Half of Illinois residents say that if given the chance, they would like to move to another state. Connecticut (49 percent) and Maryland (47 percent) were close behind on the list of states where residents would leave if they could, with all three of those states essentially evenly divided between people who would stay and people who would leave.Poll analysis suggests work opportunities elsewhere, and bad weather, might be the primary drivers of the exodus. But residents have lost faith in their political masters.
So, we have to hand it to the Illinois Democrats and their weak sisters in the feckless Illinois Republican Party. You folks have done a great job utterly destroying one of the greatest states in the union. Great job to the dictator Michael Madigan, the hapless and ignorant Pat Quinn and the rest of the worthless set running the state into the ground.A number of things went wrong for the state, but the tax-and-spend types taxed the productive and mis-spent the money.
The seeds of this problem were sown many years ago. When manufacturing started going offshore, Illinois was hard hit. A Center for Government Studies report shows that between 2000 and 2010 the number of people employed in Illinois actually declined by 115,000 (1.5%). Farming, wholesale and retail trade jobs fell by 135,000. But far worse was the decline in manufacturing jobs, which dropped by a whopping 311,000. Those were jobs which had been Illinois’ growth foundation for 60 years. And they were the employers who provided the network effect of business-to-business growth that kept the state’s virtuous circle spinning.Yes, and that's with a College of Engineering being established at Northern Illinois about the time I arrived, and the signs along Illinois Highway 5 (now Interstate 88) bragging about the Illinois Research and Technology Corridor. It's enough to give the cheeseheads some Schadenfreude to go with their Sprecher.
Despite the obviousness of this shift in employment – from manufacturing to services – the state reacted timidly to replace manufacturing employment with another growth vehicle. In an era of growing financial services, Illinois failed to develop a strong banking sector, and in fact watched First Chicago/Bank One become JPMorganChase and leave – along with almost all its other large brethren.
Despite leading engineering universities (University of Illinois Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, Northwestern, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northern Illinois, etc.) Illinois failed to develop a vibrant angel investing or venture capital community, and digital entrepreneurs were pushed toward the coasts for funding – and increasingly the talent followed them out of state.
Yes, we like having some fun at the expense of our neighbors to the south — the Cubs and the Bears and all that — but sometimes you have to feel downright sorry for them.Not sorry enough, though, to turn down flatlander tourist dollars.