George Will bashes Illinois

ImageOh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, Where the deer and the antelope play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word And the skies are not cloudy all day.

In a column, “Illinois faces stark choices about its future,” which appeared in the local Gannett papers today, George Will bashes Democrats in general and Illinois in particular as being the worst governed of the 50 states.  Will cites a Gallup poll which finds Illinois to be the state most people, about half, would like to leave. Will implies that the reason for this is high taxes and Chicago area Democrats.  I looked up the Gallup Poll which is cited below. The polling results are interesting, but keep in mind that polls with a small sample size have uncertainty.

A Gallup Poll question not mentioned by George Will asks people who plan to leave for their reason. There is no predominant reason for Illinois, but the most popular answer was work/business related, which I take to mean jobs.  Another prominent reason was weather, which is hardly the fault of state government. Illinois is not a high tax state–taxes and “cost of living” were not prominent reasons for planning to leave Illinois.

One state that relatively few would leave is Texas where only one fourth of residents would like to move elsewhere. The poll offers no hint of why that may be.  Other states where most prefer to remain include Maine, New Hampshire and Hawaii.

We often hear that people want to leave New York State because of high taxes. NY is no doubt a high tax state. The Gallup Poll shows that this is a prominent reason for planning to leave New York. Taxes or “cost of living” were cited by a third of New Yorkers polled who planned to leave.

© William Hungerford – May 2014


About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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6 Responses to George Will bashes Illinois

  1. WNYPlanner says:

    A very tiny percentage of people move out if NYS (according to CUrrent Population Survey (CPS) about the same number have been moving to Florida for decades to retire) and they are primarily in the lower income category because they can’t afford to live in rich states (NYS is a “rich state”). The evidence shows it is NOT because of taxes, but primarily because of the high cost of housing:

    In fact, recent studies show trends that are showing people are staying put:

    This map shows millionaires per capita and…um…the megalopolis of Washington, NYC and Boston show that the wealthy tend to cluster where the money is.

    NYS is in fact “growing” by approximately 1.7 percent annually. #MariaBartiromo is peddling bunk.


  2. whungerford says:

    The Gallup poll cited reveals much of interest. G. Will and others cherry-pick such information for things that match their prejudices. I checked Will’s claim that people want to move from Blue states and found it valid, but Will’s suggestion that people want to move to get away from Democrats is silly. Correlation doesn’t imply causation. The people of NY and other blue states favor Democrats. A better suggestion is that the people of mostly rural states prefer to stay where they are.


  3. josephurban says:

    Good points. People have unique reasons for staying or leaving any state. The urban-rural differences are often much greater than the “red state”-“blue state” bunk which is currently in vogue. Consider the source…George Will.


  4. whungerford says:

    Will wrote many things in this article that I consider bunk. Here is a brief list:

    1. Democracy can be cruel because elections deprive Demo(crat)s of the delight of alibis and the comfort of complaining. (I guess this means Democratic office holders can be blamed for anything and everything that happens while they are in office.)
    2. Illinois voters have used many elections to make theirs the worst governed state (by electing Democrats)
    3. The state is a stark illustration of the effect of prolonged one-party rule, conducted by politicians subservient to government employee unions.
    4. The states strongest civic tradition is of governors going to jail (Will doesn’t mention that one convicted governor was Republican George H. Ryan.)
    5. Quinn (the current governor), unable to work the “war on women” trope, must rely on contemporary liberalism’s only other idea, rage against the rich
    6. Illinois voters can choose Rauner (the GOP candidate for governor) and term limits or the acceleration of stagnation and the end of the pleasure of complaining. (“acceleration of stagnation” is a difficult concept to grasp.)

    In fact, five of the last ten Illinois Governors have been Republicans. Will’s argument boiled down is Democrats can do no good; his proof is innuendo.


  5. BOB McGILL says:

    maybe Will is just trying to justify his existence and collect a paycheck by writing a bunch of meaningless crap. Unlike you, he’s getting paid. Or are you getting paid too?


  6. whungerford says:

    No, Bob–my only reward is the satisfaction of furthering your education.


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