* Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss has outlined three broad goals to kick off his new effort to help formulate a progressive response to Raunerism…
Tackle the outliers first. People can quibble about all sorts of things, but there’s no question that when it comes to a few measures — credit rating, for instance — Illinois is an extreme state, and not in a good way. That means that we should try to solve the extreme problems first. Does it bother you that Illinois is only 35th best in some way? Fine. But let’s work on that after we’ve tackled the ways that Illinois is one of five or fewer states that need to change a practice.
Go after the structural causes of corruption. The transactional nature of Illinois politics has harmed us in many ways, not least in helping us avoid long-term thinking and therefore adding to our debt load. We need to take this culture on by understanding what enables it and fighting accordingly, starting with money in politics, lobbying practices, and the proliferation of unscrutinized silos all across government.
Take advantage of our assets and retool for a high-skill, high-wage modern economy. This might be the most controversial of the principles, but it is also the most important. We can no longer afford to ignore the changes that have swept the Midwest. We have to acknowledge them in our policies, and we need to chart a bold new economic course. Governor Rauner wants that course to be a race to the bottom, using lower compensation as an economic development tool. Instead, we should capitalize on our many strengths to become a high-wage leader in the new economy.
Go read the whole thing, but what do you think of these and would you add any further expansive goals?