Monday, May 18, 2015

Don't Blame Heather Gillers

... she's been honestly reporting the fiscal problems of Chicago, particularly the school district. Here's a sample.

By my calculations, each man, woman and child in Chicago owes about $2500 on the school debt. The debt is about $6.7B and the population is about 2.7M. That debt, by the way, is independent of the rest of Chicago's government debt, Illinois' government debt or the Federal government debt.

I discovered Heather by searching and clicking around the Chicago Tribune's site. Her Twitter feed was easy to find and scrolling down through time, she's produced one honest report of the school finances after another.

If you think awareness of government debt would make much of a difference in the fiscal trajectory of cities, states or the nation in general, her tweets and articles should give you pause.

Glenn Reynolds had a series a while back with the theme, wealth and income are markers of behavior. I'd suggest that debt and borrowing are markers of culture.

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