Another Election Day is upon us and like the many I have participated in thus far over the past 4 decades I remain frustrated at the lack of progress. Sadly Illinois Patronage Politics Routinely Disenfranchise Voters as party slate-makers play musical chairs with mostly the same career political hacks that either can’t seem to find the right office to satisfy their own thirst or that of the party honchos.
And when they do find that career hack willing to stay in the same place voters are all too often left without an opposition candidate which is probably the most frustrating aspect of a rigged process. True opposition, as we have seen, is also all too often shut out of the process because they are forced to adhere to a different set of rules than incumbents when it comes to running for office – especially when it comes to the number of petition signatures they must gather.
As a result, many good and qualified people decide to not seek office and that is the greatest shame of a political system that has trapped politicians and beneficiaries of a patronage system that has done nothing more than define what each must do in exchange to earn the government salary which butter’s their bread.
So whether it is the big pigs at the head of the feeding trough to those lesser piggies who are indebted to their benefactors in exchange for their continued support and vote – every branch of government, whether local, state or national is rigged and corrupted. But that is how the big cities of the rust belt operate; and it is no surprise that nearly everyone of those cities can’t balance their books.
Patronage is pretty much forever especially given the nepotism! And when you add in multiple pension accounts – well it adds up to a sizable financial obligation. Unfortunately the only solution for that kind of Ponzi Scheme is an environment where taxpayers, one and all, must pay more. And they do so knowing that there will be no end to it.
So forget about promises of reform – Illinois Politicians are all playing the same game folks. Even that so called reform-minded Sheila Simon who belittles her opponent for coming out of retirement to serve as Comptroller. The truth, though, is that Sheila Simon has now served Illinois as a Lame-Duck Lt. Governor (an office that should be eliminated) and now wants to serve in yet the other redundant office of Illinois Comptroller which should have been eliminated decades ago. So Ms. Simon exactly how reform-minded are you?
Really? Hmm – your Papa must rolling in his grave darlin’.
But that is what Illinois Politics is all about isn’t it? We aren’t really looking to improve the state’s bottom-line as much as we are looking to improve the pockets of those who are a part of the patronage machinery and the pecking order that was established long, long ago.
There is, however, a point of diminished returns and unless some sensible politics is allowed to flourish here the best people can do is to abandon Illinois and migrate elsewhere. That way the State of Illinois can be left to those who benefit the most from it. Of course they will find out pretty quick that the Golden Goose won’t be able to supply the same amount of eggs if suckers like us leave for a more equitable state.
But hey maybe that is the most equitable thing that could happen. Politicians and those who collect multiple government pensions can begin paying their own way for once. Maybe then they will understand that things weren’t all that bad for the actual work vs hours worked are eventually calculated.
And that folks is the reason why so many of the greedy people who call themselves public servants; government union employees, teachers, state university professors, etc. must start realizing that asking for more on top of what is already some pretty generous salaries and benefits requires them to take a good hard look into their own mirrors and ask themselves – will enough ever be enough?
Then again things have gotten so far out of hand that expectations of anyone giving up what they so-called earned and protected under the Illinois Constitution might just be the greatest detriment to establishing some political sensibility. Those dependent on the Patronage System have become far too accustomed having the non-government sector pay a much higher and greater percentage than they despite the fact the Patronage System is too overloaded to support in perpetuity.
Oh well another meaningless Election Day is fast upon us -but don’t worry folks we will all hear the same old reform promises the next election cycle.
Tags: 2014 Election, Chicago Political Commentary, diminished returns, Government Pensions, Illinois, Illinois Patronage Politics, Illinois Patronage System, Illinois Politics, Nepotism, Patronage, Politics, public pensions, Reform, Sheila Simon, Voters