Evanston, Illinois’ use of weed taxes for reparations won’t solve deeper problems

By John Ruberry

If you want to immerse yourself with sanctimonious leftists then I suggest you drop everything you’re doing and head to Evanston, Illinois, which borders Chicago and is the home of Northwestern University. It’s located two towns from the suburb I live in.

I did so once at a meeting of the Evanston Democrats.

In 2016 Donald Trump gained just seven percent of the vote in Evanston.

Despite being run by liberals for decades, Evanston, the onetime home of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, will divert all of the sales tax revenue from soon-to-be-open legal marijuana shops for slavery and discrimination reparations.

Illinois of course was not a slave state. Ironically, one of my great grandfathers, Joseph Ruberry, a Civil War veteran who served on the Union side, is buried in Evanston. Also located six-feet under in Evanston is common sense.

In 2000, the African American population was 22 percent, now it’s about 17 percent. One goal of these reparation payments is to address this decline. About $500,000 to $750,000 is expected to be collected each year, which won’t be enough to pay for a stately home on Evanston’s lakefront.

In short, these reparation payments won’t make much of a difference.

As for the decline in Evanston’s black population, that’s in line with a similar fall off in Chicago. Other things are at work. While not as severe as its much larger neighbor, Evanston has a gang problem. Statewide, Illinois is becoming a difficult place to earn a living. Corruption, government incompetence, and unfunded public worker pension obligations are a millstone fighting prosperity.

While not as high as Chicago’s, suburban Cook County, where Evanston sits, has one of the steepest sales tax rates in the nation. Illinois just increased its income tax rate–many states have no state income tax. The Prairie State’s gasoline tax is the third-highest in America.

But liberal politicians love taxes–it gives them more power.

Here’s my prediction: In spite of these upcoming reparations payments, the black population of Evanston will continue to fall.

Of course leftists in Evanston a decade or so from now will argue they have another solution. And whatever that will be–it will involve more taxpayer money.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Collective guilt is an alien concept in our constitutional system

From the founding of the United States until about the mid 1960s individual guilt was the only form of guilt that existed in this country. Thanks to progressives taking us on a path that is entirely foreign to the founding principles of this nation, collective guilt has been steadily replacing individual guilt.

Until the mid 1960s only the individual who committed a particular crime was punished for that crime, and every individual was solely responsible for their own actions. That changed when a group of radical professors began introducing collectivist teachings into college campuses. Those radical teachings took hold on college campuses and over time have infected so much of academia and our culture. Now, thanks to radical progressives inhabiting the United States Congress and State Legislatures, collective guilt is starting to make inroads into out legal system. Several of the Democratic candidates for president support some form or collective guilt. This is very dangerous.

Slavery Reparations are the most ludicrous form of collective guilt I’ve encountered. Since slavery was abolished in 1865 in the United States and all slave owners have long since perished how can anyone alive be individually guilty of the crime of slavery?

Stripping innocent gun owners of their right to bear arms because other individuals have committed crimes with their guns is another all too common form of collective guilt. This form of collective guilt will only make everyone less safe. Good guys with guns stop on average 1 million crimes a year. Stripping gun owners of their guns will also eliminate one of the most important safeguards the founders of this nation devised to prevent the government of the United States from becoming tyrannical.

Progressive taxation is also an insidious form of collective guilt. The wealth of individuals who have committed no crime, they are simply successful through hard work, is confiscated and redistributed to individuals who have not earned it.

White guilt is another ridiculous form of collective guilt, one that is very much in vogue on college campuses. If the same false blame was placed on another race the cries of racism would be deafening and unremitting.

Assigning guilt to collective groups such as society or one particular race only makes crime worse. When crimes of individuals are not properly punished then more individuals will boldly commit the same crimes. This is one reason why crime is much more prevalent in Democrat controlled states and cities.

Individual guilt is enshrined in our Constitution, not collective guilt. This is most notable in the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment. Blanket warrants are not covered by the 4th Amendment, only individual warrants. Unfortunately the federal government has recently forgotten this in their quest to fight terrorism.