Time to take the ill out of Illinois

The Madison County Record May 18, 2013, 6:52am

Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. Which would you rather hear first?

The bad news? Okay, the bad news is, Illinois is in third-to-last place on ChiefExecutive.net’s annual survey of the best states to do business in: 48th out of 50. Only two states have legal and regulatory climates that the CEOs of several hundred major companies find worse for enterprise.

What’s the good news? The good news is, that’s where we were in the last couple of surveys and we haven’t dropped any lower. (Of course, when you’re that close to the bottom and you’re competing with other Democrat-dominated basket cases like California and New York, third-to-last place is not much of an accomplishment.)

Maybe you’d rather hear the good news first, and then the bad news? It’s basically the same, only inverted. The good news is, we haven’t dropped any lower in the annual ranking. The bad news is, we’re still 48th.

No matter how you present it, it’s just plain ugly.

The sad fact is, as recently as 2006, we were in 8th place. Just seven years ago, we were rated the 8th best state to do business in. As the editors of ChiefExecutive.net noted in 2011, “Illinois has dropped 40 places in five years and is now in a death spiral.”

Also sad is that the problem and the solution are both so obvious. After all, the survey is, essentially, a comparison of the way states interact with the most productive individual and corporate citizens within their borders.

Any state that wants to have a thriving economy with all of the benefits that flow from that has only to do two things. First, check out Illinois and the other dysfunctional states at the bottom of the list and avoid our mistakes. Second, study Texas and the most business-friendly states at the top and copy their successful models.

It’s a  no-brainer.


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