Toxic Government by Democrats: Chicago


Editor’s note: The following is the third in a series of articles that will expose the misery of life in America’s poorest cities, all of which have one thing in common: they are controlled exclusively by Democrats. Each article presented by FrontPage will reveal how the production of mass urban poverty is much more than just a failure of leadership, but a means of political survival for the Left. To read the background pamphlet by David Horowitz and John Perazzo, “Government Versus The People,” click here.

The city of Chicago, Illinois has been led exclusively by Democratic mayors since 1931. Under the “progressive” policies of such notables as Richard J. Daley, Michael Bilandic, Jane Byrne, and Harold Washington, the city’s economic and social fabric decayed markedly during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. These trends were accompanied by a steep decline in Chicago’s population, which fell from 3.62 million in 1950 to 2.78 million by 1990.

Under Mayor Richard M. Daley (1989-2011), Chicago rebounded a bit in the 1990s when it added some 560,000 new jobs and gained more than 100,000 residents. But in the first decade of the 21st century, these successes faded. Fiscal mismanagement by the Daley administration began to manifest itself in Chicago’s economy, causing 7.1% of the city’s jobs to dry up and disappear—more than any other large metropolitan area.

Meanwhile, the city government was running an annual budget deficit of approximately $650 million. Contributing heavily to these shortfalls were ever-escalating expenditures on the lavish benefits of Chicago’s many public-sector union employees, whose pensions were, by mandate of the Illinois state constitution, permanently immune to cutbacks. By early 2012, each household in the city owed, on average, more than $63,000 in local government liabilities.

Chicago’s Democratic leaders sought to address the budget deficit by raising local property and sales taxes. This, coupled with Illinois’ already-high state-tax rates, became a recipe for severe financial hardship in the Windy City. According to a March 2013 Wall Street Journal report, the state and local taxes currently paid by Chicagoans are higher than those paid by their counterparts in all but four other American cities. This oppressive tax climate has dealt a painful blow to Chicago’s small businesses.

Another factor harming small businesses in Chicago is the system of “aldermanic privilege” that dominates the city’s politics and serves as a fertile breeding ground for corruption. As urban-affairs analyst Aaron Renn explains, Chicago’s aldermen—i.e., city council members—have “nearly dictatorial control over what happens in their wards, from zoning changes to sidewalk café permits.” “This,” says Renn, “dumps political risk onto the shoulders of every would-be entrepreneur, who knows that he must stay on the alderman’s good side to be in business. It’s also a recipe for sleaze: 31 aldermen have been convicted of corruption since 1970.” According to a University of Illinois report issued in 2012, Chicago is the most politically corrupt city in the United States, having averaged 51 public corruption convictions annually since 1976. In such a political climate, failure to adhere dutifully to the demands of the mayor and his power structure typically spells doom for any business enterprise.

Entrepreneurs in Chicago are further handicapped by the byzantine regulations and red tape that make it very costly and complicated to run a business within the city’s confines. Violations of these complex rules commonly result in lawsuits. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has described the litigation environment of Cook County as “the most unfair and unreasonable” of any  jurisdiction in the United States.

Chicago’s fiscal woes are compounded by the poor economic conditions in Illinois generally, where egregious financial mismanagement has plunged a once-thriving state economy into virtual ruin. The state’s job-creation rate ranks a lowly 48th in the U.S., and its $9,624 public debt per capita is second only to New York’s. Largely as a consequence of this runaway debt, two of the nation’s major credit-rating corporations, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, currently give Illinois the lowest credit rating of any state in the Union.

Yet another reality that has had a major impact on life in Chicago is crime. Since the mid-1970s, the annual homicide tally within the city has ranged between 435 and 970, with the trends and fluctuations more-or-less mirroring those observable nationwide. Today Chicago ranks among the most dangerous cities in the U.S.  Blacks, who constitute roughly 35% of Chicago’s population, commit 76% of all homicides in the city. By contrast, whites, who are 28% of the population, commit 4% of the homicides. Driving the trend of high crime rates in Chicago’s black community is a high incidence of single motherhood; between 75% and 80% of the city’s black children are born out-of-wedlock. Sociological research has demonstrated conclusively that growing up without a father is a far better forecaster of a boy’s future criminality than either race or poverty. As Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector notes, “Illegitimacy is a major factor in America’s crime problem. Lack of married parents, rather than race or poverty, is the principal factor in the crime rate.”

In recent years, Chicago has been the scene of at least 50 incidents of black-on-white “flash mob” violence, as documented by the intrepid author Colin Flaherty. One of the most recent cases occurred at the end of March, when some 500 blacks stormed the so-called Magnificent Mile, an upscale shopping area, assaulting innocent people and destroying property.

Chicago leadership’s response to this criminality has been largely ineffectual. For example, the city’s police culture has been far less assertive than that of New York, where Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and police chief William Bratton in the 1990s instituted a proactive, aggressive, and highly successful anti-crime strategy that incorporated “stop-and-frisk” policies and so-called “broken windows” law-enforcement measures. Their approach was subsequently continued, to similar effect, by Giuliani’s Republican/Independent successor, Michael Bloomberg. By contrast, Chicago’s politicians, community activists, and religious leaders alike have largely eschewed the methods of Giuliani and Bloomberg. As a former Chicago deputy superintendent once observed: “We’d marvel at how the NYPD was getting mayoral support” during Giuliani’s tenure in office. “Mayor Daley is not a cop supporter,” he elaborated. “It’s no secret that he rules the police department with an iron fist.”

Due to the social, economic, and crime-related challenges faced by Chicagoans, more than 200,000 people moved out of the city during the first decade of the 21st century—an exodus exceeded in magnitude only by the former residents of Detroit.

Previous articles in the series:

Toxic Government by Democrats: Baltimore.

Toxic Government by Democrats: Minneapolis.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.  

  • κατεργάζομαι

    It is not coincidental that both Alinsky and Piven received their PhDs from the U. of Chicago.

    The city of Chicago was also the epicenter of not just Democrat Machine politics in the 20th century but black politics. Jesse Jackson Sr. moved to Chicago to get into politics, as did Barack Obama. Chicago has had a strong black submachine since the 1920s. The stability of the Chicago Machine ensured that the black submachine would survive and its leaders would have the opportunity to rise to national prominence. Mayor Daley I had an influence on national politics and this fact was well understood by black leaders.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/the_chicag

    • Guest

      I think you hit the mail on the head with the statement "black politics". Not many people want to admit this because it involves race specifically a minority race. We have examples of progressive policy working, Seattle, Denver, Sweden. The major difference is these area are not minority majority.

      Race is a hard subject for people, especially pale people, to be honest about. Articles such as this are proof. Demographics are destiny.

    • Questions

      How, then, do you explain the fact that the University of Chicago is home to the most prominent free-market economics department in all of the U.S. — or that its faculty have won more Nobel Prizes in Economics than any other in the entire world? Maybe there's a little more to this story after all.

      • Jack

        If campus radicals can take of the university campus government, the education department and other departments, they ignore the hard sciences to an extent. Those tend to be harder to infiltrate in great numbers. It takes actually ability to get a degree in the hard sciences. You can't hand wave thesis.

        They did infiltrate climate science and used economic warfare in the handing out of grant proposals. But what has that got them? They are looking like charlatans. Their models predict jack & ____. if you noticed jack is not here.

        Look at Chicago using a battlefield analogy say the Battle of the Bulge. The Germans achieved local superiority and had many successes. But there were these strong points like Bastogne that were bypassed & invested. but to no avail.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Obama, "What Black mob violence & voter fraud?"

    • Obama Guy

      Not sure what your name is, but cite studies facts and figures establishing causation to argue what caused the crime rate decline rather than your implied nonsense of "crimes rates declined because we locked up all the blacks." Again, you folks are just pathetic

      Did you know most white females were raped or molested by white males, so white guys are an out of
      control group of predators.

      Just sayin…..

      • Mary Sue

        their name is greek.

      • Questions

        Proportionately, black males rape far more than white men do. Black-on-white rapes in particular are virtually nonexistent — in the rare instances they happen, it's usually a black chick living with a white guy trying to get one over him.

  • Obama Guy

    Pathetic Perazzo. Crimes rates peaked nationwide 20 years ago and have been in decline ever since.
    Look it up. So lets find one city where they are still high so we can slander the savage blacks. You wrote the book (with Horowitz) called "Black Skin Privilege." You have a black people obsession. Get some help.
    No wonder the GOP is in bad shape today.

    • κατεργάζομαι

      Replying to Obama Guy –
      More Legal Guns in the Hands of the Good Guys equals Less Crime: more legal guns, fewer murders.

      While "the concealed carry foes" were meeting in concealed carry banned Chicago, "status quo" continued.

      Girl, 15, fatally shot: 'This is somebody's child killing another child'

      Cops: Gang member killed, another seriously wounded at funeral

      Man shot while driving two sons on Northwest Side

      Man killed on West Side

      Chicago, closed 2012 with the highest per capita murder rate in the nation.

      Yet, in his 3000 word speech to the American Bar Association in Chicago in 2009, Holder never said a word about the overwhelmingly large disparity that exists between the percentages of crime committed by blacks, when compared to whites. Why is that?

      Did the first African-American Attorney General feel too embarrassed to mention the fact that blacks, who represent about 12 percent of the population, commit about 40 percent of the crime? ~ AT

    • UCSPanther

      Hope you like rough, violent and dysfunctional cities, because that is what you will get.

    • Quant

      @ Obama guy

      Try reading the article. I extracted a very salient point for you. Learn to be objective

      "Sociological research has demonstrated conclusively that growing up without a father is a far better forecaster of a boy’s future criminality than either race or poverty. As Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector notes, “Illegitimacy is a major factor in America’s crime problem. Lack of married parents, rather than race or poverty, is the principal factor in the crime rate.”"

      Look at the multi-factor analysis in the sociological research. You will need calculus,statistics and a little more to be able to verify it for yourself 100%. But you should be able to skim it & get the gist of it without the mathematics if you are honest with yourself.

      I have seen "Black Skin Privilege", so don't blow smoke. My spouse applied for MacArthur Foundation Fellowship targeting minorities. She was told she need not apply. She met every criteria set forth on paper, but she was not the right color. Like George Orwell said in the book Animal farm, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal." Of course the person handing out the grants was a black female.

      • Quant

        Yup Obama cannot reply to this.

    • Quant

      @ κατεργάζομαι

      "Did the first African-American Attorney General feel too embarrassed to mention the fact that blacks, who represent about 12 percent of the population, commit about 40 percent of the crime?"

      κατεργάζομαι: It is really mean of you to mention the truth. It would be meaner to cite the FBI's Uniform Crime Report and link it. Obama Guy will sputter or run away. He is in deep, deep denial.

      • κατεργάζομαι

        Replying to Quant who posted this: "κατεργάζομαι: It is really mean of you to mention the truth. It would be meaner to cite the FBI's Uniform Crime Report and link it. Obama Guy will sputter or run away. He is in deep, deep denial. "

        I wouldn't want Obama Guy to read the facts and baptize his monitor with Red Bull.

        We remaining bedraggled 51% have to stick together, after all, we worked hard to pay the confiscatory taxes that were stolen from our work ethic in order to sponsor his food, housing, Obama fone and PC.

        • Obama Guy

          The vast majority of federal money is spent on White Americans, so your "confiscatory taxes are paid to support White Americans, much less so any blacks. But who cares about real facts.

          • κατεργάζομαι

            Replying to Obama Guy –

            In D'Souza's movie he reported on Obama's uncanny ability to use the racial sensitivity of white people to his advantage. It won't work on me.

            I remember, using his real name, HUSSEIN was labeled "racist" in 2008. Now he embraces the name because he is a race-baiter..

            How did Obama get elected to the presidency in the first place? White people who felt guilty over racism voted him into office. He certainly was not elected based on his qualifications. It is ironic that a nation with a white majority — 73% of its citizens — voted into their highest elected office a man who resents and distrusts them, their culture, their traditions, and their government.

            Barack Obama's life's work has always been to bring about $ocial!st rev0luti0n in the United States. He seeks "$ocial justice" to redress the grievances of the oppressed peoples of color — not because "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." ~ Dinesh D'Souza

      • Obama Guy

        Did you know the vast majority of folks in Organized Crime are from specific White ethnic groups
        even though those folks are only a fraction of the overall population. Italian Americans, Russians,
        sometimes Irish Americans (as in "The Departed"), Jewish Americans, proof that all are horrible
        people. And probably 99% of KKK members are WASPS.
        '
        Maybe Whites are "too embarrassed" to talk about these facts. I know that still does not change
        the fact Obama is President.

        • Mr Smith

          I am more concerned about homicide than the Mafia.

          You can keep the Mafia at arms length by not being greedy & getting in bed with them.

          I have never been in fear of my life from a Mafia guy or Russian.

        • Mary Sue

          The Russians and Mafia aren't out to kill everybody.

        • Chris Nichols

          Funny you should mention the KKK, since they were started as a terrorist wing of the Democrat party.

    • davarino

      Oh and by the way, you get no gun with which to protect yourself.

      ENJOY : )

    • gee59

      So that is why in the face of the toughest gun laws in the entire United States – over 500 people were murdered in 2011 with guns. I wonder why?

      Oh and by the way nearly every gun used were handguns and not one on any of the ban lists. Not one was an AR-15 which is. Care to explain that one too?

    • Mary Sue

      I DARE you to walk downtown Chicago late at night. Take note of who you get attacked by.

    • Sound&Fury

      Son, we are just getting started. Black violence has been at epidemic proportions for some time, largely aided & abetted by civil rights hucksters & a compliant main stream media. You can't hide the truth forever. Sooner or later, the truth will emerge.

    • Truthshallsetyoufree

      Good try Barack, but your race card has expired. The democrat tactics of stirring up race hatred on the plantation to control taxpayer money has come to it's end, your masters have finally spent it all and $16 trillion to boot. It's time for democrats to find gainful employment.

    • Lady_Dr

      Obama Guy – it is pretty obvious that you are avoiding facts. And facts are facts. Now go crawl under a rock somewhere. Nothing wrong with the GOP that adherence to the Constitution won't fix.

    • chisel

      Chgo. now reports multiple shootings as …a shooting. Murders are now a…death investigation.
      Don't let crime stat manipulation lead you to believe crime is down. Police districts are under intense pressure to do something,

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Replying to Obama Guy – "Crimes rates peaked nationwide 20 years ago and have been in decline ever since."

    We can only speculate on what might be behind this trend, but I will point out a few interesting facts.

    • From 1980 to 2000 our prison population more than quadrupled.

    • From the 1980s to 2000, the number of prisoner executions more than quadrupled.

    • From 1986 to 2006, the number of states adopting "shall issue" Concealed Carry permits nearly quadrupled.

    Also, In over 52% of the murders in the US in 2011 in which the race of the murderer was known, the murderer was black. Over half of the victims of murder were also black. But blacks are only 13.6% of the population.

    jus sayn'

    Data source: The Federal Bureau of Investigation. For years 1900-1991 – AmericanThinker.

    • Quant

      Expanded Homicide Data Table 6
      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr-publicat

      Year 2011
      Total Homicides Where race of the Assailant is known is 6,047.
      Total Homicides Where race of the Assailant was black 2,695.

      44.6% of Homicide was committed by 14.1%

      Obama Guy pay attention. I am saying that Blacks are overrepresented in crime statistics not because of biology, but because of lack of marriage. This is in turn is caused by the Democrat Party.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Deconstruction is the name of the (leftist) game and its garbage is on full display, all over big city America. And it will only get worse, if push back is not part of the mix.
    Baby steps are indeed viable, just take a page out of this playbook, then aim higher and higher – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/04/06/american-subu

    There are little options left.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • geneww1938

    A family, community, district, county, state, government or nation run by those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus can not function with wisdom and lack guidance to execute the best choices. Their people will deteriorate from Godly virtues.

    The more anti-God the leadership, the more evil fills their sphere of influence!

    Please list an exception to what is stated above …

    Name just one Muslim [or communistic] led country that is a good example of "human rights", "humanitarian aid", "enabler of peace or the peace process" or where groups of people are content and filled with an inner joy, peace, and assurance of a prosperous future like this country had.

  • Asher

    More deaths in Chicago in the last year than in Afghanistan and other wars. The city declines and the gangs and violence are moving people out of the cities, they are taking their families to safer places on the planet! Chicago has destroyed their ability to deal with anything, thats what happens when criminals are running the show!

    • Questions

      These are blacks, almost exclusively, who are doing the killing. And given their lack of education, abundance of apathy and criminal records, it's doubtful these murderers can be called "Democrats" is any meaningful sense.

      • Mary Sue

        They're Low Information Voters who vote democrat because they're told to/brainwashed into believing the alternative will keep them in chains.

        • Questions

          Blacks vote Democrat because they love a free lunch. And they know that Democrats serve the largest portion. It has nothing to do with "brainwashing." Blacks simply vote their interests. It's time for we whites to vote ours — and for Republcians to reach out to us instead of engaging in competitive altruism. Loving the blacks won't work; they'll never reciprocate.

  • kafir4life

    Murders are the "Chicago Values" that Murder Mayor Rahm was speaking of when he denounced Chic-Fil-A for their Christian values. I'm hopeful that Chic-Fil-A realizes it's not safe in Chicago (as most decent people already know). I count the CTU among the most dangerous gangs in the Windy City.

  • Atikva

    Obama Guy may try all he wants to distort facts to suit his dream, but one thing is for sure: people are leaving Chicago in droves, and it is not because they can’t get used to the winds.

    Some of these "expatriates" are resettling in my area and they all testify that the living conditions there have become unbearable for the working class. Good democrats as they are (or were), they put the blame on politicians' corruption, which is only one factor in the Chicago debacle. They haven't realized yet that the whole democratic party has morphed decades ago into a socialist party.

    • Obama Guy

      How are the facts distorted if you can't refute them? Refute them specifically. You folks have an emotional need to believe all blacks are out of control criminals. It makes you feel superior as
      "White People." You have no interest in believing good news, so trot out the savage blacks. Pathetic.

      • Mary Sue

        since when is it ALL blacks? Dude you're delusional. Walter E Williams, Thomas Sowell, Condoleeza Rice, Allen West, Allan Keyes, hell even Colin Powell are NOT "out of control criminals".

        Enough with the BS.

      • Atikva

        (1) I gave you facts, namely the testimony of Chicago "expatriates" which refutes your claim that everything is fine and dandy over there.

        (2) I did not comment at all about the security problem in Chicago, and

        (3) nor did I say anything about Blacks.

        I merely relayed what I am hearing from these expatriates, namely that they left Chicago, like many of their neighbors, because of the disastrous economy and the security problem that prevail there, courtesy of the socialists currently in power.

        You should read the posts you are replying to before doing so – but that may be too much to ask from a fan of Mr. Obama.

  • Brujo Blanco

    This was a good article, however, identifying New York City's."stop and frisk" as an appropriate way to fight crime is wrong. Frisks are pat downs for weapons. What is being done in NY is stop and.search. These stops are being done in a.manner reminiscent of Nazi Germany. They even go so.far as to search cars. These are.not searches based on probable cause. These.searches are not only intrusive but time consuming. Perhaps this policy is.being used.to condition people.to accept government intrusion.

  • Rdlake

    Reverand Wright, Omanas favorite preacher & Louis Farrakahn. Two Chicao lumibaries

  • Omar

    Chicago is also the home of the lunatic Representative Luis Gutierrez, who represents Illinois' 4th congressional district in the House. For over 20 years, Gutierrez has exploited voters into supporting him and his ridiculous agenda. Gutierrez is a hypocrite on many issues. For example, in 2011, he gave a fiery speech condemning the government of Puerto Rico and the island's police department for trying to keep order in the University of Puerto Rico college campuses across the island territory. At that time, the university campuses were being interrupted by student protesters who were vandalizing university property and causing riots and chaos. In his speech, Gutierrez praised the protesters' violent activism and condemned Governor Luis Fortuno for trying to respect the rule of law. Yet, in 1999, Gutierrez, along with then-Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, pressured and convinced then-President Bill Clinton to grant clemency to the 16 convicted terrorists belonging to the far-left Communist totalitarian terrorist group FALN. It is no secret that Gutierrez wanted those terrorists freed because they share his Communist totalitarian, anti-American political viewpoint. It is also no secret that Gutierrez opposes the democratic rule of law, but promotes freedom for terrorists. Besides being hypocritical, many of Luis Gutierrez's views are also ironic. He claims to support the rights of immigrants (particularly illegal immigrants, who Gutierrez wants full amnesty and citizenship rights for) to become American citizens and participate in our democracy, yet not only does Gutierrez oppose the same equal rights for the nearly four million American citizens residing in Puerto Rico (Gutierrez is a rabid opponent of making Puerto Rico the next state of the Union), but he advocates for the island's secession from the United States. Essentially, he wants to make those nearly four million American citizens foreign immigrants, while granting full amnesty and citizenship rights to illegal immigrants. How ironic is that? It is no secret that Gutierrez is a rabid opponent of statehood for Puerto Rico, since he supports freedom for violent far-left separatist groups like the FALN, but to also support full amnesty for illegal immigrants, while opposing giving equal citizenship rights to people residing in another part of the United States is very ironic. Fortunately, there is a good politician who is willing to challenge Gutierrez for the House Seat. His name is Hector Concepcion and he is a Reaganite Republican politician who ran for the 4th district seat last year. He wants to run again for Gutierrez's House seat next year. We need to give Concepcion our full support, since he is the politician that would put the 4th distirct on the right foot again. After more than two decades of political monopoly, it is time for Gutierrez to go. Hector Concepcion, 2014!

    • Questions

      Rep. Gutierrez is in office because it was Hispanic voters who put him there. Rest assured, he wouldn't get 1 percent of the vote in a Polish, Irish or Italian ethnic ward. He's nominally a Democrat; much more to the point, he's a professional Hispanic identity politician.

    • flyingtiger

      He is my congressman! He should be working for Chicagoans like me, not foreign terrorists. It is time for him to move to his beloved PR..

      • Omar

        flyingtiger, the members of the FALN were not foreign terrorists (though they were funded by a foreign dictatorship). The FALN members were domestic terrorists who were seeking to turn the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico into a foreign country dominated by a Communist totalitarian dictatorship controlled by the Castro regime in Cuba. Most of those terrorists were not even born in PR (most were born in New York City or Chicago). The separatist movement in Puerto Rico have no support from the majority of islanders. In fact, the majority of islanders support being part of the United States either as a state of the Union (which I support, along with more than half of the island's population) or remaining a territory (Commonwealth). Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and have been since the Jones-Shafroth Act in 1917. In addition, all people born in PR on January 13, 1941 or later are natural-born citizens of the United States (the link is here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1402). Luis Gutierrez is widely despised in Puerto Rico, especially after he made false accusations against the government of Gov. Luis Fortuno for trying to keep order at the University of Puerto Rico campuses across the island when student protesters were causing riots and chaos at the campuses. Gutierrez should move to Cuba, where his ideological friends like the Castro brothers rule the island country with an iron fist. Hopefully the people of Illinois' 4th congressional district would vote for Hector Concepcion (who was actually born in Puerto Rico, unlike Gutierrez) who is a conservative Reaganite Republican in next year's Congressional elections.

  • Omar

    There is one mistake with this article. Bloomberg is not a Republican. He was a Democrat turned Republican turned independent. In the 2012 elections, Bloomberg endorsed Obama and is not affiliated with either party.

  • Western Canadian

    It would appear that Chicago's latest effort to raise funds by selling off toxic assets hasn't been very successful. obama has been in the white-house for over four years, and they are still in the toilet…..

  • JacksonPearson

    Chicago's rising murder rate in a new context, how the numbers of shooting deaths compare to the city's most notorious crime era, the one that has tarnished Chicago's reputation around the world for a century.

    The surprising stats show the city is worse off now in the category of murder than at the height of the era that has driven Chicago's reputation for almost a century, Capone's "gangland" Chicago.

    Let's compare two months: January 1929, leading up to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and last month, January 2013. Forty-two people were killed in Chicago last month, the most in January since 2002, and far worse than the city's most notorious crime era at the end of the Roaring Twenties.

    Even though the image of Chicago, perpetuated by Hollywood over the years, was that mobsters routinely mowed down people on the streets, the crime stats tell a different story. January 2013's bloodshed has caught the attention of Chicagoans, politicians, the White House and people around the world.

    In January 1929 there were 26 killings. Forty-two people were killed in Chicago last month, the most in January since 2002, and far worse than the city's most notorious crime era at the end of the Roaring Twenties.

    Even though the image of Chicago, perpetuated by Hollywood over the years, was that mobsters routinely mowed down people on the streets, the crime stats tell a different story. The figures from January 2013 are significantly higher than the January of Al Capone's most famous year.

    • flyingtiger

      two points to add. Chicago is smaller now than in the 1920s. It should be noted that January is always the slowest in murders. Winter weather tends to discourage murder.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I won't even fly over Chicago, you know stray bullets hit somewhere. I understand that people
    in some jurisdictions that commit crimes are banished to Chicago for life, however short.
    How can we preach to the violent regemes of the World and have Chicago in our midst,
    perfect setting for Obama and Co……………………..William

  • Len_Powder

    "500 blacks stormed the so-called Magnificent Mile, an upscale shopping area, assaulting innocent people and destroying property."

    It's difficult to imagine doing something more stupid and harmful to Chicago's long-term welfare than attacking whites in a upscale area, but the morons that do so are not concerned with Chicago's welfare. They are nihilists interested in bringing others down to their own level.

    • Questions

      Nihilists? Actually, they're blacks. They do what comes natural to them.

  • Jim_C

    Any actual Chicago residents here? It's a damn nice, world-class city. Compared to LA and NY, it's relatively clean, easy to get around, with the friendliest people of just about any city in the US. Local business is booming.

    Yes, like every other major city, there certainly are neighborhoods to avoid. Yes, 100% agree that the government there is part fiefdom, part Kafka novel. Property taxes are relatively low, but they'll ding you at just about every other juncture. And despite all this, somehow, the Machine knows how to buy those votes. The crazy part is, the people are relatively conservative–but the democratic machine is "in the blood."

    And that's sad, but liveability-wise, still a great place to live and work.

    • Chicago guy

      Are you an actual Chicago resident? Chicago is crowded, it stinks, nowhere in the city is actually safe, and as far as booming business? Are you a mortician? Chicago is America's next Detroit. No good reason to stay here, pay taxes so the teachers can get a raise to reward them for the 20% drop out rate in Chicago Public Schools. The government in this state ignores the constitution.

      Also another thing that makes me question if you are an actual resident, you say it is easy to get around? Do you drive? Have you seen some of our "world class" expressways? I can finish War and Peace driving the 9 miles from my house to the downtown area.

      • Jim_C

        Yeah, it's a real city. Yes, rush hour sucks–lots of people work here. Take a train. Chicago is crowded. Detroit is not. Chicago is not a one-trick pony like Detroit. The teachers unions are part of the machine I said sucks. World class city, though.

  • flyingtiger

    People in Chicago call it the "Irish machine" not the democratic machine. A handful of Irish Catholics control this city and they rule with an iron hand shaking down the good people. When Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to be the Federal Attorney to fight corruption, all Chicagoans doubled up in laughter. He proved to be Daley's best friend.
    Richard Michael Daley is the worst. He did not improve Chicago. What improved Chicago was that people started setting up art galleries and used book stores. This was an act of bravery. This brought in the good people who bought homes at bargain prices which improve the neighborhood. What helped was that the aldermen in this areas were too drunk or stupid to interfere.
    BTW, we have too many aldermen. We have 50 and the last time Chicago was this small, we had 15. Thirty five need to go.
    To understand how Daley and the Dems think, look at the ruins of Miegs field. Ten years, they tore it up and they did not care how many people they would kill that night. A productive airfield that is now a wasteland. The economy of this city has yet to recover.