CEOs sound off on Illinois’ business climate
CEOs of major U.S. corporations went on record in Chief Executive Magazine’s “2014 Best and Worst States for Business.” Business leaders pulled no punches in their description of Illinois, going so far as to compare doing business in Illinois to doing business in a third-world country. The publication ranked Illinois at the bottom of the...
CEOs of major U.S. corporations went on record in Chief Executive Magazine’s “2014 Best and Worst States for Business.” Business leaders pulled no punches in their description of Illinois, going so far as to compare doing business in Illinois to doing business in a third-world country.
The publication ranked Illinois at the bottom of the pile, at 48th of the 50 states. But the real highlights come from the CEO comments.
As one CEO pointed out:
“Corruption and union pensions have made Illinois a poor alternative for business. Continually avoiding to address and fix the problems have only exacerbated the situation. More conservative states are easier to work in and with.”
That comment alludes to states such as Texas, which ranked first overall, and Indiana, which ranked sixth overall. Illinoisans are piling into Texas and Indiana, and those states embrace opportunity, growth and job creation.
And business leaders weren’t just looking out for corporate culture. Another CEO pointed out how Illinois stifles small business:
“Illinois is rated in the worst category; their taxing scheme is deleterious toward small business…The Illinois House assembly is inept in addressing the hard issues…they are a taxing and spending machine with little regard to the consequences and impacts to its citizens and businesses.”
Illinoisans need look no further than the spike in the unemployment rate after the 2011 income tax hikes and the tepid job creation since then to see how tax-and-spend policies have failed Illinoisans.
The final blow came from the article’s third CEO commentary:
“Illinois is a horrendous state in which to do business. It is governed by a class of incompetent, corrupt politicians. It’s like doing business in a third-world country.”
Illinois’ decline is completely unacceptable. The state has fallen from being a national leader with a truly global city to a basket-case that business leaders compare to a third-world country.
That is why Illinois has seen no net new jobs in 17 years. It’s also why Illinois has the third-worst joblessness nationally and ranks dead last in the Midwest for job-creation since the Great Recession.
Illinois needs to sunset the 2011 income tax hike according to plan and then work toward phasing out the income tax. The state needs massive regulatory reform to become an attractive place for businesses to hire and grow.
But until those reforms occur and so long as CEOs view state leaders in such a negative light, businesses and jobs will move to other states.