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Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Frat and the Chicago Olympics

In my sophomore year, our fraternity was holding one of its weekly meetings. We were discussing whether or not we should hold an after hours party. An after hours party is a party held by a fraternity after the bars close. Hundreds of drunk college kids continue drinking after a night worth of drinking. Of course, since the party would be held at the frat house, the brothers would be able to control the attendees. As such, the ratios were usually shall we say "favorable" to the brothers. The problem was that our social fund had about $800 left and the party would cost nearly that much.

As we went back and forth, one brother stood up and said basically that while we'd all have a great time, everyone would get drunk and some would even have sex, we'd all wake up the next day and realize that our entire social calendar was through because we threw a party. The party was tabled.

The City of Chicago is so broke that come Monday the city offices will largely be closed.

If you planned to check out a library book, visit a city clinic or have your garbage picked up on Monday, you're out of luck.

The City of Chicago will basically be closed for business on Aug. 17, a reduced-service day in which most city employees are off without pay, according to a release from the Office of Budget and Management. City Hall, public libraries, health clinics and most city offices will be closed.

Emergency service providers including police, firefighters and paramedics will be working at full strength, but most services not directly related to public safety, including street sweeping, will not be provided, the release said.

Despite being broke, the city is determined to move forward with hosting the Olympics in seven years. The city has no money. We're so broke that the city is closing offices an extra three days this year. Our schools are underfunded. Our streets need paving. There are all sorts of infrastructure that needs improvement. Instead, the city wants to commit billions to a party.

So, what we have is that a bunch of horny and drunk 19-22 year olds showed more fiscal discipline than a city government. Now, I know that having the Olympics in Chicago is more complicated than I make it. Some believe that it's possible, even likely, that the city will make money on the endeavor. The city has no money now. The city's fiscal situation is so dire that they create "holidays" in order to save money. So, while they tell city employees to take Monday August 17th off, they are also willing to commit to billions to host the Olympics in 2016.

Even if you concede that the city will eventually make money, a point that is anything but obvious, the money is going to start coming out of the city's coffers immediately. The city has already set aside $500 million for the Olympics. Think about that. The city is telling its employees to take Monday off, but is able to commit $500 million for the Olympics.

In my frat, a 20 year old counted the money and said we simply didn't have enough to throw a party. A hundred other 19-22 year olds agreed because we didn't have the money. It appears the city of Chicago doesn't have the same discipline.


United Citizens Council said...

Yes, but those teenagers sure need some moral lessons. =o)

Anonymous said...

A frat party: $2,000

A downpayment on the Olympics: $500,000,000

A bunch of drunks showing more fiscal discipline than a city council with a mayor who hates drinking: Priceless.

For everything else, there's Mastercard Plutonium.

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