A comment from Susan offers some food for thought:
It is irrational to believe that anything will change when those empowered to effect change have elected not to do so.
It is irrational to expect that ‘disgrace’ is a factor among those empowered to reward themselves at a level which insulates them from any ill effect of ‘disgrace’.
“Disgrace” can only be a factor when those recipients of benefits perceive value in maintaining good opinion of the society in which they function.
Empowered individuals may perceive value only in the good opinion of only those who maintain symbiotic sustenance from the system of taking from the many by force in order to disproportionally benefit their own narrow circle of interest.
They do not function (in my opinion) in any way meaningful to themselves in the society of those whose resources they are extracting.
I believe this observation is supported by past performance of empowered individuals in Illinois, as evidenced by 4.6% property tax rates and billion dollar pension deficits.
Other States have different history.
It is rational to surrender.
Taxpayers must admit defeat and now direct all efforts to avoiding paying into the system which rewards those empowered to skew it toward their own narrow benefit.
As a practical matter, that means economic boycott.
Individual taxpayers must make conscious economic choices which ‘punish’ those individuals who are in position to profit by manipulation of the legal/political system toward their own narrow benefit.
On a State and national level this may be impossible.
On a local level it may be somewhat effective; many insider benefits are insulated from public impact by virtue of being grants or contracts awarded as a function of insider access.
Homeowners who cannot afford to ‘vote with their feet’ have only the self defense mechanism of being unable to spend money locally.
This may not actually ‘punish’ those empowered to create this economic environment, because as home values crash it becomes profitable for investors to buy foreclosures and rent out at a reasonable return.
Renters who are subsidized by dollars from outside the local economy enable foreclosure-investment-for-rental to be profitable even at 4.6% property tax rates.
Investors may be supportive of those empowered to create such favorable (to investors) conditions.
So if local citizens want to ‘vote with their wallets’, what can they effectively do?
Officeholders are largely insulated, when the government is their main client, or is empowered to create anomalous profitable circumstances directed toward some private citizens but not others.
The only rational conclusion is to decide to emulate the only conditions which are not odds-on losers:
- Obtain government direct employment
- Obtain government funded second-order employment (compete, if possible, for grants, tax abatements, and public money giveaways or government outsource contracts for legal or financial professional services)
- Obtain government social service awards as a beneficiary
This will eventually create a system which is wholly dependent on outside sources of funding.
When the outside funding dries up, the system may collapse and rebuild in a rational, self-supportive fashion.