Illinois is Economic Road-Kill

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This can be considered a companion piece to my worst governor post which may be read here.  The video above  consists of selections from a speech by author Joel Kotkin to the Illinois Policy Institute explaining some of the ways in which the powers that be in Illinois have made the state completely uncompetitive with other states in producing sustained private sector economic growth.  If I were starting out I would leave Illinois.  Nothing good is going to be happening in this state economically for a very long time.  The leadership of the state is completely blind to our problems and promote policies that drive businesses away and sink Illinois deeper in a fiscal morass.  Illinois’ woes are completely man-made, and Illinois, thanks to a majority of the Illinois voters, remains wedded to a model of high government expenditure, hostility to private enterprise and unending political corruption that makes effective reform for at least the next three years a pipe dream.

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  1. And to add insult to injury, you’re stuck with the Cubs, White Sox and Jay Cutler. My sympathies, Don. Up here in WI, at least we have the Pack and a contending Brewer team. Plus, Walker’s tough budget moves and restraints on public unions have worked. The budget is damn near balanced and companies are starting to take a hard look at WI for relocation/expansion, bypassing Illinois. If you can stand the harsh winters, come on up!

  2. My mother-in-law lives up in Kenosha Joe and we visit her each year in August. If I didn’t have a fairly thriving practice after 26 years effort, I would have immigrated to the Land of Cheese this year!

  3. Funny you should bring up this topic, Don, because of late I have begun to contemplate, for the first time in my life, whether it might not be wise for me and my family to move out of Illinois in the long term, say, after our daughter finishes high school (a huge move since neither of us has ever lived anywhere but in central or north-central Illinois and we have no friends or relatives living anywhere else).

    However, it’s not because of the tax increase, economic policy or even rampant government corruption (corruption may be less frequent elsewhere, but it does still happen). It’s because of the state’s apparent surrender to what Mark Shea calls the “gay brownshirts” and the abortion lobby. We’ve all heard about Catholic Charities being forced out of the adoption and foster care business, which is bad enough.

    A few days ago, on another blog (which I unfortunately can’t seem to find right now) I caught a post by someone IDing themselves as a licensed social worker in Illinois, saying they have heard rumors within their agency that the state will eventually require all social workers, as a condition of licensure, to agree that they will refer women for abortions if requested and that they will be willing to place children with gay couples.

    Now granted, this is just one anonymous blog post and it is just a rumor, so nothing may come of it. But I can’t help but wonder if there is a day coming when agreeing to endorse gay marriage and/or abortion will become a condition of state employment, or worse yet, of obtaining teacher certification, and if that happens, then we and all observant Catholic residents of Illinois are really screwed.

    The only question is, where to go? Is Cheesehead Land really a safe refuge, considering that Walker COULD be recalled and the crazy leftists could still take everything back? St. Louis isn’t too far away and looks kind of attractive but their economy, crime rate, etc. don’t look too promising. Indiana, Kentucky or Tennessee I could probably handle but again, not sure what the job prospects are. I don’t handle extreme heat or humidity very well so I’m not considering Texas or Florida or Arizona at this point. Again, all this is just speculating out loud and may never happen but I’d be interested in hearing any ideas.

  4. Our poor Illinois is in a sad state Elaine. Long term I am optimistic on both the political front and the economic front, far more long term on the economic front, but short term optimism is not called for. I would probably go for west central Indiana myself, probably just right across the Illinois border as being similar to my beloved central Illinois. I was born and reared in Paris, so I was going across into Indiana all the time when I was growing up.

  5. If I had the money and another 20 years, I’d follow Jesse Ventura to Mexico; better yet, Costa Rica. America is no longer the land I grew up in, sad to say.

  6. The moral bankruptcy is worse.

    BUT: The bankrupt red states’ bonds must be repaid (from whence they’re killing the private sector?) or refinanced at much higher interest rates (consistent with excessively high default risks). Then, the US fiscal scam will be kaput like Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal have doomed the Eurozone to fiscal and monetary ruin.

    Short everything, except gold and guns.

    Go Jets!

  7. I suspect that the blue states’ marriage to their ruinous economic policies is based on
    a belief that if/when the crash comes, the federal government will provide a bailout.
    In other words, the taxpayers of the more prudent states will pick up the tab for the
    negligence and irresponsibility of states like Illinois and California.

    It is a given that by that time, the politicians and bureaucrats responsible for the mess
    will have moved on and up. It will fall to others to clean up behind them, if they are
    even left with the financial means. Illinois will have exported its malaise to the other
    states. In the end, if federal bailouts of failed states happen, there will be nowhere
    in America that one can move to escape the effects.

  8. “There will be nowhere in America that one can move to escape the effects”

    Of an economic collapse, yes, but I’m thinking more of a place one can escape the worst effects of aggressive liberal social engineering policies apparently designed to drive Catholics and evangelical Christians out of public life altogether. Or will we eventually not be able to escape THAT anywhere, even in reliably red states? If that’s the case, nowhere in North America will be safe (Canada is way worse in this regard already, and I’m not even gonna think about Mexico until they get the drug cartels under control).

  9. Federal monies always come with strings attached. If our betters in Washington
    insist on taking our tax dollars to bail out failed blue states, you can count on
    them insisting that all states must submit to increased oversight and interference
    from the federal government.

    At least, if I were a fellow traveller with this administration, that’s how I’d play it.
    So if I’m anywhere near right, Mrs. Krewer, there will be nowhere in the 50 states
    to run to.

  10. (Quietly pondering the destiny of arguably the greatest nation the world has ever seen – slowly slipping beneath the waves? )
    Long term I think (and hope) the USA will return to its core strengths and principles, wnich in many/most states it is failing to do right now. The pendulum swings – where is it right now?
    How many of the US states could well carry the label ” The Socialist Soviet of…………….” ?
    I suspect many more than is good for their economy and longevity.
    The South Pacific – despite our own issues – seems pretty good right now 🙂

  11. Way, way too much gloom and doom in this thread! The great thing about man made disasters is that they have man made solutions. Time to roll up our sleeves and fight the political battles that need to be fought. A great start was made in 2010. Pro-life legislation is coming to the forefront in state after state, along with needed fiscal reform in many states. The economic policies promoted by our political adversaries are completely bankrupt, literally, and people are ready to listen to alternatives. This is a time of opportunity if we can only take advantage of it.

  12. Sorry, Don, Spengler was right. We’re in the winter of decline. We are no longer one nation, one people. Multiculturalism has taken over and the results are disastrous as Europe is discovering. We will be destroyed by the vandals from within, as Lincoln said.

  13. Spengler was as wrong Joe as his turgid tomes were snooze inducing. We are not in decline, any more than we were in decline during our Civil War when 620,000 Americans were killed fighting each other, or in the American Revolution when 20-30% of the poulation fought the British. One good thing about studying real history, rather than that Teutonic pessimism with an historical wrapper that Oswald Spengler was peddling, is that it gives one the ability to step back from one’s time and take a look at it from a broader perspective than is possible of attainment when we view events solely from a current stance.

    (For those wondering who the heck is Spengler?:

  14. We are not in decline.

    Don, choose to ignore all the jeremiads, but as the prophet wrote:

    How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
    She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

  15. Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
    (not your favorite philospher, I’m sure)

  16. Indeed Joe. One of Voltaire’s favorite sayings was: “Lie, lie and lie! Some of the lies will stick!”

    Considering the life that François-Marie Arouet lived, I think pessimism as he neared his personal judgment with God was an understandable reaction in his case.

    I prefer this sally from a sinner, Oscar Wilde, who died repentant and embracing mother Church:

    “Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.’

  17. I realize that Joe is an agnostic so this may not mean much to him yet, but for those of us who are Christians, even the end of the world is not the end of the world 🙂

    It also helps me to remember something C.S. Lewis wrote in “The Weight of Glory”:

    “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”

  18. Don, Wilde was semi-comatose on his deathbed and a priest was sent for. Apparently baptized as a child, the priest was reluctant to baptize him again but reportedly did so. Whether he was aware of the last rites is in question. This was the same made who uttered:

    ‘I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.’

    Spot on, Oscar.

  19. Actually Joe before he became ill he had attempted to go on a retreat with the Jesuits. His desire to embrace the Church was no mere death bed fancy. Here is what the priest said who attended him in his last hours:

    “As the voiture rolled through the dark streets that wintry night, the sad story of Oscar Wilde was in part repeated to me….Robert Ross knelt by the bedside, assisting me as best he could while I administered conditional baptism, and afterwards answering the responses while I gave Extreme Unction to the prostrate man and recited the prayers for the dying. As the man was in a semi-comatose condition, I did not venture to administer the Holy Viaticum; still I must add that he could be roused and was roused from this state in my presence. When roused, he gave signs of being inwardly conscious… Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last Sacraments… And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition, Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me.”

    Here is a good article on the long conversion of Oscar Wilder:

  20. Interesting read, Don. Thanks for the link. Although I wouldn’t place him in the highest strata of English lit, which would include Dickens, Hardy and Kipling, Wilde is a rung below and left a few masterpieces.

    As for deathbed converts, alleged or otherwise, the list is long, starting with The Good Thief, down through Constantine, Antonio Gramsci (debatable), Wallace Stevens, King Charles II. Others who supposedly “saw the light” at the end were said to include Charles Darwin (though he daughter denied it) and Jean-Paul Satrre (to Judaism).

    Bishop Sheen tells of a deathbed conversion in his autobiography, Treasure in Clay, where he repeatedly visited a dying cancer patient in the hospital who kept telling him to “get the hell out.” Sheen says the man called on Jesus just before he expired, according to a nurse.

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