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Why the Rahm Story Matters
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  • Beauceron

    Do you seriously believe that this is the way the MSM and the Democrats– not to mention the usual race hustlers– are going to let this play out? That it’s an indictment of the “blue” model?
    It’s not that I disagree with what you say here, but in the end, it’s our “forming institutions” that write the history and tell us all what to think.
    And for them this is an indictment of a racist, white supremacist society whose irredeemable bigotry has led to the state executions of black men around the country. It’s got nothing at all to do with the blue model. The blue model won’t even come up, just as Democratic mismanagement won’t come up. Just as mass immigration won’t come up.
    Face it, you may be right, but your opinion and analysis doesn’t matter. The Left has the power to not only decide what we will talk about, but how we talk about it. And the blue model won’t even be mentioned.

    • Kevin

      Counter examples of cities, etc. which follow different policies and trajectories and see different outcomes might help: so would a GOP urban agenda which was promoted vigorously by leading politicians (such as Jack Kemp’s efforts a generation ago).

      • Jim__L

        The irony is, Kotkin is a Democrat. (Though not a particularly partisan one, like Mead.)

        • Andrew Allison

          I think the knock on our host is unjustified. It’s clear to me that both WRM and Kotkin have seen the error of their ways.

          • Tom

            I think Jim was saying that Mead was like Kotkin.

          • Rick Caird

            But, he didn’t say it very well.

          • Tricky grammar be!

    • Pete

      Spot on accurate, Beauceron!

    • Albert8184

      Oh… he’s just preaching to the choir. Let the Left keep doing what they do. They are their own worst enemies. But… keep your 2nd amendment rights in tact, just to be safe.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Being a Lefty means never having to say you are sorry

  • Anthony

    “What’s happening in Chicago is an earthquake that points to the escalating crisis of governability for blue cities across the United States.” At once, let’s not be so definitive coloring a model sans local conditions thereto.

    In particular, let’s modestly address the six (6) dimensions referenced:

    1). aggressive policing (or enforcing quality of life offenses) has not been significant factor in Chicago’s economic growth over past generation (generation being 20 years) mutatis mutandis. Moreover, Chicago Police and black community tensions are not attributable to new nationwide aggressive model (cf. 1969 – Ed. Hanrahan/Fred Hampton).

    2). police jobs and acquisition thereof has always been central to both Chicago politics and governance – Big Benefits: union, salaries, work rules, pensions, etc.

    3). city work force is not issue generally as work force has been cumulatively reduced since times of Richard J. Daley.

    4). municipal cost structure has been an underestimated issue. Chicago definitely has structural problems but they are twenty years or more in the making – governance, plantation politics, segregation, etc. all factor in.

    5). natives (blacks) in Chicago traditionally were looked askance by Chicago Democratic Machine since William L. Dawson and Richard J. Daley – beyond that, groups were pitted against each other to solidify whose interests.

    6). Chicago’s operating model from Richard J. Daley on has been cooperation with Business/Commercial interests as long as surface harmony reigns.

    Nevertheless WRM, Chicago is a world class city (despite its and the Mayor’s problems) experiencing consequences of historical choices and actions people took, both individually and collectively. Rahm’s story and Chicago’s story are not singly Blue Model problems as much as indicators of economic, political, and cultural traditions when left unresolved, in a big city in a big state, impacting tellingly in a stagnant economic environment.

    • Boritz

      A failure of tradition resolution?

      • Anthony

        And more; it goes to our last exchange about subsidiarity.

    • go_gipper

      –city work force is not issue generally as work force has been cumulatively reduced since times of Richard J. Daley

      Ignoring the workforce metric that really counts … unsustainable pension costs.

      • Anthony

        No, not ignoring metric but writing to dimensions collectively as factors impacting ascribed model.

  • Jim__L

    “It is in the interests of public sector unions to shelter employees from
    oversight and threats to their job security, regardless of how well
    they perform.”

    This is untrue.

    The decline in union support from the general public comes from the widespread perception that unions are just corrupt organizations that facilitate poor work.

    If unions want to improve their brand, they need to improve the quality (and the perception of the quality) of the work products of the workers they represent.

    • Andrew Allison

      Regardless of how poorly they perform would have been more direct, but was implicit in the text. But unions have absolutely no interest in improving the quality of the work of their members, they just want to have as many of them as possible. That’s why they fight any qualitative measurement of performance so furiously.

      • Jim__L

        My point is, the union brand is in the toilet. Public support for them would climb if this were not the case.

        • Andrew Allison

          Not among their, frequently unfit for the job, membership.

          • Jim__L

            Honestly, there are useful purposes for unions. There has to be a strong stakeholder representing the workers in a company to counterbalance the interests of equityholders, or equityholders can walk away with pretty much everything.

            There are a few problems facing unions. One, many times unions make demands over and above what companies (and taxpayers) actually have the resources to support. Two, they lack a reputation for excellence. Three, globalization puts unions in a fix — equityholders can simply say “move overseas” if unions start to get demanding. Realism and high standards would solve the first two.

            The third they could solve by being truly international — I have sons, and for their sake I would like nothing better than to see Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indian workers sticking up for their own interests to the point that Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indian consumer demand can drive the world economy (including the US’s) forward.

            I suspect this will happen on its own, to some extent. But it would happen faster if the existing union institutions had a coordinated approach to make it happen.

          • f1b0nacc1

            “Honestly, there are useful purposes for unions.”

            Organ donors?

          • tricknologist

            You may have a point if we were talking private sector unions, but government employee unions are pretty much just an open conspiracy against the tax payers and the general public and ought to be disbanded and outlawed. And this article only discusses government employee unions.

    • tricknologist

      It is true for government employee unions. private sector unions organize against their employer, public sector unions are organized against the public.

      • All unions organize against the public. The private sector unions combine against the public in the form of their would-be competitors.

    • What is the incentive to do this? There is none. Unions are for those who refuse to work while also refusing to quit.

  • Andrew Allison

    What’s happening in Chicago is not an earthquake. There are, in fact, two things happening, the slow-motion train-wreck of the Blue Model and the more recent phenomenon that, despite the fact that Black lives don’t matter to Blacks (see, e.g., the killing of a Black by a policeman is a cause célèbre.

  • Albert8184

    Your first point seems to take for granted that less aggressive policing will inevitably lead to a sharp uptick of violence and more crime in the inner cities. Because it’s just a fact that… (fill in the blank). And it’s too bad that people can’t just come right out and say it, because political correctness won’t let you (fill in the blank). The solution is of course to find a way to have it both ways. Less aggressive policing with less negative results. So talk about how this is difficult without bringing up (fill in the blank).

  • mickBelker

    Dr. Mead seems once again to be “a day late and a dollar short.” The problem for Emanuel, as they are now for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the rest of these “Progressive” bums, is the age-old problem of progressive radicalism: THEY EAT THEIR OWN.

    That’s why Hillary’s “Hispandering” is backfiring and Bernie can’t get a word in edgewise with the Black Lives Matter fanatics, just as two relatively ENORMOUS hints at this forthcoming problem.

    Democrats, led by the nose by their “Progressive” leadership, have unleashed these neo-Nazis and let them loose upon our streets and campuses and they now have no answer for it except to hide deeper in their utter corruption.

    Just ask Rahm.

  • Josephbleau

    The grand bargain in Chicago is that the City will have it’s minority area, and if the un-informed go there they are fair game to be killed or worse. But, there will be high fashion/ finance districts that the police will keep safe in the day time. Except of course, for petty larceny purse snatching on tourists and north shore girls. This bargain is to provide tax revenue to support the minorities. If this bargain is broken the residents of Trump Tower will move to Texas or Tempe. The French Embassy warns it’s citizens to never go south of 63 ed street.

  • Johnathan Swift Jr.

    I am not a police officer, but in the states I grew up around lots of police officers who worked in tough urban areas and most of the men I grew up with ended up in police work. In reality, there has been a hyper vigilance toward black suspects

  • edsheppa

    The “progressives earlier in the 20th century” only wanted to replace the existing machines with their own. They have succeeded.

  • Chance Boudreaux

    The Rahm story is where America as a whole is headed. Fundamentally transformed into the Third World as our betters replace us with sheeple from South of the Border. Gun up amigos.

    • Exactly. Chicago and the other cities mentioned are simply further down the same road as the rest of the country. With very few exceptions states, municipalities, counties and towns have all gone on the same bond-issuing binge. Rahm may well get the boot but he has already cashed many a check on overdrawn accounts. Not Hayek or Bastiat or any other resurrected Austrian could do anything about that without a default of some sort. The pensions must be cut. Only you have to rewrite the Illinois Constitution to do it. Is there a way out? Yes, through. And as Churchill said, if you are going through hell don’t stop for coffee. Forward.

  • circleglider

    You missed the seventh — and possibly most important — dimension: there is no longer a strong economic rationale for high density cities.

    Cities grew during the Industrial Revolution because factories and, later, offices required workers to be physically present at a common workplace. Mostly due to automation, factories no longer employ many people, and are no longer economically viable in dense cities with high land costs. The Internet has largely eliminated the need for office workers to be physically present in a common location, except possibly for occasional meeting.

    This trend leaves a “richer cultural life” as the sole reason for the existence of high density cities. And with the cumulative impact of the other six “dimensions,” it is highly questionable how much longer cities will truly offer a “richer” life of any sort.

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