The liberal failures of blue states are driving people out in droves, and Illinois is just the latest example. Americans are leaving in search of more affordable living and safer surroundings, and the out-migration in Illinois has cost them at least 105,000 residents and $10.6 billion in income. What’s even more startling is the quality of people they’re losing. Ted Dabrowski, president of the nonprofit analytics firm Wirepoints, has observed that Illinois is losing its wealthier residents. What does this spell for the future of American cities and their people?
“Illinois continues to lose residents to other states as IRS data shows 105,000 residents moved out of state in 2020, taking with them $10.6 billion in income.” https://t.co/I4U265zP8P
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 1, 2023
Of course, Democrats like Governor JB Pritzker don’t see it that way. Instead of addressing the unsafe conditions that are causing residents to flee, Pritzker is blaming a lack of affordable colleges for the out-migration. But this is a smokescreen, with Pritzker’s eyes on a presidential bid that would give him the platform to force his failures on the rest of the country. The truth is that Illinois is in trouble. It is a union-dominated state with train wreck finances and a political class that punishes and demonizes success. Who wouldn’t want to get out of there?
While Illinois is the runner-up to California in terms of migration outflow, the Golden State’s struggles are pronounced, to say the least. Whole Foods in San Francisco recently shut down due to a skyrocketing crime rate that made the store unsafe and unsustainable, with well over 500 emergency 911 calls in just over a year. People have started to stop reporting crimes, as police won’t investigate and prosecutors won’t prosecute. Such crimes include vagrants throwing food, yelling, engaging in fights, attempting to defecate on the floor, assaulting security guards with knives, and overdosing on fentanyl and methamphetamine in store bathrooms.
The unsafe conditions in cities like San Francisco, coupled with the insane policies pushed by Democrats, have led businesses such as Nordstrom to close their doors. Nordstrom recently announced it was shuttering its store in the Westfield Mall and a nearby Nordstrom Rack, leading to a loss of more than 357,000 square feet of retail space. Unsurprisingly, the mall and its owner responded to the closures by highlighting the deteriorating situation in downtown San Francisco.
The chaos caused by Democrat policies does not stop in California: Oregon Democrats have proposed a state bill to decriminalize homeless encampments and allow unhoused residents nearly unlimited access to public spaces. This “Oregon Right to Rest Act” would provide a $1,000 lawsuit settlement for any homeless individuals harassed or kicked off public land. This legislation will only serve to make Portland worse.
Finally, New York’s exodus is having a considerable impact on its bottom line, with the Empire State’s adjusted gross income shrinking by nearly $16 billion, resulting in a significant loss of tax revenue. With many of its residents heading to Florida and taking their wealth with them, New York needs to take a long, hard look at why people are choosing to leave. Democrats like Governor Kathy Hochul are not helping pave the way to a solution by inviting Republicans to move to Florida.
The destructive and outrageous ideas from Democrat-dominated city councils demonstrate a willful blindness to the factors driving their residents away. In Washington D.C., the carjacking epidemic is compelling people to avoid driving altogether, leading to Uber as the preferred mode of transport. If the city gouges Uber fares, as the city council is contemplating, it would make it even more difficult to get around and lead people to avoid the district altogether. It is just another example of Democrats doubling down on policies that will only lead to the further deterioration of American cities and towns.