As an intro to NRO’s “Rust Belt Connecticut,” read first from Timothy O. Jones, associate editor at Young Research & Publishing, why he left the Hudson Valley region of New York, Connecticut’s neighbor, where he grew up.
No surprise to me. That’s why I’m here (Aquidneck Island) and not in the heart of the Hudson Valley where the trees are tall and the stars are bright. No work up there unless you want to be a mall rat or a small business owner. If you’re a young person starting out, you need to head for the city (or something more like a city anyway) A system that has been able to give a lot of kids college degrees, despite them being from a place where there isn’t much demand for college degrees, has created a massive brain drain in rural America. Big Box retailers also hurt little towns like mine by replacing the local shops with low paying gigs in the warehouse. Now e-commerce is even taking those away. Add an aging population that isn’t doing much reproducing, and it’s sad news for the back country. Japan is further along in this trend than we are, but we’re following right along behind them.
I miss New York every day of every year, but there’s nothing for me to go back to there as far as opportunities go. Rural America is in trouble. No doubt about it.
Connecticut is a poster child for states gone bad. NRO notes, as the world evolves, states must either adapt or find themselves left behind. “Connecticut has failed to perform the former and now faces the risk of the latter. .. Though the suggestion might seem outlandish, it’s not entirely inconceivable that large swathes of Connecticut will, 20 or 30 years from now, look much like the Rust Belt does today. Certainly a set of factors points in that direction.”
Read more here.