POULOS-DISSERTATION-2022.pdf (1.87 MB)
Permanent Austerity: A 40 Year Case Study of Chicago Public Finance
thesisposted on 2022-08-01, 00:00 authored by Christopher D Poulos
My dissertation is a case study of Chicago public finance from 1980 to present, which explores the causes of Chicago's fiscal crisis. Chicago’s status quo policy repertoire consists of budget cuts to social programs and borrowing as a means of reconciling the City’s revenue imbalance without raising requisite taxes. It has been carried out with remarkable consistency over the past 30-plus years, with little variation expect for its intensification. I call this permanent austerity public finance, which refers to the taken-for-granted implementation and dogmatic adherence to austerity and a low-tax environment. Permanent austerity public finance is facing series limits today and placing Chicago on a frightening precipice, which could very well lead in the direction of right-wing authoritarianism if the City maintains present course. I examine Chicago public finance in its historical, economic, and political contexts in order to understand the origins and unfolding of permanent austerity public finance. In doing so, I demonstrate why it is a dogma today and the nature of its crisis.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Degree namePhD, Doctor of Philosophy
Committee MemberLewis, Amanda Said, Atef Ashton, Phil Farmer, Stephanie
Submitted dateAugust 2022