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Old 05-31-2016, 04:27 PM
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,122,267 times
Reputation: 48552


Originally Posted by sovertennis View Post
I lived and worked in Bennington for 45 years before moving south last year. I raised my children there and was very active in the community. Your opinions are almost entirely absent of any facts about the population, work culture, economy and schools. There is very little variety socio-economically or racially. The professional class is small, and shrinking; quality blue collar jobs are few and the fixed income segment of the population is large and rising. The schools are mediocre, at best; controversy and dissatisfaction between residents and administrators is endless; Bennington College has no--none, zilch--influence on the quality of the public schools, and very little influence on the community in general, other than as an employer of mostly low wage jobs for locals. The Walmart is not "tucked away," it's on Rt 67 in a large shopping plaza.

It seems you saw Bennington (and Wilmington, and Bratt) as you wanted it to be in your imagination. When I was growing up up there, much of what you wrote was somewhat accurate, but it has not been that way for many years.
I saw them as they presented themselves to me. Not "as I wanted". I could say the same of you.

Just my opinion. And yours. I was very honest in my background with these municiparities. I have never lived there, but I visit frequently. And that is my opinion.

Question - why so nasty?
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:31 AM
809 posts, read 672,435 times
Reputation: 1332
Question - why so nasty?
As life becomes more stressful, it becomes meaner. In the case of the Koch brothers, it was emotional stress: not only did they have a monster for a father, they also had a Nazi governess (who returned to Germany at the very start of WWII, not at Pearl Harbor), and an ex-Marine "tutor" who supervised the siblings' fistfights (to settle differences of opinion).

In the cases where it's not family dynamics but economic and social stress-- as in Vermont, where the median wage does not compare favorably with the needed living wage-- we penny groundlings behave like rodents in an overpopulated cage-- we become fearful of the little security we have, we live in a state of constant irritation, and we snap at everybody and everything. It's a "safe" way of venting our frustration at living on the edge. Read Deer Hunting with Jesus to see how it happens and what it does to an entire town.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:37 PM
Location: USA (North Springfield, Vermont)
219 posts, read 408,844 times
Reputation: 107
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
No, extreme poverty is what you see in the southern Appalachians or Detroit, MI or Gary, Indiana. Vermont doesn't have that kind of poverty. And I disagree on the arts comment too. I mean have you ever heard of the Peacham music festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Fairbanks Museum in St Johnsbury and so forth? There's more going on in VT outside of Burlington than just coyotes howling in the woods. Vermont has major economic issues (and the recent Stenger fraud announcement isn't helping) but there are far worse places to be in this country.
Vermont, at least since 2015, problem-wise, is mostly political BS... And like one of the folks here just posted, about there being huge dissimilarities between towns, it's the same with the weather! It can be only in the 50s in the NEK and about 70 F in Springfield and Bellows Falls.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:16 PM
8 posts, read 7,251 times
Reputation: 31
If your wife is in healthcare and you in management, check out the Upper Valley portion of Vermont (Norwich, Thetford, Hartford). It's beautiful, located two hours away from Boston and has a fair amount of high paying corporate jobs. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center across the Connecticut river in Lebanon, NH is a huge employer. Dartmouth attracts a more cosmopolitan demographic compared to the rest of VT/NH and Hanover, NH holds its own in regards to diverse restaurant and entertainment options. Most people living in the Upper Valley are literally steps away from outdoor stuff like hiking, alpine/x-country skiing, kayaking etc. Also, White River Junction (in Hartford, VT) has an artsy, youthful vibe, like a mini-Brattleboro.

That said, it's RURAL; Burlington or Montpelier would be considered city living. But you're on the Amtrak line to NYC and Montreal is a 3 hour drive away (I find the I-91 border crossing less of a hassle than I-89 one north of Burlington). Lebanon, NH is also serviced by Cape Air to Boston, which codeshares with Jetblue, taking you anywhere in the country. It looks like you're ready to settle down since you have a young child. You'll find it a very family friendly place, as most social events cater to people with young children. Personally, I find that a drawback for my current circumstances (32, single and childless). I'm looking to relocate myself somewhere larger and more happening than northern New England, but if I were in a different stage in life, I would find the Upper Valley attractive. Hanover, NH/Norwich, VT are the choice towns for the "good" school district around Dartmouth College (though I think it's mostly snobbery/real estate marketing, as Lebanon, NH also has fine schools).

The heroin epidemic has made national headlines lately. It's pretty bad, in my opinion, and affects more people than the stereotypical street junkie. I've known folks in my educated professional, upper income social circle touched by it too. It adds a depressing and dark vibe on what would otherwise be a beautiful, livable place. The causes of the epidemic are too deep for a forum post, but you can find much written about it from quick google search.

Regarding winter, I came here from California without experience with snow and ended up an avid winter sports person and who loves the snow and looks forward to winter. But what I hate most weather-wise is the "mud season" of April-mid May. Bare trees, cold with snow flurries while the rest of the country is enjoying a real spring. Heating oil costs and property taxes raise the cost of living more than what you'd expect from such a rural area, but complaining about it is always good conversation starter!

I know this is written with the bias of someone living across the river in NH but we're kind of forgotten about by the rest of New Hampshire, so I find myself identifying with Vermont life more.
Good luck on your choices!

Last edited by FarHorizons; 06-11-2016 at 06:39 PM..
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:29 AM
1,643 posts, read 2,102,086 times
Reputation: 1431
Agree with FarHorizons on the Upper Valley area. I've lived here since the mid-80's on both sides of the river and I think we have a lot to offer in a setting that is ideal for raising a family. Definitely worth checking out.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:14 AM
369 posts, read 295,151 times
Reputation: 841
agree also, my parents have lived in Hartford and now woodstock. Good area, Lebanon has lots of shopping. Dartmouth-hitchcock is huge and growing.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:36 AM
10 posts, read 9,357 times
Reputation: 35
Chittenden County is really expensive to live in these days. The inventory of homes for sale this Spring/early Summer is lower than usual so prices are high. Never thought I'd see raised ranches selling for over $350k!
Work that pays well is also tough to find. Some people are working two or even 3 jobs to make ends meet. Back in the late 1990's, when IBM was doing ok, tech jobs were plentiful and paid well.

Now, it's just the same tired group of touted companies like Dealer.com, Teddy Bear, MyWeb Grocer, etc. with a revolving door of low paying tech jobs, churning out college students who hone their knowledge and move out of state for better pay. If you have a lot of experience, it's even tougher to get a position as these companies can get cheaper help and won't even bother to interview you. If you do get an interview and mention anything over $50k, you're out of the race.

Unfortunately, Vermont is becoming home to rich people who bring in a lot of refugees and welfare recipients to occupy their "developments and affordable housing". Unfortunately, it's the middle class footing the bill through increased taxes and higher cost of living.

I was born in Vermont and I love it here but ultimately, like many other middle class VT'ers, I may be forced to leave in search of a career that pays more with lower cost of living. Many people from VT are now in North Carolina these days.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:20 AM
1,679 posts, read 2,568,339 times
Reputation: 1292
Originally Posted by VTGoneBy View Post
Unfortunately, Vermont is becoming home to rich people who bring in a lot of refugees and welfare recipients to occupy their "developments and affordable housing". Unfortunately, it's the middle class footing the bill through increased taxes and higher cost of living.
Rich people are bringing along refugees and welfare recipients??

Welfare exists because the liberal voters of VT elected representatives who enacted generous welfare benefits. You got what you voted for. Look in the mirror

The Rich are the only reason a welfare state can exist otherwise all you have is the welfare leeches. The VT income tax is very progressive and the Rich are the ones footing the bill.

How is it that people are this confused?
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:07 PM
809 posts, read 672,435 times
Reputation: 1332
"The VT income tax is very progressive and the Rich are the ones footing the bill."

Au contraire! If you look at the tax data, people who are earning 1,000 times the median Vermont wage are taxed at only three times the basic rate (all households under $160,000). Vermont's aggregate income pattern (the amount earned by all households in the same pay range) resembles the national hockey stick pattern--basically a flat line up to about $160,000 (the top 6%) and then very quickly going stratospheric.

An equitable tax system for Vermont would reflect the aggregate income distribution. I used the 2012 tax data and found that a rate based on the ratio between the income of a household and the highest household income in the state would have resulted in a tax reduction for all families earning less than a million dollars. A household earning $999,999 paid on average $47,219. Had its tax been based on the ratio of its earnings to the average top income in Vermont, it would have paid 60% less, $18,624. A household earning the median income for that year would have had an 87% reduction, from $914 to $161. And the highest income households would still have had an average income of $2.4 million. I think I could get by on that.

I discussed this concept with a favorite state legislator who told me, "Once a friend of mine who started on a shoestring and got very rich complained to me about his high taxes. After he finished fuming about it, I asked him, 'So, are you still rich?' He laughed and said, 'You know, I've got more money than I know what to do with.' "

And it is not the rich carrying the load. Aggregate Vermont tax revenue data shows the bulk of the money coming from the middle class. Plus, of course, all of this is based on adjusted gross income, which favors those who can afford the CPA's who wade through the tax code for all those exemptions and deductions.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:03 AM
Location: Inis Fada
16,802 posts, read 29,000,265 times
Reputation: 7378
Out of curiosity, cgregor, would you please share the link?
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