All I Want For Christmas Are Readers' Commentsby Kyle Michaelis
It is challenging to decide to stay/return to Nebraska. Like Scott [Kleeb], I too had the East Coast Ivy experience, and the opportunities many of my classmates are pursuing all around the world do, from time to time, make me wonder what the hell I'm doing here.
But I know why I came back. I love living here. I love being able to enjoy the natural environment. I like living comfortably without a lot of money.
The catch, however, is the lack of good full-time jobs for those who want them. It's also the lack of amenities like a major airport nearby, or a good public transit system. When we're young, many of us want to live the life of young, urban professionals, not soccer moms and dads. We want a safe way to get home from the bars, classy apartments, fine dining, and quality entertainment, and don't yet care about traffic in the suburbs. Others of us would like to be able to take over the farm without feeling like it's a dead end road with nothing but debt ahead. We'd like to preserve the tradition of ranching, live on our grandparents' land, because it means something to us.
It's not just scholarships our state needs to provide. Fine and good, but we need the infrastructure and support readily available for young Nebraskans regardless of whether they attend college. [W]e need support after they graduate, and likewise need support for those entering the working world from any place in life. Career education classes in high school? Close to worthless; you have no idea at 16 where you'll want to be at 21. It might cost us some money to make a viable presence of the kind of job placement/small business support infrastructure we need to keep young Nebraskans around, but really, what is the cost of losing us?
I want to thank Elisabeth for such a thoughtful response, as well as everyone else who reads and participates in NNN's running conversation about the future of Nebraska.
I also want to put in a shameless plug for the on-going debate between myself and Gary Brown of Nebraska Fair Tax about the feasibility and desirability of adopting a national sales tax. I hope the discussion will continue and certainly invite readers (following Eric's lead) to jump in with comments of their own or with questions for Gary or myself.
With Christmas coming up, I can't promise a whole lot of activity around the site, but that's no reason to let our brains and our passions go on holiday. Please, fire away!