- December 1, 2016
- Public Assets Institute
- Staff Report
Pundits and historians will wrestle with the meaning of the 2016 elections for years. But from Bernie Sanders supporters on the left to Donald Trump backers on the right, voters sent one common
message: They are frustrated with an economy that has left them behind and elected officials who seem indifferent to their plight. People feel anxious and insecure: With few opportunities to get ahead, ordinary middle-class goals such as sending a kid to college or retiring seem permanently out of reach. What resonated with voters were the candidates’ vows to take action on behalf of
the millions who felt ignored. Here in Vermont people face many of the same problems they did last year, the year before, and the decade before that. A few encouraging things happened in 2015: Incomes rose across all levels, and Vermont’s poverty rate dropped. But these signs come from just one year of U.S. Census data; it’s too soon to know if they represent the beginning of a trend.