February 1, 2017 Last Updated 10:03 am

Supreme Court nomination was not nearly the lead story for Peoria’s daily, the Journal Star

The city of Peoria is known for being the home of a couple of minor league sports teams – the Peoria Chiefs (baseball) and the Peoria Rivermen (hockey) and is the home of Bradley University. But what almost everyone knows Peoria for is for being the home of Caterpillar Inc., the leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.

This morning, when just about every metro daily newspaper led with the news that Donald Trump had nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the local daily, the Journal Star, only had room for a headline that led to a story on A2. Its entire front page was dedicated to the news that Caterpillar would be moving its headquarters to Chicago.

The move will be devastating to the pride of the city located on the Illinois River in the near-center of the state. But the good news is that only Cat’s HQ will be moving, its manufacturing will stay, saving about 12,000 jobs.

Caterpillar is a company with global interests, and Cat is doing what other major corporations have done before them, move to locations where executives can easily commute to its worldwide interests. Boeing, ConAgra Foods and Archer Daniels Midland Company, previously located in large metro cities, nonetheless moved their headquarters to Chicago in recent years for similar reasons.

Still, it stings.

“Perhaps Caterpillar’s seventh floor is leaving Peoria for a more simple, personal reason, at least in part: (CEO Jim) Umpleby and other executives want to live somewhere else,” wrote Journal Star reporter Nick Vlahos.

Maybe, after all, well paid executives – and how many of them aren’t well paid? – generally want to live in major metropolitan cities. But it does seem to continue the fragmentation of the nation into tribes – with wealthy, more liberal Americans congregated into small clusters in urban areas, with the rest of the nation worried that there will be no future for their smaller towns and mid-sized cities.

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