remotely close to true!? "Realtor Vermont" okay, I'm sorry, NO ROAST, NO ROAST, NO ROAST...I mean domc said, "Vermont was a low income state in the past, but that characterization is no longer true." & "Although it's common to hear people claim that Vermont is a poor state, but that's simply not true." Well than Governor Shumlin was lying last week when he spoke on Channel 3 News about the States low income & inability to generate income, how "Vermont doesn't have much money compared to other states in the Country." Anyone reading your post may be lulled into believing Vermont is just this beautiful place with maple leaves and rainbow colored unicorns shooting money out of their...Hmm...With niceties such as "Our personal income per capita is above the national average" & "We rank 18th in the nation" oh right and "well in the top half of the states." and of course and lastly..."And our median household income is also just above the U.S. average"...Wow...how can I join!? Doh! I'm already here. My decoder ring isn't working! Terms like "Our" & "We", Hmmm. I've got a great idea, lets combine my income with yours as it's ours (right?) so that we don't need to work 3 jobs! Than we (Ouch, there's that word again) can sit back & relax. Green Mountain Time, right?! (Copy right Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) In the end, I could hit you all with the real data on Vermont's income,(or lack of) poverty,(plenty to go around) land distribution, (more 2nd home owners than residents) crime, (any rural VT town) unemployment (off the hook) & social security/disability and welfare recipients (more than there should be) but I won't. I will say that when I plugged "Vermont" and "domc" into Google, I had to laugh at what I got for the 1st page of results...this was the 1st thing that came up--->Vermont.com | Plan Your Vermont Vacation & a lovely description as follows---> Vermont is a magical place... where all four seasons provide endless opportunities for recreation, business travel, event planning and historic discovery...Wow...but wait...Where are all the money shooting, rainbow colored unicorns?!?!
Side note: I'm guessing your either a business owner, highly paid professional or rounding out the pack, O' gleeful inheritance recipient?! So much for no roasta the posta huh?! Ian
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:02 AM
 
809 posts, read 676,769 times
Reputation: 1333
Ian, you know well the state song is, "Moonlight in Vermont-- Or Die." Comparing Vermont's quality of life, income and wealth situations to the US or other states is misleading, since the culture of savage capitalism that infuses this country skews reality so badly.

When we compare Vermont to other countries, we get a sense of just how badly things are out of whack here-- we have a higher per capita GDP than France, yet have an abominable health care system-- while France has the world's best. By all logic, we should have one at least as good-- but not only do we not, but a vociferous minority is doing what it can to prevent it from happening. Second home owners (and third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh as well) get tax breaks because we do not bestir ourselves to make the legislature do the right thing.

We are so committed to a warped idea of "freedom" (by which we mean the ability to be greedy) that we abandon our right as free people to have our rights respected by corporate powers-- including the right to unionize (my union secured me a benefits pension and all of us protection against a truly evil supervisor), the right to a decent Social Security income after retirement, the right to public assembly (try support Wal-Mart workers from the sidewalk!) and the right to decent public schools (shot down by a public sold on the evils of taxation and an upper class goaded by their financial advisors).

Vermont could do much better with what it already has-- if people could wean themselves from the claptrap we live by. When we believe that government is bad, we lose aid from the one agency we should be using to empower and protect us. When we believe taxes are bad, we lose the schools our kids need, the infrastructure that could make this state even better. When we depend on TV for our news and our opinions, we keep ourselves from being truly free.

Not an heir, not a professional, never a business owner, but I avoid a lot of the consumption most Americans lust for. Do you know your car costs you about $6,000 a year?
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:07 PM
 
68 posts, read 59,882 times
Reputation: 232
Cgregor, thank you.

Yes, I am a business owner (Not an heir, not a professional) with my wife. We pay our fair share of taxes and don't mind it to live here. We also bring in people who spend there money here to help support the economy which we are proud of (not a B&B or Hotel owner). I have lived in 5 states (for over 10 years each) and lived in Europe for 6 months. People in Vermont who complain about Vermont don't know exactly what they have here. It's sad.

To reiterate Cgreger:
"We are so committed to a warped idea of "freedom" (by which we mean the ability to be greedy) that we abandon our right as free people to have our rights respected by corporate powers-- including the right to unionize (my union secured me a benefits pension and all of us protection against a truly evil supervisor), the right to a decent Social Security income after retirement, the right to public assembly (try support Wal-Mart workers from the sidewalk!) and the right to decent public schools (shot down by a public sold on the evils of taxation and an upper class goaded by their financial advisors)."

Last edited by domc; 04-12-2015 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:39 AM
 
13,872 posts, read 7,381,208 times
Reputation: 25351
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgregor View Post
Ian, you know well the state song is, "Moonlight in Vermont-- Or Die." Comparing Vermont's quality of life, income and wealth situations to the US or other states is misleading, since the culture of savage capitalism that infuses this country skews reality so badly.

When we compare Vermont to other countries, we get a sense of just how badly things are out of whack here-- we have a higher per capita GDP than France, yet have an abominable health care system-- while France has the world's best. By all logic, we should have one at least as good-- but not only do we not, but a vociferous minority is doing what it can to prevent it from happening. Second home owners (and third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh as well) get tax breaks because we do not bestir ourselves to make the legislature do the right thing.

We are so committed to a warped idea of "freedom" (by which we mean the ability to be greedy) that we abandon our right as free people to have our rights respected by corporate powers-- including the right to unionize (my union secured me a benefits pension and all of us protection against a truly evil supervisor), the right to a decent Social Security income after retirement, the right to public assembly (try support Wal-Mart workers from the sidewalk!) and the right to decent public schools (shot down by a public sold on the evils of taxation and an upper class goaded by their financial advisors).

Vermont could do much better with what it already has-- if people could wean themselves from the claptrap we live by. When we believe that government is bad, we lose aid from the one agency we should be using to empower and protect us. When we believe taxes are bad, we lose the schools our kids need, the infrastructure that could make this state even better. When we depend on TV for our news and our opinions, we keep ourselves from being truly free.

Not an heir, not a professional, never a business owner, but I avoid a lot of the consumption most Americans lust for. Do you know your car costs you about $6,000 a year?
I'm being blinded by reflection off those rose-colored glasses.

France? I don't know what you use for news sources (ironic given what you just wrote) but you are singularly misinformed. I suggest The Economist for a good world view. Feed "France economic crisis" into Google and start reading. It's being driven by high business costs combined with poor productivity. In France, 53% of GDP is public spending compared to 36% in the US. They're #2 behind Sweden. What is happening now is extremely ugly. The population is aging rapidly. Big employers have moved out leaving rampant unemployment. It's collapsing and there are going to be enormous cuts to all those social programs because there is no money to pay for them. Japan has the biggest problem since they have such a low birth rate and insular society that they're seeing both the aging problem and enormous population contraction where they're projected to go from today's 127 million to 95 million by 2050. Big chunks of Europe face the same double-whammy of aging population and shrinking population.

The thing that is saving the United States is all those legal and illegal immigrants the right wingers hate. They have a high birth rate. Unlike our permanent underclass, they project to move from poor to working class to middle class over a couple of generations. Asians are seeing discrimination at the top-10 universities because they'd otherwise be 90% of admissions. Most Hispanics have a strong family and education drive and their children are tracking to the scaled back version of the American dream. Of course, Vermont sees almost none of this.

In one of the most rural states in the country, I laugh at an anti-automobile comment. I suppose if you're walking to your Church Street barista job in Burlington, you can survive without a car. That's not the reality for the other 99%.

Personally, I think the US should adopt a very bare-bones single payer system focused on well care. Medicaid is about 90% as good as private health insurance. Dial it back to be about 60% as good as private health insurance and open it up to everybody. Everybody pays something. Monthly premiums would be means-tested. Co-pays would be means tested. Deductibles would be means-tested. Anybody with access to private insurance could opt out. The benefits would be biased towards keeping people healthy. If you've created an expensive self-inflicted health issue caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, etc, your coverage declines if you don't change your behavior. With that kind of system in place, private health insurance could go back to being real insurance tied to risk. Right now with ACA, we have young, healthy people subsidizing older, unhealthy people and it's made insurance completely unaffordable for 20-somethings and 30-somethings who typically don't have the income level to pay the premiums.
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