AT: It was with much trepidation that I planned a recent trip to Chicago. I was informed by many friends that Chicago is a great city and a great place to visit. However, Chicago is in the news for all the wrong reasons, with daily reports of shootings and violence reaching historically high levels.
The Chicago you experience as a tourist is very different from the city being reported on on a daily basis in the news. Downtown Chicago was crowded with tourists and provided a visitor every impression of being a prosperous, vibrant, and highly livable city.
Visiting the areas around the Loop, the Magnificent Mile, and the neighborhoods located directly north of Downtown, we were impressed by the large numbers of young professional people who have made Chicago their home. For these select young educated elites, Chicago does provide opportunity for a good life in an appealing urban environment. The neighborhoods of choice for these mostly white and Asian-American young people are located on the north side of the city in this most segregated of large cities in our country.
On the other hand, for the poor and many middle-class residents, a combination of high state and local taxes and limited job opportunities for people without the adequate skills and education required for the new services-dominated economy has driven a great number of people to leave Chicago and Illinois for states such as Texas that are judged by many as more attractive places to live, offering the prospect of a better life.
A society begins its decline when it loses confidence and gives up hope. President Obama’s true legacy is that he directed a transformation of America that diminished economic opportunity for large segments our country. Under Obama, many American workers in this country suffered a permanent lowering of their standard of living, leading to a perceived future for them of limited prospects. The Obama Progressive policy–driven economic agenda was primarily responsible for this decline. read more