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Our two economies

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

* Crain’s

Chicagoland accounted for almost 87 percent of the nearly 426,000 private-sector jobs added since the Great Recession. This graphic shows the percentage change in private-sector employment by year in the Chicago area and the rest of the state compared to 2009.

* The graphic

* Back to the Crain’s piece

Sixty-three percent of Indiana’s counties have lost population since 2010. The percentage is 67 percent in Missouri and Michigan, 73 percent in Iowa and Ohio, 55 percent in Minnesota and 53 percent in Wisconsin. Illinois topped them all: 86 percent of the state’s 102 counties lost population.

The magnet-like attraction of the Chicago region defies its highly-publicized problems. Data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Chicago and its surrounding metro counties are the engine for 9 out of 10 new jobs in Illinois. It is a trend vividly underscored in recent months when farm and construction equipment giant Caterpillar announced it was moving its headquarters from Downstate Peoria to north suburban Deerfield. […]

Despite talk of statewide economic development strategies, the lure of investment almost always benefits large metropolitan areas. Wage data bear that out. Just three of Missouri’s 115 counties—in metro St. Louis and Kansas City—have an average weekly wage of $900 or more, while the average wage in 49 counties is under $600, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Indiana, frequently pointed to by politicians and interest groups as a model for Illinois to follow, average weekly wages are below the national norm in 90 of 92 counties, statistics show. […]

“Moreover, because Chicago is less reliant on goods-producing employment, it has been better insulated than the rest of the state from the struggles affecting both the construction and manufacturing industries,” the report said. “The difference between the Chicago-area economy and the economy in the rest of the state has had and will continue to have important implications for Illinois.”

* Related…

* Dynegy to decide by year-end whether to exit southern Illinois: Representatives of MISO Energy, the grid operator for all or parts of 15 states in the central U.S. including downstate Illinois, in recent months have privately warned legislative leaders in Springfield and Gov. Bruce Rauner of potential power-supply shortages in the future if they don’t assist some of the coal-fired plants downstate. Absent a court ruling halting the subsidies, which will take effect late this year, or additional state help to his fleet, Flexon said more plant closures are inevitable. Recent market signals are very negative. Under an auction conducted earlier this month by the regional grid operator for the Midwest, generators in downstate Illinois will be paid next to nothing for their promise to be available during peak-demand periods in the year beginning June 1, 2017.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - Political Animal - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    Average weekly wages aren’t very informative unless you compare it to local cost of living and express it in Purchasing Power Parity terms.

    I’d rather make $40,000 a year and spend $35,000 on living expenses than make $42,000 a year and spend $38,000 on living expenses.

    Follow the people. Migration patterns tell you where the nice places to live are.


  2. - Earnest - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    In a lot of smaller towns, human service agencies were among the larger employers. Even before Rauner’s devastation Quinn was cutting. Smaller state vendors would have to have made cuts due to not getting paid. Damage to higher education under Rauner. It all adds up.


  3. - Corporate Thug - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    Think this is really important. When people frame the issue of Illinois job creation and out migration digging deeper helps. Jobs are going to cities. Period. The entire Midwest needs to figure out how they get jobs back to smaller communities. This is not just an Illinois problem, its a regional and national problem. Thanks for sharing, Rich.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    “In Indiana, frequently pointed to by politicians and interest groups as a model for Illinois to follow, average weekly wages are below the national norm in 90 of 92 counties, statistics show.”

    Rauner and the IPI want permanent power in government, and to tilt the political and economic scales permanently in their favor while they drive down wages and rights for workers. Some Raunerites want to commit institutional genocide and exterminate public sector unions.

    The red state union-strippin’ model is Raunerrhea and needs to be properly flushed down the toilet.

    Rauner made almost all of his $188 million in 2015 from capital gains, and none from wages, salaries and tips. He has little or no understanding of the struggles of wage and salary earners, no matter how many working class props and costumes he dons.

    “The magnet-like attraction of the Chicago region defies its highly-publicized problems.”

    We have very serious problems, no doubt, but we don’t need union busting and radical supply side policies to create jobs and a stronger economy. Many value proper funding for education, a strong safety net, union rights, LGBT and women’s rights, etc. To many of us, those are strong components in building a good economy.


  5. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    ===In a lot of smaller towns, human service agencies were among the larger employers.===

    College too. Carbondale, Charleston, Macomb. Even towns that host private colleges know they are major employers in places like Quincy, Jacksonville, Decatur, Monmouth, Galesburg.

    By not funding higher education, Governor Rauner has pulled nearly $2 billion out of these local economies. More if you count the lost tuition and housing dollars of students who decided to go to college elsewhere.

    Heck of a job, Raunie.


  6. - Downstate Dem - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    This new economic report underscores what those of us downstate have known for several years and underscores the need for more speeches like the one Chris Kennedy gave in St. Clair County Monday night to the Steamfitters Hall about rebuilding the American Dream in every region of the state.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    ===…more speeches like the one Chris Kennedy gave…===

    The last thing Chris Kennedy wants is politicians to agree with him and support him in anything, so I hope that speech wasn’t geared towards getting politicians to support his ideas.


  8. - Pangloss - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    On Tuesday, I was at a transit board meeting downstate, and a member of the public addressed the board with some Illinois-bashing in shorthand that comes directly from the Governor’s campaign trash-talking of the state (e.g. no one wants to live here, the economy is terrible because of regulation, unions– BAD!!, blame it all on crooked Chicago Democrats, etc.) Apparently, while no one was looking the rest of the state decided that they were going to suck the money out of Illinois and blame it all on the practices of the productive area that’s actually working to keep the state from dying. It’s also being done (so far, successfully) in other states. You really have to marvel at the cynical elegance of it.


  9. - City Zen - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    ==In Indiana, frequently pointed to by politicians and interest groups as a model for Illinois to follow, average weekly wages are below the national norm in 90 of 92 counties, statistics show.==

    Indiana also has one of the lowest cost of living indexes in the USA.


  10. - 100 miles west - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Almost half of Downstate counties are smaller that they were in 1950. For those of us who live in smaller rural parts of the state, the decline is not new. Some counties have been losing population every census for over 100 years. Those places are not coming back. The only places seeing any regular growth are bedroom communities around Downstate towns with state universities or large urban populations.


  11. - sonny chiss - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    If the Republicans would ever figure out that being labor friendly (ala Trump) is a bigger voting block (and getting bigger) than pro-business, it ’s lights out for Democrats in rural america. Because I don’t believe the Democrats will ever figure out that they have left (pun intended) rural voters.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    ===The only places seeing any regular growth are bedroom communities around Downstate towns with state universities or large urban population===

    … then it’s a good thing Rauner wants Eastern closed, Western to lose accreditation and Southern confused on the two campus setup if one needs to close.

    Good thing Charleston, Macomb, Edwardsville and Carbondale have such great allies in the GA fighting Rauner daily.


  13. - Dan Johnson - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    A big part of economic development for non-Chicago Illinois is much better transportation to and from Chicago — read, Amtrak — so people who live in low-cost communities can access Chicago jobs and businesses on a convenient, daily basis.

    I’ll bet smaller towns in Europe and Asia connected to better regional transit are doing better than small towns in the US that are not.


  14. - anon2 - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    Paging Rep. Bill Mitchell. Tell us again about your resolution to have Cook County secede from the state.


  15. - Pangloss - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===A big part of economic development for non-Chicago Illinois is much better transportation to and from Chicago — read, Amtrak===

    Trump’s budget eliminates Amtrak service to 220 cities, mostly small and in the Midwest.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/06/cutting-fly-over-states-trump-axe-amtrak-220-cities


  16. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    A few points.
    Did anyone notice that Kendall, Kane and Will were the only counties to show 1000+ population growth over the last year in the US Census estimates? Oswego Willy’s buds must be doing something right.
    The Chicago economy, and especially the Loops’, operates in another world than the downstate economies. No one gives a second thought to getting a $40 Uber ride to and from O’Hare. That’s a whole day’s take home pay, or a good chunk of it, for breadwinners in some of our more depressed counties.
    The “fight for fifteen” - In many urban or high income suburban locales, $15 might attract a barely qualified worker, whereas in others downstate you might get a line of people with associates’ or bachelors’ degrees.


  17. - anon2 - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    These numbers about where economic growth is occurring belie the common downstater belief that they are taxed to subsidize the Chicago area.


  18. - Cassandra - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    We’ve been reading about the urbanization of the world for some now. Illinois is following global trends.

    In the face of these powerful trends, should we spend taxpayer cash trying to sustain fading rural areas. I don’t have the answer but it’s a fair question. And if the answer is yes, why.


  19. - Realist - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    It would be nice to see how much of that is really cook county versus the collar counties. They always seem to be lumped together.


  20. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    Dan Johnson- those Amtrak trains had better go 300 mph if you want a reasonable commute time from most of rural and small town Illinois. I do know tradespeople who commute to the Loop 2 hours each way because that’s where the money is, but it’s a brutal existence.


  21. - City Zen - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==Paging Rep. Bill Mitchell. Tell us again about your resolution to have Cook County secede from the state.==

    Can Cook County residents secede from Cook County?


  22. - Bogey Golfer - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    =
    A big part of economic development for non-Chicago Illinois is much better transportation to and from Chicago — read, Amtrak — so people who live in low-cost communities can access Chicago jobs and businesses on a convenient, daily basis.= And you would prefer a 14+ hour day just to live in the hinterlands. Really?


  23. - 100 miles west - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    OW - the State Senator EIU alum from the area does not appear to care EIU is on the brink of closure. Term limits are worth it


  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===Oswego Willy’s buds must be doing something right.===

    The conntinued growth of Kane/Kendall/Will DuPage area around the Oswego area is fueled by a few specific things;

    Commuter trains to and from Chicago.
    I-88 and that expansion including newly configured Rt. 59 exit and Eola exit.
    Farm land being converted to subdivisions at a quick clip
    Schools being built and providing quality educations

    We’re not manufacturing at an unusual clip, we’re not expanding or booming in a counter way to the state. We are being fueld by easier access to transportation, be it tollways or public, and new housing opportunities.

    At some point, I’d like to see manufacturing, or industries/corporations start, grow, and stay here. CAT is downsizing in the region here, yet growth is still happening.


  25. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    There are more than 2 economies in the state; the post-recession gap between white and black unemployment in Chicago is higher than ever.

    Downstate the Chicago-bashing often carries a lot of racial animus. But white Chicago yuppies from Galesburg have a lot of the recovery jobs.

    Maybe they should be sending remittances home like Mexican kids do.


  26. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    “I’d rather make $40,000 a year and spend $35,000 on living expenses than make $42,000 a year and spend $38,000 on living expenses.”

    Millions of people who live in big cities disagree with this. Millions want the many offerings big cities have and are willing to pay more.

    Also, Indiana’s median incomes are much lower than Illinois’.

    Many who leave Illinois to retire in cheaper states like Florida have better retirements because they made more money in Illinois than many red states. I mean, what kind of retirement can people have after having low incomes for decades? Imagine retirements in the future in our current environment of fewer pensions and 401k’s. Pushing down wages and benefits have bad repercussions that follow people all the way through life.


  27. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    G of M:

    Here’s the answer to your question:

    “Retirement? What’s That?”

    And spoken by not only the working poor.


  28. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    If you want high paying manufacturing jobs to grow in Oswego the reforms advocated by the Illinois Manufacturing Association and the Governor are proposing need to pass.

    Democrats and trial lawyers oppose these common sense reforms that would raise wages in Illinois for middle class people

    Why is CAT downsizing in Illinois and expanding elsewhere?


  29. - Liandro - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    @Six Degrees of Separation:

    Exactly right. I get incredibly frustrated with urban and suburban politicians that have, quite simply, no clue how different the economy is downstate vs. what they know. Whether it’s discussing wages or anything else (infrastructure pops to mind)–the economies are wildly different.


  30. - City Zen - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    == I mean, what kind of retirement can people have after having low incomes for decades? Pushing down wages and benefits have bad repercussions that follow people all the way through life.==

    As does raising taxes. A tax hike diminishes my ability to save for that retirement you mentionned.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    ===If you want high paying manufacturing jobs to grow in Oswego the reforms advocated by the Illinois Manufacturing Association and the Governor are proposing need to pass.===

    The governor said term limits are a major factor.

    I’ve yet to hear term limits preventing manufactures from coming to Oswego.

    ===Democrats and trial lawyers oppose these common sense reforms that would raise wages in Illinois for middle class people.===

    Bruce Rauner in Decatur had a whole PowerPoint about purposely reducing labor incomes, so there’s that.

    ===Why is CAT downsizing in Illinois and expanding elsewhere?===

    Could be, in part, the Federal Investigation of hiding monies …and profits overseas… and looking for cheaper labor elsewhere?


  32. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    “A tax hike diminishes my ability to save for that retirement you mentionned.”

    Right, but a large part of a tax hike is necessary to pay the retirement benefits promised to others.


  33. - ZC - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Big paradox of our age: cities lose politically in a lot of statewides (at least outside solidly “blue” Northeastern and Pacific west states) but continue to win big economically.

    Neither part of this city / rural divide can fully prosper without the other but Rauner can’t solve this in any term, because the only way he can “win” is wedge Chicago Democrats against the rest of the state with phony populism.


  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    “- Cassandra - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    We’ve been reading about the urbanization of the world for some now. Illinois is following global trends.

    In the face of these powerful trends, should we spend taxpayer cash trying to sustain fading rural areas. I don’t have the answer but it’s a fair question. And if the answer is yes, why.”

    Cassandra, the answer is hell NO!

    Downstate should be mostly farms and some tourism. Why don’t Illinois farmers start raising delicious game birds like pheasant, guinea fowl and partridge?


  35. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    Term limits are an important factor for a legislature that is more reflective of their constituents needs.

    The Governor does support term limits as do 80% in Illinois residents, but of course opposed by Speaker Madigan who claims to be a man
    of the people.

    CAT and other manufacturers leaving because of high workers comp, the CEO said so. Of course what does he know?


  36. - Sue - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    If I heard the report correctly- Illinois is the only state with fewer total jobs today then it had in 2000


  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===Term limits are an important factor for a legislature that is more reflective of their constituents needs.===

    Please cite with actual numbers, beyond your own opinion. Polling numbers do not equate quantitive facts. Oh, those facts, need to show the business actual numbers, including jobs.

    ===The Governor does support term limits as do 80% in Illinois residents, but of course opposed by Speaker Madigan who claims to be a man of the people.===

    Nope. Just because it’s popular doesn’t make it good policy.

    ===CAT and other manufacturers leaving because of high workers comp, the CEO said so. Of course what does he know?===

    Was that before or after the federal raids? Hmm.


  38. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    – Indiana also has one of the lowest cost of living indexes in the U.S.–

    It’s called supply and demand. The price of something will continue to drop until someone is willing to buy it.

    The cost of living is way less in East St. Louis compared to Wilmette, too.


  39. - btowntruth from forgotonnia - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    OW:
    True that.
    Just look at how many times Phillips,Hammond,and Bryant have stood up to the Governor.

    And when I say “stood up” I mean “stood up and said “Yes,Boss.Whatever you say,Boss.”


  40. - City Zen - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    ==It’s called supply and demand. The price of something will continue to drop until someone is willing to buy it.==

    You haven’t seen a south suburban property tax bill, have you?

    Texas and Tennessee have both seen significant population gains this decade. Both have lower cost of living indices than Illinois. Seems like they have plenty of buyers.


  41. - Smitty Irving - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    City Zen -
    Both TN & TX have milder / non-existent winters. And TX has a lower tax burden as they “export” their taxes to non-Texans who consume their oil (same with Wyoming and coal).


  42. - Honeybear - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    It’s true. Just had a guy call using his last minutes on a government phone in rural st. Clair to say he’d try to hitchhike down to the office to complete his medical app because he wouldn’t have more minutes till may 6 to complete a phone interview. He needed Medicaid as soon as possible. I went to ask questions and he was gone. Phone dead. My God folks it’s getting bad. A sick guy hitch hiking to the “aid office”.

    It’s so bad. More and more jobs are filled by the elderly instead of teens. Look at the cart of stuff at check out of things that people didn’t have the money for and needed to be put back. We’re going down


  43. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 5:12 pm:

    –You haven’t seen a south suburban property tax bill, have you?–

    I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, in context. Did they revoke supply and demand in the South Suburbs? Olympia Fields and Ford Heights, the same?

    –Texas and Tennessee have both seen significant population gains this decade. Both have lower cost of living indices than Illinois. Seems like they have plenty of buyers. –

    As in most states, there’s quite a range determining the average, wouldn’t you say? Which was my point to begin with.

    Anyway, here are the states by cost of living. Knock yourself out determining what that has to do with anything as far as state policies as a factor in their “economies.”

    https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/

    As you’ll see, both Texas and Mississippi are at the bottom of AVERAGE cost of living. But I’m guessing there’s a wee bit of difference between the North Dallas suburbs and Brownsville, for example.

    But there’s not a dime’s bit of difference between the governing political cultures of Texas and Mississippi.

    Yet since WWII, Texas has boomed while Mississippi remains the nation’s economic backwater.

    What does that tell you as to a state’s “job-creating” efforts in “growing the economy?”


  44. - Striketoo - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 6:38 pm:

    “The entire Midwest needs to figure out how they get jobs back to smaller communities.”
    Why? Maybe larger urban areas are just more efficient and more interesting places to live. People are voting with their feet and their pocketbooks. It’s called freedom.


  45. - Shemp - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 6:43 pm:

    Like Liandro, I am very frustrated with policies that ignore the differences between the Chicago area and the downstate. The minimum wage is a perfect example, as is prevailing wage (which is artificially inflated. Reg’s on bidding public projects favor big labor and squeeze out the small operations.

    I often wonder how many on here live outside the bubbles of either Springfield insider or Chicago region resident.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 6:52 pm:

    - Shemp -,

    You and - Linandro - think people make too much money.

    Whatever the percentage you think people should make less, you send me that percentage of your earnings. 10%? You send me 10% of your earnings.

    Deal?


  47. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 7:25 pm:

    –Why is CAT downsizing in Illinois and expanding elsewhere? –

    CAT is not expanding anywhere, it is contracting.

    Since 2015, it’s been in the midst of laying off 10,000 workers all over the country and the world.

    –Cat made a major restructuring announcement in September 2015, leading to the closure or consolidation of nearly 30 facilities to reduce costs, overcapacity and optimize dividends to shareholders:
    - Oak Creek, Wisconsin, mining office
    - Saarbrücken, Germany, mining facility
    - Singapore Reman facility
    - Danville, Kentucky, component facility
    - Sagami, Japan, component facility
    - Del Rio, Texas, warehouse
    - Batam, Indonesia, mining facility
    - Joliet, Illinois, component facility
    - East Peoria, Illinois, Building HH component facility
    - Thomasville, Georgia, engine component facility
    - Santa Fe, New Mexico, engine component facility
    - Tongzhou, Jiangsu, wheel loader facility
    - Prentice, Wisconsin, forestry facility
    - Van Alstyne, Texas, mining warehouse
    - Little Rock, Arkansas, Progress Rail facility
    - Jacksonville, Florida, bucket and work tool facility
    - Morganton, North Carolina, component facility
    - Newberry, South Carolina, generator set facility
    - Ridgeway, South Carolina, generator set facility
    - Oxford, Mississippi, hose couplings plant
    - Building BB in Mossville, former engine plant
    - Louisville, Kentucky, two Progress Rail facilities
    - Houston, Pennsylvania, underground mining (room & pillar) facility (tbc)
    - Houston, Pennsylvania, parts facility
    - Duffield, Virginia, parts facility
    - Monkstown, Northern Ireland, electric power facility (contemplated)
    - Gosselies, Belgium CI facility (contemplated)
    - Cediwal, Belgium logistics facility (contemplated)
    - Sparks, Nevada, Progress Rail facility–

    I’ve tried a couple of times to post more detailed information, but it’s there on the google.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar_Inc.#Manufacturing


  48. - illini - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 7:54 pm:

    So I guess some of my “friends” on this site think that those of us who live and work in Southern Illinois are worth less than those who live in “Chicago”.

    You can’t really pick and choose on some issues like this.


  49. - illini - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 7:57 pm:

    @Wordslinger - thank you very much for you research and diligence.


  50. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 8:00 pm:

    Manufacturing gets talked about here a lot, at various levels of coherence, but consider the transformation of American farming.

    Simply put, advances in technology have produced efficiencies that require fewer farmers but more capital.

    That means fewer family farms with all that free labor (and the need for supporting infrastructure in schools, services, stores, etc.,), but more corporate farm operations in need of capital for chemicals and equipment.

    In 1950, there were 195,000 farms in Illinois. Today, there are 75,000. It’s like that all over farming-intense rural America.

    You don’t have to be a demographer or economist to understand the repercussions to Downstate losing two-thirds of farm businesses.

    Conversely, the only areas Downstate that have exhibited population growth in recent years are those just outside Chicago metro or near public universities.

    How we doing on supporting those university economic engines?

    http://www.icip.iastate.edu/tables/agriculture/farms-by-state

    http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/February-2016/Where-Is-Illinois-Losing-Population/


  51. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 8:32 pm:

    If the state wants to really get behind the “creation” of “new jobs,” for Downstate, there are a couple of plays, one blindingly obvious, one that’s been on the back burner, so to speak.

    The first is weed. I’m not going to get into the “morality” or “danger” of it, at all, not in the midst of a killer prescription opioid epidemic, and not when I can go to Walgreens and walk out in 10 minutes with all the booze, smokes and prescription mind-bender I want.

    Weed could be the equivalent of craft beer or wineries for Downstate, giving more people the opportunities to start small businesses utilizing their own labors and make a go of it, rather than leaving all the land to the big corn and bean outfits.

    Second is New Albany Shale. It will happen. The state regs were put in place, then the price collapsed.

    But advances in best practices are dramatically lowering the break-even price for new horizontal wells.

    And it’s not just oil, but an ocean of natural gas. And the next big thing for natural gas is Liquified Natural Gas for export. It’s going to be yuuugggee; extraction, storage, conversion plants, transport, the whole schmear.

    Most of Europe alone is dependent on natural gas piped from Russia. LNG exports could eventually remove that political dagger and put them out of business.

    If you haven’t visited the issue in a while, check out the links below. New Albany Shale will be back in play sooner than you think.

    Rather than playing cynical political games with ludicrous snake oil promises of “hundreds” of existing manufacturing plants ready to pick up and move, the governor could be a real leader and put his unequaled authority in this state behind these two very real opportunities that could be the next really big things.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2017/04/16/the-u-s-is-transforming-the-global-liquefied-natural-gas-market/#1789615522ef

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/how-frackers-beat-opec/508760/

    https://oilandgas-investments.com/2013/oil-and-gas-financial/illinois-new-albany-shale-oil/


  52. - RNUG - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 9:45 pm:

    == Both TN & TX have milder / non-existent winters. And TX has a lower tax burden ==

    I’ll just add I’ve been traveling in North Carolina and Tennessee the past week, and if you just compare property taxes, you will pay about 1/5th to 1/10th of what you pay back in Illinois, and that is on more house if you are from Chicago or the collars.


  53. - Shemp - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 10:35 pm:

    Oswego, Liandro and I have to hear from a lot of people about providing local services in a stagnant environment where most private wage growth is stagnant (median income declining actually) while we have to tax more to maintain basic services between interest arbitration and prevailing wages. I don’t want people to make less, but my peers in Iowa get a lot more done with less.


  54. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 6:24 am:

    - Shemp -

    Anytime you’re lowering wages, purposely, because “others” aren’t getting wages, you cavy excuse that.

    No one is stopping anyone from being a carpenter, plumber, etc.

    Again, you don’t like the prevailing wage, you deciding try make too much, you tell me how much less, 10% for example, you feel they don’t deserve… you send me 10% of your income.

    You want to make what the prevailing wage is, get in that industry. Otherwise…

    You wavy people to make less. That’s it. It’s that simple.


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