Friday, June 20, 2008

The Great Conn Game

A Connecticut blogger tries to make sense of the brain drain news:

Brian talks about the lack of affordable housing and high property taxes as reasons young people leave Connecticut (which they have–stats show a 30% decrease in the 25-34 year old population between 1990 and 2004). The Advocate article brings up health care, transportation and education. Let’s face it–Connecticut’s expensive, and it can be hard to get around.

Except that a lot of people I knew in college decamped for Boston. Why? That’s where the best jobs were. That’s where they could make money. And Boston is an exciting, cosmopolitan city with lots to do and see. It’s also a lot more expensive to live there than here, and the traffic can be a nightmare (although public transit there is excellent–another lesson to learn). So when we’re thinking about how to retain young people, we need to think about whether Connecticut has the kinds of jobs that entice young people to stay, and even to migrate here from other states.

I’m 30. Why do I stay? Because I love the Connecticut Valley, and don’t want to live anywhere else. But a lot of people my age and younger make different choices, and go somewhere else to make more money or live somewhere more interesting. Connecticut needs to find ways to keep at least some of those people here–otherwise we’ll find ourselves in much worse economic shape down the road.

Forget about enticing young people to stay and focus on those who might migrate to Connecticut from other states. I'm still waiting for a politician or two to lead the charge. How about in Vermont? Nope. Milwaukee? Sigh ...

No comments: