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Proviso Probe

Thursday, November 17, 2005

GOV, how sinking incomes affect Proviso

Chicago Tribune (Barbara Rose, registration required) delivers the bad news.
Illinois' median family income has dropped dramatically over the last six years, a sharper decline than in every other state except for Michigan, a new report reveals.

The result is that household incomes here--adjusted for inflation--have fallen back to about where they were in 1989.

Let's think about this in the context of local politics. Picture a normal politician. S/he's not a squeaky clean goo-goo, but not particularly venal or corrupt either.

The private sector economy is going south, but public sector jobs have benefits, job security and annual pay raises.

The worse the private sector economy gets, the more pressure the pol feels to get more friends and relatives jobs.

And in much of Proviso Township, the job scene is worse than the Illinois average.

Now consider the reasonably competent and well-educated people that are struggling to find good paying work. They are being asked to pay higher and higher taxes that go toward the salaries of government employees that are less educated and better paid.

The pols are stressed out because they have more demands for jobs than they can provide. The private sector people are asking themselves why they should pay high taxes so less educated people can make more money than the private sector taxpayers.

The country is headed for some stressful times. And the stress will be particularly intense in places like Proviso Township.

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