* From Les O’Dell at the Southern Illinoisan…
“There’s a long-standing myth in Illinois that downstate taxes are going to Chicago and supporting Chicago and that is just not true,” [political scientist John Foster], a former member of the SIU political science faculty, explained.
In fact, he said, the research shows that Southern Illinois gets more in state funding for every dollar spent on taxes than any other part of the state.
“Here in the southern 19 counties — basically I-64 south with the exception of the metro east area of St. Louis — we are getting back between $2.75 and $3 for every one tax dollar we pay depending on the year,” Foster said. “On the other end of that are the suburban counties; they are not getting nearly as much back as they are sending.” […]
“If you could somehow get around the Constitutional issues and split, you would create a very poor state,” he said. “Illinois, as a whole, is very wealthy. In total, our economy is in the top 20 in the world, but if you separated the 96 counties outside of Cook County from it and those around it, the 96 would be, by far, the poorest state in the country. It would create an economic disaster.”
* More here. Take special note of the conclusion…
Returning to the broader question we began with – the assertion that perception is more important than the facts – is a fundamental axiom of politics that does not bode especially well for mass democracy. Facts should count for something – indeed, for a lot – and are essential to any form of rational decision-making. Rational action at both the individual voter level and the aggregate public opinion level is crucially important in a representative democracy. The operation of a successful mass democracy depends in the long run on the people being well informed and acting according to reality rather than inaccurate perceptions and myth.
“Perception is reality” is destroying this country.