Commentary - Hello, exodus deniers: No, it isn't Illinois' weather

"People are fleeing Illinois. And still, Democratic leaders in Chicago
and Cook County...deny that high taxes, underfunded pensions, government
debt and political dysfunction are the reasons for the exodus..."

While imposing a stiff prison sentence on former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. District Judge James Zagel contemplated an issue that, just over six years later, continues to debase this state’s prosperity.

“In the United States, we don’t much govern at gunpoint,” Zagel told the courtroom on Dec. 7, 2011. “We require willing and creative cooperation and participation to prosper as a civil society. This happens most easily when people trust the person at the top to do the right thing most of the time, and more important than that, to try to do it all of the time.”

Corruption at the top tears and disfigures the “fabric of Illinois” and is “not easily or quickly repaired,” Zagel said.

Trust in government is essential to civil society — not only governance that is corruption-free but also competent and responsible. Read the rest of the commentary by Tribune Editorial Board member Kristen McQueary.