Illinois Without Chicago. Seriously.

Kidding aside, if the nine counties of the Chicago metro area were to secede from Illinois, would New Illinois be able to sustain itself?

The way I see it: the economy of Springfield would crumble instantly. We’re basically built on state jobs, and even though we would (presumably) remain the capital, the size of the state workforce here would decrease by two thirds basically overnight.

There’s also the fact that all of those roads, bridges, dams, prisons, etc. that exist downstate are maintained by tax revenue that is principally generated in Chicago. Could we citizens of New Illinois generate enough tax revenue to support ourselves? But conversely, the tax revenue we generate won’t be spent on infrastructure (and social programs, etc.) in Chicago, so maybe it would all balance out?

By point of comparison, I note that there are plenty of rural states in the Union whose populations aren’t dominated by one huge conurbation. Iowa (which admittedly has Des Moines, but Des Moines is no Chicago) seems to get by.

So can anyone seriously crunch the numbers and determine whether or not New Illinois could exist?

I cannot evaluate the viability of Chicago and Environs being independently stable.

I just note that the phantom kangaroo is now haunting the webpage tab that comes up in your browser when you open the article. :smiley:

Argh. Fixed, thanks.

Interesting piece, but you forgot a president(!): Reagan. I’m not sure where to put him, as he was born outside of Chicago but also lived in Hyde Park for a bit as a boy.

Being a cheesehead I’d definitely have problems with the proposed annexation into some wierd new Chicago state but I have to say thanks for the intro to the cheese bra. That is just funny.

Ummm…is Illinois sustaining itself WITH Chicago?

A fair question in light of the fiscal situation. At least we provide entertainment value.