Walter Russel-Mead with a must read column on the Ravitch Volker Report (pdf file) on Illinois’s financial disaster. Liberalism’s pursuit of Social Justice resulted in more poverty, ignorance (failed schools), and misery. It won’t easily be undone, but undone it will be; win or lose Obama. The Liberal / Progressive model unsustainable and collapsing before my eyes, outside my door, in my home state of Illinois.
But where liberals in America have the freest hand—in states like New York, California and Illinois—we see incontrovertible evidence that the policies they choose don’t have the consequences they predict. California by now should surely be an educational, environmental and social utopia. New York should be a wonder of glorious liberal governance. Illinois should be known far and wide as the state that works.
What’s interesting about the governance failures of these states is how comprehensive they are. Other than politicians, union officials and Wall Street investment banks, nobody really benefits from the choices Illinois has made. As the Volker-Ravitch report tells us, even the public sector unions, the architects of many of the state’s most destructive policies, are going to get shafted as a result of the bad policies they’ve supported. They’ve created a state that simply won’t be able to honor its promises to the workers the unions represent.