There are days…

…when stories like this don’t exactly make me feel bad like they’re supposed to.

Upstate fails to attract the educated

Yes, on days like this, when my initial reaction is “Great! All the more space for me, then.” I know, I know, a place can’t possibly be desirable unless it’s packed full of people. Sedate me now, I’m obviously having a psychotic break. What educated person in their right mind wouldn’t want to live in an overcrowded, overdeveloped air-conditioner-dependent beehive in sterile, overpriced, cookie-cutter neighborhoods requiring daily one-hour commutes? Who among us can live as a fully realized human being without an adequate number of Starbucks and Ikea?

But seriously… there’s nothing wrong with Upstate New York’s image. If there’s any problem with its image, it’s that it’s unknown, not that it’s got a bad image. The problem, as we all know, is the poor business climate, and it is nothing more mysterious than that. Jeez, I sound like a Republican. But come on. We know what the problems are, and we know what is keeping them from being solved.

Lastly, I must say that I find noteworthy the assumption that “educated” people will be the best problem-solvers. America at large is more “educated” than ever before. We are shoveling out “educated” young people by the truckload in this country, at staggering expense, and yet there we are in Iraq, bleeding away our moral authority and military might, and not one of these “educated” folks appears to have any clue as to how to solve that little problem. So why don’t we just try to attract courageous and adventurous people to our little backwater instead? College degree or no degree. Maybe they could do some actual good.

2 thoughts on “There are days…

  1. Robinia

    This is an odd one, alright. Upstate produces the educated– we have more colleges and universities per capita than almost anywhere else on earth. So, if we are failing to “attract” them, perhaps it is some of that other stuff (which we do, in fact, all know about) to blame.

    I’m all for the courageous and adventurous, and do believe that problems are often ultimately solved best by those who are just doggedly persistent. But, my favs for saving NYS are the ornery: those folks who just simply will not leave, no matter how bad it gets. Who, like, ya know, think of this place as their birthplace, and won’t let no “I need a place in the country for two weeks in the summer, and in case of another 9-11” wealthy downstater– or, lucrative paying job elsewhere– dislodge them from it.

    MY state, functional or not.

  2. honkcronk

    From what I understand, the educated are leaving New York State — not just one region and certainly, not just upstate.

    I live upstate but spent my first 25 years on Long Island. I graduated with 650 other people in 1970.

    These days, there are email lists to connect the alumni. Most everyone on the list lives in another state. It is pretty amazing the places they have moved to — California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Vermont…. a pretty diverse list. The group that writes on the list is pretty diverse educationally, but I would bet most have a B.S. A couple have doctorates.

    There are two of us living in upstate NY that I know of and a handful on Long Island.

    So, is Long Island just keeping this a dirty secret? Or do those of us upstate want to claim all the problems are ours alone?

    Maybe we should have a survey that finds the region that has the highest loss of their educated young and assign a prize.

    But remember we are just one third the population of the state — the other two thirds are downstate. Hence, they have more souls to lose.

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