Public Assets Institute: New year brings a new opportunity for shared prosperity

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Public Assets Institute: New year brings a new opportunity for shared prosperity

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 10:13am -- tim

Public Assets Institute While Washington and the rest of the nation sort out the meaning of a Donald Trump presidency, new leaders in Montpelier have an opportunity to address the needs of low- and moderate-income Vermonters for whom a secure middle-class life seems unaffordable and out of reach. A higher minimum wage, access to high-quality child care, an expanded public education system including at least two years of college, and a program to help workers save for retirement can address the affordability problem for Vermonters struggling to make ends meet.

Those are among the findings in the 2016 State of Working Vermont report published Thursday by Public Assets Institute in Montpelier. 

“This is the 10th year that Public Assets has put out this annual State of Working Vermont report. It’s discouraging to see how little has changed for low- and middle-income Vermonters,” said Paul Cillo, president and executive director of Public Assets. “The message from voters this election—from Bernie Sanders supporters on the left to Trump supporters on the right—was that our political and economic systems need to serve everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.

“Here in Vermont, we have a new slate of political leaders in the State House who can take the state in a new direction. We hope this report will help focus their attention on the problems that many Vermonters face and offer some constructive ideas for addressing those problems.”

Public Assets produces the State of Working Vermont each year in conjunction with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. This report highlights how working Vermonters and their families were faring economically at the end of 2015—the latest year for which most data are available—and how conditions have changed, for better or worse, in recent years. It is based on data released by the U.S. Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other state and federal agencies in 2016. 

State of Working Vermont 2016 is published in readable chartbook format with brief explanatory captions. The report can be viewed or downloaded at http://publicassets.org/library/publications/reports/state-of-working-vermont-2016/

Public Assets Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sound state budget and tax policies that benefit all Vermonters. More information at www.publicassets.org