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Chicago Named One Of The World's Most Economically Powerful Cities

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Chicago might have its fair share of fiscal problems, but the Windy City remains one of the world's most economically powerful cities in the world.

In its roundup of the 25 Most Economically Powerful Cities, The Atlantic explains why cities are so important to the American economy in particular:

American cities account for nearly 90 percent of total U.S. economic output, and 85 percent of U.S. jobs. As Harvard's Michael Porter recently told the Clinton Global Initiative: "There is no one U.S. economy but a collection of local economies." Across the globe, metros with populations over one million account for more than half of the world's economic output and nine of every ten innovations, while housing roughly one out of every five people.

Chicago was ranked fourth, with an economic output of $460 billion. As NBC Chicago points out, the Windy City was topped by Tokyo, New York and London, which is not too shabby.

The ranking comes as Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city is quickly digging itself out of a fiscal hole by cutting $83 million in costs since the mayor took office in May.

All this good news was apparently lost on downstate lawmakers, who still want to make Chicago its own state so the rest of Illinois doesn't have to deal with it. The story was picked up by Allysia Finley of the Wall Street Journal, who tore into the state and city in what the Capitol Fax Blog called a "hit piece" over the weekend.

"Imagine California without the sunshine, New York without the cultural elan, New Jersey without Chris Christie. That's Illinois," Finley writes. The Capitol Fax blog points out that the angry Illinois business owner quoted in the piece is the husband of a woman who works for the GOP lawmaker who proposed splitting Chicago and Illinois -- and is also a state worker with a six-figure salary.

Capitol Fax weighs in:

So, the couple has a combined household income of over $144,000 a year, supplied by the taxpayers of all Illinois counties, including Cook, but the husband wants Cook gone and wants everybody to leave Illinois if he doesn’t get what he wants. Hey, that's his right. I have no problem with his beliefs, no matter how contradictory. It's Finley I have a problem with.

One thing Finley failed to mention in her anti-Chicago piece is that the city also generates 81.6 percent of the $652 billion gross state product. In 2009, $3.5 billion -- some 40 percent -- of the $8.7 billion the state collected in income tax was attributable to Cook County, which also was responsible for roughly 36 percent, or $2.2 billion, of the $6.2 billion the state generated in sales taxes, the AP reports.

Check out the rest of The Atlantic's list here.

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