Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cause and Effect in NY

Every time I read of Spitzer's heinous vendettas, I wonder to myself why any ambitious young person would want to live in a state where -- just by virtue of being in business -- you're guilty until proven innocent. So a story in today's NY Time's describing "brain drain" in upstate NY wasn't a shock, though of course it obviously isn't all due to Spitzer (I would guess that heavy unionization is also a factor). Here are a few key facts from the article:
From 1990 to 2004, the number of 25-to-34-year-old residents in the 52 counties north of Rockland and Putnam declined by more than 25 percent. In 13 counties that include cities like Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton, the population of young adults fell by more than 30 percent. In Tioga County, part of Appalachia in New York's Southern Tier, 42 percent fewer young adults were counted in 2004 than in 1990.

Population growth upstate might have lagged even more but for the influx of 21,000 prison inmates, who accounted for 30 percent of new residents. During the first half of the current decade, the pace of depopulation actually increased in many places.

In almost every place upstate, emigration rates were highest among college graduates, producing a brain drain, according to separate analyses of census results for The New York Times by two demographers, William Frey of the Brookings Institution and Andrew A. Beveridge of Queens College of the City University of New York. Among the nation's large metropolitan areas, Professor Frey said, Buffalo and Rochester had the highest rates of what he called "bright flight."

In 1999, upstate residents were asked in a poll for M & T Bank if they intended to move to another state in the next five years. Fully 40 percent of 18-to-30-year-olds replied yes. Most people said they would head to the South or the West. But among young adults, a high percentage said they were uncertain where they would wind up.
Buried among all these stat's was a very ironic paragraph:
It has already been injected into this year's campaign for governor, with both major candidates, Eliot Spitzer and John Faso, highlighting population stagnation there and the need to help spur business activity.
Maybe Spitzer plans to take a page out of Mr. Thompson's book (character in Atlas Shrugged) and further coerce businesses into providing jobs. Yeah, that should work.

(See also: More on Spitzer)

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