The local good news and bad news

By: Diane Benjamin

A reader sent this story:

The story goes in numerous directions, but it starts with the fact that people who are capable of working remotely are leaving large metro areas. Why live in a shoebox in New York City when you can live for a lot less anywhere else in the country.

Eventually it gets to a chart of highest adjusted Cost-of-Living salaries. Bloomington-Normal is listed as number 4 on the list of metros with a population between 100,000 and 349,999:

This means people have more disposable income here than in other areas of the country. Before celebrating, dig deeper. The chart below shows the area’s largest employers according to the financial statements Normal just issued:

PDF page 214:

HALF of the top 10 employers are government.

Country Financial is cutting 200 jobs, no longer offering pensions to new employees, and modifying pensions for existing employees:

How many jobs has government cut?

Now go all the way to the bottom of the original story. There is another chart that compares the local cost-of-living to the national average. Click Small Metros:

The local cost-of-living is almost 8% lower than national.

The most recent example of government handing out cost-of-living increases is the Town of Normal. Stan Nord has questioned the amount given ever since he was elected. Normal uses the national consumer price index to give cost-of-living adjustments. Since the actual cost-of-living here is less than national, Normal is actually handing out salary increases and pretending they are cost-of-living adjustments.

This Town of Normal document recaps recent cost-of-living increases:

See PDF pages 49 and 50. Between April 2016 and April 2018 these increases amount to 6.43%. According to the chart above, over 10 years the actual cost-of-living only increased 9.2%. I could research the entire 10 years, but obviously it would show way over actual.

Looks like government employees are fine, private sector not so much. Growing government always means the private sector suffers. Government doesn’t make their own money, they only take money from the people who actually earned it.


7 thoughts on “The local good news and bad news

  1. The problem is the data used for relativity comparisons. B/N governments purposely choose places or data to show their desired goal in the best possible light. This is a basic marketing scheme to steer sheep to a specific decision. Why the mayors and councils continue to fall for this is because they want the same goal accomplished or they are too naive to see through the BS. Whichever the reason, it is the voters’ fault we keep electing these people or keep them employed.

    The most obvious example of this data bias is COVID. Both camps present and embellish the data/narrative which supports their goal outcome.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The organizations below in the order of their likeihood of downsizing in the near future:

    1. Country Financial (200 is just the start)
    2. ISU
    3. IWU
    4. State Farm

    And as these organizations cut jobs, the downstream support and service jobs will be reduced as well.
    All of this means a reduction in tax revenue and that should translate into our local governments reducing expenditures and eliminating city jobs.. Any bets on whether or not this will happen?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The current yahoos running Normal will not reduce expenses or headcounts. I expect Koos and Pam will announce increased taxes. They will argue citizens will have more free time on their hands so they will want more amenities and longer bike trails. Koos is probably thinking more bike sales when people are laid off. Maybe he can reuse his banner to mock the unemployed again.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Naturally, Koos is relying on the government employees to bail him out at the voting polls. His base consists overwhelmingly of trough feeders and cronies.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. More than 20% of jobs are with a single employer. Can you say “high risk”?! Add to which, the jobs at Big Red in Bloomington-Normal are moving away from tech and management or more toward low skill and lower-level. A job is not a job, folks. Look behind the employee headcount.

    Liked by 2 people

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