DimWit Politics

It Pays to be Poor in Chicago

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It Pays to be Poor in Chicago

It Pays to be Poor in Chicago
August 21
18:15 2018

Chicago’s number one news-making activity is the number of people wounded or killed by gunfire. It seems the injured and fatality count has become as much a fixed feature on the weekly national news wrap-ups as the weather and sports.

Occasionally, news reports from Chicago will address the precarious financial condition of the Windy City. The City is going broke under the weight of overly generous union contracts and those enormous and unfunded pension plans.

One would think that the members of the oversized, 50-seat City Council would concentrate on old problems instead of inventing new ones. But nooooo.

Alderman Ameya Pawar has introduced an idea that it so … so … stupid that it deserves notice.

He thinks it is a good idea to give 1000 families $500 every month. He is not proposing additional subsidies for rent or food, but to just pick out 1000 families out of the tens of thousands of families living below the poverty level and send them a check for $500.

They can use it for rent or food – or for booze, cigarettes or lottery tickets. Hey! They could use it to buy guns.

The first and most obvious problem is how that lucky 1000 will be selected. If they follow Chicago’s tradition of corrupt political machine leadership, it would be the alderman who would select the recipients. This would be great for family members and crony friend – not so great for those really suffering financially for generations under City Hall policies.

Of course, they could always do it by lottery, which would only slightly diminish the chance of family and crony friends from winning.

The next problem is the cost. At $500,000 per month, the annual expenditure would be $6 million. The problem with this particular political gravy train is that there is no gravy. That reality has never stopped the Democrats in City Hall from doling out money as a form of political insurance. If they had even an ounce of fiscal responsibility, Chicago would not be in the dire straits that it is.

Perhaps Pawar’s idea has evolved out of the growing socialist movement within the Democratic Party. He is upping Bernie Sanders’ proposal of guaranteeing a job for everyone. If there are not enough jobs in the private sector, Uncle Sam will do the hiring, says Sanders. Pawar, on the other hand, does not even see the need to work for the money. No pretense, what so ever. You just have to be poor or well connected – or both.

Actually, Pawar’s idea is not entirely new to Chicago – and many other cities. For generations, city leaders have been able to find jobs for family and crony friends that came with great salaries but did not require the person to show up for work. Some connected folks even had time to fit two of those no-show jobs in their busy schedule.

There is a bit of good news in this story. Pawar has decided to put the interest of the people of Chicago ahead of his own ambitions – and his silly ideas. He will not run for re-election. Since Chicago alderman are a fungible commodity, his success will undoubtedly have a lot of bad ideas. It’s the Chicago way.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. Nickname
    Nickname August 22, 17:10

    Not to mention the lawsuits that would follow because people were left out.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Ergo joe
    Ergo joe August 22, 17:12

    Liberalism at its best

    Reply to this comment

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