By John Ruberry

Of America’s largest cities only Chicago has a declining population. So far this year–as it was for all 2016–more people were murdered in Chicago than in New York City and Los Angeles.

Combined.

On the surface it seems that Chicago has the best government that money can buy. The Watchdogs of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that one-third of municipal workers of America’s third-largest city banked over $100,000 last year. Meanwhile, just 11 percent of Cook County workers–Chicago is the county seat–earn more than $100K. The numbers are similar for state of Illinois employees.

Thirty-six Chicago payrollers collected more than Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year.

Overtime run amok partially explains the problem. Generous campaign contributions from public-sector unions to politicians explains much more of it.

The median income for Chicagoans according to the US Census Bureau in 2015–the most recent year that is available–$63,153.

In Chicago it’s great to be part of the ruling class. But Chicago’s roads are crumbling, barely one out of four of its students in its government schools read at grade level, its bond rating is the lowest among major cities, and businesses lack confidence in Chicago and Illinois as a whole. If you are part of Chicago’s ruling class you might view high taxes as a downpayment on your next paycheck or your retirement, but Chicagoans endure the nation’s highest sales tax rate and they were slugged with the highest property tax increase in the city’s history to fund public-worker pensions.

Blogger on Chicago’s Northwest Side

Yet Chicago’s public pensions are the worst-funded among America’s biggest cities--at a rate of just 25 percent of its obligations. But the cruel joke may be on these well-compensated public-servants. Despite the strong pension protection clause in the Illinois constitution, a pension “haircut” seems unavoidable for retirees. Michigan has similar wording it its constitution, yet Detroit municipal retirees saw their pension checks cut after the Motor City declared bankruptcy.

Chicago’s decline and fall continues. But hey, at least some people for now are making a good buck off of the rotting corpse. Let the good times roll.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

On Conservatively Speaking and to a lesser degree on DaTechGuy on DaRadio we speak about the one party rule in Massachusetts and all the trouble it causes us.

Massachusetts and California may be one side of the coin but the NYT talks a bit about the other side of the equation:

Come January, more than two-thirds of the states will be under single-party control, raising the prospect that bold partisan agendas — on both ends of the political spectrum — will flourish over the next couple of years.

There are risks in such a political situation:

Some politicians are mindful that one-party control carries with it one-party blame — and a risk that a particularly partisan agenda will eventually irk voters and lead to a reversal in the next election.

But there is also a reward in a particular sense.

I am a conservative because I believe it is not only morally right but it produces the greatest good for the greatest number economically and socially and for the future of my children and grandchildren. Let’s work under the assumption that our friends on the left believe the same (we’ll pause for our conservative readers who might have been drinking to wipe off their keyboards after spitting it out).

Previously we have seen the effects of liberal rule in cities like Detroit but now we will be able to actually compare the results between the blue and red state as a whole.

In 2016 we will have years of data to see what states have made it and what states have not, what states have employment and what states do not, and more importantly with four years of Barack Obama ahead of us, we will see which states become places where people are going to want to live and which states are not.

I’m nearly 50, it’s my intention to live and die right where I am, but by the end of the Obama years both of my sons will be out of college and we will see where they will decide to go to make a future for themselves.

May the best states and ideas win. The only question is, will the media report it?