No, not the real Marxist kind of socialism, in which the city owns the “means of production.”
I can’t imagine ever seeing a City of Chicago Pharmacy replacing Walgreens or Chicago owning and trying to run the Ford Motor Co. Assembly Plant on South Torrence Ave.
Instead, I’m talking about the ultra-progressive Democrats and socialist poseurs like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Brooklyn Democrat who formed her political philosophy while tending bar. How proletarian of her.
So is Chicago ready for ACO’s brand of socialism? One might ask because some self-described socialists got elected to the City Council campaigning on a platform of standard “progressive” planks, i.e. stock ultra liberal hooey. Witness the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America who won seats and backed other aldermanic candidates whose agenda is “informed by movement demands, including ending school privatization.”
Other “demands” are an elected Chicago school board, rent control, punitive taxation, illegal immigrant affection, affordable housing, an immediate minimum wage increase to $15, and more. Add to that the usual opaque promises to, for example, “elevate the working class.”
While most reporting and commentary has focused on the historic election of
an African American, gay woman as mayor–Lori Lightfoot–not enough coverage has paid attention to what Chicago would look like if such neo-socialist policies were enacted.
Take the pressing issue of how to pay those out-of-control public employee pension costs that are nearly bankrupting Chicago and Chicago Public Schools. As a Chicago Tribune editorial properly reminds us, neither Lightfoot nor her opponent Toni Preckwinkle were forthcoming on how they would deal with a budget that “closes a projected $252 million budget shortfall and makes $276 million in new public pension payments.”
Consider, for example, the ungracious reaction of the Chicago Teachers Union, which backed the loser–often the death kneel in Chicago politics. In “Our militancy is not dictated by who sits on the fifth floor of City Hall,” the radical union praised the election of the faux socialists and amplified their far-left demands while questioning Lightfoot’s “progressive” credentials.
CTU’s 75 new contract demands include billions more for the schools, absolute pension protections, the obliteration of character schools, restoration of “full” bargaining rights and more–all ballsy and costly ultimatums from a special interest that’s so much at fault for Chicago’s financial crisis.
The uncompromising and unapologetic CTU is advising its members to start saving for yet another school strike after the current contract expires on June
30. In anticipation, a compliant Illinois House has passed House Bill 2275 that would “broaden the number of subjects over which Chicago Public Schools…must negotiate with CTU. Those new subjects would include things such as class schedules, the academic calendar and length of work and school days,” noted the Illinois Policy Institute.
Thus driving Chicago farther into the pit.
The standard wisdom regarded this election’s theme as “experience” against “change.” I would amend that by suggesting that Chicago voters (a dismally low number at that), when faced with a choice between a “socialist” or a machine hack, took the neo-socialist, as the lesser of two evils.
While this attack on the Chicago Way is most gratifying, what will be the cost of the choice to citizens, taxpayers and others who are fed up with how Democrats at the local, county and state levels have governed?
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