WVON Listeners: Why Illinois is in Such a Sad State!

WVONI often speak with my friends on radio station WVON AM 1690 in the Chicagoland area regarding the poor state of things here in Il and Chicago in particular.  My radio handle is “Jim from S Elgin,” and as I like to joke, “I’m the diverse caller,” because my friends, Perri Small, Matt NcGill (my Irish cousin!),  “The Governor, Cliff Kelley, Salim Muwakkil, Michael Thomas and Mark Wallace (who I’ve gotten to know personally), are the left side of the political isle, and I’m Conservative (with a lot of Libertarian social views).

Mark Wallace, is great because he is leading a charge against the Red light & speeding cameras.  He aptly describes the situation as “fixing a problem which does not exist” when it comes to those cameras which is only sucking money from those who can least afford to pay it.  Sadly the State of IL, Cook County and Chicago’s doing the same to everyone, which why many are leaving the state!  It’s important to communicate to the WVON community that it’s not rocket science to understand that following Texas’s lead or duplicating their actions here in IL would yield the same results!  If the public was not continuing being lied to by or it was reported properly by the press, the desire for better government would happen here.  Texas far out shines Illinois because the people who run that state do what’s best for the people: They get out of the way and let people thrive!

You may have heard the recent news that Toyota is moving their headquarters from San Francisco to Texas.  Why is that?  

In 2010 Roger Keats ran in a losing effort against Toni Preckwinkle to be  Cook County Board President.  During that time, I had the pleasure on getting to know Roger and we are still friends today.  Shortly after the race, he moved to Texas and is very happy there.  If you did not read his adios IL letter, you can read it here.  It deals with many issues people have when the leave Illinois: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2011/03/keats-vote-with-their-feet-and-wallets-and-leave-for-texas.html

This is why I’m asking the WVON community audience to quit listening to those who are less than honest with you and look at the bigger picture. We should be able to do the same in IL if only we would not continue to elect the same politicians who never do what’s best for the people of Illinois.  This is what Roger wrote to me recently regarding the excellent economic conditions in Texas.


Here are a few:   Austin is the Silicon Valley of the South and Texas has more tech jobs than Silicon Valley!!! Big $ jobs. Houston is America’s busiest port and those are big paying jobs with the top commodities for import & export: plastic; petroleum & petroleum products; organic chemicals; iron/steel products; and misc. chemicals. The oil patch is another big payer. Roughnecks and truck drivers make $100K and more. The “mud engineers” & other oil field specialties are also big $. I will do some comparisons with California because these are the 2 biggest states and both have a problem with being border states. I’d add Illinois, but it is such a mess no one includes them in comparisons. Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy, #1 unfunded liabilities and #1 in failing schools. Chicago is off and on the murder capitol of America, but Texas (remembering it is a border state with those issues) has a lower than average crime rate.

Texas has 6 of the top 50 companies 51 of the Fortune 500 which is behind only NY & Cal. The economy is $1.5 trillion and is the13th largest in the world and 2nd largest in America. The average Texas family has an income of a little over $50 K. When Texas’ lower cost of living is factored in, Texas’ average family income is higher than both California and Illinois! Example: In The Texas Hill Country, a beautiful area very similar to Northern California, one of America’s top 2 destinations for retirees, you can buy a new stone or brick 3 to 4 bedroom house on several acres for approx. $400K! Compare that to Crook County, California, Naples (Florida) or Metro NYC! Gas tends to be $.30 to $.75/gallon less and Texas has the 7th lowest total state & local tax burden. Cost of living is a huge issue. Citizens in Poverty: Texas, by % is only very slightly above the national average while California is twice the national average and more than twice Texas %. Citizens on Welfare: Texas is 1/3rd the national average and California is almost 3 times the national average.

Schools: By all measures Texas schools exceed California and Chicago. Remember Texas is one of two majority minority states 55%. New Mexico is the other. Yet Texas Latinos are the top performing Latinos in school performance of states with large Latino populations.

College: UTexas is a public Ivy along with such other top schools as UIllinois, UMichigan, UWisconsin, Cal. Berkley, UNC and UVirginia. Texas schools are #1 in producing engineers and that is a big driver in the economy. UT, Texas A&M, Rice, SMU and Baylor are all nationally respected universities.

Minimum wage jobs: In a state where 38% of the population is Latino and 12% is black, there are a lot of very low skill workers. Yet the Texas economy is able to absorb them and find work for them. Most of Texas’ Latinos are American citizens and not even first generation Americans so there are tons of Latino sur named Texans at the top of various businesses. Remember, Texas was part of Mexico. Many of the state’s founders were Latino sur named and even 20% of the state’s martyrs at the Alamo were Latino sur names! Many of the legendary Texas Rangers were Latino with Juan Seguin being the most famous but not the only Ranger leader.

Texas has a culture different from any other state. We have numerous Latino sur named & Black Republicans in office locally and state wide. A Latino Republican senator, congressmen, judges, state wide office holders, legislators and local officials. The next speaker of the Texas House may be a Black Republican (a U of Illinois alum!) and there are other Black Republicans in the legislature, state wide offices and judges.

Hope this helps.


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About Jim Economos

Jim Economos is a practicing dentist in Bartlett, Illinois. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, and University of Illinois College of Dentistry.


  1. oscar diaz says:

    Such discussion bears no fruits since Texas runs refineries for the oil industry and Illinois is part of the corn belt. Just because latinos are majority does not mean there are “lots of very low skill workers”. Some latinos get to clean up the mess left by white trash and conservatives who were left in the 19th century thinking.
    Better start reading books and scientific sources than just WATCHING Fox news.

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