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IPFS News Link • Illinois

Who Will Chicago Tax If The Rich Say "Enough"?

•, by Richard Porter

Activists, union leaders and others in her coalition have a simple solution: Command the high-income earners to pay more! Their logic is simple: Middle-income folks are taxed too much already, but the very well-off are few, our demands are many and we control the City of Chicago — so make the high-income folks pay our bills!

It's true that they are outnumbered, that the city can impose taxes one way or another on folks that are outnumbered, and that every tax is a command that residents ignore at their peril.

The flaw in their logic is this: The well-off are free to choose whether to stay and pay or leave — and thereby leave everyone else with the obligation to fund the city's spending tab instead.

The city only has the power to coax; it does not have an effective power to command so long as we are free. Every tax, every law, every rule the city imposes is an offer, not a command: If you would like to live in this area, then this is what it will cost and these will be the rules.

And every resident, the high-, middle- and low-income alike, gets to choose: Do I want to accept the offer to live here under these costs and those rules?