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Pritzker makes Forbes list again while Illinoisans’ discretionary income ranks lowest in Midwest

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017

* Forbes

It was another record year for the wealthiest people in America, as the price of admission to the country’s most exclusive club jumped nearly 18%. The minimum net worth to make The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans is now a record $2 billion, up from $1.7 billion a year ago. The group’s total net worth climbed to $2.7 trillion, up from $2.4 trillion, and the average net worth rose to $6.7 billion, up from $6 billion. […]

Every person in the top 10 got at least $1 billion richer in the past year. Number one for the 24th consecutive year is Bill Gates, who is now worth $89 billion, up $8 billion from a year ago. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, whose fortune rose $14.5 billion in a year, retains the number two spot for the second consecutive year with a net worth of $81.5 billion, while Warren Buffett holds onto the number 3 spot. His net worth increased by $12.5 billion, despite giving away more than $3 billion of Berkshire-Hathaway stock in July. The biggest gainer (in dollar terms) is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. His fortune jumped $15.5 billion, but in a crazy year like this one, it’s only good enough for him to hold onto his ranking as fourth richest.

* Finke looked through the list and saw only one Illinois candidate for governor

That distinction belongs to Democrat J.B. Pritzker, whose wealth was pegged at $3.4 billion. Pritzker ranks 219th on the list of richest Americans. He’s one of four Pritzkers who appear on the list.

And Rauner? Didn’t make the list. The cutoff for Forbes’ list is about $2 billion, which is too rich even for the deep-pocketed Rauner.

Pritzker is not the richest person in Illinois, though. That distinction belongs to hedge fund manager Ken Griffin at $8.5 billion. Griffin has given millions to Rauner and the Republican Party, although it was reported that he also recently gave $1 million to the Obama Foundation.

* Meanwhile, here’s Mary Cooley at the Belleville News-Democrat

Illinois residents are among the least likely in Midwestern states to have discretionary income, according to a business survey.

Across the country, Illinois is 30th for discretionary income but 12th among the 12 Midwestern states as defined by the study done by the storage firm Trove Technologies.

Trove used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Tax Foundation and The Council For Community and Economic Research for its analysis. Discretionary income is the money left after paying food, shelter, clothing and taxes; for this survey Trove assumed “a single person sharing a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate … a Single Filer with no dependents” for state and federal taxes. […]

Carbondale residents have $879 in annual discretionary income, according to the study, with an average salary of $37,308, taxes estimated at $8,234, and basic expenses costing $28,194.

That’s a pretty narrow assumption. But it is what it is. And if you’re in the bottom 20 percent of Carbondale occupations, your discretionary income is pegged at -$8,778 for the year.

* Other areas, with bottom 20 percent in parentheses…

Illinois: $5,811 (-$10,902)

Bloomington: $5,976 (-$8,893)

Carbondale: $879 (-$8,778)

Champaign-Urbana: $5,312 (-$7,911)

Chicago: $3,402 (-$13,579)

Chicago Metro: $5,002 (-$11,979)

Danville: $2,806 (-$6,564)

Decatur: $2,646 (-$8,631)

Kankakee: $4,719 (-$7,626)

Peoria: $6,386 (-$7,938)

Rockford: $5,810 (-$7,643)

Springfield: $5,395 (-$8,310)

See the numbers for yourself and plug in your own variables by clicking here. Just remember that the assumptions are very narrow.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Stark - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    Weird, it’s almost like growing levels of income inequality are concentrating all the country’s wealth at the top of the income distribution…No one deserves $89 billion or even $14.5 billion. Period.

  2. - Put the fun in unfunded - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    It does not appear that they are taking into account the effect of transfer payments such as SNAP, Section 8, and so forth. A person in the bottom 20%is most likely eligible for some or all of these.

  3. - Iggy - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    Waiting for the defense of JB after spending the last 3 years attaching the words Millionaire/Billionaire to Bruce Rauner’s name.

    Its absurd that Biss isnt able to properly attack on these grounds.

  4. - MOON - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:23 pm:


    Who are you to decide what amount of money one deserves?
    Also, enlighten us to what one does deserve.

  5. - Robert the 1st - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    That’s a really cool map. So Michigan is the place to be according to this study. Interesting.

  6. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    A person who earns their money honestly should have no limit on what they earn. When they use their $ to buy politicians who, as proper toadies, help preserve or boost the billions of their master, then “honesty” is eliminated.

  7. - Highland Il - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Another consequence of not passing a budget for a couple of years during an economic recovery period. We passed on that recovery.

  8. - City Zen - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    “Trove used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Tax Foundation and The Council For Community and Economic Research…”

    Guessing this data pre-dates the recent state income tax hike, so it’s worse.

  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    Guessing some of this predates the fall in state funding for public universities, so it’s worse

  10. - Alternative Logic - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    Discretionary income (via wages) is the economic engine of most thriving communities, not just the number of “jobs.”

    Bangladesh is loaded with “jobs” compared to Wilmette (and both have local Ferrari and Rolls Royce dealerships with waiting lists for half million dollar cars.)

  11. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    No wonder why JB reinstalled the toilets in his spare mansion. He can now afford to pay his fair share of property taxes.

    How can the Speaker say with a straight face he is looking out for Illinois middle class families after looking at these numbers?

  12. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===How can the Speaker say with a straight face he is looking out for Illinois middle class families after looking at these numbers?===

    How can anyone with a straight face ask a question that assumes the Speaker of the House in Illinois is the only person responsible for Illinois problems?

  13. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    ==Waiting for the defense of JB after spending the last 3 years attaching the words Millionaire/Billionaire to Bruce Rauner’s name.==

    It’s worth pointing out that after a whole campaign of doing that, Rauner was the one got to give a victory speech.

  14. - Stark - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 1:13 pm:

    MOON: I should really ask you to explain how someone can possibly spend that much money in their lifetime. If you spent $1 million every day for 100 years (an impossible task) your total would still only be $36.5 billion - not half of Gate’s fortune. Bezos rides high while denying his workers access to basic living wages and workplace protections. If you think with the level of child hunger in this country it’s A-okay for a dining room table’s worth of folks to be running around with half the country’s wealth I don’t know what to say except actually caring about people isn’t something you seem to be good at.

  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    Believe it or not, if you try the google you’ll find loads of analysis on discretionary income by states above and beyond that conducted by a storage company on single-filer-no-dependent-renters-with-a-roommate.

  16. - MOON - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 1:35 pm:


    Your response does not address my question.

    Who are you to decide how much money one deserves?

    Please explain how much money you think one deserves.

    You know nothing about me so how can you arrive at those ridiculous conclusions concerning my personal beliefs.

  17. - 21ave - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    I don’t understand why this a news story am I supposed to be mad that my fellow illinian made money

  18. - Stark - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    MOON: Question: Please explain how much money you think one deserves. Answer: Less than $14.5 billion. I didn’t say people could be billionaires, it’s just odd we would think that it is perfectly normal for that to occur while veterans sleep on the street homeless and American children suffer from malnutrition in poverty-stricken families. But hey, if that’s just a part of the status quo to you then I guess you really do care. /s

  19. - Robert the 1st - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    STARK- do you make $34k or more annually? Then you’re in the world’s 1% club. I imagine most the world thinks you should be robbed of your greedy wealth as well.

  20. - MOON - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 3:38 pm:


    You are hopeless.
    In the real world whatever money people have is their business and certainly not yours.However there is no need to attack me personally.

    Your statements are nothing more than a sign of envy for those who posses extraordinary wealth.

    Get a life.

  21. - Periwinkle - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    This is why I’m not sure that Pritzker’s advantages outweigh his disadvantages. This is surely going to become an issue in the general and neutralizes one of the Democratic arguments - that Rauner is an unqualified billionaire who only knows how to run a business and consequently ran the state into the ground. Plus his ties to Blago and those toilets…

  22. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 5:05 pm:

    Of course Rauner did not make the list, he only made $91,000,000 last year. /s

  23. - Jaxon - Tuesday, Oct 17, 17 @ 9:48 pm:

    Billionaires will always have the advantage over more qualified candidates.,I will choose a benevolent unqualified billionaire

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