Getting people to move back

So many New Yorkers have given up on our state that we are one of the few states actually losing population. In fact, New York topped the list, losing an estimated 48,510 residents between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018. That’s more than any state.

Of course, that’s not the worst of the report. Every person who leaves our state takes a piece of the economy with them. Every couple having children elsewhere reduces resources for our public schools.

It’s a vicious cycle. So how do we reverse it?

Attracting more people to the state is imperative. That can be tough when they’ve never lived here. Why on earth would anyone want to move to — shudder — New York, where taxes are some of the highest in the country? Our best bet is people who know our state and left us reluctantly.

Primarily, it’s young men and women with few or no financial ties, such as mortgages, who are abandoning the Empre State ship. They’re leaving because they think the opportunities must be better just about anywhere else.

How do we get them to come home?

Maybe we ought to just ask them what it would take to get them back.

First, we have to find out who they are and how to reach them. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and former classmates ought to be able to tell us.

Then we ask them to tell us with some specificity why they left and what they need to hear to bring them home.

Some pulled up what few stakes they had simply because they’re young and want to see the wide world. Some assumed the grass had to be greener on the other side of the mountain.

Once the wanderlust subsides, a substantial number of those who leave would love dearly to come home. The same can be said for those who found the grass wasn’t necessarily greener.

Many of them, even those gone for years, still think of New York as home. Most need to be given a good reason to leave secure jobs elsewhere and return.

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