Sorry, it’s been too long since the last time I posted. I’ll try to be more disciplined about that. I’m working on some more stories about my past and the state’s political past, but today I wanted to take one quick look back at the 2013 Legislature.
We did some good. We extended the tourism tax, a vital engine of the state’s economy, especially west river. We created a long range economic development program funded by the very increases that the program will bring about.
Now if I can just figure out how to get more people to understand that great schools are the most important economic development program that we can have…
I agree that great schools are important to economic development. However, we could have the greatest schools in the nation and I don’t think it would really address the issue of keeping these educated young people in the state.
I was chatting with my friend and owner of The Gnar Spot, a local skate and snowboard shop located in the new main street square business “hive,” if you will. We got on the topic of talking about people we knew in high school that are still in the area. Almost everyone we knew from the local area schools had left the state, and neither of us could name anyone (besides ourselves) that we knew that went to college out of state and came back after.
What I’m trying to say is that better educating our youth won’t really have an advantage for South Dakota if these young people leave the state as soon as they have the opportunity. Almost everyone we knew now live on the west coast in California, Oregon and Washington, many to pursue the better professional opportunities, but nearly all to move to areas they consider to be a more open, friendly, and, well, “liberal.”
It’s interesting to note how many young people take the advice of various Rapid City Journal commenters who say “if you don’t like it here, leave.” The younger generations are, IMHO, fiscal conservatives but social liberals. Considering that the conservative social climate isn’t to their liking, and realizing that its a waste of their higher learning to work in retail and tourism, South Dakota does not present a whole lot of acceptance or opportunity for their thoughts and goals.
Also wanted to add many of the people I know who are living here now would also like to move out west….
Glad that at least one legislator gets it!