Why Do Most People in This Country Work, while Others Never Will?
It was with much trepidation that I planned a recent trip to Chicago. I was informed by many friends that Chicago is a great city and a great place to visit. However, Chicago is in the news for all the wrong reasons, with daily reports of shootings and violence reaching historically high levels.
The Chicago you experience as a tourist is very different from the city being reported on on a daily basis in the news. Downtown Chicago was crowded with tourists and provided a visitor every impression of being a prosperous, vibrant, and highly livable city.
Visiting the areas around the Loop, the Magnificent Mile, and the neighborhoods located directly north of Downtown, we were impressed by the large numbers of young professional people who have made Chicago their home. For these select young educated elites, Chicago does provide opportunity for a good life in an appealing urban environment. The neighborhoods of choice for these mostly white and Asian-American young people are located on the north side of the city in this most segregated of large cities in our country.
On the other hand, for the poor and many middle-class residents, a combination of high state and local taxes and limited job opportunities for people without the adequate skills and education required for the new services-dominated economy has driven a great number of people to leave Chicago and Illinois for states such as Texas that are judged by many as more attractive places to live, offering the prospect of a better life.
A society begins its decline when it loses confidence and gives up hope. President Obama's true legacy is that he directed a transformation of America that diminished economic opportunity for large segments our country. Under Obama, many American workers in this country suffered a permanent lowering of their standard of living, leading to a perceived future for them of limited prospects. The Obama Progressive policy–driven economic agenda was primarily responsible for this decline.
Over his presidential term, Obama was the pessimistic messenger and leader of the decline of American prosperity and economic opportunity and freedom. Like many on the Left, he focused on what he believed were America's shortcomings and implemented policies dependent on the growth of government. He attempted to change the nature of our country by moving us closer to a socialist model and thereby accelerated our economic decline. The motivation behind many of these policies is lack of faith by people on the Left such as Obama in the promise of America and a lack of understanding of what is responsible for America's greatness.
Over recent years, the Left has focused on the issue of income inequity. In reality, it was never the most important issue. Limited economic growth under Obama was always the main reason behind America's economic decline.
In President Obama's home town, the south and west side neighborhoods of Chicago had long been decimated by the long-term effects of a stream of uninterrupted rule by Democratic mayors. The people left behind in these neighborhoods long ago gave up hope of a better life and have been inevitably forced to rely on public assistance and making money in the underground economy, including an unlawful drug trade dominated by violent gangs.
The overwhelming loss of high-paying and often unionized manufacturing jobs previously located in these neighborhoods had devastating and permanently detrimental effects and was the main reason behind their rapid decline.
The Democrats focus on addressing the grievances of their coalition of constituent interest groups with the unfortunate effect of further dividing the American people by providing these groups with special privileges and extra attention. It is one thing to gain equal rights under the law; however, Democrats continue to make the mistake of supporting the notion that positive outcomes for people can be enhanced by more government intervention in their lives. In fact, Democratic policies when implemented lead to greater dependence, which often has negative long-term consequences.
These days, the residents of the south and west side neighborhoods of Chicago have the same legal rights as any other American and are assisted by multiple government programs, yet their lives remain bleak. What they lack is the opportunity to work at a job that will lead to a better life. Entire significant sections of America's potential work force in certain segments of our society are now permanently disengaged.
With the election of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago's new mayor on April 2, the voters chose a candidate from outside the traditional and historically dominant Democratic Chicago political machine. The news media, in their current prevailing practice of focusing in on identity politics, reported her win with national headlines blaring the fact she is a black American lesbian. The most important commentary that was overlooked is that she was elected as an outsider candidate, strongly indicating that voters wanted change in their city. Her win follows an emerging trend of the election of outsiders to offices in many key elections around the world.
President Trump is responsible for an impressive list of accomplishments in a relatively short period in office. His number-one contribution is the series of steps he has taken with an effective combination of tax reform, a cut-back in government regulation, trade policy that favors American interests over global interests, and a pro-American energy policy that has led to resurgence in the American economy. It has included growth in jobs across all segments and sectors of the economy and an increase in earnings and productivity to such a dramatic point that we may be running out of qualified workers.
President Trump's policies prove that American-style capitalism can work effectively to create an increased level of prosperity across the land. This is his greatest achievement so far. This has allowed the American people to regain confidence in our country and to gain an optimistic outlook for the future and restore the American Dream for so many of our citizens.
A just society is one that opens the doors and provides opportunities and more freedom for all people in our country, no matter their background or so-called special challenges, to become self-reliant individuals who participate in realizing the American Dream. This should be the new operative definition of social justice.
More freedom in America leads to greater prosperity, and greater prosperity leads to more freedom. It is a virtuous circle made possible once again by President Trump moving quickly to reverse the damage caused by the Obama agenda and the ongoing progressive attempt to radically transform America. The only "green" revolution we require in this country is one that puts more "green" into all of our pockets.
Chicago's scourge of violent crime is the number-one issue facing that city. Let's see if Mayor Lori Lightfoot understands that policies focused on job creation and generating economic opportunities for the people living in these neighborhoods as well as all of Chicago's citizens must be her number-one priority. Aided by the vibrant Trump economy, she has a reasonable chance of success.