U-Haul prices reveal high demand to get out of Illinois
Illinois had a record loss of 114,000 residents to other states in 2016.
Illinois politicians should remember that we are all volunteers living here, and many Illinoisans have options to live in other cities and states. As the summer weather ushers in moving season, more and more Illinoisans will opt out of living in the Land of Lincoln.
The exodus will not end until Illinois pols finally get the state’s fiscal house in order and allow for more economic growth. Repeated tax hikes and job-crushing regulations have turned Illinois into a raw deal for the hundreds of thousands of residents who continue to pour out of the state each year.
This summer promises to be another booming season for companies like U-Haul that are moving people out of Illinois.
Try this experiment to see what I mean.
Go to uhaul.com and check the price for a one-way truck rental moving from Chicago to Dallas on Saturday, July 1st. You’ll find that the current price for a one-way move is $1,650 for a 20 foot truck.
Now put the trip in reverse, making the one-way move from Dallas to Chicago instead of from Chicago to Dallas. The price for the reverse move with the same truck, the same mileage and the same date is $460.
This example shows how supply and demand affect prices, and it reveals a troubling reality for Illinois. After years of crippling outmigration, still more Illinoisans are planning to bolt this summer.
The price for a truck to leave Chicago is high because so many families are planning to get out. The price for a truck to move into Chicago is low because relatively few families are moving in to replace those who leave.
Moving companies like U-Haul need to factor these differences into their pricing model to protect their profitability, and to ensure that they don’t end up with an oversupply of Chicago-based trucks sitting in a Dallas parking lot.
You can check other cities and see similar results. There is high demand for a summer move from Chicago to cities like Denver, Nashville, Charlotte, Orlando and Indianapolis.
And here’s the kicker: U-Haul prices show that Illinois is even losing to recently bankrupt Detroit. The price for a 20-foot truck moving from Chicago to Detroit is $610. But the same truck moving from Detroit to Chicago costs only $185.
It’s like one last moving tax on beleaguered families as they leave Illinois. The demand to get out of Illinois is so high that you have to pay premium rates for a truck to Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana and even Michigan.
Some claim this is a phenomenon happening all across the Midwest, and that the entire region is rapidly depopulating to the south and west.
Not so fast.
Run the same experiment between Indianapolis and Dallas and you will see a very different result.
The one-way move from Indianapolis to Dallas is nearly $1000, while the one-way move from Dallas to Indianapolis is nearly $900. In other words, Dallas wins the pricing battle with Indianapolis, but not by much.
Indiana’s government cuts a more fair deal with its taxpayers, has allowed for better job creation and has slashed tax rates. As a result, more Hoosiers stick around to build their homes and chase their dreams.
As the Illinois legislative session rolls toward its close, lawmakers need to piece together a grand bargain for taxpayers over special interests. Decades of insider deals need to be unwound. Real reform will pad Illinois pocketbooks with higher incomes, more job opportunities and lower taxes.
Until then, the only industry that will be booming is the transportation of families out of Illinois.