WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Just What Chicago Needs, Government-Owned Grocery Stores.
Now, no doubt Chicago’s city-run grocery stores would have the same service, efficiency, and quality that Chicago residents have come to expect from the local government of a city ranked 149th in its financial stability, 67th in its education system, 71st in its health-care system, 80th in its public safety, 129th in the quality of its economy, or, credit where it’s due, 37th in its infrastructure and pollution. (That’s out of 149 U.S. cities.)
Call me crazy, but I think if you had safe streets and no shoplifting and petty theft, grocery stores could thrive in any neighborhood, because people have to eat. The good news is that so far this year, murder is down in Chicago, with “only”435 people killed from the beginning of the year to September 10, compared to 485 people in the same time period last year. The bad news is that overall, major crimes are up 30 percent from the same period last year. Motor-vehicle theft has nearly doubled from last year.
What could possibly go wrong? Boris Yeltsin knew: When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Houston:
About a year after the Russian leader left office, a Yeltsin biographer later wrote that on the plane ride to Yeltsin’s next destination, Miami, he was despondent. He couldn’t stop thinking about the plentiful food at the grocery store and what his countrymen had to subsist on in Russia.
In Yeltsin’s own autobiography, he wrote about the experience at Randall’s, which shattered his view of communism, according to pundits. Two years later, he left the Communist Party and began making reforms to turn the economic tide in Russia. You can blame those frozen Jell-O Pudding pops.
“When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people,” Yeltsin wrote. “That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it.”
It is terrible to think about – but not terrible enough for Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.