Sunday, May 17, 2015

What If Chicago Went Bankrupt And Nobody Cared?

I'm currently reading* Charles Murray's excellent book, By the People.

In it, he describes the systemic corruption of the American government that has arisen as a result of the government regulating and managing more and more of the economy. For example, if a business objects to interpretations of regulations by a part of the government, its primary recourse is to go before the regulatory agency itself. That's highly unlikely to have any effect and the fallback position is to get the intervention of elected officials. That intervention comes at the price of campaign contributions and other paybacks.

The more the government regulates and manages, the more opportunities there are for graft by elected officials, their staffs, lobbyists and the like. It's independent of political party. When everyone in Washington and the state capitals know this, they naturally seek to regulate more and more of the economy so more people can take a cut.

Chicago is going bankrupt. Over many years, they've spent more than they could afford, building up massive debts until their bonds have now been reduced to junk status. It's not racism, sexism, homophobia or greed, it's just math. Everyone knew it was coming and no one tried to stop it. Instead, they all kept grabbing all the money they could while peddling absolute rubbish to the rubes that voted for more government goodies.

The bankruptcy is going to have real consequences to real people. Retirees, with names and addresses and families and everything, are going to find themselves without income. Services to citizens will be cut so infrastructure will decay, business dealing with required regulatory agencies will find themselves delayed and much more.

At the very least, anyone who received briefings from the Chicago comptroller's office has known this was coming for years. Despite that, they all kept grabbing.

In the press, there are plenty of lapdogs of the current political overlords who continue to parrot the party line about needed services, compassion, sexism, racism, homophobia and whatever else the talking points of the day might be. I'm less clear on what they're getting out of the whole situation. Two possibilities come to my mind.
  1. They are true believers in the progressive secular-religion nonsense about the benefits of an all-powerful State.
  2. They desire to maintain access to elected officials who feed them stories and make the task of filling column-inches in the newspaper trivially easy.
Nowhere in any of this, outside of whatever Chicago Tea Party there might be and the poor, dimwitted, Chicago-machine-voting slobs who are now going to suffer, does anyone seem to care that the city has been looted.

* - Actually, I'm listening to it.


Trigger Warning said...

No one cares that the city has been looted because no one has yet suffered any consequences. Why should they care about matters that are, to this point, purely theoretical?

The very best thing that could happen for the voters of Chicago is complete collapse of the municipal fisc. Hopefully, the bond rating debacle and the ensuing costs and credit difficulties will bring this event around sooner rather than later, thus doing everybody a favor.

K T Cat said...

I think that collapse will be mathematically impossible to avoid. Whether or not they learn is another thing entirely. Argentina has been crushed several times and the people have learned nothing. They're still Peronist social justice fascists.

¡Patria Socialista!