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Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Vermont

This image is from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's Waste Management Division -- specifically, its construction waste reduction pages.

Vivian and I are in Stowe, Vermont for a four day mini-vacation while Eric is at camp. I'm not completely skipping work -- with high speed Internet in our vacation resort, and phone links, I can keep in touch with the business.

Looking around here, we can see signs of the U.S. economic challenges. While this community is on the surface prosperous, and the place we are staying is part of a relatively new development, I don't see much active construction under way anywhere around me. And there are lots of Canadian license plates in the parking lot here, in part because our (tourist) dollar goes so far, trading above the U.S. currency. Vermont's state government announced a two day 'sales tax holiday' this weekend to give a boost to retailers; so we of course headed into the stores on a rainy Sunday to purchase clothes and groceries, inexpensively.

I watch the news about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These times separate the contractors and sub trades and suppliers with marketing smarts and business discipline from business owners who don't quite understand what to do and how to do it. (But I hasten to add that many failures occur despite rather than because of the business owner's own actions -- as much as we all should be acknowledge responsibility for our circumstances, only an arrogant and not very bright person would blame anyone else for failing.)

Vermont reminds me of one of the U.S.'s great strengths --it is an incredibly diverse nation; with differing cultures, social and political values. Vermont's culture of independence and liberalism, and its back-to-nature beauty cannot be over-stated. If you haven't visited this state, you should consider it as a worthy destination.

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