Posts in category "Uncategorized"

Another day, another crony: IL gives AAR Corp. $15 million

AAR Corp. is a private-airplane maintenance company worth $2 billion. The state of Illinois has tens of billions of dollars in debt. But somehow state government found a way to give AAR $15 million. The details of the deal are nothing new – millions of taxpayer dollars in exchange for the promise of jobs. In... Read more »

Cronies play candy crush: State pays for Skittles while Jelly Belly leaves

Do Illinois politicians prefer Skittles or Jelly Belly candies? Inquiring minds now have their answer, since the state gave $2 million in tax incentives for Skittles production while Jelly Belly plans to pack up and leave Illinois. The trade off? A gain of 75 jobs for a loss of 66 jobs, plus the closing of... Read more »

Put the brakes on Chicago’s red-light camera program

Chicago needs money. After all, the city has more than $60 billion in debt. And Chicago’s red-light camera program has generated more than $500 million in revenue for the city, according to the Chicago Tribune. Today, Chicago has the largest red-light camera program in the U.S., and rakes in a cool $100 every time a... Read more »

Pedicab group says first 2 months of new rules saw number of drivers cut by 30%

Less than two months after sweeping new city restrictions took effect for pedicab operators in Chicago, industry spokesmen said the effects have been devastating. The Chicago Pedicab Association estimated that the net effect of Chicago’s new pedicab regulations has been an overall reduction in the number of pedicabs by 30 percent and a loss of... Read more »

Metra can’t continue forcing riders to make up for system’s shortcomings

For the past several years, Metra officials have decided it’s OK to charge customers higher prices for worse service. Back in November 2011, Metra officials approved the largest fare hike in the transit system’s history. That increase hiked monthly fares more than $20 for riders coming from within city limits to downtown and nearly $50... Read more »

What’s happening to Uber in Illinois?

I love UberX because it recently cost me just $12 to get from Lincoln Park to Union Station. Drivers – including single moms, college students and people who want to make their own work schedules – love UberX because it means they can earn good money on their own terms. (For those who aren’t familiar,... Read more »

Protect Chicago BYOB

Bring Your Own Bottle, or BYOB, is a sacred term for many Chicagoans. It means you can drink what you want on the cheap without sacrificing location or ambiance quality. It’s something with which seemingly no Chicagoan would want to tamper – except Chicago Alderman Deborah Graham, who wants to allow aldermen to ban BYOB... Read more »

New York vs. Chicago: Where will Carmelo Anthony pay less in income taxes?

In the wake of a disappointing NBA Finals for LeBron James and the Miami Heat, the conversation in the professional basketball universe has shifted to who’s going where. Many big names are opting for free agency, sparking speculation about trade deals and new regimes. Carmelo Anthony is one of those names – and the Chicago... Read more »

Lagunitas founder turns down crony money; opens brewery in Chicago without government aid

Businesses are sensitive to their environments. If it costs a lot of money to operate somewhere, they’ll leave. Illinois politicians have learned this the hard way – between 1995 and 2012, Illinois lost an average of 225 businesses per year on net. With a combination of high corporate income taxes and fees, plus long wait... Read more »

Cronyism isn't growth

Illinois politicians love giving big corporations money. Gov. Pat Quinn recently made a 10-year deal worth $12 million with eBay, which has pledged to create 360 jobs in downtown Chicago. Some people will hold up this deal as a sign that the state is getting serious about creating jobs and boosting the economy. But it’s... Read more »