About John

* For those who care about such things, my undergraduate degree is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and my Masters (MBA) is from the University of Chicago.

* I am a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois.

* My work experience started with part-time high school and college jobs.  I worked for eight years at a large community bank in commercial lending, doing credit analysis, auditing and extending business loans.  I’ve worked the past 11 years at several private and public companies as a Financial Analyst and Finance Manager with emphasis in Financial Reporting and Financial Planning and Analysis.  It can be dangerous to extrapolate too much from one’s own experiences onto the whole world, but my years in business have exposed me to corporate downsizing, HR processes, corporate drive to achieve profits, outsourcing, mergers & acquisitions, expansion decisions, and corporate relocations.  Many journalists and commentators appear to lack such real world exposure.

* I am married with two sons.

* The views expressed on this Website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of my employer.

If you were wondering… ‘econscius’ is derived from “economics” + Latin “conscius” [sharing knowledge with others].

  1. Your premise is that union influences, Chicago’s dominance in the state of Illinois and the corruption of 2 previous governors is the cause of the economic woes of Freeport and probably Rockford as well.

    I can’t speak for Rockford, but Freeport’s problems are far more local in nature. Rather than blaming the situation on Chicago or state leadership, the real blame belongs to the local city, township and county governments: their long standing complacency, unwillingness to address significant infrastructure problems, and lack of any real economic development leadership. And while union conflicts did have an impact on Goodyear’s employment numbers in Freeport, the single most devasting employment loss in the area has been the decline in jobs at Honeywell, which was non-union.

    • Mary & Marilee,

      Thanks for reading and posting your thoughtful responses.

      I won’t argue with you about the local officials in Freeport (Stephenson County) or Rockford (Winnebago County) perhaps not being up to the task on economic development [a qualitative assertion], I do think the Illinois total state numbers probably cannot be attributed to local officials. I think the local officials tend to average out across states, though that is small comfort to people in specific cities like Freeport. Some town/county’s may not be up to the task, but I’d expect that to be an almost random distribution overall amongst Midwest cities.

      At a higher level, it is quite possible the admittedly poor quality of recent Gubernatorial Administrations and the overall corruption and ineptitude of Illinois state government puts us at a disadvantage vs. the other states.

      As far as unions go, I agree not all job losses are at union employers. I think unions are just one piece of the puzzle. I also think it varies from industry to industry and company to company with some company’s management-labor relationships better than others.

      My larger point, though, is that downstate Illinois towns are always playing defense, trying to keep what they have, rather than often being aggressive in vying for new plants and relocations from other states. I do think unions are a piece of the puzzle why (but only a piece, the state’s reputation for corruption, its third highest corporate income tax rate, the workmen’s compensation situation, state regulaton and even its reputation for friendliness to plantiff lawsuits, are all factors to the varying degrees). Lackluster local leadership may, as you suggest, also be a factor for specific towns. Caterpillar said Illinois towns would not even be considered for its most recent expansion and blamed this on the overall business environment in Illinois.

      I do wish the best for Freeport and Rockfrod and hope they are able to improve their income development prospects, with or without help from the State of Illinois.

      Again, thank you for visiting and your thoughtful comments!

  2. Well said Mary Youngblut. I hardly think that busting what few unions we have left in our vicinity would improve Freeport or Rockford’s economic viability. This area’s lack of leadership and the propensity of the same few well-meaning citizens to keep “studying” the same facts every few years and then proposing feel-good solutions to intransigent problems is an exercise in fulitilty. Meanwhile, what little leadership we do have is beginning to be held hostage by no-new-taxes tea party members with more criticism than answers.

  3. Who told you that Rawleigh left Freeport 45 years.ago? They left in 1989-90. Exaggeration doesn’t help sell your thesis.

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