Sweet Home Chicago

Speaking of re-locating, the Gallup Organization has produced a poll that I find disheartening:

PRINCETON, NJ — Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut. In both of these states, about half of residents say that if given the chance to move to a different state, they would like to do so. Maryland is a close third, at 47%. By contrast, in Montana, Hawaii, and Maine, just 23% say they would like to relocate. Nearly as few — 24% — feel this way in Oregon, New Hampshire, and Texas.

This is hardly surprising. Illinois has the third highest unemployment rate among the states (only Nevada and Rhode Island are higher), a phlegmatic economy, is a fiscal basket case, manifest political corruption, and the lowest state contribution to education of any state.

Illinois is not a destination state like California or Florida or even North Carolina or New York. People come here to work:

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders…

Carl Sandburg didn’t celebrate Chicago for the climate or for the sights but for working. Recent mayors have concentrated more on making Chicago a place where people like themselves would want to live. We need to make it a place where ordinary Chicagoans would want to live.

Things are not likely to get better in Illinois without some pretty drastic change. If people want change, they’ve got to change the people they want. We’ll get nowhere re-electing the same crooks year after year.

Meanwhile, people are discouraged and those who can will vote with their feet.

23 comments… add one

  • Guarneri

    I hear its because we don’t have iron ore boats coming down from Duluth anymore…………

  • I’ve been waiting for you to comment on this!

    The Louisiana vs Texas difference is quite interesting.

  • I can’t speak authoritatively to this subject but my impression has been that culturally East Texas and Western Louisiana are quite similar. It seems to me the most likely explanation for the difference is that Texas is growing while Louisiana is in about the same boat as Illinois.

    Taking the next step, I’m not sure why Texas is growing but Louisiana isn’t. Louisiana is Illinois’s closest competition for the dubious title of “Most Corrupt State” so I would guess that corruption and demographics are the ultimate reasons.

  • Guarneri

    We won’t buy a business in Louisiana, period, full stop. Corruption.

    Now, TX has “been-a belly good to us.”

    “Deep down in Florida, where the sun shines damn near everyday” (props to Mr. Morganfield) is nice. Carolina, as in the mountains, is great in the summer.

  • michael reynolds

    I would save myself an easy 100k a year by moving to Texas, just in income taxes. My wife and I looked at it – we have a connection in that we first got together in Austin – but decided we can’t take the weather, the landlocked flyover feel, and more fundamentally, will not raise our children in that environment.

    Kind of a shame, because comparing what, say, 2 million, buys in terms of real estate in Austin vs. Marin County is just depressing. We could have five bedrooms, a profligate number of other rooms, a vast kitchen, land, horses (we don’t really want horses, but hey) and here we basically get a cramped 3 bedroom condo with a great view.

    Cramped 3 bedroom condo with nice view plus 100k to the state, versus massive McMansion on a vast lot with 100k in spending money. And still the answer is California. Ditto Florida. Ditto Nevada.

    Illinois is sadly not in play. We like the people, we like the restaurants, but we do not like the weather.

  • michael reynolds

    By the way, Illinois real estate is nuts. The most expensive property on Zillow for Austin is 10.1. For Marin it’s a shade under 20. There’s a Chicago condo on the market at 32 million. It looks very nice, but what kind of an idiot pays 32 million to live in a place with six weeks of decent weather and LA-level traffic?

  • Jimbino

    Since when should “state contribution to education” be considered a positive? I suppose you would consider state contribution to religion, sex, groceries, and booze also positive?

    As a libertarian, I consider state contribution to ANYTHING a negative.

  • Guarneri

    “There’s a Chicago condo on the market at 32 million.”

    Sounds like top of Trump Tower, maybe Oprah’s place.

    Hate to say it, but we are almost counting the days to leave Chicagoland permanently. Proviso: must have a way to get Hawks, Bears and White Sox games……..you know, the important stuff.

  • Andy

    I will readily admit that I have no interest in ever living in Illinois or Chicago. I’m in Florida and I don’t much like it here either. I have to have mountains to really be happy.

  • jan

    Next to the humidy in FL, the lack of hills and mountains has the eyes yearning for land elevations. Like Andy, I have to have mountains around too, to be omfortable.

  • PD Shaw

    @Andy, I like how you put it: “Illinois or Chicago” ;)

  • ...

    Andy, drive down the Florida Turnpike. Either on the Turnpike or on I-95 you will start seeing the largest hills in Florida. There will be a black haze over them from a distance.

  • ...

    I’d tell you what the hills were, but that would spoil things. ;)

  • I wonder if they’re anything like Mount Trashmore in Evanston.

  • ...

    That depends: Does Mount Trashmore have a perma-cloud of vultures that can be seen from miles away?

  • ...

    Seriously, you can see the mass of vultures overhead before the mountains of trash become visible.

  • ...

    Also, you ruined Andy’s surprise.

  • If memory serves, Evanston’s “Mount Trashmore” (named for a scenic feature of L’il Abner’s hometown) was once a city dump, largely dominated by an enormous pile of old tires. The city threw dirt over it, covered it with sod, and made it into a ski slope.

    Florida could follow suit! They could convert their dumps into ski slopes. Some tow ropes and snowmaking machines should do the trick.

  • ...

    That sounds like the kind of crazy thing the Arabs do in the Gulf States. Some Russian billionaires have moved into S. Fla, I think. If they’re not under sanction maybe they could back this idea.

    The ones already buried have pipes sticking out all over them, I believe to collect methane. That would provide nice obstacles for more challenging slopes….

  • jan

    The one and only time we were in FL was for a funeral, a few years back. We were picking relatives up in a rental SUV, on the way to Stuart, FL. My husband asked a cousin about the lack of mountains. We were told there was one ahead of us that would be pointed out. Pretty soon we saw seagulls flying over this tallish mountain that turned out to be the place they piled trash. I was reminded of tht when I read the above comments.

  • ...

    Yes, that was probably one I drove by many years back on my way to see the King Tut exhibit. (Totally worth it.) But we didn’t see gulls, we saw vultures. Good God but that was nasty. We actually drove by a few of them. There’s a lot less land, and a lot more people, than you’d think on the SE coast of Florida looking at a map.

  • Andy

    Ice is only slightly exaggerating about the black clouds over the “mountains” in Florida….

  • ...

    Andy, maybe I saw them on particularly bad days, but I’m not exaggerating. I could make out the black clouds before I could make out the mounds.

    Incidentally, some of the state and national parks over in your area feature large man- made hills that predate European settlement of the Americas. You can find some over near Mosquito Lagoon IIRC. Mostly the hills are comprised of shells, I believe. It’s quite impressive how much trash those tribes could generate.

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