Tribune readers respond to my fleeing Illinois column

Malarky. Sophistry. Delusive. Whining. Three letters to the editor take me to task for explaining why I have left Illinois.

Dennis Byrne’s recent commentary (“He saw the genesis of the Exodus,” Oct. 20) is, at best, superlative malarkey, and, at worst, pure sophistry. By his telling, Chicago is akin to either an overgrown vassal state ruled by esurient “feudal lords” or a corrupt Gotham beholden to reprobate “boodlers, gonifs and crooks.” Illinoisans are “fleeing the carnage” and leaving the state. In support, Mr. Byrne cites the Tribune’s census data analysis on the topic (“Who stays? Who goes? We examine the ‘exodus,'”Sept. 25).

However, the Tribune’s analysis does not support Mr. Byrne’s claim of an exodus and, in fact, proves his claim delusive. The analysis found that Illinois, in 2017, was the 21st ranked state for the rate of domestic out-migration — the rate of people leaving one state for another. Illinois’s rate of in-migration — the rate of people moving to the state — was third-to-last nationally. Due to the low in-migration rate, Illinois had a net migration loss, putting its net migration rate second-to-last nationally.

These facts show that Illinoisans are not leaving the state at a noticeably greater rate than residents of other states are leaving their own. Rather, people are moving to Illinois at a particularly low rate. So, instead of furthering a false narrative of an “exodus,” we should investigate and discuss solutions to Illinois’s low in-migration rate.

— Joe Camper, Chicago

This city is not a lost cause

Regarding commentary writer Dennis Byrne’s emotional farewell: My response? Goodbye. Chicago has significant but solvable problems that take people of courage, stamina and goodwill to resolve. There is far too much work to be done to carry people who don’t want to be here. I wish Mr. Byrne the restorative retirement he deserves and am happy that he will find many conditions in his new adoptive state to gripe about on his blog.

— Susan Kelly, Evanston

Why did it take him this long?

Dennis Byrne is retiring. But instead of just retiring and quietly going to Florida, he publicly announces it’s because he is fed up with the awfulness of Chicago.

Byrne has been whining the same whine for 30 years, but he never left until it was time to retire. Kind of takes the drama out of his declaration of contempt for Chicago, wouldn’t you say?

Enjoy the corruption-free state of Florida.

— Dennis Fisher, Belleville 

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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    Good bye Dennis. The first three letters say it all. Don't let the door...

  • The people castigating you for your opinion represent exactly why the problems in Illinois will never be fixed. Enjoy your state-income-tax free retirement.

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