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July 23, 2013

The economics of sex and scandals

Economics professor Allen Sanderson recently bemoaned the state’s and city’s current...um...liquidity and assets?

In a cheeky, must-read letter to the Tribune, Sanderson points out that, while Illinois and Chicago almost have a monopoly in political scandals and disgraced pubic public officials, none involve sex.

“Sure, we have more than our fair share of high-profile felons — former Govs. George Ryan, Rod Blagojevich, Dan Walker, Otto Kerner. But for what? Corruption, racketeering, bribery, fraud. Boring stuff. Where were the prostitutes, strippers, mistresses or mystery women? The sexting and text messages, photos of a blue dress or the Appalachian Trail?” Sanderson writes.

Meanwhile, the rising stocks of Anthony’s Weiner and Eliot’s Spitzer are just affirming the second city’s inferiority complex, “leaving us further and further behind in the recognition race.”

A Brigham Young University graduate and award-winning undergraduate lecturer, Sanderson doesn’t go as far as to demand a Lewinskygate, “France on any given day,” or “even a John Edwards.” Sanderson reasons that Chicago’s supply of juicy scandals does not meet national demand and that’s hardly cost-effective.

“Our pols should realize that if the press is obsessed with sex scandals, it will be easier for them to steal taxpayer money and feather their own nests,” he writes.

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