The decline in population shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. At one time in Decatur, Illinois, there were more big manufacturing companies than you have fingers and toes. Now you can count them on one hand. A steady decline in factories and good-paying jobs has left people with little choice. Having to take lower-wage jobs or relocate. The state in turn keeps raising taxes to compensate for the loss in revenue. So the burden of this has been transferred to the remaining smaller businesses and residents of the state.
In 1994, Firestone, Caterpillar and Tate & Lyle declared war on unions. This caused a plant closure and a decline in wages and benefits. As a result of this event, workers had to leave the state to find living wage employment. This created another big loss of jobs an revenue for the state.
Is it really a surprise to anyone why families are fleeing Illinois? Its basic economics 101 is it not? I don't know what the answer is to this, but if it continues Illinois will be losing more lifelong residents. Our elected officials should be able to figure out how to turn this trend around. Make Illinois more manufacturing friendly, find other forms of revenue and rebuilding our in infrastructure might be a good start.
Jack Lamont Jr., Oreana