While blue model decay is more advanced in Chicago than any other American city, the problems underlying the crisis in the school district — recalcitrant public sector unions, pliant lawmakers, fiscal incompetence, and an acute drought of ideas — are weighing on municipal governments from coast to coast.In the short run, we are likely to see more pension-induced crises of governance in big blue cities and states.
First, taxpayers flee or put their kids in other schools; and,Second, more state legislatures will not bail out inner cities.
Democrats in places like Chicago have historically been able to depend on both the unionized producers of government services (strike-happy teachers unions demanding ever-more generous pension contributions) as well as the people who depend most on high-quality service (the parents of low-income students in Chicago public schools).As the cost of bureaucracy continues to increase and the quality continues to deteriorate, the interests of these two constituencies will increasingly diverge.The Blue Civil War has the potential to scramble our political coalitions in big and unpredictable ways.
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