by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Should readers from outside Chicagoland care? Yes, because Emanuel’s surprise exit is a sign of the unworkability of policies that will go national if Resistance Democrats oust Donald Trump, and indeed of some policies embraced by Trump as well.
Emanuel will be leaving office as a frustrated and unsuccessful mayor, even though he is one of the great political talents of his generation. Former Clinton fundraiser and White House staffer, Chicago congressman and chairman of House Democrats’ campaign committee when they overturned a Republican majority in 2006. …
… Emanuel inherited a city whose electorate was divided roughly equally between blacks on the South and West Sides, Hispanics on the West and Northwest Sides, and gentry liberals running ever farther inland from the lakefront. It had a great economic heritage and enjoyed robust growth in the 1990s.
It has been downhill since. Chicago and Illinois have been hobbled by metastasizing pension obligations, frozen in place by state courts and state House speaker (for all but two years since 1982!) Michael Madigan. Taxes have been rising: Shoppers on North Michigan Avenue pay the nation’s highest taxes.
Chicagoans have been voting with their feet. Metro Chicago has by far the highest percentage of domestic out-migration of any major metropolitan area, and net outflow this decade is 5 percent of its 2010 population. In particular, blacks have been leaving metro Chicago for Atlanta and other points south.