Illinois: New Jersey wants your companies!January 28, 2011
As I was driving to work this morning, I heard a radio commercial from the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. He was promoting his state as a business-friendly environment. This is not a bad thing, usually, but in this commercial he actually targeted Illinois businesses. He told them to move to his state if they were “tired of having the state government balance their budgets on the backs of the businesses.” (That may be somewhat paraphrased, sorry.)
He also guaranteed that as long as he was Governor he wouldn’t raise taxes on them. That’s a pretty bold statement, but Christie is a pretty bold guy.
The commercial aired on WLS-AM, a 50,000 watt clear-channel station, at about 6:30 AM. At that time of day a pretty fair percentage of the folks in their cars are businesspeople commuting to work. They definitely targeted their audience correctly.
According to Illinois Governor Quinn’s spokesdude, Illinois isn’t going to do anything to counter this kind of PR and go directly to the “decision makers” at individual businesses.
Governator Quinn, you be dumb. I’ve heard time and time again that the backbone of American business is small business. Are Quinn’s people going to talk to every small businessman in Illinois? Of course not. They might talk to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which is making noises about leaving the city. They won’t talk to a company owner who would find it easy to move his 50 employees – if not all the way to New Jersey, at least to Indiana, or even Wisconsin. Let’s say you’re a small business owner in in East Charleston, Illinois. It’s not that big a deal to move to Valaparaiso or Lafayette. (The college football would be better, too.)
Update January 29:
Governor Christie certainly is aggressive. He’s been proposed as a possible Presidential candidate. I’d rather see him have two terms as a successful governor as experience before running, and to actually demonstrate a track record, but he understands the basics of the relationship between government and the economy: keep taxes low and regulations to an absolute minimum. He may not be there yet, but he’s on his way…and Pat Quinn is certainly not moving in that direction!