Tag Archives: poverty

Understanding and Reducing Poverty

In Vermont’s early years, poverty was managed by an elected “Overseer of the Poor” until we passed the Social Welfare Act of 1967, which formally relieved communities of responsibility for care of their poor and ended the office of “Overseer.” The last “poor farm” closed in 1968. Growing up in a middle-class family in Lamoille County, I knew people who were poor – though they’d have hardly described themselves that way. Many were grateful for the little they had and took both pleasure and pride in work, family, food, and neighbors. My father ran the small Union Carbide office in Morrisville and was twice offered a whopping raise to move to Manhattan, but declined each time. His life was defined …
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We Can’t Afford Our Future

Periodically, we must relearn old lessons. A key such lesson is Franklin’s “Ounce of prevention…” adage – as relevant today as when Franklin applied it to fire prevention 250 years ago. Vermont has reached a critical juncture. We face some daunting issues we seem unable to fix. We’re expedient and well-meaning, but our efforts to tweak our way along are in vain and are now only add complexity and expense. Politics has evolved from public service into a lucrative career so there’s plenty of blame to go around, but attributing blame has become a political end in itself, defending empty ideologies and distracting us from actually fixing what’s broken. Special ed., emergency healthcare, mental health crisis care, drug rehab, homelessness, …
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