TheWeek: The “City of the Big Shoulders” is buckling under the weight of major racial, political, and economic burdens. Here’s everything you need to know:
What’s wrong with Chicago?
For all its wonders — arts, jazz, classic architecture, a thriving restaurant scene, deep-dish pizza — the nation’s third-largest city is riddled with dysfunction. Chicago is “a fiscal basket case,” says urban analyst Aaron Renn, with a lower credit rating than any major metropolis except Detroit. The city’s 6.6 percent jobless rate ranks 51st — dead last — among metropolitan areas with more than 1 million residents. Its strapped school system seems perpetually on the verge of collapse, and last month teachers staged a one-day strike to protest closings and budget cuts.
Chicago routinely ranks among the nation’s most politically corrupt cities, with a Democratic machine controlling City Hall for 90 years. That machine has incurred $20 billion in unfunded pension debt by giving generous public pensions to unions. But above all, what’s tearing at the city’s heart are crime, police brutality, and violence. more here