The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

02 January 2005

Why Are Young People Abandoning Massachusetts?

Secretary of State Bill Galvin confronts the declining population in Massachusetts (the only state to show a loss last year) with a partial misunderstanding of why younger workers are abandoning it for points elsewhere:

(Boston Globe)

We must act quickly to get Massachusetts moving again. We need to address the root causes of our population loss: high housing costs and job losses.

A study by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research and education group, determined that Massachusetts lost 5.6 percent of its jobs as a result of the 2001 recession. Even more disturbing, the records in my office which trace the outmigration of voters to other states show that the largest age group leaving Massachusetts are men and women 30 to 49 -- not just recent college graduates looking for a career but more established younger people who were the most productive part of our workforce.

Finger-pointing will not solve the problem. Massachusetts has unique assets and resources that should be marshaled to generate new jobs. We are still known worldwide as a destination for higher education, healthcare, and research. In the past, the cluster effect of our universities, hospitals, and research institutions created an environment that led to substantial job creation.

Note how quickly Galvin shoots down "finger-pointing" in this piece. But the truth is, the state's leadership can and should be held responsible for the decline. It has happened on their watch and voters have a right to hold them accountable. The same faces are re-elected time and again.

Kerry/ Kennedy and the congressional incumbents-for-life have nothing but stale, failed ideas if they show up for work at all.

Yes, high housing costs and job losses have forced workers out of the commonwealth, but what have any of these people done about it? Have they streamlined government, created a better business climate, held the line on taxes? No. A young working class family is priced right out of the region as a result.

Governor Romney needs some legislative support for his waste-cutting proposals, that would be a start, but unfortunately partisanship is blocking future progress.


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