"Go to Detroit, St. Louis, the rest of ‘em. When they allow government employees to live outside the city, they lose all their middle-class," the mayor told reporters after a City Council meeting.I got wind of this article via Newsalert but Joe Zekas at YoChicago calls Daley's quote, "Unbelievable!"
"If you say government employees don’t have to live here, I guess maybe elected officials don’t have to live here, too. You could start a trend. I don’t have to live in the ward. I don't have to live in the city. I can work on a contract. I firmly believe that is the essence of keeping neighborhoods strong."
And what would happen if Chicago lost its middle-class tax base?
"In other cities, they put a city income tax on it. I don’t believe in city income taxes,” the mayor said.
So then we should ask if being middle-class means that you must be a government employee? That or as Newsalert suggests a middle-class of government workers in the city is a strong patronage army.
Would Chicago's middle-class drop off because city public school teachers (for now at least) were no longer forced to live in Chicago?