Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Escape From New York

New York State continues to grapple with brain drain. I'm not seeing much in the way of bright ideas being exchanged, but voters are making sure politicians understand the concern. The focus is still on retaining native talent:

English major Rhagina Chislom of Mariners Harbor said she wants to "live and work in Jersey" upon graduation -- in part, because when she reviews job and housing opportunities in the classified section and online, "it's Jersey jobs and real estate."

"That's where we want to go," she added. "There are more opportunities there, jobs, housing, nightlife. Jersey has it all. Manhattan, who wants to travel? Going back and forth, two hours on the ferry, the tolls going up ... "

New Jersey may have it all, but even that state is worried about brain drain:

With the lack of seats and soaring tuition rates, the state loses more of its high school graduates to out-of-state colleges than any other state in the country, a "brain drain" that has gone "unchecked" for decades, they argue.

That brain drain is bad for the state's businesses and economy because companies are looking for local skilled workers, said Christopher Emigholz, director of Education & Workforce Development Policy for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, which supports the colleges' campaign.

When will the absurdity end? In the New York case, the culprit is a group of Republican lawmakers who created RemaiNY:

Assembly Republican Leader James Tedisco (R,C-I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and his colleagues today announced the formation of RemaiNY, a series of regional forums charged with studying the reasons for the exodus of young people from the state and ways to make New York a more attractive place for them to find jobs, buy homes and raise their families.

RemaiNY belongs in the Political Hall of Shame in the wing with the rest of the red herrings and boondoggles such as Border Guard Bob. Politicians around the country keep trotting out pork barrel projects and nonsense legislation under the guise of keeping graduates from leaving the city, region, or state. Concerned citizens need to demand something better, something that might actually work.

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