Economy

Vogel: Impact Investing

Feb 19, 2018

Most of us have causes that we’re passionate about. In my case, I’m passionate about trying to eliminate homelessness and provide decent housing for low and moderate income families.

Vogel: Homeownership

Jan 23, 2018

For many years, I taught real estate courses at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and lately people have been asking if I think this is a good time to buy a home in Vermont. And my answer is a qualified yes.

Clean water. Good schools. Two excellent reasons to live in Vermont. But it’s easy to take them for granted.

Patten: Limits Of Progress

Jan 12, 2018

I was born at the end of World War II as our massive war machinery pivoted to supply domestic consumption with innovations that promised to make our lives easier and help us forget the hardships of the Depression and world wars. It was called “progress” and we all joined the effort.

Tim Fair, center, talks to a prospective customer at a cannabis industry event in the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday. Fair, a lawyer, says the legalization bill passed by lawmakers this week sets the stage for a more robust marijuana sector in the future.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The marijuana legalization bill that Gov. Phil Scott is expected to sign in the next few days won’t create the above-board commercial market that many pot-reform advocates had been pushing for, but cannabis entrepreneurs say it’s a step in the right direction.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has suggested that our economic recovery could be stoked by American women simply having more children.

Upward view of the Vermont Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Citizen legislators from across Vermont return to the Statehouse Wednesday morning for the second half of the legislative biennium, and many lawmakers are preparing for an unusually busy year in Montpelier.

The Vermont Statehouse with snow on the ground and a blue sky.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Vermont is about to generate the cash needed to pay for one of the biggest affordable housing initiatives in recent history.

The so-called tax reform law reminds me of a nightmarish revision of Robin Hood, with the Sheriff of Nottingham skillfully manipulating the good citizens of Sherwood into believing his rapacious policies will actually benefit them.

Vogel: Jerusalem

Dec 19, 2017

I’ve traveled to Israel since 1970 and taught in business programs in both Tel Aviv and Palestine. During the last four decades, many of us have seen dreams of peace soar and then plummet. So I’m with those who’d welcome a new and different approach. But President Trump’s notion of a bold new solution is like a fire chief deciding that since water's been ineffective in fighting this forest fire, let’s try gasoline.

Chittenden Sen. Chris Pearson says Vermont can reduce carbon emissions and stimulate the economy by increasing the price of gas and home heating oil, and lowering electric rates.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Backers of the latest proposal for a carbon tax in Vermont say lawmakers can increase the price of gasoline and home heating oil without inflicting financial stress on residents and businesses.

Chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher, center, says a new "calculator," developed by his office, will spotlight  the financial hardships faced by Vermont families trying to buy health insurance.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/file

As chief health care advocate for the state of Vermont, Mike Fisher spends a lot of time thinking about rising medical costs. And he’s trying a new way to put the issue of affordability at the forefront of the health care debate.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The idea of a tax on gasoline and heating oil is politically fraught, to say the least, but one Vermont business group says it’s time for elected officials to embrace the carbon tax.

Vogel: Housing Trends

Oct 13, 2017

It’s always dangerous to make predictions about the housing market in the United States.

John Cotter, Margaret Cheney and Tom Knauer, from left, of the Public Utility Commission. On Thursday, a legislative panel approved the commission's proposal for stricter sound limits for wind turbines.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The future of ridgeline wind energy in Vermont hinges in part on proposed sound standards for large turbines, but a special legislative committee is struggling to decide whether or not to accept the new rules.

An empty marijuana jar at the Canna Care Docs clinic in Burlington. The company opened its first location in Vermont last month, and offers patients a new avenue to medical marijuana.
Emily Corwin / VPR

Two weeks ago, a new health clinic opened its doors in Burlington to do in Vermont what it has already done in several other states: bring thousands of new patients into the state’s medical cannabis program.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

A group of lawmakers has begun laying the political ground work for an increase in Vermont’s minimum wage. But legislators are struggling to find support in the business community for a plan that would take it all the way to $15 an hour.

The co-founders of the Phytoscience Institute, Willy Cats-Baril, Dr. Kalev Freeman, Monique McHenry, Tom Grace and Robin Grace, from left, say they started the firm to improve medical cannabis research. The institute won a license to open a dispensary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The Phytoscience Institute in Waterbury won a license last week to become the state's fifth medical marijuana dispensary.  Competition for the new dispensary license was fierce, with five applicants vying for the coveted registration certificate. But the CEO of the winning cannabis research firm says he doesn't expect to profit from the dispensaries themselves.

Tom Kavet, an economist working for the Vermont Legislature, says there are challenges to forecasting the economic effects of a $15 minimum wage.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

As the Vermont Legislature prepares for a debate next year over raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, lawmakers are trying to figure out how the proposal would affect the Vermont economy.

A Hardwick log yard in 2004.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot

We hear a lot about Vermont's agricultural economy, but what about our working forests? Trees  cover more than 75 percent of Vermont. In past years the state's forest products industry has supported loggers, truckers and mills but its in decline and jobs and markets have been disappearing.

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