To all of the Coasties out there: please, for the love of all that is holy, shut up about Chicago Corruption. While you’re at it, shut up about corruption in Illinois politics in general. We don’t care, and we don’t want to hear your ignorant views. To be quite frank, you have no idea what you are talking about. The more you complain and whine, the less we care.

Yes, we fully understand that there is a high level of corruption in Illinois politics. We fully admit it. In fact we are proud to admit it. There are two big facts you are missing entirely while you complain impotently from your sorry excuse for a state. The first is that we actually like our politics. Our state actually functions! (As opposed to states like Florida, which has its own Fark tag.)

Unlike most of the states in our union, we have a strong economy which continues to grow ever year. Our economy is so strong that we manage to carry the fourth highest tax burden of any state, which in layman’s terms means that our state finances your state’s inadequacies. We function so well that we are a net exporter of tax dollars, a responsibility that few other states share. The next time you are driving on a federally funded road, or sending your kids to a public school, you can thank the people of Illinois for being industrious enough, and our government for being generous enough, to pay for the privileges you are enjoying. Without us, you would be rolling in the fetid squalor of third-world poverty.

But we don’t just pay for your kids to go to school, we also do a decent job of paying for ours too! Illinois generates enough money to pay one of the top ten teaching salaries in the nation, and we feature some of the best schools in our nation, and top research labs in the country. Not only are we doing a great job educating our own children, but we are bankrolling major research and development for the entire country and spending our human capital on the world’s problems.

Combine all of this with our generally low unemployment, the fifth largest gross state product in the country at over $560 billion (and 17th world wide, yes that is higher than most European nations), a consistently growing economy and population, and you can see why we have very little to complain about. Our government actually does what it is supposed to, despite the supposed high corruption.

What really grinds our gears, however, is that our state is fundamentally not as corrupt as yours. I’ve lived in other states, I’ve seen the evidence of blatant corruption, but never before moving to Illinois did I see people do anything about it. The real reason why Illinois and Chicago seem so corrupt is that we publicize it and deal with it, instead of sweeping it under the political rug and pretending it isn’t there. What you are seeing isn’t a problem with corruption, but instead our courage as whistle blowers. We arrest our governors and haul them off to court, try them, and sentence them for their crimes. We sue our state when it crosses the line, and publicly hunt and ferret out all of the corruption we can find. When we do find it, we air it out for everyone to see because we believe that the people have a right to know what their government is doing. Meanwhile in the rest of the United States, corruption lives behind closed doors and in murky, dimly lit hallways, hidden from view. The media don’t dare step in and out corrupt politicians because that just isn’t the way things are done. Really we can’t blame you. After all, you are just acting like other third world nations do, and without us you wouldn’t be part of the developed world.

It is for these reasons that it really pisses me off to see the mainstream media accuse Illinois of being corrupt. Why fault Obama for supporting His Honorable Highness the Lord Richard M. Daley, Mayor, City of Chicago? Is Daley corrupt? Sure he is! But Chicago is not only the third largest city in the United States, but one of the fastest growing, most successful, and culturally rich cities in the country. The Daley family, in their long reign over Chicago, have made the people of Chicago happy and gotten the job done. He has the support of 71% of the population for a reason. I applaud Obama for his support of Daley, he had the courage to realize that the problem with Chicago is not corruption. The problem with the rest of the country is an unwillingness to admit to its own corruption.

So the next time you decide to criticize Illinois or Chicago for corruption while sipping a glass of wine on your veranda, take a moment to think about who is paying to subsidize your standard of living. That’s right, it isn’t your sorry excuse for a state, it is Illinois. So sit down and for goodness sake, shut up.

-Angry Midwesterner

Angry Midwesterner