“Brain drain” is not a problem we face here at all, as Brooklyn is often the place where all the country’s young fertile minds wash up. Not so much for smaller cities such as Niagara Falls and states like Kansas, both which are facing a crippling lack of talent and young professionals. So to fix this, those places have taken to the municipal equivalent of paying for sex: both places are offering to pay down your student loans if you move and work there. Niagara will pay you $3,500 per year for the next two years; Kansas is offering to either waive income tax for up to five years or pay your student loans up to $15,000 if you agree to move to one of the “Rural Opportunity Zones” spread throughout the state, though it looks like none of them is in a major metro area. Sounds fun!
According to Inquisitir, this is a problem Niagara has been dealing with for 50 years, while the city’s population has dropped by half. Can’t say I know much about Niagara save for its starring role in Superman too, nor Kansas besides that they have their own Improv Everywhere troupe.
How much student debt would you have to have to want to move to one of these places?
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Eh, no young people mean there are no jobs. If I can’t get a job, seven grand don’t mean nuttin’.
also no children’s birthday parties in bars.
I can’t speak for Niagara, but being from a farm town in Kansas, I can safely say that the only way this program for rural settlement is worth it is if you are A) an annual Burning Man attendee who has effectively romanticized living off the grid and getting weird looks, B) already on the brink and ready to purchase a black hoodie and blow up Manhattan, C) the owner of an advanced degree in Creative Writing and need the peacefulness of the plains to finish your opus, or D) politically ambivalent and possibly mute. I love the plains, and I love Kansas. But Kansans who voted for Sam Brownback and the love the Wal-Marts? Give me a Park Slope stroller mom any day.
As a born-and-bred child of the Kansas City suburbs (and one who had to attend the occasional high school conference in the “rest” of Kansas), I can attest to the fact that while Kansas City is a grand and noble palace of artistic, wheaten and bovine wonder, the state, taken as a whole, is a god-fearing den of solitude and shotguns.
Also, no bars.
If I were still working the shit jobs I had in my early 20’s I would do it in a heartbeat. One can work pizza anywhere.
I think you’re underestimating just how rural most of these areas are. There are no pizza shops.
$15,000 is only a few drops in the big ol’ bucket that contains my student debt, and no income tax for five years doesn’t mean shit if I’m not making any money because I’d have to get some shit job since I have a creative degree. Having lived in the South/Midwest after graduating, I couldn’t get back to New York fast enough and you couldn’t pay me enough to move back. Well, maybe if they paid off more than half my loans I’d go for a few years, but otherwise, fuck it, would rather work my ass off here and be buried in debt.
Yeah, maybe if they paid up to $150,000 of student loan debt would it be viable for the average person to move there. If they aren’t throwing six-figure jobs at people then no-one would go there anyway, and anyone to whom $15k would be the majority of their student debt, AND can’t pay it off, has no hope of stimulating the Kansas economy.
They would be better off offering people up to $90k in debt reimbursement and a relocation package,if they can land a position in a Kansas company that pays at least a certain minimum. They would get more serious applicants who would be young, eager, and worthwhile investments.
Kansas funding cuts to schools damaged them so badly, perhaps Kansas can no longer educate its own young people.