Chicago Teachers Strike Should Be a Warning

Chicago Teachers Strike Should Be a Warning

Chicago Teachers Strike Should Be a Warning

On Friday, the Chicago Teachers strike entered its second day, without an end in sight. Even more ominous, both the city and the Chicago Teachers Union are at loggerheads.

Now if you don’t live in the city, or have family who does, you might say Who cares? Well, you should. Because this is a cautionary tale about Elizabeth Warren and her soak-the-rich campaign. And the control she wants to exert over our lives — all in the name of “fairness,” of course.

The city of Chicago offered the teachers union a 16% base-pay raise extending over five years, but that wasn’t enough for the CTU. No, they want a 15% raise over three years. They also want every school to have nurses, social workers, and librarians, along with more special education paras and personnel.

But it’s not about the money. No, these purer-than-the-driven-snow professionals care only about the children. Said one striking teacher:

“This strike is not about money. This strike is over better schools for our own children and our students.”

Right. And if you believe that, let me give you a sweet deal on the Willis Tower. I’ll even throw in Wrigley Field, too.

The problem is, there is no more money. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said so bluntly on Friday morning.

So what will happen in this battle between the Chicago teachers and the Chicago taxpayers?

Chicago Teachers

Credit: Quinn Dombrowski@flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0.

In Chicago, the teachers and their public sector union workers will use their political clout to win. Because that’s the way things work in the Windy City.

And the city’s wealthy and middle-class taxpayers will join the throngs fleeing the state of Illinois. As Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote:

“Because the rich aren’t frogs. They won’t sit calmly in a cauldron until it boils. Their money gives them wings and they fly away. Also fleeing are many in the middle class, who do not consider themselves rich, only people trying to survive. . . .”

“And it leaves fewer families who use the schools, and fewer taxpayers to pay the salaries and benefits of the teachers and other public sector unions.”

Meanwhile, Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, has been losing residents for five straight years. They’re leaving for lower taxes and greener pastures.

All of which leads to my cautionary tale of Elizabeth Warren and her pipe dream of Medicare for All. Oh, she says she’ll pay for it with a two-percent tax on the über-wealthy. That proposal also polls well among voters who love the idea of screwing the rich and getting free stuff. In fact, it’s now front-and-center of the Democratic 2020 playbook. As a director of a progressive nonprofit said:

“A lot of that has to do with the popularity and the capturing of the imagination of the wealth tax.”

But you know that the über-wealthy will be like those Chicago frogs who won’t sit in the cauldron. They’ll employ their tax attorneys and accountants to find creative ways to shelter their incomes. But everyone else will pay higher taxes, which on Warren’s Medicare scheme would cost approximately $9000 per year for every man, woman, and child in America. Not only that, but workers who get their insurance through their employer — about 180 million people, or 56% — would see that washed away. It’s all for the good of the masses, you see.

As Chris Truax, a San Diego attorney, wrote in USA Today:

“There’s a very unpleasant collectivist feel to this. It’s all very well to say you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs … unless you’re the egg.”

Such is the lurch towards totalitarianism, and Elizabeth Warren is luring voters in by the droves. It tickles the ears of those who don’t realize that she’s also demanding their liberty.

Gene Veith, a retired literature professor and contributor to the website Patheos, writes that even in the United States, this totalitarian impulse exists:

“One of the things Communists and Nazis agreed on was totalitarianism, the belief that the government should control the totality of human life. The People’s Republic of China is totalitarian. And the totalitarian impulse can be found in the United States.”

For now, the people of Chicago still have an out for the backbreaking financial demands of the Chicago teachers. They can pack up and leave for places more hospitable to their wallets, like neighboring Indiana. But what happens when an autocrat like a President Elizabeth Warren demands your money and your freedom so she can fund Medicare for All? Where do you go then?


Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Featured image: peoplesworld@flickr/cropped/enhanced/CC BY-NC 2.0. 

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Skillyboo says:

    I’m originally from Connecticut (CT). Fled 13 years ago to Georgia. CT is a miniature Illinois, or Chicago to keep with your writing. State unions control the state along with the welfare class that the taxpaying non public sector pay for. The past two governors have given the state, the three largest tax increases in state history. Each one bigger than the previous. And still that is not enough. The current governor Ned Lamont wants, badly, highway tolls but the legislature, decades long a veto proof democrat majority, are fearful this may be the straw that breaks those taxpayers backs. And now the not too bright governor wants to spend $20 billion on a rail line. The promise is that it will save 15 minutes of rail time from New Haven to NYC. But I digress.
    CT’s problem is the unfunded pensions for state employees and the welfare benefits that are handed out like halloween candy. Welfare is never challenged but the bill is coming due for those overly generous pensions. And the legislature, in their infinite wisdom (stupidity really) allowed the pensions to be based on the high three years of pay with overtime included in the equation. So guess which group gets all the overtime they want? Oh, and then they leave the state and move to places like Georgia and vote for the same government they left behind. They’re like an disease that has no cure.
    Thanks for letting me rant. I’m still upset how far the state I grew up in has turned its back on self reliance. But I guess I’m guilty too for not getting politically involved.

  • DICK R says:

    The same problem as we have in the UK local socialist Town councils soaking taxpayers to give more and more perks to their client voters to keep themselves in power.

  • Michael G. Gallagher says:

    And if the Dems win in 2020 and take over in 2021? Don’t cooperate, revolt, like Gandhi and MLK did. No guns, think of a digital 1776 and clog the Left’s electronic arteries at the government agencies they control. Prove to them they can reign but not rule.

  • Smack says:

    “For now, the people of Chicago still have an out for the backbreaking financial demands of the Chicago teachers. They can pack up and leave for places more hospitable to their wallets, like neighboring Indiana.”

    I really cannot stand these Illinois ex-pats. They’re like locusts. They vote for all these destructive but “feel-good” policies, destroy a town/city/county/state, then move on to the next…all the while continually voting for the same idiocy wherever they go.

    I can see it here where I live. My town was a healthy mix of about 55% R / 45% D. Enough of each to ensure a lack of political corruption and competitive ideas from both sides of the aisle but, at the end of the day, enough R’s to ensure fiscal sanity. Now, there are so many Illinois ex-pats flooding in that I would bet the numbers are 53% D / 47% R with all the attendant proposed fiscally insanity such a re-alignment naturally brings.

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