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Blue Model Blowup
“Reform for Relief” Coming to Blue Cities
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  • Brad Lena

    It is not surprising that a culture that is now longer tethered to cause and effect, action and consequence is confronted with, what in polite circles is called, the collapse of the blue model. What is surprising that the same constituency is looked to for solutions; then again maybe not

  • Pete

    What makes you think the federal government can afford to bailout the corrupt cities with their parasitic so-called public service sector?

    Public sector pensions must be cut and rather significantly. Another needed reform would be to outlaw public sector unions as they are a demonstrated threat to the well-being of society.

  • WigWag

    An enormous part of the problem faced by Chicago and many other municipalities in both red and blue states is the cost of health care. If health care costs in the United States more closely resembled the cost of health care in the rest of the developed world, Chicago’s problems would be more manageable and so would the problems faced by local and state governments all over America. But it’s not just government; the reason that wages are stagnant is because money that used to be available for salary increases now pours into the black hole of our mindless health care system.

    Obamacare did not fix healthcare; at best it’s palliative and it may not even be that.

    Fix health care and you’ve fixed a lot. Not everything but a lot.

    Without market oriented solutions; there’s little hope but market based solutions that focus exclusively on the demand side of the equation (which is all the GOP seems to care about) we’re nowhere.

    The single biggest problem in health care is that everyone employed in that sector, especially doctors, earn too much money. Chicago and the rest of America would be far better off if the health care sector soaked up ten percent of GDP instead of twice that.

    • f1b0nacc1

      While we likely disagree about a lot on domestic matters, I believe that you have made an outstanding point here. As a somewhat libertarian-leaning individual, might I suggest that one simple way to help right the ship (as it were) might be large scale deregulation of the health industry, starting with licensing reform. Increase the number of doctors, encourage the use of nurses and physician assistants when possible, perhaps even eliminating much of the licensing bottleneck that artificially keeps the number of doctors so low. Alternative health care facilities (the ‘doc in a box’ model, for instance) would be a major help as well, and encouraging standardized medical records formats to allow easier sharing (avoiding ‘lock-in’, etc.) would accelerate the process of democratizing the system. Finally, eliminating things like HIPAA would be a huge step towards increasing competition in the industry.
      A cure-all, of course not, but it would help reduce spending levels and address the supply-side issues that you correctly identify as a big part of the problem

      • WigWag

        I agree with everything you say here. HIPAA is a financial boondoggle of mind boggling proportions (thanks largely to Hillary Clinton); it should be reformed or repealed.

        The regulatory structure around healthcare is a disaster. While some regulation is clearly necessary, the structure we have in place now is designed to protect physician incomes and hospital profits, not patient’s health.

        Medical schools need to admit double the number of students they admit every year and charge half the tuition. Foreign doctors need to be permitted to practice in the United States in dramatically higher numbers. Nurse practitioners need to be empowered. Using hospital residency programs as the exclusive method of apprenticeship for new physicians needs to be abandoned.

        The fiscal problems of government at all levels will never be fixed if health care isn’t fixed.

        It’s not all about health care, but its a lot about health care.

        • MichaelKennedy

          I notice your handle as indicating a left wing fool.

          “Medical schools need to admit double the number of students they admit every year and charge half the tuition. Foreign doctors need to be permitted to practice in the United States in dramatically higher numbers.”

          How do you propose to do this ? I graduated from medical school in 1966. My class was 66. That same medical school, where I now teach, has classes of 230. Do you know anything ?

      • JollyGreenChemist

        The repeal of “Certificate of Need” laws is also necessary. They are merely a way of hospitals and other medical providers blocking potential competitors, so as to keep their prices inflated.

    • MichaelKennedy

      “everyone employed in that sector, especially doctors, earn too much money.”

      I think you have a 14th Amendment problem.

      • Stephen W. Houghton

        That depends, if there are regulations, the only real purpose of which it to protect the earnings of people in the medical industry, then you do have a privileges or immunities problem. A regulation that does not protect the public violates peoples right to earn an honest living.

    • wjr123

      You miss a key point. Geld the tort lawyers thus reducing malpractice costs as a start. then get the Feds out of the system entirely. They are simply frictional forces.

  • Anthony

    I read Judis’ piece a week ago and yes he has written a sobering essay on Chicago’s April 7th Mayoral runoff election and socio-economic challenges impacting sections of city residents. Still, the racial dynamic inferred by WRM’s assessment may be over broad as it relates to a Latino/black competition (unless, he writes to historic Chicago Machine efforts (tactics) to play one group [conquer and divide] off another via Clientelism and neighborhood segregation to both convenience and benefit of Chicago’s …).

    Moreover, Chicago’s fiscal, pension, and social fissures have occurred over extended period and Rahm/Chuy are inheritors of not blue model but machine clientelistic governance combined with intensive racial segregation as well as changed structural economics locally. What John Judis highlights in many respects is the proverbial chickens coming home to roost. At bottom, Jesus Garcia and Rahm Emanuel vie to reside over a city still separate, unequal, and in many ways largely ignored in many census tracts. The city has history.

  • qet

    I don’t know about Chicago and Illinois, but Boston has similar issues like all major urban centers. The Boston area hosts quite a concentration of the 1% and the 0.1%–real estate financiers, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, commercial and investment bankers. Property values in the tonier areas are astronomical. Lots and lots and lots of “unearned” and undertaxed wealth here. Senator Occupy Wall Street Warren is from here, remember? The Massachusetts legislature is, and has been since the Flood, solidly, remorselessly, shamelessly, veto-proofly Democrat. Northern Democrat, not Dixiecrat. Yet just today, Brookings says Boston has the 3rd most “inequality” in the USA. Public services here are breaking down under the same Blue physics as Chicago, Detroit et al. So why hasn;t Massachusetts done something about this?

    Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) is fond of saying, in reference to climate alarmism, that “I’ll believe there’s a crisis when the people who keep telling me there’s a crisis start to act like there’s a crisis.” This can be equally applied to “inequality” and Blue priorities generally. The Democrats keep complaining that the terrible horrible awful GOP keeps blocking their efforts to implement more just taxation and more social spending. Warren demagogues on ill-gotten capitalist profits, of which we are full to overflowing around here. We have no GOP to stand in the way of progress and justice. Public pensions could be funded tomorrow by a single piece of legislation.

    SO WHERE ARE THE HIGHER TAXES?????? Why won’t Mass. Democrats immediately institute the measures the Democrats generally are always carrying on about and for which they blame Wall Street-bribed Republicans for preventing???? Why would anyone in this country believe a single word out of any Democrat’s mouth on this subject when right here the Democrats could implement their fairness policies RIGHT NOW (and could have at any time over the last 40 years) but don’t do so? What, do they think that if they do so the people of Massachusetts will suddenly turn Republican? HA!

    I’m sorry (no I’m not), but until Massachusetts, with its treasure trove of undertaxed capitalist wealth, its vast streams of undertaxed carried interest income, just sitting here waiting to be redirected toward public services “for our most needy and vulnerable” and a more just society according to every Democrat’s professed beliefs as to social justice; Massachusetts, in the iron grip of the Democratic Party with absolutely nothing standing in the way of them actually doing what they whine about Republicans preventing them from doing elsewhere; until this happens, I say, I don;t see how any person of sound mind can even consider supporting any Democrat anywhere. Unless and until this happens, every Democrat is a fraud and every person who votes for a Democrat is either a fraud or non compos mentis.

    In the 1960s, people from the North went down South to work the civil rights cause even though there was (and is) plenty of racism in the North to occupy even the most tireless activist. Today, I suggest that every single Democrat from all parts of the country march on Massachusetts and demand that the legislature here actually do what all Democrats say must be done in order to ensure social justice, or at least move much closer to its realization. Democrats, you have a golden opportunity to be the change you want to see, using Massachusetts, where you already control everything, as your field of action. Unless you do this, unless you imitate the civil rights heroes of yore who went South to fight for the cause by descending en masse into Boston to demand the Democrats here, all of whom say they believe as you do, take action, unless you actually work to effect the change that you constantly complain isn’t forthcoming in a place where there is absolutely nothing to prevent it from happening, then there is absolutely no reason for anyone anywhere to take a single word you say seriously.

    Yes, it really is that simple.

    • cas47

      Well said! Remember, even Senator Occupy Wall Street herself passed on the chance to pay the optional higher state income tax rate.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The Blue Model’s Labor Gang monopoly’s extortion, and large load of welfare parasites, put such a heavy tax burden on businesses and tax payers that they leave. So the only way to fix things is too bust up the Labor Gang Monopolies, and cut the welfare support so that the parasites leave or get jobs. In this way taxes could be cut, and sufficient capital would be available for new growth.

  • billyhollis

    “It would be inhumane, polarizing, and probably unwise to let the cities go to hell, but it would also be insane and politically unsustainable to keep pumping money into a broken system.”

    Why unwise? If a car is rolling down a hill about to crash, and I don’t have the strength to stop it, is it unwise to jump out of the way? Sure, the crash is going to be horrific, but I CAN’T STOP IT.

    The main reason I think it’s wise is that it provides clarity about the end results of Blue Model policies. We already have Detroit. At some point the results reach such a critical mass that even many of the dense and the obtuse figure out what not to do.

    Bailouts are counterproductive because they waste money trying to fix the unfixable, and send the wrong signals to the rest of the crowd of miscreant cities. If the feds bail out Chicago, what happens when Philadelphia comes calling? St. Louis? Boston? Memphis? The all have similar problems and similar causes of the problems – one main one being complete dominance by Democrats for decades.

    There isn’t enough money in the country to let all the cities going down this path be fixed up with no bad consequences. This article gives some of the many reasons why that is so. Declaring that it’s unwise to face up to the consequences of monumentally bad decision making over a course of decades is facile. I understand the psychological need to “do something” about the people who get caught in the fallout, but anything that’s done just prolongs the problem and puts more people in the same danger zone.

    • Robert

      Ah Billy! But, they would be doing it for the children. Or is that to the children?

  • MarkJ

    My simple-yet-cunning plan to help Chicago: start electing Republicans and independents.

    But will it happen? Oh noooooooooooooo……….. The Cook County apparatchiks and their good-time buddies would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.

    • Robert

      It is the people of Chicago who must change their voting habits. People tend to need harsh teaching measures. So, HELL it will be.

  • JoshN1

    Blue Model? If you look at the worst and best funded pensions by state, there really is no Red-Blue pattern. Plenty of Red states have grossly underfunded pensions and Plenty of Blue states have relatively well funded pensions.

    • HAPPY

      You do know that in Red states, most of the bigger cities are BLUE, no?

      Houston (where I am), Austin, San Antonio & El Paso are run by Democrats…..I’m not that sure of Dallas but if I had to bet, same! The difference from Red States is that our Dem politicians are more grounded in reality and actually seem to care about economic growth and raising incomes.

      The problem is that Big Cities have lots of `stupid’ votes that can easily be BOUGHT, by the political party that bases its entire electoral strategy on keeping them as stupid as possible.

      • JoshN1

        Huh? Who was talking about cities? I was talking about States.

        • HAPPY

          Excuse me…..wrm’s article is about “Blue Cities”…..and I didn’t realize you went off topic.

          Still, I’m pretty certain on a state basis, Red States have far more manageable shortfalls than Blue States. Cities? Probably better also but not to the extent of cities…..Blue Cities in Red States vs. Blue Cities in Blue States.


    I’ve been in Texas some 37 years, and I want to thank all those Democratic politicians that have pushed many of their fellow citizens southward or westward. Heck of a job……

    For you Chicagoans, please vote for Jesus Garcia…..he is our (Texas) Jesus of jobs & growth!!

  • Donald Campbell

    “It would be inhumane, polarizing, and probably unwise to let the cities go to hell”… I could live with it… As ye sow so shall ye reap.

  • Pakvi Roti

    They are running out of other peoples money.

  • MoReport

    The Relief (Federal Dollars) will be welcome; The Reform (honest government) will never happen.
    The ‘Todos Santos’ model might work, but protecting the seed city from attack would be a huge task.

  • catorenasci

    It will be increasingly up to the feds, then, to cope with the unfolding
    disaster. …. It would be inhumane, polarizing, and
    probably unwise to let the cities go to hell, but it would also be
    insane and politically unsustainable to keep pumping money into a broken

    Stuff and Nonsense! The “Blue Model” cities got themselves into this situation by continually promising more than they could deliver, relying of other people’s money – soaking industry and the rich and Democrat-run state governments, and now they want the rest of us, who were at least somewhat more prudent than they were to bail them out.

    Why should we? They’re the ones whose votes gave us Obama and the worst administration in American history, gave us Clinton and Carter before that, and, in 1960, Chicago provided the fraudulent votes (with LBJ’s part of Texas) to throw the election from Nixon to JFK. In short, they are responsible for electing the people whose policies are turning the entire country into the mess they are.

    And everyone with a brain knows the “Blue Model” is broken – instead of fixing the problem, the beneficiaries just want the rest of us to have things a bit worse so it will take longer to run out of other people’s money.

    The sooner we let the cities and their bloated public employee unions and their retirees, welfare recipients, and bad policies implode, the sooner the country can heal itself.

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