To the Editor:
In my 88 years of life, my beloved Illinois has gone from being the Garden of Eden to a living hell hole.
How did this happen? Good people did it to themselves. Here are some key decisions leading to our present condition.
1) Adoption of the 1970 Constitution;
2) Adoption of a state income tax;
3) Recognition of public employees' right to a closed shop agreement;
4) Illinois governors sent to prison;
5) One party long-term veto proof control of the legislature;
6) Mandatory arbitration of public employee labor impasse;
7) Same day walk-in election right to vote;
8) Lax enforcement of Open Meetings laws;
9) Abandonment of press straight news reporting to advocacy journalism;
10) Development of "scientific" public opinion polls relieving most candidates from any real analysis of the issues to simply following biased poll results;
11) Good people can disagree in a civil manner; and
12) Citizens have learned they can vote themselves largesse (cash and services) from the national treasury.
As predicted in 1830 by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book Democracy in America, America has the most perfect democracy in the history of the world because they form association with each other keeping all power at the local level. And, they will keep it unless they discover they can vote themselves largesse from the national treasury.
They have done so in record numbers in recent decades and is the sole reason for destroying our economy and moving American jobs overseas. That's why not one foreign country except Australia and Canada still largely ally with us in world affairs.
This selfish overspending is why all Illinois pension funds will soon be broke. When a state runs out of other peoples' money, you have Illinois.
There is hope. A strong president and Illinois governor can stop it. But only if citizens support him or her.
This is how it looks to this simple Illinois farmer.
Loren E. Klaus