Friday, November 13, 2009

Brain Drain and Globalization

Akin to the benefits derived from the liberalization of trade, increasing geographic mobility can improve economic development. Of course, as is the case with globalization, there are perils. Losing talent to another region is costly. Protectionism, which is often more destructive than the alternative, isn't the answer. Instead of impeding out-migration, work with the established flows:

There is much more here – it’s a great collection of news and resources that will be of interest to Donegal people at home and abroad. If only more counties would produce such resources – this is a model that would be very useful throughout Ireland.

Donegal, a rural and isolated part of Ireland, isn't going to reverse the demographic trends. Born of necessity, the region has developed an innovative form diaspora economics. I'm amazed that US communities experiencing similar population decline haven't noticed. One can't embrace the shrinking city paradigm and launch a crusade to plug the brain drain. The factories will not return. Neither will the numbers of people seen during the peak of industrialization.

Diaspora means scattered. The community is dislocated from its place of birth. That kind of consciousness isn't fostered in the Rust Belt. This perception is divorced from a global context. The rest of the world is something to be held at bay. Those who leave are lost in an abyss. The result is that globalization continues to ravage the Midwest and brain drain stifles innovation. Opportunity is some place else.

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