Editor’s note: This commentary is by Dana Colson, a resident of Sharon. He is running for lieutenant governor in 2020.
The coronavirus crisis has become a very serious issue throughout the world today. The times are changing. As a black belt in Taekwondo I learned when faced with a challenge we must adapt and overcome. We Vermonters are a hardy breed who endure long, hard winters but bloom brightly with the warm spring sun. We will get through this coronavirus crisis and will be stronger when it has passed.
I encourage everyone to follow CDC guidelines, which can be found at coronavirus.gov. If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your doctor and follow his or her instructions. We must maintain our social distancing of six feet, wash our hands and disinfect frequently used items and surfaces. I have seen businesses that have installed plexiglass barriers between cashiers and customers at counters. This is a simple solution that adds another layer of protection for everyone. Many other businesses have been able to offer drive-thru service, curbside pickup or delivery. I encourage you to support your local businesses through these tough times. Our dairy farmers need our help too. I encourage everyone who is not lactose intolerant to add some dairy products to your shopping list. I know I will.
Once this coronavirus crisis has passed we must start preparing for future crises. We can only speculate as to what they may be. It could be a storm such as a hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake or blizzard. It could be another medical or viral pandemic. It could be nuclear, chemical or biological. It could be rioting, looting or other criminal issues. Whatever the crisis, Vermont must have emergency plans updated regularly with training and assets in place for whatever comes next. I once was a safety and training supervisor for UPS. I trained as a manager and an emergency responder. I am familiar with emergency planning. We have some very dedicated people on our front lines in law enforcement, fire, and EMTs. We should thank and support them in their duties.
Next, this coronavirus is crippling our economy. If this shutdown lasts months we will be in for a depression. Vermont has already suffered from years of big government socialist spending, to the point of businesses and native Vermonters fleeing the state due to high taxes, high cost of living and lack of high paying jobs. Before coronavirus we had roughly 600,000 people in Vermont and only 300,000 working. Of those 300,000 working Vermonters roughly 100,000 were government employees. Hence, we had about 200,000 private workers supporting the other 400,000 people. The private sector cannot sustain and shoulder that burden for too long. Many have reached their breaking point and have fled, and many more are planning their exit strategy. The progressive, socialist, supermajority legislature’s policies have failed us. To quote Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Einstein also said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” It is time for change. We need new candidates, not career politicians. We need new policies and real solutions to real problems. We need to think outside of the box. As an inventor of several plasma torches and many parts with several U.S. and European Union patents, I have that ability to think outside the box. One last Einstein quote: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
Finally, we must have an economic plan that cuts taxes and overregulation. We must cut out the permit delays and have shovel ready projects ready to go when the coronavirus has passed. Many candidates propose more of the same progressive, socialist, big government, high tax, and big spending policies that got us in this mess. Some candidates have no plan at all. They simply tout a polished resume in their field of past work or education. That doesn’t impress me or offer a Vermont a plan or vision for the future. Much like Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream, I have a vision and a plan to accomplish that vision for a better future for Vermont. You can see my plan for details.