From Rich Grabowski -
To the many friends, acquaintances and accomplices I have made here in Illinois over the past 47 years:
I want to take this opportunity to say goodbye.
For those who don’t already know, I have accepted a position with a company in Conroe, TX, about 20 miles north of Houston, and will begin my 2014 year there. I’m leaving the Chicago area on Friday, December 27th around noon. I will be working with Hydraulic Systems, Inc., a hydraulics company that manufactures, fabricates and services oil rig moving and raising equipment in the oil extraction industry.
I’m sort of saddened to leave Illinois, but the future is much brighter just up ahead.
I was born and raised, and have lived most of my 47 years of life, on the south side of the city of Chicago and in the nearby southwest suburbs. In all my years here, I never would have imagined the extent of the damage and the demise of this once great Midwestern state that I grew to like. To see what’s happening socially and economically, right under our noses and occurring in mine and my children’s lifetime, to our state now seemingly like a dead carcass run over several times being picked apart and devoured by the political vultures and the policies they’ve created that caused our state’s current brutal demise.
The state of the economy here in Illinois is heartbreaking. And it is perpetuated by the droves of politically influenced and government benefit driven low information voters who believe like sheep what their ‘leaders’ tell them, like the children following the tune of the Pied Piper, wearing their blinders 24/7/365 throughout the state. I can’t see this disastrous situation getting better here any time soon.
Businesses have been leaving Illinois at an alarming rate for the past five years now. It is not any longer, and leaders refuse to maintain this as a business friendly state. Each business that closes its doors and moves to another state takes with it on average between 50–100 jobs that will never return.
With a realistic unemployment rate of 16% in northeastern Illinois currently, and an outflow of jobs to other states, the deck is stacked against my kids finding gainful employment and moving out on their own by the age of 30. I have four teenagers who will soon be competing with 30, 40 and 50 year olds for even a simple McDonald's job right out of high school. I feel I have an obligation to my kids, in the very least, to put them in a thriving economic area where their talents, abilities and education will quickly and easily take them to where they will want and need to go to become successful. Remaining in Illinois did not provide that as a viable option to me.
The Texas economy is and has been thriving, while many other states are still looking for this so called ‘recovery’, with an average unemployment rate of only 3.7%, not because of the failed federal government level policies that have crushed many other states, but because of the policies of smart state leaders who refuse to let their citizens down with power grabs, intrusive and prohibitive tax schemes, not trampling on their rights, freedom and liberties.
The top two cities growing by leaps and bounds economically in the United States are from the same growing and thriving state, Houston, TX is number one, and the Dallas / Fort Worth area is number two. During the economic crash at the end of 2008 through 2009, Texas businesses produced 33% of all NEW JOBS throughout the entire country as a whole. Texas is a very business friendly state, welcoming businesses that are weary from existence in economically crumbling states like Illinois, which also translates to more jobs available by far than here in Illinois. Did I also mention that there is no state sales tax in the great state of Texas, as they don’t see a need to have a large, cumbersome and intrusive state government?
I have leased an apartment for myself for the next 6 months, until we can find an adequate size home, having 4 teen-aged boys.
My family will remain here until the school year is finished. The transition should be complete by June or July 2014.
I have made many friends here and will remember you all for years to come. I will keep in touch.
Thank you for a great 47 years.