The Root of All Evil In Chicago
By all accounts Chicago has serious financial problems. Every citizen owes $36,000 in unfunded pension debt. Chicago Public Schools are among the worst performing in the nation. Chicago’s population has decreased 25% since 1950 and 7% since 2000. Chicago was once “Second City”. By the 2020 census Chicago will be “Fourth City. By 2030 Chicago will be “Fifth City” or lower. Amazon, in its recent national search for a second headquarters city, wisely spurned Chicago. Moody’s rates Chicago bonds as near junk status and encourages more taxation; after all, Moody’s looks out for the bondholders.
Oddly, though, you won’t hear any gloom from the politicians running Chicago. Their beaks are still getting wet just fine thank you. Worse, the bakers-dozen mayoral candidates mostly stump about social-justice, minority hiring, affirmative action and catering to anything that CTU seeks. Hardly a peep about the 500 lb gorillas of Chicago: the massive pension debt and the obscenely high taxes.
The economic growth and decline of cities is a vastly complex process with myriad causes, forces and results. So, it’s not often that you can point to a single issue, entity or system as the cause of the economic collapse of a city but here in Chicago we have one: Ninety years of single party rule.
The last non-Democrat Mayor was William Thompson in 1931. For the past eighty-eight years, one political party and one political machine has ruled Chicago. During that time there has been no dissent, no political opposition, no compromise, no second opinion, no minority party opposition. During that time, the ruling single party has enriched itself on the backs of taxpayers with endlessly rising taxation, inefficient city services, insider deals, corrupt politicians, tainted city officials, financial malfeasance, and opaque insider operations.
Naturally, this has resulted in the occasional criminal conviction; almost entirely by Federal prosecutors. Oddly the County and State prosecutors never see any targets in this target-rich environment. The names of Chicago politicians read like a criminal rogues gallery: Blagojevich, Madigan, Burke, Solis, Berrios, Brown, Munoz, Moreno, Laurino, Cochran, Jackson, Laski, Mell. But this list of nepotism and corruption is just an occasional bump in the road for the machine. A hazard of the business. The insiders of the machine move on and enrich themselves, insulated from the eventual consequences.
To be clear: Chicago is not a Democracy. At best, Chicago government is an oligarchy. A political machine that exists to perpetuate the machine and to enrich its members. For the machine, the voters are an annoyance and the good of the citizens is an impediment. The entire political system is rigged to protect incumbents and the machine. What better way to disenfranchise voters than to hold elections in February? The mayoral and aldermanic runoff election system exists to ensure the incumbent machine a second chance at the ballot if they don’t like the primary results. The ballot petition signature challenge system exists to silence the voters. The Gerrymandering exists to protect the insiders and silence the citizens and smother any opposition.
This single party rule root cause of Chicago’s sickness has a solution: Vote them out. For each office on the ballot vote against the machine candidate. Period. “More of the same” is not a solution.
For the first time in a generation, Chicago citizens have a chance to elect a Mayor who isn’t a cog in the machine. From top to bottom the Chicago political system is a scam built to enrich machine politicians from the sweat and hard work of the citizens. Its plain theft. Larceny. Looting. Fraud. Criminal. Burglary. An eighty-eight-year mugging. And it’s not Democracy. Let’s end it now.