Midwestern politicians cannot get their brains around the idea that graduates of Big Ten universities competing in the global economy by relocating elsewhere on the globe attest to the strength of those universities.Charlie Sykes characterizes a proposal to keep Wisconsin's in-state students in-state as "indentured servitude." It is difficult to disagree with that characterization.
As the theory goes, a captive work force of college graduates would attract new industry to Wisconsin, along with higher-paying jobs. Those workers, in turn, would pay more income taxes and sales taxes, providing the state with the millions of dollars needed to offer free tuition.That worked real well in East Germany, didn't it? Fence in all those engineers and stitch engineering symbols on your flag and produce the world's greatest motorcar, nicht wahr?
Owen Robinson at Boots and Sabers has more.
If the graduates are forced to stay in Wisconsin and there still aren’t enough jobs for them, what happens? We will either end up with a bunch of unemployed college graduates living at home or a bunch of underemployed college graduates working as dealers at the casinos. Meanwhile, their peers from other states will be racking up experience in their fields and leaving Wisconsin’s kids a decade behind.I can also imagine strategies Northern Illinois could use to capture more of that State Line trade. (Wisconsin does not bear quite the same commercial relationship to Illinois that Canada does to the United States; however a large share of Wisconsin's population lives within 50 miles of the Cheddar Curtain, and there are a number of the state's universities in that border zone.)