This is a simple overview of a people-driven plan to SAVE ILLINOIS, so in a nutshell:
- Illinois is bankrupt.
- The politicians can’t solve it, but
- The PEOPLE can!
Immediately recuse every sitting politician all the way up to the governor from any responsibility and authority to address this problem: In Illinois, and indeed across our entire national political system, the two-party construct is like a divorced couple after a really nasty separation: there is no way these two parties are going to get together and get anything accomplished. Our shameful political record of non-performance in Illinois shows this to be true, which is why we must uncouple the process of solving this massive problem from the politicians. They’ve bullshitted us for decades, the PEOPLE simply don’t trust them.
Immediately return full responsibility and leadership for solving this problem to the PEOPLE: Hire a third-party Emergency Manager who does not live in Illinois, does not have any vested fiscal interest in Illinois that could be compromised, and is absolutely clean of any conflicts of interest and/or commitment, political or otherwise. Have this person report directly to the PEOPLE.
Have the Emergency Manager run an open Moon$hot-Illinois competition which calls for the following:
- Give moon$hot participants full access to every bit of historical and current data that would be required to thoroughly analyze Illinois’ situation and to develop a long-term workout model and plan.
- Develop a 50-year (sooner if possible) workout plan to reach financial sustainability.
- Allow any person and/or team on the planet to submit their moon$hot plan with the exception that sitting state politicians cannot participate unless they
- resign from office, and
- agree to a lifetime ban from ever assuming any state office again.
- Have registered Illinois voters use approval voting (or ranked choice voting) to vote for the moon$hot plan(s) they like the best.
- Reward the winning moon$hot team with a BIG sum of money (lottery-like) paid out in performance-based installments contingent upon meeting the plan’s major fiscal milestones.
Re-engineer and revolutionize Illinois governance so this disaster never happens again, including:
- Term limits
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Zero-tolerance for kick the can, i.e., all state budgets going forward must be balanced, and
- Approval voting in all state elections
Guiding Principles and Objectives for the Plan
We the people can formulate some guiding principles to organize and direct the moon$hot competition, such as:
- The plan should include beginning breakeven budgets that transition to surplus-producing budgets over time without overburdening Illinois taxpayers beyond a reasonable amount in proportion to their respective incomes and assets.
- All state pensions should be fully funded by the end of the Plan Term (if not sooner).
- The state must catch up and stay current on all current liabilities.
- The plan should include a prioritized list of all activities the state should not be in the business of, by carefully applying the Principle of Subsidiarity: matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest, and least centralized competent authority. Responsibilities/tasks are pushed down from state to county; county to municipality; municipality to local organization; local organization to local families and individuals.
- The plan should include a prioritized list for the sale and/or lease of all underutilized and nonessential assets.
- The plan should include a prioritized list for substantial layoffs of marginal to nonessential state jobs.
- The plan should include a prioritized list of all activities and critical infrastructure that could be better outsourced or privatized.
- The plan should be balanced, fair, equitable, void of any extreme Chicago lopsidedness, and clean and clear of any political partisanship.
- The plan should show robustness and resiliency that supports long-term sustainability.
- The plan should maximize opportunities for integrating new technologies, organizational and process best practices, and successful business models driving the new gig economy.
- The plan should address the sustainability (feasibility) of continuing to subsidize the “land-grant institution” legacy (University of Illinois System) and propose a strategic recommendation that optimizes the balance between online and traditional higher education educational models.
- The plan should be easily understandable by all Illinois citizens and be made publicly available online to the world and supplemented by a continuing program of education and an ongoing forum for discussion, fresh ideas, and continuous improvement.
What Have We Got to Lose?
What have we got to lose by mobilizing and incentivizing the world’s most radical, innovative, clear-thinking people (teams) to make their mark and become heroes by saving Illinois and in the process, designing a revolutionary financial roadmap for the rest of the world’s cities, states, and sovereign entities that are in financial trouble. America is watching and waiting to see what happens in Illinois. It is an opportunity to show America what grass roots leadership and action looks like when the state fiscal platform is so close to going up in flames that the people say, “Enough is Enough!”
And what might the psychological impact be on Illinois citizens, businesses, investors, and society at large if we could develop and unleash a successful Moon$hot-Illinois? I think it has the potential to pump positive spirit, energy, hope, and confidence into our state that would ripple across every city, town, and village like nothing we’ve ever seen before in Illinois.