Companies Say Goodbye to the 'Burbs




So then they’ll raise their taxes in the cities and the companies will move back? That’s the way it usually works, doesn’t it?


From the article

"When Motorola Mobility lined up a Silicon Valley candidate a few months ago for a VP-level role, the phone maker was hopeful he’d accept. After all, the company offered the chance to develop products at a subsidiary of Google Inc.

The engineer declined. His reason: the prospect of relocating to Libertyville, Ill., about 35 miles from downtown Chicago, said Scott Sullivan, Motorola’s head of human resources."

Real reason: Motorola Mobility has been losing money hand over fist for half a decade and I don’t want to be out of a job in 6 months anywhere near Chicago because I’ll end up having to move right back to Silicon Valley.

Chicago vs. the suburbs didn’t matter.


THAT, plus over time many workers will live in the cities, which will make driving in the burbs less frustrating, and people will go to and from work in burbs with relative ease–the word will get out that a less congested life exists in the burbs, the “new” young at that time will be attracted to that, then suddenly companies will move back to the burbs and the roads will once again fill to the brim. Cycles.


The state of Illinois, the County of Cook and the City of Chicago are ALL in utterly hopeless budget straits. We’re so bad, we make California look good. Ouch!

Maybe he simply balked at the idea of moving to a state and region with 10% sales taxes, a recent 67% income tax increase, still increasing real estate taxes (in spite of the value meltdown) that STILL can’t come even close to funding its legal pension obligations, much less its other budget responsibilities.

You’d have to be crazy to bet on the NE IL economy for the next five years. It’s basket case stuff here. If Detroit pulls of their bankruptcy to evade pension obligations, Chicago will be next in line.


And more generally (not necessarily talking Chicagoland here), we’ve reached a point where suburban sprawl is now so far out from the urban cores that it’s no longer really viable to build houses in cornfields and commute in. As long as that commute was practical, the economics appealed to people. Areas experiencing demand for new housing in the relatively near future are going to start seeing more wholesale redevelopment of dilapidated neighborhoods in the closer-in suburbs. Things like whole blocks worth of demolition and redevelopment.


From what I see, I think the Chicagoland economy is diversified enough not to have Detroit like problems, but there certainly are issues with gov’t budgets.

My point is I hate articles like this because they take an unchecked source (didn’t talk to the potential VP in person, they talked to an HR guy) and make it the thrust to prove the point of the article. Who, when they reject a job, says “I’m not taking it because your company is losing money hand over fist, the people I’d have to work with seem like dolts and the sooner you hit bankruptcy, the better off the world will be.” They make up some reason that sounds fine. Heck, maybe he didn’t want to move to Chicago because he hates winter.

The suburb thing is a lie. Silicon Valley is no different than the Chicago suburbs (strip malls, baby). This guy would probably end up living in the Northern Suburbs, which would be easily accessible to downtown Chicago or Libertyville.


I would like to follow up on this laughable bit of journalism from 45 days ago that Motorola Mobility was sold to a Chinese company, Lenovo, yesterday.

The reason this fellow did not come to Motorola wasn’t a suburb/city argument. He clearly saw a loser and didn’t come.

Can we all take articles like this with a grain of salt?


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