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Amazing Graphic Shows Chicago’s Middle Class Disappear Before Your Eyes
chicago.cbslocal.com ^ | April 3, 2014 11:12 AM | By John Dodge

Posted on 04/03/2014 9:43:51 AM PDT by Red Badger

CHICAGO (CBS) — The graphic that you are about to see is sobering, perhaps depressing, and you can’t take your eyes off it.

We have the exhaustive work of Daniel Kay Hertz, a masters student at the University Of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, to thank for that.

At the risk of sounding like an old carnival barker, step right up and watch the middle class of Chicago vanish before your eyes.

However, this is no side-show.

It shows the demise of the foundation of an American city.

Watch as the grey squares, which illustrate the middle class that dominated the most of the city’s neighborhoods in 1970s, quickly vanish over 40 years.

The poor, represented by the orange and red colors, explode across the map.

And watch what happens in the green areas representing the upper middle class and wealthy. Not surprisingly, it spreads from downtown to the north side, but not with the same ferocity as the reds and oranges.

Especially in 2000, the greens-the color of money–grow much darker. It seems the rich simply got richer. In later years, the wealthy pushed the poor out of the near West Side. It appears that area bypassed the middle.

The data comes from the U.S. Census.

In his blog, Hertz says he fears that the often-told story of segregation and income inequality in Chicago has led to apathy.

“These facts somehow seep out of the ground here, as much a part of the city as the lake, and that as a result there’s really nothing we can do about it,” Hertz writes.

Hertz says the work isn’t meant to be depressing. Not along ago, he reasons, there was a large vibrant middle class in Chicago, and it is possible to get it back.

The goal of the maps “is not merely to depress you (you’re welcome!), but to suggest just how dramatically the reality of Chicago’s ‘two cities’ has changed over the last few generations, how non-eternal its present state is, and that a happier alternate reality isn’t just possible, but actually existed relatively recently.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: chicago
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1 posted on 04/03/2014 9:43:51 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

Communists hate the middle class - the middle class represents stability.


2 posted on 04/03/2014 9:45:08 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: Red Badger
It could be a mathematical formula: there is a direct inverse relationship between the size of government and the size of the middle class.

Nuke 80% of the $4 TRILLION government beast that is eating up America like Godzilla.

3 posted on 04/03/2014 9:47:31 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: Red Badger

It’s a doomed city. It’s Detroit in 10 years.


4 posted on 04/03/2014 9:49:28 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: Tenacious 1

Exactly. I read this article and immediately thought of Detroit.


5 posted on 04/03/2014 9:51:45 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Tenacious 1

Not a chance. It might declare bankruptcy, but that’s about it.


6 posted on 04/03/2014 9:52:34 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Red Badger

Behold liberalism/socialism at work...


7 posted on 04/03/2014 9:52:51 AM PDT by Sicon ("All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - G. Orwell)
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To: 1rudeboy
Not a chance. It might declare bankruptcy, but that’s about it.

You mean like Detroit, right?

8 posted on 04/03/2014 9:54:02 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: Red Badger

The green areas show tremendous growth....?


9 posted on 04/03/2014 9:58:55 AM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
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To: Red Badger
“Especially in 2000, the greens-the color of money–grow much darker. It seems the rich simply got richer.”

Actually, there isn't enough information to conclude that the “rich simply got richer” — unless you're using a strictly relative measure of “richer”.

According to the legend, the graphic is based on the median income in the metro area. If you lower that median income, by substituting middle income families, with low income families, then a higher-income family that remains, will have a higher relative income — without needing to actually have more income. They will be “relatively” richer — but, not necessarily having more income.

10 posted on 04/03/2014 10:01:28 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA (You don't really need a sarcasm tag here, do you?)
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To: skeeter

‘Income inequality’ is a lie but to the extent it exists it was accelerated by Obama and many other ‘community organizers’ in Chicago.


11 posted on 04/03/2014 10:02:06 AM PDT by relictele (Principiis obsta & Finem respice - Resist The Beginnings & Consider The End)
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To: Red Badger

It seems the rich simply got richer. In later years, the wealthy pushed the poor out of the near West Side. It appears that area bypassed the middle.


This is what happened to the Central District in Seattle, as well. I watched it happen before my very eyes.


12 posted on 04/03/2014 10:02:59 AM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: Red Badger

Embrace the suck? You get what the wagon riders vote into office?


13 posted on 04/03/2014 10:05:04 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: Red Badger
It seems that most large urban areas in this once great country have degenerated into Marxist hellholes.

I never plan on living in an urban area again.

14 posted on 04/03/2014 10:08:41 AM PDT by Marathoner (When Obama fails, freedom prevails)
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To: cuban leaf

Most big city’s went from Republican mayor to Democrat mayor in the mid ‘60s. This is the result.


15 posted on 04/03/2014 10:09:45 AM PDT by Mr. Peabody
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To: skeeter

Did the middle class leave or did they just become poor? Or both?

Also, if your pay stays the same you are automatically more poor compared to price increases...so not sure how they allocate for that.


16 posted on 04/03/2014 10:12:34 AM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: Red Badger

This is what the neo-feudal New World Order looks like. A tiny, unaccountable Ruling Elite serviced by a small technocracy and feeding off a huge population of poor and near-poor.


17 posted on 04/03/2014 10:24:15 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: Responsibility2nd; Condor51; PhilCollins

Never happen.

From the time Chicago helped elect JFK to the point at which OBamugabe was fully supported in his POTUS bid, Chicago will ALWAYS stand solvent.

Let all others fail around us, but Chicago will survive; even when Putin conquers the shores of the Great Lakes, Chicago will not fail.

Y’all think about that...MOLON LABE.


18 posted on 04/03/2014 10:30:12 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The Acronym explains the science.)
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To: Aria

The middle class shrunk dramatically, the poor increased significantly, but the rich also increased significantly. It isn’t - as the article states - simply that the rich got richer, but that there are a lot more rich than there used to be, e.g., compare the 1970 green areas to the 2012 green areas. So the economic stratification has changed from a diamond (many in the middle, few at the top or bottom), to kind of a bottom-heavy female torso (heavy hips/thighs, average waist, moderate bust) - kind of a Michelle Obama profile.


19 posted on 04/03/2014 10:32:23 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: skeeter
Communists hate the middle class - the middle class represents stability.

The rich leftist elites hate the middle class -- the children of the middle class, who start businesses and invent new technologies, are competition for their own kids.

This is why they try to sabotage the public school systems, and make college so expensive that middle-class graduates are so burdened with student loan debt that they will have to work for big corporations rather than starting their own companies.

20 posted on 04/03/2014 10:36:34 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Count of Monte Fisto
"This is what the neo-feudal New World Order looks like. A tiny, unaccountable Ruling Elite serviced by a small technocracy and feeding off a huge population of poor and near-poor."

I think that's the plan. Pacify the masses with "free" health care, a celebrity culture featuring increasingly extreme forms of entertainment, and an increased minimum wage, and leave everything else to the ruling elite. And to hell with the middle-class, those undeserving, mettlesome petit-bourgeoisie.
21 posted on 04/03/2014 10:36:42 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Tenacious 1
You mean like Detroit, right?

No, like New York.

22 posted on 04/03/2014 10:43:58 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Tenacious 1

That’s not going to happen in Chicago, they are not even close to that.

Besides, this is a misleading chart, because the middle class is still very much there, they just moved to the suburbs. I’m sure you could make a similar chart for every city in America since the 70s if you exclude the suburbs.


23 posted on 04/03/2014 10:52:19 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Aria

“Did the middle class leave or did they just become poor? Or both?”

They moved to the suburbs, which are conveniently excluded from this chart to make it seem dramatic.


24 posted on 04/03/2014 10:54:49 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: PapaNew
Nuke 80% of the $4 TRILLION government beast that is eating up America like Godzilla.

It would have to come from entitlements - Soc. Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They are by far the biggest portion of money spent by Fedzilla. Eliminating EPA, Depts of Commerce, Education, Energy would save very little - although in terms of eliminating regulation, it would probably stimulate economic growth quite a lot.

25 posted on 04/03/2014 10:55:49 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
According to the legend, the graphic is based on the median income in the metro area. If you lower that median income, by substituting middle income families, with low income families, then a higher-income family that remains, will have a higher relative income — without needing to actually have more income. They will be “relatively” richer — but, not necessarily having more income.

More than anything, it's that the median income gray areas are evaporating and being replaced by green/brick red colors (the extreme opposites of the spectrum).

26 posted on 04/03/2014 10:57:50 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: PGR88
That's right. All but a few necessary cabinet posts should be nuked beginning with the $1 trillion HHS. Pretty much all but Defense, Justice, Treasury, State should be gone.

Slashing the federal government by 80% would theoretically leave the DOD untouched becasue the DOD is only 1/8th of the budget. Of course what should happen also is streamlining DOD the way Reagan did, getting out the waste and getting in the best and the brightest to defend our country.

27 posted on 04/03/2014 11:02:19 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: Red Badger

Anyone hear (or in this case see) a giant sucking sound?


28 posted on 04/03/2014 11:20:48 AM PDT by TheArizona
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To: faithhopecharity
The green areas show tremendous growth....?

I noticed that, too.

Probably the bigger news in this graph is that the middle class is getting poorer because the wealthy few are sucking every last cent out of the economy.

29 posted on 04/03/2014 11:21:05 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Red Badger

Headed the way of Detroit!


30 posted on 04/03/2014 11:22:09 AM PDT by Laserman
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To: Aria

The middle class didn’t become poor; they left. It started with forced busing and went down from there. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had with friends, and acquaintances who would say “I just don’t feel safe anymore” or “it’s not safe for my kids to be outside”. And then they move. The grad student who made this map should have included the suburbs too. That would have been more interesting.


31 posted on 04/03/2014 11:35:41 AM PDT by cyberstoic
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To: IYAS9YAS

Yes — we’re in agreement there. However, my main point was that (using constant dollars), the “rich” did not have to actually become more wealthy, for the number of green spots to go up, or for them to get greener. If you remove the middle income families, and replace them with lower income families, the median income will go down — by definition. If a “rich” household initially had an income 1.5 times the median income; they might have an income 2.0 times greater than the new, lower median — with no increase in their household income.

The graphic shows that the “middle class” is being driven out — but, it simply does not show that the rich are getting richer. They might be — but, the graphic does not prove that. All that’s needed to have your income go from 1.5 times the median, to 2.0 times the median; is to have more people making less than the median. Similarly, some of the upper-middle class families will see their colour code change to green — just because the median income has fallen.


32 posted on 04/03/2014 11:35:55 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Age of Reason

Disagree. The green areas are those above average income. And the green areas show the greatest growth. It appears that many many people are doing quite well in Chicago I think this is what we want — as garrison Keillor says, everybody’s above average. Or at least more and more people have higher incomes in Chicago from this graphic. Looks like a pretty good place to be.


33 posted on 04/03/2014 12:14:39 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
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To: Boogieman

‘because the middle class is still very much there, they just moved to the suburbs’

That is the case for most urban areas. Where do you think the middle class in Detroit went? The same place as the middle class in Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and NYC went, the suburbs. The problem is that a city can not be only a few very rich and a large amount of very poor. The tax and social structure simply does not work.

The death of most cities was the desegregation through busing of most of the major cities.

The plain fact is that middle class whites do not want their children sitting next to poor blacks. NEWS FLASH: Middle Class Blacks don’t want their children sitting next to poor blacks either.

When the Federal Government took away the right of self determination via the public schools through desegregation court orders, people decided to vote with their feet.

In doing so they turned formerly middle class inner city neighborhoods into lawless wastelands and exurban farms into tract houses and McMansions.

Until inner city governments provide unlimited numbers of educational options through unrestricted vouchers, middle class families will never move back into the cities.

Once again liberal policies destroy everything they touch.


34 posted on 04/03/2014 12:27:46 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Jim from C-Town

“Where do you think the middle class in Detroit went? The same place as the middle class in Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and NYC went, the suburbs. The problem is that a city can not be only a few very rich and a large amount of very poor. The tax and social structure simply does not work.”

I get what you are saying, but the fact is that this population shift is common to most all cities in the U.S., and only Detroit is suffering “Detroit-style consequences” as of yet. So, I can’t logically ascribe the blame for those consequences to the middle class moving to the suburbs. If that was the case, then every city would look like Detroit, but they do not.

There are other factors at play that made Detroit what it is today, and those factors just aren’t present if every urban area, no matter how much some FReepers seem to wish that they were.


35 posted on 04/03/2014 12:39:14 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: faithhopecharity

Chicago has more than its fair share of ghettos, but outside of them, most areas are quite nice. This story seems to obsess with the shrinking middle class neighborhoods, which is the case, but gentrification is in full swing in the city, with lots of areas that used to be dodgy or rundown becoming upper-middle class areas dominated by young professionals.


36 posted on 04/03/2014 12:43:58 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

we want people to get ahead (at least, we did prior to 2008)

and if so many people in ChiTown are getting ahead as these charts indicate, Wonderful!!!!

Also, there are miles and miles of suburban communities that do not seem to be on this graphic display.... but which have grown up all around the region... and which are filled with “middle class” people......

I think this graphic is not very helpful


37 posted on 04/03/2014 12:47:21 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
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To: faithhopecharity

“Also, there are miles and miles of suburban communities that do not seem to be on this graphic display.... but which have grown up all around the region... and which are filled with “middle class” people......”

Yes, I noticed that too. Someone pointed out that middle class people in the suburbs shrink the tax base for the city, but that is a simplistic reasoning. Property taxes are paid at the county level, not the city level, and Cook County includes plenty of middle-class (and upper-class) suburbs. Also, the middle class suburbanites mostly still commute to work in the city, spend money there, and often own investment property there too.


38 posted on 04/03/2014 12:54:24 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

Im no expert so I am quite happy to stand corrected, but are Aurora, Elgin, Donners Grove, Wheaton, Joliet, Waukegan, Lake Forest, and all the rest....all depressed low-income slumvilles?

I doubt it.

This graphic is not worth our time. Let’s move on to discussing some of the other great FR topics like sexual depravity, how we can help UknowWho further expand the new IslamoNazi empire, and what’s wrong with John McCain


39 posted on 04/03/2014 1:02:38 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
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To: faithhopecharity

“Im no expert so I am quite happy to stand corrected, but are Aurora, Elgin, Donners Grove, Wheaton, Joliet, Waukegan, Lake Forest, and all the rest....all depressed low-income slumvilles?

I doubt it.”

Nope, they are not, but I think most of those are outside Cook County, so they wouldn’t be contributing to the property taxes, at least. However, Cook County has Evanston, Winnetka, Skokie, Niles, Oak Park, River Forest, and plenty of other nice suburbs that this map is still excluding, that do contribute to the property tax base.


40 posted on 04/03/2014 1:24:42 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: skeeter

The middle class is made up of independent, uncontrollable people.

Better (for the left) to have a bunch of dependent peasants and a ruling nobility (them).


41 posted on 04/03/2014 1:26:07 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Boogieman

Ok then great, you know the area well... and I think we agree that the graphic does not portray an accurate picture

(indeed, it appears that ChiTown region may be doing far better than 80 or 90 percent of American cities these days!)


42 posted on 04/03/2014 1:49:16 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel; Responsibility2nd; Condor51; Impy; BillyBoy

Which conservative will run against Mayor Emanuel? A May 2013 poll said that 19% of Chicago voters approve of him. I heard of three people who are running against Rahm, but none of them is conservative.


43 posted on 04/03/2014 2:37:25 PM PDT by PhilCollins
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To: PhilCollins; BillyBoy; fieldmarshaldj; Cletus.D.Yokel; Responsibility2nd; Condor51; hockeyfan44
Which conservative will run against Mayor Emanuel?

Likely none. I say bring back partisan elections so at least we can have a Republican nominee to cast a protest vote for.

44 posted on 04/03/2014 2:59:48 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: Boogieman

“Besides, this is a misleading chart, because the middle class is still very much there, they just moved to the suburbs. I’m sure you could make a similar chart for every city in America since the 70s if you exclude the suburbs.”

What does that mean for the city itself? Here in NJ having people and businesses flee to the suburbs really hurts the cities; they run out of money, and the infrastructure falls apart. Newark NJ was laying off cops during their worst murder stats in decades; having ants living outside of the grasshoppers’ hive didn’t save them.

I don’t know about Chicago, but another problem facing cities is that the whites aren’t moving to the suburbs; they are disappearing altogether. The suburbs are increasingly Hispanic, and the dwindling number of whites move even further away.


45 posted on 04/03/2014 3:22:49 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Impy; PhilCollins

Why, any conservative that will promise the Sow-side a full retention of their welfare bennies.

Now, which “conservative” would that be? My guess is Kirk because he fits that “very specific” conservative profile.

Other wise, some sacrificial pubbi-goat will get tied to the “republican stake” (yes, I recall the race is “non-partisan”) to be slaughtered in the election. Giving another couple of years of gloating to the Dhimmicrats about how republicans can’t win in Chicago.

The only correct response will be to quietly and non-verbally point toward the East and mumble the name “New Fallujah” (AKA: Detroit).


46 posted on 04/03/2014 3:32:02 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The Acronym explains the science.)
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To: kearnyirish2

Well, the infrastructure has only improved in Chicago in recent decades, so I haven’t seen that effect. The city has budget problems, but those are mostly all due to the union demands and bloated pension plans, not from drops in revenue.

One thing that helps Chicago is that the near suburbs are in Cook County, so a lot of suburbanites are paying into the same property tax pool. Also, most of the jobs are still in the city, so those businesses are still paying taxes.


47 posted on 04/03/2014 3:55:00 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

I see; here in NJ our municipal taxes pay most of the expenses. The union demands and pensions are killing all of NJ; the cities are dying faster because those expenses are so much higher.


48 posted on 04/03/2014 3:57:34 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Red Badger

To me this shows the effects of global competition.


49 posted on 04/03/2014 4:00:32 PM PDT by Vision (Living in beauty)
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To: Red Badger

Watching a cesspool regurgitate bloody vomit.


50 posted on 04/03/2014 4:04:07 PM PDT by EnquiringMind
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