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Learn from California

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Scott Reeder is at it again.

Once more he’s hounding Illinoisans with the notion that being a right-to-work (for less) state such as Texas and Indiana is great. His July 24 column praised Texas, and two weeks earlier he lauded Indiana. He cherry-picked his statistics to make his case, but what he won’t reveal is that residents in right-to-work (for less) states have lower per capita income.

Of the 12 richest states, only one right-to-work state makes the list. Of the 12 poorest, nine right-to-work states appear on that list. In another comparison, the website 24/7 Wall St. ranks Maryland No. 1, Illinois 16th, Texas 24th, Indiana 32nd and Mississippi 50th in household income.

If Reeder loves Texas and Indiana so much, why doesn’t he move? Could it be that Texas is hot and drought-dry, and the average income drops $4,397 (8 percent) compared with Illinois? If drought-dry doesn’t appeal, he could move to Indiana, where the average income declines $8,163 (15 percent) compared with the Land of Lincoln. Working families in states hindered by right-to-work laws make less money.

The example Reeder should be touting is California. In 2010, the state faced a $25 billion deficit. The newly elected governor and Democrat-controlled Legislature cut services.

Two years later, they courageously raised taxes, including a 29 percent increase on income over $1 million.

By early 2014, California had a $4.2 billion budget surplus. It ranks 11th on the list above and is not a right-to-work (for less) state.

Illinois should learn that lesson.

Mark Wilcox

Bull Valley

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