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Illinois ranked 31st

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From Politico Magazine

Nearly 100 years ago now, the legendary gadfly H.L. Mencken, in his capacity as editor of the American Mercury, teamed with co-editor Charles Angoff to produce a wholly unscientific—but anecdotally recognizable—ranking of the 50 states. They used census data, primarily, to produce an index that ordered the states by their achievements (or lack thereof) in wealth, health and public safety. In that spirit, POLITICO Magazine is continuing our tradition of combining 14 metrics, based on data from the Census Bureau, other government agencies and nonprofits, to produce our own power rankings of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Illinois ranked 31st, ahead of Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. Wisconsin was 10th. Minnesota ranked 2nd.

* Meanwhile, Eric Zorn asked Gov. Rauner a blunt question this week “Are you an even more miserable failure on jobs than Pat Quinn?” Here’s his column

During a televised debate in October 2014, then-candidate Bruce Rauner said that his opponent, incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, was “a miserable failure on jobs. Illinois is one of the lowest job-creating states in America. He’s a failure, I’ll get results.”

Ah, but he did not get results. […]

Job growth in Illinois, which in the last three years of the Quinn administration was 3.57 percent — compared with a 5.31 percent national job-growth rate over the same time — has fallen in the first three years of the Rauner administration to 2.29 percent, about half the 4.82 percent national job-growth rate.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show job growth in Illinois under Rauner has been lower than job growth in the neighboring states of Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Illinois Working Together, a pro-labor coalition partial to Democrats, points out that if employment growth under Rauner had just continued at Quinn’s rate, we’d have 75,000 more jobs now in Illinois. And if we’d simply continued creating jobs at two-thirds the national rate, we’d have nearly 56,000 more jobs than we do now.

* Also…


  1. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    Illinois is where my home is. That is where my heart is. Its #1.

  2. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Lookee here
    CHICAGO, IL — Despite repeated claims from state and national political leaders, Chicago is, in fact, the best city in the world right now, according to results from a new survey. Time Out said Chicago topped its global index of the most exciting cities for the second consecutive year. Its survey anonymously asked 15,000 participants across 32 global cities about their town’s affordability, culture, food, drink, happiness, neighborhoods, livability, pride and friendliness.

    Chicago came out with top scores for eating and drinking. The survey found the average Chicagoan eats out once a week, with 36 percent saying they’d wait over an hour for a table.

    “We are so incredibly proud that Chicago topped the charts as the best city to have it all for the second time in a row,” said Time Out Chicago Editor Morgan Olsen, announcing the rankings.

  3. - ItsMillerTime - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    In 2014 we were 29 under Quinn, just sayin.

  4. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    Yeah. Well. It’s Madigan’s fault.

    Who was the speaker when Quinn (a failure by Rauner’s standards) was governor?

    Hmm…Madigan was speaker when Quinn was governor and job growth was higher.

    Can’t be.

  5. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    This seems to illustrate the Guv’s bidness mentality. In order for a bidness, institution or state to grow, you have to invest in it. The Guv really doesn’t invest in things. He buys things. He buys control in his things. And then he strategically extracts value from the thing he bought. The focus isn’t on growth of the thing. It’s growth of the return on his “investment”.

  6. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    “Miserable failure” pretty well sums it up.

  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    Focus, Amanda. Focus

  8. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    If this was a ranking on population diversity, you could almost flip this upside down. Of the top 10 states here, only Colorado comes within 10 percentage points of the national average of the “white only” population. You have to all the way down to #15 New Jersey to get below the national average.

  9. - Scamp640 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    We cannot overemphasize the point made by the comptroller. Rauner’s ideologically driven intransigence and incompetence have deeply wounded colleges and universities in this state. His actions have hurt downstate communities and are actively driving young people out of Illinois.

    Let me repeat that. Rauner’s actions, which hurt higher education, are responsible for driving young people out of Illinois.

    I don’t know why democrats aren’t more aggressively pointing out how Rauner is accelerating the Illinois brain drain. Rauner is undermining the future of Illinois as he damages higher education in this state.

  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    If you go back to the 2014 campaign, Rauner is a failure by every standard he held Quinn to.

  11. - illini - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    So Illinois lost a BILLION dollars of economic growth by under funding my Alma Mater and all of Higher Ed.


    Oh, I forgot - “I’m not in charge”.

  12. - Jeff Wegerson - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Of course it was easier during Mencken’s time to rank the states as there weren’t 50 but 48 as Politico must surely know.

  13. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    === If you go back to the 2014 campaign, Rauner is a failure by every standard he held Quinn to. ===

    That’s true. It’s also true that a pol’s political positions change as his interests change.

  14. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    So what? The Rauners are doing pretty well tho.

  15. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    Hey Susana and the blame Rauner crowd for everything that ails Illinois, what is the real reason state funding for higher education has been declining for 20 years?

    Remember you were in the GA and voted for all of these budgets “that balanced” except for the pensions.

    “Illinois is often ranked as second only to California’s budget disaster in terms of its scope and severity and at minimum Illinois is in the top five states in terms of the size of its budget deficit ( Illinois has been borrowing money, considering the sale of assets, stretching out payment time for vendors and otherwise temporizing with its budget problems for several years now; however, the negative trends seem to have all come together in a highly volatile mixture in Fiscal Year 2010. One of the biggest sources of the annual deficit and the largest item in the accumulated debt is the state’s obligations to its five public employee pension systems. Yet the state has used its current assets in the pension systems as if it were a bottomless piggy bank to borrow from.”

  16. - Scamp640 - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    Pathetic to hear the Governor tout the great Universities in Illinois in his state of the state address, even while he is actively hurting higher education in this state. Makes my brain hurt.

  17. - Blocked alot by Rich Lately - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    =If you go back to the 2014 campaign, Rauner is a failure by every standard he held Quinn to.=

    Not a drawback for the GOP, duality and hipocrisy are legs on the GOP platform at both the state and national level.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===… and the blame Rauner crowd for everything that ails Illinois, what is the real reason state funding for higher education has been declining for 20 years?===

    Rauner, personally with vetoes, has refused to fully fund higher education for 3 full fiscal years.

    Rauner wants state universities closed, so there’s that.

    Rauner has yet to sign a budget. A pathetic failure no governor can claim with pride.

    Three years, no Rauner signed budget.

    “What would be different in a Rauner second term?”

    State universities would close.

  19. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    LOL @ Rauner’s Last Loyal Defender. Forced to fall back on “well yeah Bruce has done a terrible job, but Susana Mendoza also used to be bad”. What’s next? “Well yeah Bruce has done a terrible job, but JB Pritzker is fat”? Your job seems awful, defending this dimwit every day. If I were you, I’d change career paths post-haste. Unless you’re actually Diana Rauner, in which case I offer my sympathies.

  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    - these budgets “that balanced” except for the pensions. -

    Dude, you might have a leg to stand on if your hero ever managed to propose a balanced budget. Do you really not get that or are you just willing to keep writing nonsense because you’re worried about having to find a real job next year?

  21. - Impasse Casualty - Wednesday, Jan 31, 18 @ 5:55 pm:

    Woah we ranked higher than Texas, one of Rauner’s favorite examples when belittling our state.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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