New Jersey Goes Medieval

(Okay, I know that’s probably a misuse of medieval, but it was inspired by the following line…)

Tying the peasants to the land is an abuse of power.

from Confessions of a Community College Dean on the new law in Jersey that makes it a requirement for public employees to live in the already very populace state of New Jersey.

As a practical matter, the proposal is absurd. In the age of dual-career couples, what happens to couples in which one member crosses the border to work? If, say, Pennsylvania were to respond with a similar law of its own, a dual-career couple would have to separate. Then there’s the issue of housing cost. Although the Great Recession has taken the edge off somewhat, real estate in New Jersey is still indecently expensive, especially when compared to assistant-professor salaries. Some of them have managed by trekking out to Pennsylvania. Take that option away, and they’ll just have to leave altogether. How that helps isn’t clear. The struggling adjunct who crosses bridges and tunnels from New York is now completely out of luck, as is the prominent musician or artist who used to come out once or twice a week to teach.

Go and read the whole “Escape from New Jersey” article.

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