A Sad Story in Structural Violence

Run While You Can?

Brain Drain
[breyn dreyn]

This is a term for when all the educated or well-off people in a country emigrate away once they become working age. That basically means that all the best hopes for the economic prosperity of a country leave to benefit others. It leaves the country only with the people that don’t have the resources or wherewithal to seek their fortunes elsewhere; a dissatisfied population disinclined to work hard. Moreover, an older population with a lacking younger generation who is unwilling or unable to support their elders, let alone their country’s economy.

Apparently this is a huge problem in Italy. It’s also a fairly large problem in Oklahoma, although I had never heard the term “Brain Drain” before coming to Arezzo. In Oklahoma if you’re successful, but like your environment then you go to Texas where there are cosmopolitan centers of industry. If you’re successful and don’t like your environment (as I intend on being), you flee as far as you can until you hit water. Unfortunately, this creates a vicious cycle of economic deterioration for the place experiencing this phenomenon. The more dissatisfied the top successful percentage of inhabitants is, the more likely they are to move elsewhere, the worse the conditions become for the average worker. I’ve seen it first hand in Oklahoma, and I’ve heard about it multiple times during my stay in Italy, and during my Italian class before I even arrived. They say it is hard for young people to find employment. That Italians aren’t having as many kids and that the children that exist move to the UK or US or even Germany. They say that the Italian government is entrenched in bureaucracy. But in Oklahoma, at least on the state level, there are clear similarities in symptom. The only problem is that neither community –Italy or Oklahoma — has the resources the reverse the problem.

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