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Indiana ain’t no shining state on the hill

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

While some blame the lack of state funding for various services and programs as a reason why there’s violence in the streets of Chicago, Gov. Bruce Rauner said a lack of opportunity is a bigger culprit.

Rauner said no community is immune from violence and dismissed assertions that dried-up state funds is the root of the problem.

“The No. 1 problem we have for the long term, whether it comes to violence or poverty or low incomes or anything else, is lack of economic opportunity, and that comes from lack of being competitive in Illinois.”

Rauner has been pushing for reforms that he said will make Illinois more competitive.

“We have not been doing this for decades, and it’s the No. 1 reason we have these problems,” Rauner said.

* Rauner actually made a much more pointed connection between gang violence and his Turnaround Agenda

“Violence caused by gangs and drug battles, directly related to lack of opportunity. Directly related to lack of opportunity.”

And then he pointed yet again to Indiana as a model for economic growth, correctly noting that tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs have been added in that state, while Illinois lags infinitely behind.

* But how is Indiana doing on violence and quality of life issues? After all, if it’s such an employment mecca, shouldn’t we also see a far better way of life over there?

From Jake Lewis at Illinois Working Together, a pro-union, anti-Rauner group…

Hi Rich -

Not sure if you saw the governor’s comments today regarding violence and the budget impasse (see here at 3:25). The governor says the “number one problem” causing violence or poverty is “lack of economic opportunity.” The governor then points to Indiana as a model for Illinois, a state that has “created economic opportunity” to address the problems of crime and poverty.

Though the governor may be enamored with our eastern neighbor, there are a few things he failed to mention about Indiana:

Though Illinois certainly faces challenges - challenges exacerbated by Rauner’s failed governorship - following the Indiana model would throw Illinois into a race to the bottom. Instead, the governor should drop his extreme agenda, pass a fully funded budget, and work collaboratively to get Illinois back on track.

Indiana has a lower average cost of living than Illinois, so higher median incomes don’t buy as much here as they do there. And the reductions in respective poverty levels are well within the margin of error.

But still.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Bobby Catalpa - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    Rauner’s “opportunity” is a trickle-down model — the same “Trumped Up Trickle Down” — Hilary pointed out last night.

    It’s essentially: give the wealthy a break — a big break — and, trust me, they’ll take care of everything else.

    Obviously, this doesn’t — and won’t — work. Won’t work for Trump, won’t work for Rauner.


  2. - Huh? - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    “a lack of opportunity is a bigger culprit.”

    I look at this as that old saw about leading a horse to water …


  3. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:47 am:

    So if Indiana really isn’t better. What’s it about?

    It’s about destroying Labor and engaging in perfidy to cover that up.


  4. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 10:59 am:

    “The No. 1 problem we have for the long term, whether it comes to violence or poverty or low incomes or anything else, is lack of economic opportunity, and that comes from lack of being competitive in Illinois.”

    That’s a pretty interesting statement coming from a guy who spent his life destroying opportunities for others in exchange for pocketing the profit.


  5. - AC - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    We should set our sights higher than Indiana. We could look to Minnesota with its 9.1 percent poverty rate where folks are disappointed that their unemployment rate rose to 4% and median household income is only $63,488. Personally, I think Illinois could better Minnesota in all those measures, based on the diversity of our economy, the skills and resources of our people, and our location at the economic hub of the Midwest and country. Of course, to do that we’d need to get our fiscal house in order and invest in our people, but right now that seems unlikely.


  6. - HangingOn - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:20 am:

    ==We could look to Minnesota ==

    But…but…Minnesota has higher taxes! How can they be doing better than us with higher taxes! That goes against everything the politicians have been telling us! Low taxes will make this state great again! /s


  7. - Maximus - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    Numerous studies do show that increased job opportunities does reduce violence in communities. As the saying goes: “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” For as much as Rauner might be overstating this point, Illinois Working Together wants to claim that it isn’t true?


  8. - anon123 - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    Will the TA require businesses to scrap the “convictions” section from their application process? Probably not the kind of government meddling that Bruce would endorse. So even if the TA was an astounding success and businesses flocked to Illinois like ants to a picnic, we couldn’t expect a lot of “opportunity” in neighborhoods that everybody from the Mayor to the DA to the Feds treat like a buffet line for conviction stats. So these same poor, violence-riddled neighborhoods will be left behind, as always. It’s almost as though private enterprise can’t solve every problem…woah, I gotta keep that commie thinkin’ in check.

    You just keep your eyes on the long-term, Bruce. Because nobody’s living in fear, or suffering from hunger, exposure, illness, or addiction in the meantime.


  9. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    We should not be comparing Illinois to Indiana, period. But, both sides are doing it to push their agendas. I was in Indiana over the weekend. There’s no doubt that the job growth is better. You see new factories and new retail stores and new hotels and new houses. It’s just a different environment. Business is growing because they feel like there’s opportunity. People are moving there because they feel like there’s opportunity. You just don’t have the same mindset in Illinois.


  10. - Scamp640 - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    The ultimate quality of life indicator: Life expectancy (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation).

    Illinois = 79.0 years
    Indiana = 77.6 years


  11. - A guy - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    It’s not a “shining” state in any way I can think of. And it’s as flat as it gets until you get way south. And even then the terrain goes down, not up, so it’s not on a hill either. The statement that Indiana ain’t no shining state on a hill, could not be more true. lol


  12. - anon - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    Higher median income by 20%, much lower rate of uninsured residents, lower crime rate, less poverty, and so on. Do Democrats who have been controlling Illinois from 2003-2014 get any credit for all of these things? Do Hoosier Republicans get qny blame?


  13. - Bill F. - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    That all may be true, but every Illinoisan who moves to Indiana gets 800 words in the Tribune Editorial Page to regurgitate some Rauner talking points, so there’s that.


  14. - walker - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 5:02 pm:

    Indiana might not be the model, but Rauner makes one solid point: widespread economic opportunity is at the core of any solutions.

    His problem continues to be lack of evidence or even specific goals linking his Turnaround Agenda to that opportunity.


  15. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 5:23 pm:

    ==That’s a pretty interesting statement coming from a guy who spent his life destroying opportunities for others in exchange for pocketing the profit.==

    OK, but TRS and other public pensions are happy to profit from GTCR and other private equity groups. In fact, they’re looking to increase their allocations.


  16. - Revolving Door - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 6:04 pm:

    Is the lower incarceration rate in Illinois something to brag about? There is a well known criticism that convicted criminals in Illinois serve reduced sentences as politicians engage in false economies by releasing jail and prison inmates to save money.

    A day ago, a murder was committed in Millennium Park by an ex-con who had been arrested 39 times, but was out on the street again.


  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 6:41 pm:

    How does the governor explain the record commercial and residential building boom in Chicago?

    Are those investors not subject to complying workers comp and prevailing wage laws?

    The Chinese are building a billion-dollar 95-story tower on East Wacker. I imagine there are some risks in a venture like that. They could have invested that money anywhere in the world.

    The state does have a role in creating a “friendly” business environment. It’s called providing an educated work force, infrastructure, public safety and rule of law.

    The idea that governors are responsible for “creating jobs” by bringing in manufacturers is loopy. You won’t find a book or scholarship that posits that anywhere.

    It’s just empty p.r. from political hacks.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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