Monday, August 13, 2012

The Chicago Miracle, or not

The President is now touting Chicago as a shining example for America. Chicago is in indeed a great town in many respects. Sitting at the crossroads of the east and the west it was always destined to be great. But it is a great city despite the prevailing leadership of the 20th and nascent 21 centuries.

The Daley machine and it's legacy have made Chicago a tough place, a rough and tumble place. It is ruled by the unions in the government sector and business has always adapted by folding that reality into the cost of doing business. Greasing the palms of the union bosses and the "inspectors" to get anything done in a timely manner is legend in this town. Politicos also have to kiss the ring of the union bosses and the Daley machine in order to have a chance of getting elected. Election fraud is expected not just tolerated.

To hold the view 'Chicago Is an Example of What Makes This Country Great' as Obama does is clearly his local pride talking because he can't be serious that the "Chicago Way" is the way the rest of the country should work. In truth Chicago is an example of everything wrong with politics. Win at any cost and ignore legalities and consequences.

As the linked article eludes to: not many of us wants to live with the consequences of Chicago style government. In fact more Chicago residents - 228 - have been killed so far this year in the city than the number of  American troops killed in Afghanistan - 144 - over the same period. The war zone-like statistics are not new. Some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, contrast that to the more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during the same time. Is it a source of pride that Chicago's murder rate is currently quadruple that of New York and double Los Angeles' rate? God, I hope not.

Chicago is a great place to visit, but like California I couldn't live there, by the number of people who flee both places I'm guessing I'm not the only one who feels that way.