Forbes ranks Vermont 48th for business climate

By Rob Roper

As the Legislature plans its agenda for the 2018 session, our elected leaders might consider addressing some of the issues highlighted by the business magazine, Forbes, regarding our economic situation. Out of the 50 states, Forbes ranks Vermont 48 for business climate. Only Alaska and West Virginia project a more dismal future than we do.

Among the categories the magazine looked at, Vermont ranked 47th for business costs, 44th in regulatory environment, 44th in economic climate, and, most worrisome, 49th in growth prospects.

The “bright spots” for our state were middling scores in labor supply (28th) and quality of life (23rd). That poor score on quality of life for Vermont, where we usually score in the top ten, was a bit of a shocker.

The report also notes that the cost of doing business in Vermont is 12 percent above the national average, our job growth rate for 2017 was just 0.9 percent, and our net migration in 2016 was -1900.

From the report:

At $31 billion, Vermont has the smallest economy in the U.S. Its five-year average unemployment rate of 4% was the fourth lowest among states, but Vermont suffers from business costs that are 12% above the national average. The state’s economic outlook is also weak—projected to be the second worst in the U.S. over the next five years. Income growth is also expected to badly lag the rest of the country.

The policies and progressive political philosophies of the past several decades have put us in this mess. Getting out will require a very different mindset and priorities. It can be done. In just a few political cycles, North Carolina has reformed its tax and regulatory environment dramatically. Forbes now lists it as the No. 1 state for business.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

8 thoughts on “Forbes ranks Vermont 48th for business climate

  1. Lots of long winded bs. Lower taxes for small businesses. Seams relatively simple to me. Brings business to the state and encourage others to start businesses

  2. A wise person would advocate putting the horse before the car, i.e., first use less energy, then build-out the much lesser capacity systems needed for the energy still being used. This is so simple. Most people get it, but most pro-carbon tax folks do not.

    Pro-carbon tax folks want to have the carbon tax now, so the state government would set up various programs, and folks would have to go through various contortions to qualify to get some of their money back; most folks would never qualify. Here is one way the money would be used.

    Various subsidies would be used to finance high-efficiency duplex mobile home communities in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, with solar panels on the roofs and batteries on the wall, and efficient appliances and lighting, and heat pumps.
    The low-income residents likely would:

    – Have minimal or no heating and electric bills,
    – Pay minimal or no rent,
    – Get food stamps and qualify for Medicaid, and other welfare goodies,
    – Pay minimal or no income and school taxes,
    – Vote for Democrats forever.

    Here is an example of such a redistributionist, state sanctioned/subsidized boondoggle.

    Who pays for all the subsidies?
    Who pays the higher prices for goods and services?
    Ah, those who will pay the carbon taxes.
    Anytime a politician says he going to give it all back to you, hold on to your wallet.

    In the meantime, Vermont ranks 48th on business climate.
    A carbon tax, and more socialist-style schemes will make it even worse.

  3. True North readers should take a look at a recent editorial by Bill Mathis, co-chair of Vermont’s Board of Education. One would think, by Mr. Mathis’ commentary, the world is ending and education is irrelevant.

    Some of commentary to this article is telling as well. Here’s one reply to my criticism of the Mathis missive.

    “Don’t be so proud of employing people…..they mostly get paid less then you.”

    If only it were true. But this sentiment belies Vermont’s ever more pervasive attitudes toward business that lead Forbes to rank Vermont 48th out of 50 for business climate.

    How do these attitudes incubate? Could it be Vermont’s K-12 education curricula and the sentiments promoted by Mr. Mathis and the State education administration?

    The real irony is that those of us promoting School Choice aren’t demanding all Vermonters participate in our personal education preferences. We’re simply asking that parents receive their fair share of public education funding to allow them to take the road less traveled….before it’s too late.

  4. Good luck. Progressives rarely ever admit they are wrong. It simply is not in their nature to cut spending. Get rid of them. I have some extra rat traps if you need them.

  5. The Truth will set you free ( 48 out of 50 ) ,Maybe someone in Montpelier will finally say enough
    is enough in the way of taxing to pay for useless programs !!

    All this does if force jobs and people out of the State ……… Wake up Montpelier !!!!!

    • When the voters of Vermont say enough and stop electing the progressive clowns who excavated this economic sump we’re in,maybe we could turn this around.

    • Those in Montpelier even think a carbon Tax Will help. I hope Gov. Scott will stand up and say no, the less well off people are hurting enough already.

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