Sunday, May 25, 2008

Investment in Ohio

Another fiscal year, another economic stimulus package targeting brain drain:

One of the most exciting aspects of the stimulus package is a $250 million investment in Ohio college students and graduates to help create world-class internship and co-op programs. The main goal is to slow the exodus of talent from our colleges and universities to out-of-state employers. This program also requires at least a one-to-one match meaning this $250 million will incentivize at least $500 million in total economic activity targeted to slow the "brain drain" that has led to many of our best and brightest leaving the state.

I can only include that the cost of buying happy voters in Ohio is $250 million. Graduation is a good time to announce a pork barrel project purporting to address out-migration. I hear Cleveland is looking for some money to market their EB-5 entrepreneurial initiative. $250,000 would be a great start.

Whenever I read about a funded program to reverse brain drain, I know that government has run out of ideas to improve the economy. Meanwhile, more innovative ideas wither on the vine. If Ohio is going to spend $250 million on the migration problem, then the state should try something new. The first step is recognizing the crux of the issue, which is a profound lack of in-migration.

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