Thursday, July 16, 2009

Brain Drain Report

The news from New Hampshire is that there is no brain drain to report. It's a myth. The coverage in Nashua failed to mention that part of the conclusion:

“Our young people are vital to the future of our state’s economy, and we must do everything we can to keep their creativity and talents in New Hampshire,’’ Gov. Lynch said at a news conference today.

What does New Hampshire plan to do to attract young, talented people?

New Hampshire is in good company. The Southern Tier in New York continues to eat up public money in hopes of reducing the geographic mobility of labor:

The initiative is funded by a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration - $150,000 a year for three years. The partners are looking to utilize Cornell's economic and community development research to create pilot programs in Elmira and Olean that will address the so-called brain drain.

That's $450,000 down the brain drain. Next Generation Consulting must be salivating. I guess I need to write a book. Rebecca Ryan or Richard Florida isn't going to help your community retain graduates.

In Connecticut, we get the libertarian use of the brain drain red herring:

Yet I am saddened to share with you that following my last year at UConn I will be forced to leave this great state and seek opportunity elsewhere. You may be asking yourself why does this matter to me and why is he being “forced” to leave Connecticut. On June 25, the Senate Democrats voted 19-16 on their idea of a state budget that raises taxes by $2.5 billion. The next day Democrats in the House unanimously approved their version of the budget with little to no changes.

Ah, so the Democrats are responsible for brain drain thanks to their tax-and-spend ways. How nauseating. The author doesn't stop there:

When businesses either fail to start up or leave because of undue regulation, taxation, and rising health care costs, you must ask yourself where the workers go if quality jobs are no longer being created. The truth is they will migrate to more tax-friendly and opportunity-driven states. Connecticut continues to lose more 24- to 34-year-olds than any other state - 30.1 percent from 1990 to 2006 - according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This must stop.

The truth is a lot more complicated. Republicans in Connecticut might start with a better understanding of demography and migration. Invoking brain drain touches an emotional nerve. That's where policy mishaps begin.


Stephen Gross said...

Can you explain the 30% stat cited in the article?

Jim Russell said...

Can you explain the 30% stat cited in the article?

I can't say for sure, but the stat may refer to the population of that age demographic. There can be a host of reasons why it is shrinking.

I've read more than a few accounts detailing CT brain drain. It doesn't live up to the hype. Not even close.