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Chicago Loses a Business Citadel

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Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is moving his company headquarters from Chicago to Miami.

Photo:

Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

The first step to recovery is supposed to be admitting you have a problem. But Illinois Gov.

J.B. Pritzker

still won’t, even after billionaire

Ken Griffin

on Thursday said he’s moving his Citadel hedge fund and securities trading firm to Miami from Chicago.

Mr. Griffin noted in a letter to employees that many workers had clamored to relocate to other offices, including Miami. They don’t merely want to escape Chicago’s winters. Many are literally running for their lives amid a crime surge that shows no signs of abating. Thefts so far this year in Chicago have increased 65% compared to last year.

“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” Mr. Griffin told the Journal in April. “I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”

Meantime, Democrats in Springfield continue to threaten businesses and citizens with higher taxes, plus a referendum in November to enshrine collective-bargaining in the state Constitution that would also enshrine public-union rule.

It’s no wonder so many companies and people are leaving, and mostly to low-tax states.

Caterpillar

last week announced it is relocating its corporate headquarters from Deerfield to Irving, Texas, which has no income tax.

Boeing

is moving its headquarters to Arlington, Va., from Chicago.

In 2020, $2.4 billion in net adjusted gross income moved to Florida from Illinois, about $298,000 per tax filer. Illinois has lost about 60,000 black residents in the last decade, while Florida has gained 280,000.

Mr. Griffin has spent tens of millions of his personal fortune trying to rescue Illinois from bad progressive governance. Maybe he figures it’s time to cut his losses.

Wonder Land: Despite repeated cries of threats to “our democracy,” a political fix for November won’t repair the damage progressives have done to the U.S. Images: Getty Images/MG21/The Met Museum/Vogue Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the June 24, 2022, print edition.

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