Why everyone hates Illinois and Connecticut

Michael Smith, News Editor

The two states that I have most recently stepped foot in are Illinois and Connecticut, aka America’s most hated states.

One might wonder why the land of Lincoln and the Nutmeg state are, according to Gallup in April, the states most likely to have their residents wish they could move somewhere else. And when I mean most likely, I mean half of the states’ populations.

So why do people living in Illinois and Connecticut hate it there?

From my experiences in both, everyone I meet seems to be kind, friendly, and charming. Yet, I was and still am met with frustration, disillusionment, and pessimism.

And this is what I came to realize, the residents of Illinois and Connecticut are great people that are living in, or at least appears to be, broken states. These states’ reputation have been crippled by unemployment, overall negativity, and lackluster leaders.

As it stands right now, Connecticut and Illinois are 36th and 39th in employment with 6.6% and 6.9% unemployment, respectively, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s most recent report. It is not that there are no jobs out in these states to be had, but that they are highly skilled jobs trapped in cities like Chicago and Hartford, places that lack a truly skilled workforce.

Another possible compounding factor is that both Illinois and Connecticut have relatively high state taxes. Yet, as the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities noted in May, high in-state taxes associated with states as liberal as Connecticut and Illinois aren’t what is chasing people out.

The problem isn’t Uncle Sam, it’s Mother Nature. They found that tax rates had a negligible impact on interstate moves, the underlying problem (or overlying?) is the sun.

With polar vortexes, hellish cloud cover, and unpredictable shifts in climate, people, especially retirees, are moving to the sun belt.

As the Gallup poll referenced earlier went on to point out, nearly 1 out of every 9 people certain to move out in the next year blamed the weather. The weather alone.

The first man I talked to in Connecticut said “I lived here 3 and a half years, it is nice, but cold. Really cold.”

But just because the appearance problem might not be rooted in state taxes does not mean the state governments are off the hook. Both Illinois and Connecticut have despised State Legislators and Governors that have approval ratings that never go over 50%. In fact, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy have races this election cycle that are expected to be the closest in the country, even with laughable competition.

With a lack of accessible jobs, general optimism, and strong leaders, both Illinois and Connecticut might have to fight over which one of the two looks worse. Something needs to change in order to become like Nebraska and the Dakotas, Time Magazine’s top three happiest states for 2013 and states that have accomplished these each of these feats. The weather is a little bit harder to change.

Now this is the point in the article where I try to inspire hope that Connecticut and Illinois can improve their popularity. I would list all of the things Illinois and Connecticut are wonderful at and try to shine a bright light on their futures. But I can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I tried.

I spent an hour doing research trying to find the needle in the haystack. But the haystack was made of concrete.

And there was no needle.

Everyone hates Illinois and Connecticut.

The first positive thing that pops up when I searched “(Illinois/Connecticut) is #1 at” on Google are the facts the Illinois has the best animal protection laws and Connecticut has the best college basketball team. So there you go.