The Corner

“No Crime in Vermont? Ha!”

From a reader:

Jonah,

Just read your corner posting from a reader saying he has never locked his car or house doors. Well, I live in Burlington, and 2 weeks ago today I had my side window smashed out and my car looted. Last weekend my girlfriend left her apartment early to deliver the papers on her route and came back to find someone had ransacked her house at 5:00 in the morning. When she called the police, they came and said there has been a rash of break-ins, all drug related, and they can’t find who dunnit, and told her to get a guard dog. Roughly a month ago a homeless man was found killed just outside one of Burlington’s homeless camps. Around the same time several furloughed prisoners shot up a North end neighborhood, fortunatly no one was injured, but I’m sure the people there didn’t sleep well after that. If you can manage to look past the dirty hippies, Burlington IS a nice place to live, but Burlington is the exception in that it is a job center (IBM, Fletcher Allen Healthcare, UVM, General Dynamics etc), but the rest of Vermont continues to bleed jobs. An interesting story lately has been the fact that towns refuse to allow cellular phone towers to be built, meaning only 20% of the state has cell phone coverage. What business would want to come here with the high tax burden (sales tax just jumped to 6% from 5% on Oct. 1st), jumping through hoops for act 250 and stormwater permitting, and with no infrastructure?

[Name withheld]

Burlington, VT

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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