Watching the deterioration of Illinois’ economic conditions on this Fourth of July serves to remind us all that the laws of economics are just as unforgiving as the law of gravity.

Living beyond one’s means leads to disaster. The “tax and spend” policies of the Illinois legislature have led the state to the brink of bankruptcy by cowering before public union power and making commitments to pensions and spending entitlements that cannot possibly be fulfilled or sustained. We have seen this played out so many times in “banana republics” and watched the ensuing chaos and agony inflicted on those nations’ citizens.

It takes courage for politicians to say “no” just as parents say “no” to unruly children. We are rapidly reaching the limits of economic sustainability in our country, and we would do well to recall the prediction of some wag that “democracy will work until the politicians learn that they can buy their re-elections by spending their constituents’ money.”

We should all remember this as we watch Puerto Rico, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and probably others (hopefully, not our state of Maine, thanks to Gov. LePage) try to defy the law of gravity.

Charles Hildreth


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