Editorials

Illinois inspires many of us… to move to other states

About half of Illinois residents would move if they could, a new poll shows. Younger people want to leave at a higher rate.
About half of Illinois residents would move if they could, a new poll shows. Younger people want to leave at a higher rate. Illinois Policy

We live in a state that should move us.

Standing in the Springfield house that Abraham Lincoln called home, or the log building where he read law books in New Salem.

Standing in Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio in Oak Park with its ceiling held up by tension on heavy chains.

Standing in the old territorial courthouse in Cahokia where Lewis and Clark sent their final dispatches before heading west.

Many river bluffs, carved Shawnee Forest sandstone, prehistoric Indian mounds, the Chicago skyline all make this a great place to live and give us a deep legacy to cherish.

Or not.

Apparently, what is most moving to Illinois residents is our desire to be somewhere else. Half of us would move if we could, according to a new Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll.

Why?

Taxes. Weather. Jobs. Poor government. About 80 percent of the 1,000 people polled thought the state was headed in the wrong direction.

“People often feel they don’t get good value for their tax dollars and with frequent stories of public corruption or the large numbers of governmental units, it’s no wonder why they feel that way,” said David Yepsen, director of the institute.

He said the most troubling finding is that younger people, the ones who are most mobile, need good jobs and are least tied to the state, are the ones who would most like to leave — almost 60 percent of those younger than 35. “That’s the state’s future,” Yepsen said.

The killer is that 52 percent said their quality of life was excellent to good, even with the weather.

So the blame really rests with taxes, government and the job climate. Those issues are rooted where in our state of dysfunction?

Think about your answer between now and Nov. 8.

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