Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May, 2016, Part 10, Political Class Insanity: The Political Fiasco That Is Chicago

It is the beginning of another month which means it is time again to review the latest political class insanity from the American political class. Each month it takes us multiple posts to cover the wasteful spending, incompetent government organizations and employees, government programs that usually make a problem worse than resolving it, inane and idiotic politician comments, etc. In fact, last month we set a record, needing ten full posts to cover it all.

To review past posts on this insanity and idiocy, just click on the first few posts in each month listed to the right of this page. After reviewing just a handful of these insanity posts we think you will agree that we are currently being served by the worst set of American politicians ever to hold office in our entire history.

It looks like our politicians have been especially insane over the past month or so let’s get started, with a focus today on Chicago’s politicians and the fiasco they have created for the good people of the Windy City:

In the Briefing section of the May 13, 2016 issue of The Week magazine, we get an idea of how bad things have gotten in Chicago:
  • Chicago has a lower credit rating than any other American city with the exception of Detroit.
  • The Chicago unemployment rate at 6.1% is twenty percent higher than the national unemployment rate and dead last among the 51 largest U.S. metro areas.
  • The city has a whopping $20 billion in unfunded pension debt liabilities for city employees’ pensions.
  • Just this infunded debt load would theoretically cost every resident of Chicago, both kids and adults, about $8,700 each to cover the liability.
  • Violent city crime is at its highest rate in decades with over 1,000 people in the city already having been shot this year.
  • 141 people were killed in the city in the first quarter of this year vs. 82 in the same period in 2015 despite having the strictest gun control laws in the land.
  • Chicago became the murder capital of the country when 470 people were murdered in 2015.
  • Chicago lost more jobs between 2000 and 2010 than the largest ten American cities during that period.
  • Between 1990 and 2012 white Chicago residents saw their incomes rise 33% on average while black Chicago residents saw their incomes drop 4% on average.
  • The black resident poverty rate and unemployment rate are twice those of white residents.
  • A recent report found that 47% black men in the city aged between 20 and 24 were out of school and out of work, 15% higher than the national average.
  • Chicago is recognized as one of the most corrupt cities in the country.
  • Chicago schools are bad from a performance perspective and are likely underfunded for the job they have to do.
  • On top of all of this bad news, many in the city believe that it has a violent and out of control police force requiring tighter police oversight.
  • This attitude has made the police much more cautious, so much so that in the first quarter of 2016 they have stopped, frisked, or questioned about one eighth the number of people they did in 2015.
  • The mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was re-elected with 56% of the vote in the last election while now a majority of city residents think he should resign.
  • In addition to these violence and employment woes, the city politicians put in effect at least a dozen new taxes for 2016 including raising the city sales tax rate to an obscene 10.25%, increased property taxes, a new tax on Netflix like services, and many, many more.

You probably could not do a worst job managing a city’s affairs than the job that the Chicago political class has done. High taxes with little to show for it. Lack of quality performance from its schools and police force. Extremely high taxes which is probably contributing to a death spiral of higher tax rates and lower tax collections as the wealthier residents leave the city to avoid the high city tax burden, leaving behind the less wealthy to carry more of a rising tax burden. What a disaster.

It is no secret that the Chicago political class has been a closed and corrupt set of people for decades and decades. And this is what happens when here is corruption in the DNA of a city’s politicians that are protected from term limits. But typical of American politicians, enriching themselves while failing to protect the rights, wealth, freedom and safety of the citizens they represent.

And keep in mind that these problems arose when Obama was heralding what a great job he personally did to revive the economy. Imagine what happens to Chicago when the next recession comes about.

And Chicago is not representative of the country. Forbes recently ran an article about the 15 quickest growing metro areas. These cities are gaining population and growing vibrantly as compared to Chicago. And one thing jumps out when you look at these 15 fast growing metro areas: almost half of them, seven out of fifteen, are located in Texas and Florida, states that have a tax burden that is significantly lower than the tax burden in Chicago. Other growing metro areas are in other states with lower tax burdens. 

Which proves again to not only Chicago politicians but Washington politicians also: higher taxes rarely results in a better quality of life for the citizens that today’s politicians represent. It may result in a better quality of life for politicians but not for ordinary citizens. Chicago proves it: despite higher and higher tax rates and taxes, the quality of life of the city’s people continues to go down, it’s the political class way of life.

More insanity tomorrow on the political class insanity that permeates and infects our lives every day.

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