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Rauner looks to the South for inspiration

Monday, Jun 27, 2016

* Greg Hinz

Rauner’s right that the state’s economy has lagged, and has done so for a long time. But will his solution work?

Fortunately, we don’t have to go very far to find a real-world point of comparison. That’s in neighboring Wisconsin, another Rust Belt state that has lagged the nation’s growth for decades, but which, in January 2011, got a new governor much in the mold of Rauner in Scott Walker. And unlike Rauner, Walker had a GOP-majority legislature to work with, so he was able to actually get through the sorts of union-weakening measures that Rauner so far can only dream of.

Did it work? According to research forwarded to me a few months back by the Rauner-friendly Illinois Policy Institute, between January 2010 and January 2016, total private-sector job growth in Illinois and Wisconsin was almost identical: 7 percent here versus 7.1 percent there.

Using a slightly different time period shows a slightly different result.

According to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data crunched for me by my colleague John Pletz, comparing December 2010 (the month Walker took over) to December 2015 shows a 5 percent employment gain for Wisconsin to 3.3 percent for Illinois. But Illinois entered the great recession a little later than Wisconsin and came out of it a little later. So if you compare December 2008 to December 2015, the difference is just 1.2 percent, with Wisconsin up 2.4 percent and Illinois half that.

When I asked Rauner about that when he appeared before Crain’s editorial board last week—click on the video and go to around minute 53 — he said it “takes time” for changes to kick in.

Fair enough, but if you look just at the last two years, December 2013 to December 2015, the job growth figures again are almost dead even: 2 percent here versus 2.4 percent there

* Greg asked Rauner if that data suggests “the reforms you want aren’t the great panacea?” His reply

“No, not at all. The comparables are not necessarily just Wisconsin, or Michigan or Indiana. But the comparables are Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia where there’s a lot more rapid growth. You’ll see in the long-term, Wisconsin and Michigan start to fix their problems, and you can certainly see it in Indiana. Indiana started fixing their problems earlier than Wisconsin and Michigan, that’s why they’re taking so many more of our jobs and their financial health is so much better.

“Wisconsin’s financial health isn’t all that good. See, Wisconsin and Michigan, but especially Wisconsin, they were a collectivist state, even before Illinois. And they were more extreme than Illinois in the collectivism. And they’ve already got a high graduated income tax and they’ve already got embedded the problems that we haven’t gone to yet. I’m trying to prevent us from going there, because once you get there, coming back from that is all the harder.”

There’s that word again.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Trolling Troll - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    I’ve read that last paragraph nine times and I still don’t know what it means.

  2. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:47 pm:

    Greg, you’re just a tool to implement the collectivist agenda. How dare you question the results of Rauner’s agenda. /s

  3. - Ayn Rand - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:47 pm:

    Seems to me that TN and SC and the south - on average - are way more collectivist than Illinois.

  4. - Rabid - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:48 pm:

    Who would want to come back from progressive income tax? You were voted in with the millionaire tax mandate remember?

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    Rauner will get to governing as soon as the media decides his ridiculousness isn’t “fun” anymore.

    Some already have. Count Crain’s in the number…

    Until the Democrats decide to partake in serious messaging to counter the Rauner inept press shop that beats the Democrats daily, “collective” and other words masking a lack of factual data will drill Democrats and Labor and Social Services.

    Those three groups can begin to message at any time.


  6. - Honeybear - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    What’s the difference with the South? Lack of unions. No wonder he wants it.

  7. - JPC - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    Add “Collectivist” to “Democrat Party” and you have someone whose brain is a subsidiary of Fox News.

  8. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    I can’t wait to see the Tribune editorial backing up Rauner’s new favorite expression.

  9. - Juice - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    Percent of those aged 16 and over who are working.

    South Carolina 56.4%
    Tennessee 57.9%
    Georgia 58.4%
    Texas 60.9%

    Illinois 61.9%
    Wisconsin 65.8%

    For living in such non-collectivist utopias, those southern states seem to have a lot of folks who aren’t working.

  10. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    Why stop at South Carolina? Why not go all the way to South America, where government of the wealthy, for the wealthy, is Hyman Roth’s ultimate objective for Illinois.

    “We have now what we have always needed, real partnership with the government.”

  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    Dear Trades,

    You make too much money.

    Don’t forget this FACT Rauner believes…

    Rauner “knows” you make too much money, and as a union member, you are the enemy to Bruce Rauner.

    Read it, learn it, know it.

    Oswego Willy

  12. - Anon221 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    Rauner- WWMFD?

  13. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:11 pm:

    Why can’t the dunce we call governor just once look to our own state and stop running it down.

  14. - BK Bro - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:17 pm:

    @ Trolling Troll

    In the last paragraph, Rauner is referring to the structural issues in WI and MI (mainly, the tax brackets). According to Rauner, IL is actually in a better position to reform itself because were starting with a tax structure that, relative to the other states mentioned, is closer to where he wants to be.

  15. - LeadingInDecatuf - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:19 pm:

    Rauner looks to Kansas for inspiration…yikes!

  16. - Wow - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:24 pm:

    I’d take a pound of boiled peanuts from So Carolina in exchange for Uncle Bruce

  17. - sal-says - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    == I’m trying to prevent us from going there, because once you get there, coming back from that is all the harder.” ==

    “I’m trying to get us there faster, you know, to a third-world-country-state right here in the USA, because once you get there, coming back from that is all the harder. Or may be impossible. You should thank me.”

    Fixed it for ya, BigBrain Brucie. Your welcome.

  18. - RetiredStateEmployee - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:26 pm:

    Great, the governor has learned a new word he doesn’t understand, but can use as a weapon against the middle class, labor, and everyone that makes too much money.

  19. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    The Confederacy fell in large part because of extreme income inequality and lack of investment in infrastructure, both of which were closely tied to the wealthy elites’ fervent opposition to the imposition and collection of appropriate taxation such that the civilization was starved of revenue and economically ruined in the end.

    Nothing good ever comes from emulating the economics of the Southern United States and America as a whole has broadly suffered by Southern and Southern-oriented Republicans pushing borrow and spend low-tax Reaganomics on the whole country the last 30 years.

  20. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:34 pm:

    Rauner wants to turn us into a low wage state, and for what? Economic trends are larger than just at the state level. They are regional, national and international. When the economy improves and gets worse, it can be seen nationally.

    I just looked at states’ recent job gains numbers. Texas hasn’t been doing as well lately and gained only 200 jobs last month. California has been better.

    So it boils down to a multimillionaire and his super-rich supporters and allies pushing cuts onto middle class workers for any gains that are more than offset by losses of income, benefits, job protections and labor rights.

  21. - AC - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:35 pm:

    ==it “takes time” for changes to kick in==

    Is the turnaround agenda a hallucinogen?

  22. - Vole - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:36 pm:

    Once you get to Raunerville, coming back will definitely be all the harder.

    Can someone clue me in on Rauner’s definition of collectivism? I don’t think he knows what he is talking about. If he does he surely cannot communicate it. The more the guy talks the more confusing he gets.

    Rauner would not have amassed so much capital were it not for the collective assets of the commoners. Funny how that translates into the righteousness of the “self-made” and their whacky governing philosophies.

  23. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    Comparing Illinois to a single state is a little odd. Why would you not compare Illinois to other states that are similar?

  24. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    “Is the turnaround agenda a hallucinogen?”

    No it is an opiate for the masses. By masses, I mean the obscenely wealthy and select few masses. For the rest of us, it is a case of hepatitis c with a side pancreatic cancer.

  25. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    Today’s epiphany: I think Rauner knows he is using “collectivist” wrong and he is enjoying it. He doesn’t want to say socialist, which is what he is really talking about, for some reason. Collectivist is much more vague (and incorrect) but everyone was able to connect the dots to what he really wanted to say or meant.

    he is ginning up his base, giving them some new vocab, and agitating the Democrats at the same time.

    He is enjoying this for sure.

  26. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    “Can someone clue me in on Rauner’s definition of collectivism?”

    You have too much money and my wealthy pals don’t have enough.

  27. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    I think he’s doing a bit. Willful incoherence to distract from his actions, as Earnest posited on another thread.

    His words do not make a coherent thought, but they suck all the oxygen out of the room trying to make sense of them.

  28. - Collectivist - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:50 pm:

    Lincoln would be prouds

  29. - BBG Watch - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:57 pm:

    Every day … he fills the media with his bogus claims. Today: Dems agree with his stopgap budget! He’s exhausting like a narcisstic child who can’t tell the truth. He is right - everyone else is wrong. He believes what he thinks whether it is the truth or not.

    Word you’re right. His words do not make a coherent thought, but they suck all the oxygen out of the room trying to make sense of them.

    I find him incredibly exhausting!

  30. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:07 pm:

    I wish I was in the land of cotton,
    Old times there are not forgotten;

    Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie’s Land!

  31. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:08 pm:

    You want to look at collectivist states, Rauner, check out Minnesota:

  32. - Trolling Troll - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    Thanks @BK Bro.
    I was sure he was using “collectivist” in the place of unions.

  33. - illini97 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:10 pm:

    I think Earnest and wordslinger are onto something.

    Get everyone talking about your word choice and maybe they forget that someone’s child died while on a waitlist for addiction rehabilitation.

    People are dying due to the Governor’s inaction. Who cares what his words say, his actions say 1 in 13 Illinoisans are worthless.

  34. - Keyrock - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:10 pm:

    “Is the Turanaround Agenda a hallucinogen?”

    No, it’s a carcinogen, in its effect on the body politic.

  35. - kimocat - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:15 pm:

    Not terribly surprising that Rauner seeks to emulate so-called RTW states that are creating tons of poor paying jobs with few benefits. I bet he would like to rescind Medicaid expansion here too — that’s pretty collectivist. I agree with OW — why is the other side not taking him on in the press? I know the Illinois papers are mostly run GOPers, but good grief. The unions need to get the message out to working people that this Governor wants to ruin their standard of living — because HE DOES.

  36. - Morningstar - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:17 pm:

    Hmmm… “collectivist”… there’s that word again. If the governor means “collective bargaining,” or “strong union,” he ought to say that.

  37. - 100 miles west - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    TN, TX, SC, and GA, even with their economic growth, have higher poverty rates than Illinois.

  38. - Union Man - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    The Founding Father’s response to the British King was a collectivist act. America was created and kept strong by people joining together.

  39. - Anon - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    Governor Rauner thinks he’s John Galt.

  40. - Graduated College Student - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:35 pm:

    Wake me when he starts calling union workers “kulaks”.

  41. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:43 pm:

    Texas had had a higher inflation adjusted median household income (not including 0% income tax) since 2012

  42. - Ricardo - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:43 pm:

    Take a look at the single most reliable measurement of economic success: Gross Domestic Product. Everyone of those states mentioned by Rauner except Texas (thanks to oil) has a lower per capita GDP than Illinois — and Texas is only marginally better.

  43. - Obamas Puppy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:52 pm:

    Like a dog with a bone.

  44. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:57 pm:

    ===I know the Illinois papers are mostly run GOPers, but good grief.===

    I don’t blame the Press, the Springfield Press Corps or any “reasonable” media covering Illinois politics.

    It’s not the Press’ job to drive a partisan narrative. It’s up to Democrats, Labor, and Social Services.

    Why the Democrats refuse to engage the Rauner Press Shop is… well, it’s a head scratcher, frankly.

  45. - LeadingInDecatur - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 5:00 pm:

    From the press shop that brought you AFScammy!/s

  46. - frisbee - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 5:16 pm:

    #inconceivable “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” ~Inigo Montoya

  47. - Anon - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 5:31 pm:

    I wonder which of his superstars taught him a big, fancy word like that.

  48. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 5:35 pm:

    === I wonder which of his superstars taught him a big, fancy word like that. ===

    It’s one of the transformation aides. They spend the day searching through Ayn Rand’s writings to see if they can find new buzz words to add to the Raunerspeak library.

  49. - Northsider - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 5:36 pm:

    I’m beginning to think that some of those Scottish curses hurled last week at He, Trump, (h/t to Charlie Pierce) are equally applicable to Bruce “Walker” Rauner.

  50. - Dutch3001 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 6:10 pm:

    Attached is a link to what Governor Rauner apparently thinks is the theme song of overpaid collectivist state workers everywhere:

  51. - kimocat - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 6:21 pm:

    If you want to take a closer look at what Rauner and his ilk see for your future, take a look at the investigative series Mother Jones is doing. They put a reporter into a prison guard job in a Correctional Corporation of America run prison. Nine bucks an hour to work in an absolute hell hole. But CCA is making the big bucks.

  52. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 6:41 pm:

    In a “free” economy Rauner and the 1% can buy any political office they want, while it takes a large “collective” group of citizens to back candidates who share the same morales and values.

    So if you don’t agree with Rauner and Rauner can’t buy you, or crush you, you’re part of a collective.

  53. - Georg Sande - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 8:38 pm:

    Solid plan by Cullerton and the Senate Democrats! I am certain the bill will be well received by Senate Reps. The House will likely quickly pick it up with bipartisan support to surely follow. The only thing in question is if Gov Rauner will sign publicly.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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