It’s an interesting web the union has spun for itself: its power to negotiate lavish pensions for teachers has helped bankrupt the city, which is now forced to sack teachers. And with Chicago’s budget deficit at $1 billion and revenue declining, there’s no end in sight, and no tenure and no pension is safe. How teachers react to the declining ability of unions to secure their interests in one of America’s great blue cities will tell us a lot about the blue model’s current bill of health.Emphasis mine. Every time I bring up the topic of reforming pensions and/or Social Security, the push back is that "oh, the stock market goes down" and "people can't handle their own finances." Which may be true but the lousy return I get on my 401(k) is mine. These pensions exist on the cloud of corporate and civil promises which can disappear like General Motors' profits or Detroit's fire department.
The immediate impact on children and families of Chicago’s fiscal failure is obvious enough, but the long-term impact is perhaps even more grim.
Update - Points and Figures: "Why Chicago is not Detroit, but Illinois is."