There are roughly 30 different schools of economics. (Wikipedia) Economics is defined as 1. “a social science concerned chiefly with the description and analysis of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.” 2. The condition of a region or group as regards material prosperity. The recognized schools of economics have had their theories put to rigorous academic analysis and debate over extended periods of time. My favorite school of economics is the classical school of economics associated with the great economic and moral philosopher Adam Smith. He proposed extremely limited government intrusion into the business affairs of citizens. He was a critic of crony capitalism. In the 18th century, when Smith lived, crony capitalism was called mercantilism. The idea that government would use taxpayer dollars to subsidize one industry over another at the expense of laborers and taxpayers was appalling to him. He believed in a true free market where individuals were able to make transactions without onerous taxation and regulation.
For the past five years I have been studying with dismay a new kind of economics that is unique to Vermont. I have tried to find another school of economics to compare it, with no success.
So I have decided to name this new school of economics after it’s main proponent and implementer. I name it Shumlinomics, in honor of our part time, globe-trotting governor, Peter Shumlin.
So what is Shumlinomics? It differs from other schools of economics in that it is not subject to any academic analysis or debate. It is a school of economics fully endorsed by both the Democratic and Progressive parties in Vermont. Shumlinomics is a witches brew of items proven to squander taxpayer dollars and deprive the voters of their liberty. The items in the cauldron of Shumlinomics include but are not limited too, oppressive taxation, big bureaucracies, no bid contracts, false hopes and broken promises, smoke and mirrors accounting, lack of transparency, lack of accountability, government intrusion into our local schools, “bubble gum and lollipops”, violations of the rule of law, Act 153, Act 46 all mixed in with copious amount of “nothing burgers.”
The “outcomes” of Shumlinomics are a lack of affordability in Vermont, an exodus of young working people, an exodus of business, declining student populations, a $31 million dollar revenue shortfall, a $70 million dollar structural deficit, $200 million dollar Health Connect website that does not work and the promise of much higher taxes to pay for a Universal Health Care program we cannot afford. The harshest outcome can be seen by looking in the working Vermonter sitting at home at the dinner table trying to figure out how to pay their tax bill.