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The Parmelee Post: Vermont Offers $5K to Anyone Who Can Find the State on a Map


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The state of Vermont is once again expanding its efforts to attract new residents.

State officials on Monday unveiled a plan to offer out-of-staters a cool $5,000 if they can simply point to Vermont on a map.

“We realized we may have set the bar a bit too high with the whole ‘remote worker’ thing,” said state tourism official and televised cash giveaway enthusiast Hunter Ofdum. “At this point, we’re willing to subsidize anyone with even a tenuous grasp of U.S. geography — anyone except for those already living in Vermont, of course.”

Ofdum said that settling for people who at least realize that Vermont is still technically part of America will allow the state to cast a wider net in its search for qualified workers who live anywhere but here.

“If we can create incentive for people to learn that Vermont is, in fact, a state, we’re that much closer to getting them to visit,” said Ofdum. “Once they’re here, I think they’ll quickly realize that this state is absolutely filled with  great opportunities to go work at"

Critics of the program say that money could be better spent helping people who have already been tricked into moving to Vermont.

“I moved here 11 years ago, and what did I get?” asked Carl Notjung, a craft brewer with a masters degree in cognitive psychology. “$80,000 in student debt and 200 likes on an Instagram post from that time I ran into Bernie Sanders at a Hannaford.

“Personally, I would much rather have the $5,000 so I can use it to try and bribe my child’s way into a daycare,” he continued.

Officials say that even if the program doesn’t end up bolstering Vermont’s population, it will at least draw more attention to the state.

“Some people say programs like this make Vermont look desperate," said state marketing director Joy Fulpres. “But I say anytime the state can make national headlines that aren’t about its racism, that is a very good thing.

“And also, yes — we are that thirsty for attention,” she added.

The program is scheduled to go into effect in July. Applicants can simply email a photo of themselves pointing to Vermont on a map to Shortly thereafter, money will magically begin flowing out of Vermont taxpayer pockets and into your checking account — provided that account is not based in Vermont.
The Parmelee Post is an occasional series featuring tough investigative reporting on news that hasn't happened.