Tag: Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner’s Battle to Dismantle ‘Blue Model’ Illinois


RaunerBeen awhile since I’ve written explicitly about Walter Russell Mead’s Blue Model analysis. as WRM explains, “the core institutions, ideas and expectations that shaped American life for the sixty years after the New Deal don’t work anymore.”

Gone is the world of heavily unionized and regulated Corporate America, dominated by oligopolies, with little overseas competition, to a large extent living off the huge technological advances of the 1920s and 1930s. As Ashwin Parameswaran has described the era:

Most large American firms were also largely insulated from strong shareholder pressure to improve profitability. This combination of low import competition, low rate of entry by new firms and weak shareholder pressure meant that there was very little process innovation or cost control. It is not a coincidence that many view the 1950s and 1960s as a golden age of economic growth and stability. It was essentially a period when neither firm owners, managers or workers felt the threat of failure or even had the incentive to improve efficiency or control costs. It was a period of stability for all, masses and classes alike.

Bruce Rauner and the Winds of Change


This past November, Bruce Rauner was the only Republican candidate who was able to defeat a sitting Democratic governor, Pat Quinn. He did so in Illinois, a state that has long been subject to an excess of one-party rule, and one where the  electorate was obviously weary of the dismal economic performance of the state, constantly illustrated in painful detail by the state’s free-market gadfly, Illinois Policy.

One quick read of Rauner’s inaugural State of the State speech makes it clear that elections have consequences; in this instance, beneficial ones. Rauner’s election breaks the Democratic monopoly over Illinois government. In the face of a Rauner veto, the Illinois Legislature cannot continue to pile on additional laws that hamper growth and development in the state, nor can it advance new taxes and restrictive labor legislation. But stopping new legislation does not roll back the many current laws on the book that continue to drive productive businesses and workers to other states (especially Illinois’ neighbors, where job opportunities are greater and tax levels are lower). Modern federalism ensures that the exercise of these exit rights help discipline wayward state governments. Illinois is learning that lesson the hard way.