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Forum: Chicago threatened by gun violence

Updated: March 15, 2013 1:36PM



The city of Chicago is in crisis. We are known as the murder capital of the country, and now we’ve made world news after the killing of Hadiya Pendleton.

The police in Chicago are sorely undermanned, but Supt. McCarthy tells us we have more cops per capita than New York City. But what is the ratio of gang-banging thugs between Chicago and New York?

Now, McCarthy tells us he can take 200 or so desk cops and put them on the street and that will help curb the gun violence. That’s like using a squirt gun to put out a house fire. Mayor Emanuel tells us we have no money to hire more police but can spend millions on toilets covers at O’Hare International Airport and on bike lanes.

I shudder to think of all the waste in the city budget that we don’t know about. Here’s the thing Mr. Emanuel: If you can’t control the streets on the south and west sides of the city, you will wear the jacket for the failure.

Timothy D. O’Reilly

Chicago

Higher minimum wage won’t create jobs

Gov. Pat Quinn’s claim that raising Illinois’ minimum wage by more than 20 percent will boost the economy and create jobs has been proven wrong on numerous occasions.

Eighty-five percent of the most credible economic studies on the minimum wage from the last two decades point to job loss following such a wage hike. And the hardest-hit demographic will be Illinois teenagers, who already face a 27 percent unemployment rate.

Illinois has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. Gov. Quinn is entitled to his opinion, but the facts are indisputable — minimum-wage increases harm the people they’re intended to help.

Michael Saltsman

Research director

Employment Policies Institute

Washington, D.C.

Clarifying 2010 pension change

In his Feb. 1 guest column, Louis Kosiba, executive director of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), outlined IMRF’s financial soundness and continued success as a public pension fund.

However, I would like to clarify a point about 2010 pension reform that Mr. Kosiba discussed in his column. Because of an editing error, the column inadvertently made it appear that 2010 pension reform applied to IMRF only.

In fact, 2010 pension reform created a second tier of benefits for new members of all Illinois public pension systems. This second tier of benefits will lower pension costs for all units of government in Illinois.

Linda Horrell

IMRF communications manager

Oak Brook



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