This is a story of the funding arm of the Illinois Political Ruling Class that preaches fairness but enjoys being downright spoiled by those it has bought, paid for and sent to Springfield. AFSCME has always gotten what it has wanted — no matter the price. It likes it that way. And it’s not particularly keen on changing the cozy arrangement it’s had with both parties for generations. This is Rauner’s moment of truth.
It is fun to watch the popular HBO show “Game of Thrones.” It is considerably less fun to live in a dressed up iteration of the feudalism of the Middle Ages. If we are being honest with ourselves, the realm of Illinois is such a version with ruling families of shared interests replacing strict bloodlines. It is a government-directed cartel economy where the rule of men has replaced the rule of law.
We have a recall mechanism for Illinois’ governor. Why shouldn’t we have one for Chicago’s mayor? More former governors are convicted felons, yes. But that doesn’t mean as many former mayors weren’t just as deserving.
A teachers strike is never about children. It is about the special interests of adults. In Chicago and elsewhere, the teachers unions are in the business of winning better salaries and benefits, protecting job security, pressuring for restrictive work rules and otherwise advancing the occupational interests of their members. The children are at best an afterthought, at worst cannon fodder, in political and contractual battles among those who divvy up power.
Families are suffering. Businesses face fixed uncertainty. Taxpayers are leaving in droves. At no time have independent thought, political courage and social risk been more necessary. To have any hope of seeing the kind of structural change that is needed, we have to change our leadership.