A) Chicagoland can be a national leader.

            A key contribution of websites is they can offer frank analyses to challenges that cause politicians, bureaucrats and others who shirk the tough decisions to do a quick duck-and-cover. More important, single-editor sites can be less wedded to outdated ideologies and can propose solutions quicker than organizations. Then in their role, groups then propose solutions substantially faster than governments enact and administer laws.

            Since social contracts really are made and kept by a composite of good policies that deliver on the promises, a deal also follows this evolutionary road of proposing new policies, adapting policies to local conditions so they can become an effective framework for the rule of law.

            With public opinion polls indicating unprecedented dissatisfaction with Washington and its portfolio of ineffective programs controlled by special interests, the feds are unlikely to develop solutions.

            And with Illinois’ insolvency requiring a radical restructuring (not unlike a corporate bankruptcy), we will have the chance to make government effective; providing Illinois stops being an anvil tied to our neck.

            As these conditions impose themselves further, developing a framework for the region becomes a logical starting point to make government work. With our geographic and economic centrality, Chicagoland probably has a good chance in creating a model to show the nation.

            As part of developing a prototype regional framework, Chicagoland can consolidate its governments rationally. We already are seeing proposals to eliminate townships; those vestiges of agrarian government not needed for an information-based urban economy. But that is a half-start that is only a preliminary to the far bigger -- and less obvious -- job of enacting sustainable policies that keep the Trust of taxpayers.

            But before we propose how to evolve the deal for regional government, let’s simplify today’s crises. These unprecedented problems -- when coupled with today’s ridiculously off-point debates -- show why a fundamental new agreement must be synthesized before we can make progress again.

B) Simplify the problem to convince the Public (because they are key.)

           To get public support, leaders must speak this truth: today’s challenges are unprecedented. As a starting point, we summarize in words and graphically below.

1) The public has overwhelming debt. Illinois and many cities are functionally insolvent and will remain so;                                     possibly even after a decade of budget cuts.

2) Building infrastructure (a primary purpose of government) has two decades of neglect and its backlog prevents                         us from competing in the new economy.

3) Government dysfunction (largely federal and state, but some local) results largely from corrupting influences of                         special interests.

deal_2
           

            If we are to solve these three core problems, we citizens and taxpayers must reconcile these bills and simultaneously invest in a sustainable society.

            Off into this currently impossible mission of convincing the public to invest in a new government, CCC will suggest ways out of this maze. And a couple of years from now, CCC anticipates other sites will shape this Deal so it sticks.

C) Adapt what worked.

            “What’s Our Deal?” will propose how to convince the public to trust their governments enough to start investing again. CCC’s immediate task should show leaders that skeptical taxpayers can believe in the improvements that sustainability promises.

            So, how do we achieve this?

            The quick answer is we must offer taxpayers a Sustainable Deal; similarly effective to one that “The Greatest Generation” invested in and guided the middle class prosperity in the mid-20th Century.

            Yet, today’s problems are quite different.  In the 1930s, the United States was ascendant. Our uniquely rich natural resources, modern manufacturing methods and a broadly educated populace all combined to make us so dominant that our entrance into widespread world war is largely credited with saving democracy. The New Deal probably worked better than social contract in history.

            Today, we clearly are descendant; unable to hold our previously dominant economic position and unable to help other democracies also crippled by the excessive debts of uncontrolled welfare states. We won’t succeed in creating another deal again unless we learn from history and start with the basics that go back to the similarly pivotal time in which nation-states started emerging in Europe as the framework to change the backward medieval order that, by analogy, also was suppressing growth.

            To improve our chances today, we need a sharper synthesis of success that learns from history’s turning points.  For that, please click to this page entitled “A Very Very Concise History Of The Social Contract and Its Relevance to Chicagoland.”

             Summary of link:  Drawing on political theory and how government worked well in the past, “What’s Our Deal?” will propose a social compact that integrates environmental, economic and fiscal balance for Chicagoland.