Chicago wants to attract Texas businesses…good luck with that – Wirepoints
By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner
It’s crazy, considering the facts, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot actually thinks she can battle Texas for people and companies.
Chicago is running newspaper ads in Texas to make a case for businesses to move to Illinois. Crain’s reports that Chicago officials are hoping to draw in more Texas companies by contrasting the city’s values – including it’s “inclusivity” – with what officials call “recent controversial state laws and policies” in Texas, namely abortion, election and COVID-response laws.
It’s a silly move considering Texas has been beating Illinois consistently in the competition for people and businesses. In the last decade alone, Texas’ population exploded by 4 million while Illinois’s population shrunk by 18,000.
By all accounts, people like Texas politics and policies. And for all Lightfoot knows, it’s the city’s current extreme politics that will actually drive even more people away.
“Dear Texas, there were always more than 100 reasons why Chicago is a great place for business.” That’s the starting line of the city’s new ad in the Dallas Morning News.
Lightfoot’s team must have not shown her what’s been happening between Illinois and Texas over the last decade. The Lone Star state has taken advantage of every Illinois misstep, and the out-migration numbers from Illinois prove it.
Illinoisans have been fleeing for Texas since at least 2010. In total, Illinois has lost a net 90,000 Illinoisans to the Lone Star state, according to state-to-state migration data from the Internal Revenue Service.
The incomes between those moving in and moving out have also become more pronounced over time. In 2010, both residents moving in and out had incomes of about $50,000. But by 2019, the Illinoisans moving to Texas had an average income of over $103,000 while Texans moving in had incomes of $71,000.
Lightfoot can run any sort of advertisement she wants, but she’s facing an incredible uphill battle. You can imagine Texas is already attracting Illinois companies with a promotion that might look like this:
Illinois and Chicago have all the assets they need to compete with Texas. What they lack are lawmakers willing to enact the policies that can unleash those assets. Until this state’s politicians do that, Illinois will continue to lose the competition for people and businesses.
Read more about what’s wrong with Chicago’s policies and politics:
For the record, here is Chicago’s ad.