When one party rules a state legislation or a city, bad things usually happen.
In 1992, 16 states had single-party control of their state politics. In 2013, that number was 35.
There’s now single-party control of the governorship and legislature in 35 of the 50 states — the most in 60 years
And when one-party rule filters down to cities, it’s much worse.
George Berkin, writing for NJ Voices notes that “monopoly political power delivers a gravy train for supporters, but high costs for everybody else. It’s not hard to understand why. Democrats are beholden to unions to turn out the voters needed to win municipal elections. In return, those unions have secured healthy pension packages for their rank and file”.
The poster child for the dangers of one-party rule is Detroit, which has slowly imploded during a half-century of one-party “progressive” rule. Specifically, it has been the victim of 50 years of Democratic Party governance. Detroit has not had a Republican mayor since January 1962, after which the office has been filled by seven Democratic mayors.
Under Democratic mayors, citizens of Detroit pay the highest property and income taxes in Michigan. Where did the tax money go? Not to basic services, which has seen the police force cut by 40 percent over the last decade, while the response time to emergency calls is five times the national average. Crime rates are sky-high.
The population has dropped by more than half since the 1950s. Some 40 percent of revenues go toward pensions and debt. Four out of 10 street lights don’t work.
But now after five decades, the chickens have come home to roost in union-dominated cities like Detroit and Chicago, where promised pension packages are driving both cities near bankruptcy
This has resulted in higher taxes, which drives away local businesses, which erodes the tax base needed to cover pensions. .
This leads me to take a closer look at Illinois, and specifically, Chicago. If you think Michigan is in the worst shape, note that Michigan’s unemployment rate, the Midwest’s second-highest, is nearly a full point lower than Illinois’s.
And just this week, Moody’s downgraded Chicago’s credit rating to junk status – just like Detroit’s. Chicago is the only U.S. city of more than 500,000 people with such a low credit rating.
Illinois faces $100 billion in unfunded public pension promises and $6.7 billion in unpaid bills.
This is one of the outcomes when a state is largely impacted by prolonged one-party rule, conducted by politicians subservient to government employee unions.
Of course one-party rule is epitomized by the City of Chicago, where Democratic mayors have run the city for nearly 80 years. During that time, there have been 46 mayors; all of them Democrats. And we can’t ignore the “Chicago machine,” which for 14 years was run by Richard M. Daley, and his late father Richard J. Daley.
Like Detroit, Chicago’s one-party government has cheated its citizens through rampant cronyism and corruption.
This may explain why Illinois has a newly elected Republican governor. But in the City of Chicago, sightings of viable Republican mayoral candidates are as rare as the Loch Ness monster.
Finally, let’s look South tot Mississippi, whose first Governor was a Democrat, and apart from the period of occupation after the Civil War, Mississippi has had 64 governors, including 55 Democrats and 5 Republicans. Although a Republican is now governor, Democrats dominated Mississippi after retaking control of the state legislature. They even passed a constitution in 1890 that disfranchised most African Americans, excluding them from the political system for nearly 70 years, and made it a one-party state.
The legacy of long Democratic rule? The state's per capita income has been among the lowest in the nation for decades. A nonpartisan think tank has again ranked Mississippi last among all U.S. states in achieving the organization’s concept of a “new economy” built around innovation, globalization and technology.
We can go to other one-party-ruled cities and states, but it’s easy to see a recurring pattern where one-party rule diminishes the economy and the quality of life for its residents.
I lived for many years in Asia, where one-party rule reduced some nations to poverty and eliminated personal freedoms. I moved to America to escape this environment.
Today, I’m afraid that the perils of one-party rule are on the rise. Progressive politics, tainted by cronyism and corruption – the kind that destroyed parts of Asia, didn’t work there and it doesn’t work here.
As a nation we have to recognize when one-party rule is diminishing our future and hold those in power accountable.
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