Crain’s editorial jumped onboard hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin’s propaganda train to help him steer attention from the biggest grift in the city that also has the most detrimental impact on communities – Chicago’s tax increment financing program.
This pro-business cult for some reason have absolutely no problem with the city using taxpayer funds to subsidize corporations. This is traditional Chicago grift on steroids as corporations whose sole purposes it to make money have found a source of endless money to subsidize their efforts in TIFs. Mayor after mayor after mayor have used this grift to steal money from taxpayers and have used it to reward their donors and keep white wealthy Chicago happy. I mean someone has to pay for all those cranes you see all over the Fulton Market and the West Loop.
In 2020 this grift siphoned off just over $1 billion from the city’s general revenue fund and put it in to special off the books accounts that the mayor controls and doles out for political favors. Richard M Daley started this grift in Chicago and both Emanuel and Lightofoot have continued it despite their public rhetoric about reforms and transparency. No mayor candidate should ever be voted in to office without a firm commitment in writing to end TIFs in Chicago. No mayor should ever be re-elected without ending TIFs in his/her first term.
Poverty is the main driver of crime and violence in Chicago but that is something that neither Crain’s nor Griffin want to discuss because that would force them to do some soul searching about their role in creating the circumstances that these communities confront everyday. Instead Crain’s give advice to Griffin and the business community to donate to street outreach organizations. The same organizations named by Crain’s said themselves on our podcast that they are a mere band aid and that even with a massive increase in funding they will never be equipped to confront the real drives of crime and violence in Chicago, poverty.
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