Letter to the editor: Economic model should be stable

Recent statements by our governor about his desire to attract more people to Vermont in an effort to spur our economy are disappointing. We should realize by now that an economic model that relies on continued growth of populations and their resulting increase in the use of natural resources is unsustainable.
People will continue to migrate to Vermont from other states and to the U.S. from other countries.
That’s fine.
We will have to adjust to that.
However, we should not be inviting people here or spending money to get them here based on an outdated and unsustainable economic model. We should embrace and celebrate the population stabilization that is happening. Most developed nations have seen a decline in their birth rates. It has to happen in order for our planet to survive, and it is better that it happens sooner rather than later. 
World population stabilization is necessary for the long-term availability of clean water, clean air, adequate food, adequate forest resources, quality outdoor recreational opportunities, shrinking our carbon footprint, minimizing impermeable surfaces, and maintaining wildlife populations and the healthy working ecosystems they and we depend on. World population stabilization is attainable simply through education, adequate funding, and shifting of basic necessary resources to those areas of the planet that most need them. 
Vermont has an opportunity here to show the world how to maintain a healthy economy with a stable population. It will take some creative adjusting of traditional economic models at a variety of levels, but it must be done and we have been presented with a wonderful and needed opportunity here that we should welcome.  Affordable housing, good working conditions, and livable wages are certainly worthy goals for the people already here and those who will decide to migrate here, but working toward these goals should not be the result of an outdated and unsustainable perpetual growth model. 
Let’s show the world that we understand what sustainability is and how to make the needed adjustments while maintaining a healthy economy that does not require perpetual growth in our population or our use of resources.
Jim Andrews

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