Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

By John Ruberry If  you are looking for bad news then Illinois is just the place for you. What I'm writing here at Da Tech Guy will probably become a series. Illinois' population has been shrinking for five straight years. After the 2020 Census the Prairie State will lose one congressional seat. And it's possible … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin

By John Ruberry Last Monday I had a errand to run for work--which brought me to Milwaukee's suburbs. And for the first time in five years I drove on Interstate 94 north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line--on what is known as the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor. A lot has changed since 2012. As I … Continue reading Illinois businesses and jobs escape to Wisconsin

Illinois Math: Chicago Public Schools has fewer students but taxes go up

By John Ruberry On Friday a friend of this very blogger forwarded a Chicago Tribune Breaking News Alert to me: Chicago Public Schools enrollment drops by nearly 10,000 students. And the year before CPS enrollment slid by 11,000. There are 371,382 students taking classes in CPS schools  In 2002 there 438,589 kids running the halls, … Continue reading Illinois Math: Chicago Public Schools has fewer students but taxes go up

Long quiet Chicago area taxpayers push back–and win in soda tax battle

By John Ruberry "And it was inevitable that some of these people pushed back..." Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles. Overtaxed residents of Cook County, where Chicago is, are finally waking up. After decades of being slapped by tax after tax--folks are fighting back. Last week the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to repeal a … Continue reading Long quiet Chicago area taxpayers push back–and win in soda tax battle

Crook County, Illinois soda tax is fueling “free” health care, pensions

By John Ruberry I've written a couple of columns at Da Tech Guy, one here and one here, about Cook County's hated one-cent-per-ounce soda tax championed by County Board President Toni "Taxwinkle" Preckwinkle, a left-wing Democrat. But the question I've been only alluding to here and on my own blog is this one: Why is … Continue reading Crook County, Illinois soda tax is fueling “free” health care, pensions

Chicago’s ruling class thrives amid city’s decline

By John Ruberry Of America's largest cities only Chicago has a declining population. So far this year--as it was for all 2016--more people were murdered in Chicago than in New York City and Los Angeles. Combined. On the surface it seems that Chicago has the best government that money can buy. The Watchdogs of the … Continue reading Chicago’s ruling class thrives amid city’s decline

Illinois’ false budget fix

By John Ruberry On Thursday the Democratic-dominated Illinois House, with aid of ten Republicans, overrode Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a 32 percent income tax hike. The corporate rate jumped by 35 percent. Apologists for the income tax increase love to point out that many states have higher income tax rates, but last week's override … Continue reading Illinois’ false budget fix

Pride Parade? Chicago needs a Shame Parade

By John Ruberry As this post goes live, the 48th Chicago Pride Parade is taking place on the city's North Side. The event is still commonly called the Gay Parade, "Pride" is of course a much more generic term. On the Yahoo home page today, next to the rainbow colors, is this message, "Be proud … Continue reading Pride Parade? Chicago needs a Shame Parade

Only bad options: The end of Illinois

By John Ruberry Illinois isn't at the crossroads. It's on a collision course after driving off a cliff. It's that bad here. The Land of Lincoln faces what is likely its most pivotal two weeks in its 199-year history. Last week Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican who never ran for political office before, called for … Continue reading Only bad options: The end of Illinois

Illinois is following the model of Czarist Russia

By John Ruberry "I can't stop the revolution, but until it comes, let's have some fun." Prince Felix Yusupov to Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra. And with the revolution of course came the collapse of Czarist Russia. The beleaguered state of Illinois set a couple of futility records last week. It became the first … Continue reading Illinois is following the model of Czarist Russia

The Great American Pension Swindle

By John Ruberry I hate to interrupt your day by veering away from such issues, well, issues to some, such as the Donald Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia or that nation's reputed hacking of the 2016 presidential election, but there is something more important that the mainstream media is only nibbling at the edges … Continue reading The Great American Pension Swindle

Puerto Rico a dire warning for blue states

By John Ruberry If you believe that states--and commonwealths--cannot declare bankruptcy, you are technically correct. But last week a commonwealth, Puerto Rico, filed for bankruptcy in all but name, utilizing the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2016. That bill of course was written for Puerto … Continue reading Puerto Rico a dire warning for blue states

Chicago’s Southland: The rottenest apple in the corrupt Illinois orchard

By John Ruberry Contained in my inbox this morning was an email from Crain's Chicago Business touting an article by Dennis Rodkin, "Can Chicago's Southland Be Rebuilt?" In short, "probably" is his answer. Mine is "no." Chicago's Southland covers the city's South Side and its southern suburbs, some definitions include the Southwest Side and the southwest … Continue reading Chicago’s Southland: The rottenest apple in the corrupt Illinois orchard

Unfunded pensions are why Chicago will be the next Detroit

By John Ruberry I've been saying that Chicago will be the next Detroit for years, and on Thursday, syndicated talk radio show host--and former Tea Party congressman--Joe Walsh, was making the same prediction on his program. Walsh was discussing a just-released pension study which the Chicago Sun-Times reported on. Standard & Poor's surveyed pension obligations … Continue reading Unfunded pensions are why Chicago will be the next Detroit

Chris Kennedy, Illinois’ snowflake candidate for governor

By John Ruberry The Democratic gubernatorial primary in Illinois is more than a year away but the field of candidates to challenge Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner is taking shape. On Thursday Christopher G. Kennedy, a son of Robert F. Kennedy, announced on YouTube that he'll be running for the Democratic nomination for governor of America's … Continue reading Chris Kennedy, Illinois’ snowflake candidate for governor