Study Finds “Reverse Robin Hood” Effect In Illinois

To those of us who grew up there, this news is a bit like reporting on the sun rising in the morning, but for the rest of you…From the Chicago Tribune:

    Draw a map of Chicago-area communities where businesses have received state subsidies. Now draw another of places plagued by joblessness.

    The result, according to a watchdog group that examined 15 years of subsidies to companies in the six-county Chicago area, are two maps that barely touch.

    It’s the “reverse Robin Hood effect” of the state rewarding the rich, said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit group that has charted the impact of state-supported incentives on communities.

The winners, of course, were the areas out by O’Hare and the North and Northwest suburbs. Currently in Illinois there are no guidelines, and no policies for doling out state subsidies, and the money is going to places that might not spur economic growth in poorer neighborhoods.

” Financial help for firms located far from downtown Chicago adds to some workers’ commutes while it also creates jobs beyond the reach of others without cars, the study said.

Out of 782 subsidies reviewed by the watchdog group, only 141 were given to firms located within a half-mile of a Chicago Transit Authority station or bus line, the report found.” Oh, Illinois. —MEGHANN MARCO

State subsidy study: `Reverse Robin Hood’ [Chicago Tribune]


Edit Your Comment

  1. oudemia says:

    Ugh. Rosemont. (The TV Nation stunt where they tried to get through their gates was hilarious, though.)

  2. Ha! They may think that’s cool, but they’re just n00bs until they go as far as Detroit and get rid of public transportation altogether.

    Not only don’t we have job growth in poor areas, or transportation out to where the jobs are, but we ALSO have way pricier parking and higher car-insurance rates in all the poor areas too!

    Suck it, Illinois!

  3. juri squared says:

    Oh hey, it’s Rosemont. That’s kinda creepy, loading Consumerist and seeing something so familiar!

    And yeah, I live in Aurora, and my commute used to consist of a 15-minute drive to the train station followed by an hour-long train ride and a 10 minute bus ride. Why? Because there are no jobs out here despite our being the second-largest city in the state.

    But then, that was during the tech bust. Nowadays it might be better (I’m not in that field anymore).

  4. It’s always homey when Meghann goes all Chicago on us.

  5. jacques says:

    Hrm, I wonder if my company got any of those…
    (I work about 3 blocks from that picture)

    And no, it’s not any better, Juri

  6. AcilletaM says:

    I know my company got money. They brag about how the state and local municipalities really paid for our new buildings.

  7. synergy says:

    I think that’s true in every major city, if not everywhere.

  8. forgeten says:

    yeah I would have to agree with synergy the ones with more economic power can spend money on finding these loans. While the ones who its meant to help don’t recieve anything becuase they don’t know about it or don’t have the resources necessary to get it

  9. Chongo says:

    This one is for Meghann and all of you who grew up in the NW burbs of Chicago…