Wednesday, February 23, 2011

From Chicago and Madison To Athens, Are We Shocked Yet?

FIRST, I GIVE VERY SHORT SHRIFT and an underwhelmed round of one-hand applause for the 'news' that Rahm was just elected mayor of Chicago. What a sham. What a yawn. What a machine. What a shame. The new foul-mouthed mayor-elect said he was humbled by the city's show of support.

OK, whatever you say, your hind-end-ness. No doubt, this political jackal will be embedded in his play-toy dictatorship for life, pumping and dumping as many of our newly printed/ minted, devalued U.S. dollars---at U.S. taxpayers expense---into his and O's pet projects and candidates in this wind-swept desolation. I dislike Chicago to the point that I try never to fly through O'Hare, not wanting to give a dime to their corrupt coffers. Meanwhile, here's the big issue for Rahm, and the answer to his dilemma, below. We all know what the answer is, and so does he:

Mr. Emanuel, 51, offered few specific proposals for how he would resolve the city's budget shortfall, which is approaching $1 billion, or the underfunding of public-employee pensions by some $20 billion.

But noting that many cities are facing a financial crisis, he said, "I want to be the first city to solve it."


MOVING RIGHT ON DOWN THE ROAD to Madison WI which has always fancied itself the Athens of the Midwest, another 'shocking' adventure continues to unfold.

John Hayward writing today at Human Events has the best piece I've seen on the situation, Demands of the Irresponsible, where he compares the entitled state workers of Madison with the ones in Athens Greece. None, not one, of them give a damn that their governments are not only broke but busted so far in debt that they'll never recover. All they care about is getting their bottle of the warm taxpayers' dollars milk, without so much as having to lift a finger. These perpetual children don't care that mom and dad work their behinds off for far less than they get and pay far more taxes. It's a travesty that can't last. In the meantime, the tantrums just get louder.

First Hayward takes us to the mayhem in Greece:

In the city of Athens, Greece, an interesting new mutation of anarchy has appeared: the “I Won’t Pay” movement. As described by the Associated Press, it’s a combination of labor union members and Communist Party activists (funny how those flavors of collectivism combine so readily!) who prevent people from paying for municipal transportation, highway tolls, and even fees at state hospitals. They do this by blockading toll booths, sabotaging ticket machines, and encouraging other Greek citizens to stiff the government for public services, any way they can.

Greece lies in a pool of her own blood at the base of socialism’s cliff, crushed on the rocks of unsustainable government spending and a moribund economy. The “I Won’t Pay” crowd is upset by the government’s new austerity measures, and (justifiably) angered by years of widespread corruption. It’s grimly amusing to watch socialists wail in surprise and fury when they discover their government is corrupt. Of course it is. So was every other socialist and communist government on the planet, throughout the sad history of collectivist thought. Corruption is an inherent feature of collectivism. There are no large, honest governments, and there never will be. When political power becomes one of the most valuable commodities in an economy, it will be bought, sold, and traded.

Then he brings us back to Home Unsweet Home in Wisconsin:

Newspaper columnist Dionysis Gousetis made an interesting point in criticizing the idealistic freeloaders: “The course from initial lawlessness to final wanton irresponsibility is like a spreading cancer.” This is always a danger with civil disobedience. What better word for the crowds of public union employees marching around “the Athens of the Midwest” than “irresponsible?” From teachers using their students as political props and tossing around Hitler references, to doctors writing fraudulent excuses to obtain paid sick leave for union shock troops, to Democrat politicians fleeing the state to shut down a vote, the Wisconsin Left abandoned all responsibility to the people it wishes to subjugate.

And here's the crux of this brilliant piece:

The notion being pushed against the capitols of Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and other American states wrestling with powerful and desperate public unions is a related toxin. Call it the “You Will All Pay” movement. It is the idea that taxpayers have no say whatsoever in how public unions are compensated. Union demands override the outcome of the democratic process, to the point where democratic government itself will be shut down, if it seems likely to produce an outcome the union leadership doesn’t like.

Do read the whole thing.

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