Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

By John Ruberry If  you are looking for bad news then Illinois is just the place for you. What I'm writing here at Da Tech Guy will probably become a series. Illinois' population has been shrinking for five straight years. After the 2020 Census the Prairie State will lose one congressional seat. And it's possible … Continue reading Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part One

The decline and fall of Chicago

By John Ruberry Two unwelcome pieces of bad news punched Chicago in the face last week. A state pension reform law for two municipal pension plans was unanimously ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. Also last week came news that the Chicago metropolitan area saw the biggest population drop of the nation's metro regions. Chicago … Continue reading The decline and fall of Chicago

Rahm’s last term

By John Ruberry Yes, three years is a long time in politics but even before the uproar over the Laquan McDonald shooting--the troubled black teen was shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer in 2014--Mayor Rahm Emanuel already faced tough reelection prospects in 2019. President Obama's former chief of staff was forced into a runoff … Continue reading Rahm’s last term

Chicago Tribune columnist’s “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina” creates anger

By John Ruberry As the tenth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina approaches we will come across many retrospectives of the storm that killed over 1,800 people and destroyed large swaths of the Gulf of Mexico coastal area--particularly in New Orleans. But we won't see too many like this one from the Chicago Tribune's Kristen … Continue reading Chicago Tribune columnist’s “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina” creates anger

Blackhawks Cup win gives Chicagoans a respite from troubles

By John Ruberry Chicago has suffered a tough run since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Its high murder rate has garnered America's third-largest city the unfortunate nickname of Chiraq--a morphing of Chicago and Iraq. Depopulation--a big problem for most rust belt cities--continues to plague Chicago. Its population hasn't been as low as it is now since … Continue reading Blackhawks Cup win gives Chicagoans a respite from troubles

Chicago: America’s Junk City

By John Ruberry On Monday Rahm Emanuel will be sworn in for his second term as mayor of Chicago. He faces enormous challenges including a high murder rate--with it comes the new nickname for the city, "Chiraq," a crumbling infrastructure that includes pothole-strewn streets, and multiple financial crises. Just last week Moody's Investors Services double-downgraded … Continue reading Chicago: America’s Junk City

Unions–and a one day classroom sub–shed light on Illinois’ pension debacle

By John Ruberry About 20 percent of Illinois' operating budget goes to state worker pensions. With so much cash going to retired Prairie State employees, you would think that the state where I live would be on diligent in funding the system. But Illinois' pensions are the worst funded among the 50 states.  Some years … Continue reading Unions–and a one day classroom sub–shed light on Illinois’ pension debacle

Mayor One Percent: Class warfare in Chicago’s mayoral race

By John Ruberry Four weeks from now Chicagoans will return to the polls and choose between the remaining two candidates for mayor--former Obama White House Chief of Staff and incumbent Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" (pronounced 'chewie') Garcia. Interestingly, the candidates are often referred to by the mainstream media as Rahm or Chuy--I … Continue reading Mayor One Percent: Class warfare in Chicago’s mayoral race

Next public sector union battleground: Illinois

By John Ruberry Four years after Wisconsin became the chief battleground in the war of taxpayers versus public sector unions, a new front is developing south of the Cheese Curtain in Illinois. With the possible exception of California, no where else in America are government unions so powerful. And of course it should be no … Continue reading Next public sector union battleground: Illinois

No transparency: Illinois pension “fix” betrays larger problem in state

By John Ruberry On the day before Thanksgiving word trickled out that the bipartisan legislative committee that has been working since June on a fix for Illinois' worst-funded-in-the-nation public pension system has finally completed their work. Except only the insiders knew the details of the plan to erase the $100 billion pension deficit. The outline … Continue reading No transparency: Illinois pension “fix” betrays larger problem in state