Growth Battles in Chittenden County

by Dave Rollo

Vermont takes its name from the French Monts Verts, or Green Mountains, the state’s rolling hills that host maple, birch, and beech forests in the south and spruce and fir in the north. Quaint towns and farms, many retaining their historic structures, are nestled in the mountain valleys. Lakes, streams, and wetlands are plentiful. And farms are everywhere: Vermont consistently ranks as one of the top states in the nation for local food production.

Conservative Idaho: Poised to Resist Sprawl?

by Dave Rollo

The USA, Canada, and other countries have long recognized sprawl as a vexing dimension of urban development. Especially challenging is the difficulty creating the public consensus needed for political and planning responses to the problem.

But growing numbers of residents today are expressing their distaste for sprawling approaches to development and are primed to resist it. Perhaps surprisingly, sprawl afflicts a U.S. state better known for its natural beauty and its potatoes: Idaho.

The Connection Between Population, Income, and Health

by Max Kummerow

For hundreds of years, economists have debated whether population growth is good or bad. Malthus said exponential population growth increases labor supply, so wages fall until starvation, war, or plague stops growth in numbers. Marx said capitalism causes poverty and hunger, so population growth is good, because “every stomach is born with a pair of hands”, bringing revolution and justice closer.

Nearly 200 years later, Garrett Hardin and Julian Simon were still debating the same question.