"Climate change is happening and can make it livable for our children," said Shumlin. "Our planet is fine, but things within it are a problem." It boils down to economics, supply and demand, and he emphasized that we need to move to independent, viable resources.
Shumlin said that as a business person the government does not create the jobs, the people do, and the government must make the infrastructure changes. "The agricultural future is best before us than behind us. We need to make it here and produce and ship from here, as well as do our own manufacturing."
"We want to grow and expand, and we can. The young people are not coming back unless we change the infrastructure. People migrating to New Hampshire and New York will come back."
More humor included how he had to text his daughter during dinner and mentioned how our youth will not pick up the house phone, since they feel it's not for them. We all know how addicted our youth is to texting-the house phone seems only a relic to them.
With healthcare comes a true challenge. Shumlin mentioned how we have quality care, but the problem remains the cost. Whose pocket is it coming out of is small business and the middle class for less and more co-pays. Not to mention the ambiguity of figuring out the bills from health care providers.
Focusing on education, Shumlin said that there remains plenty of jobs but not enough Vermonters to fill them. "We're missing math, science, computer technology, and engineering and need to break down the silos. Students learn their style and move out of the system to other alternative settings. We need to give them rewards and incentives for staying here."
Shumlin feels the vision will raise income. "We can do right in Vermont and take on the tough battles."