Pennsylvania’s Self-Inflicted Lobotomy

Every day, 36 college graduates flee Pennsylvania for better opportunities in other states, according to a new Independent Fiscal Office trends report.

Overall, there was a net outflow of 12,981 graduates in 2015, but it's not just millennials hitting the road for better opportunities. United Van Lines' annual study ranks Pennsylvania as the 10th highest outbound state in 2016. In other words, only 9 states experienced a higher proportion of people moving out versus people moving in.

Pennsylvania's brain drain is nothing new, but our migration problem hit a milestone in 2016. For the first time in 31 years, Pennsylvania's population declined.

High out-migration is a sign that Harrisburg's taxes and chronic overspending are holding Pennsylvanians back. Personal income and job growth are significantly below the US average. Our tax burden is the 15th highest in the nation. And Pennsylvania's historically low unemployment rate remains above the national average.

What's the best way to jump start our economy and reverse these out-migration trends? Redesigning government through privatizing the state liquor monopoly, expanding educational choice, and eliminating corporate handouts. And that's just to start.

But without these and other key policy shifts, the brain drain will continue, leaving fewer Pennsylvanians to shoulder Harrisburg's growing fiscal burdens.