Last person to leave New Jersey please turn out the lights (Opinion)
This is a topic we have covered on the air and on this page many times over the past 20 years. The news came out about a month ago that New Jersey once again tops the list of states with the highest outward migration, according to Allied Van Lines annual survey.
I always wondered how people could have close family living in different parts of the country, and then it happened to me.
Since both sets of my grandparents stepped off the boat after immigrating from Southern Italy, almost the entire family (about 100 people), with rare exception, has lived within a 50-mile radius of the Southern New Jersey area.
That has started to change with the current generation of young adults in our family. I've had nieces, nephews and kids of my own in different states now for a couple of years. Two of the three of my kids live far outside of New Jersey in more prosperous, promising, low tax, low regulation states where opportunity abounds.
We might be in danger of losing the last one to greener pastures and lower property taxes, too. It's just so hard for hard working families to pay such outrageous, unaffordable property tax, much of which goes to public school, knowing what is being taught in public school these days. If they do stay, they will have to send their kids to private schools or home school, no questions about it.
If you're in the system, with a public pension and benefits, it might be worth sticking it out until retirement. If you're a private sector person, it's a disgraceful, humiliating, degrading, slow-motion ripping out of your heart and soul. It's hard to take this kind of punishment when you know there's little reward and no appreciation from the people who benefit most from it.
For most of us, it's been family ties that have kept us here. But as parents and grandparents die off and kids move far away to where the opportunity is, it's hard to stay. It's even harder to leave, but Murphy and the rest of New Jersey's ruling class are making it easier to leave every day.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis’ own.