The recent tax Chicago levied on streaming online shows from organizations such as Netflix and Hulu has proved hugely unpopular and unprofitable even for the town famous for taxing everything possible and then having the money disappear into a great black hole in its labyrinthine governmental abyss.
One should remember that Chicago is the place that built toll roads back in the fifties that was supposed to stop charging fees for driving on it once it paid for itself.
That was fifty years ago and the people in the little booths are still collecting spare change to this day. Chicago city finances run sort of like a hacked Las Vegas slot machine- money keeps going in but nothing ever comes back out.
Seeking a way to wall up its crumbling financial support beams the Chicago city council finally hit upon a sure-fire plan- taxing corruption. Chicago is a major U.S. exporter of corruption, second only to Los Angeles.
It is also not far distant from the gold standards for dirty dealings set by Moscow and Pyongyang. If there were an Olympics for graft and underhanded business dealings then Chicago would be have participants in every category and often winning gold.
Chicago was built on corruption. Corruption makes up the base of everyday life in the Windy City. Since the days of its founding it has served as the funnel for dead cow meat, grain, industrial crap, Saturday Night Live comedians and Mafia getting shipped out all over the world helping to turn Lake Michigan into the worlds biggest open sewer.
The city still follows managerial and operational procedures laid down by that great and revered Chicago homeboy and patriot Al Capone.
The classic book The Jungle is the Bible on how to deal with the hard working citizens of America’s third largest city. Corruption is such an integral part of the day to day makeup of the city that the Citizen’s United law gave it status as being a real person having all the rights that real people and Corporations have.
Collecting revenues has proven difficult however as the people it taxes are time tested pro’s at dodging revenue authorities and at hiding their ill gained loot. A whole new agency called The Lean On Boys has been formed and is proving efficient at collecting fines. It is amazing at just how effective baseball bats, high voltage electrodes and waterboarding can be.
An unforeseen development that has come up is that the new Lean On governmental branch is in itself subject to scrutiny being as how corruption spreads like the 1918 flu virus. Therefore the organization must itself pay fines to itself and beat itself up if it doesn’t. The future will show how well this system will work.
Meanwhile Netflix and Hulu have both announced that they will be producing a new streamable series based on this story. A corruption tax will be imposed upon them even though they are not Chicago based. Netflix and Hulu have contested this, but were told by a Chicago judge that “Youse ain’t got no choice in dis. Pay up now or it might be harder later on when youse ain’t got no fingers no more.”
More on this as it develops unless we happen to meet an unexpected baseball bat.