Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It's time for the Chicago Tribune to walk the walk

If there's one thing for which I can give credit to the Chicago Tribune editorial board, it's their consistency and persistence. And lately, the issue that the board likes to hammer, again and again and again, is how awful the state of Illinois is. The tax rate, the regulations, the number of governmental units, the lack of school choice, the crony politics, the pension system, and so on and so forth.

Of course, many of their complaints are grounded in reality. Both the state government and the Chicago government have some major financial problems. So you get property tax increases, scoop and toss, bond issues, loans, and other tricks to keep schools open and deliver services to people. These are imperfect solutions. And in the view of the Trib, untenable. What is notable in the Trib editorial board's incessant ranting about spending is that rarely, if ever, does the board identify where exactly cuts should be made (although, if they could wave a magic wand, every government employee's pension would disappear).

One by-product of the constant belittling of the state and Chicago is that the Tribune works at cross purposes -- it complains that people are leaving the state and that businesses are going elsewhere, but people reading the constantly negative editorials could only conclude that they should move out of the state and certainly never start a business here. No single entity in Illinois does more damage to the perception of the state than the Chicago Tribune. It has portrayed the Land of Lincoln as a virtual hellhole caught in a downward spiral that could only be saved by paying their employees Scrooge-like wages and cutting public services to the bone (well, they don't say that, but that seems to be the only way to make the board's vision a reality).

Based on this, it's time for the Chicago Tribune to follow through on its numerous editorials. The Chicago Tribune should leave the state of Illinois and set up shop elsewhere. Let's face it, there's never been a better time for it, with the paper vacating its illustrious long-time headquarters. The Tribune could then enjoy the lower taxes and superior governments in border states such as Wisconsin and Indiana. By moving to either of those states, the Tribune could soon break the newly formed employees union.

And best of all, once the Tribune moves to another state, its editorial board can explain the advantages of being headquartered in Indianapolis or Milwaukee or Hammond or Eau Claire. This is such an obvious idea, I'm surprised the board hasn't already penned a few dozen editorials about it already. So go ahead, Chicago Tribune -- walk the walk. Leave Illinois. With the lower tax burden, the millions of dollars you're still paying to Michael Ferro will take much less of a bite out of your bottom line.

1 comment:

Paul Coady said...

Nicely said.