Yesterday I wrote a post concerning the possible 30% property tax increase to be levied on Chicago home owners. It’s important to note that this potential $200 million in state-mustered revenue will bring about virtually no positive changes to the city’s abysmal financial situation. The hole is too deep. As The Chicago Tribune reported five years ago:
The total unfunded liabilities for pensions funded by city taxpayers, meanwhile, now hover around $20 billion.
$200 million down. $19.8 billion to go. No worries though. The Department of Finance has a plan. The city will apply a 9% tax to what are being called “electronically delivered amusements”. Don’t you just love the verbiage of official government documents? The electronically delivered amusements being taxed are streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Spotify. The tax does solely apply to individual consumers enjoying Mad Men on Netflix. The tax rules were written broadly on purpose so businesses that have nothing to do with entertainment (like realtors and attorneys) can be taxed as well. This little scheme is scheduled to go into effect September 1st. They’re calling it the “cloud tax”. How cute. The cloud tax is expected to generate $12 million. $212 million down. $19,788,000,000 to go.
I predict that Crook County will eventually tax city dwellers every time they look or talk about actual clouds.
Crook County politicians cannot figure out how to pay the public school teacher pension debt, so they’re considering jacking up Chicago homeowner property taxes by 30%, the maximum increase allowed. Personally, I approve of this tax hike. Some say Chicago teachers do not deserve generous pensions, because the city yields some of the worst performing public schools in the entire nation. I disagree. Contrarians say high school is antiquated and pointless. These myopic antagonists claim that, after 14 years of public school education, students graduate high school with zero valuable skills. They say high schools are nothing more than prisons for children and propaganda factories.
Again, I disagree. High school turns young people into well-rounded adults. Without heroic high school teachers the country would exist in chaos. Ignore the annoying naysayers who like to point out that education majors have alarmingly low IQs. Someone needs to tell these people that being considerably less intelligent than the general population should not disqualify a group from receiving $200 million of property tax money.
Besides, I went to public school and last month I was smart enough to buy a rental property about half an hour outside of the city in Riverdale Illinois where my property taxes are amazingly low. See. The system works.
I was recently scammed out of $1,500 by Danny, a man I believed to be my friend. I’m glad it happened as it was a tremendous learning experience. The warning signs were everywhere. I didn’t notice them (justified them away is probably a more accurate phrase) because I enjoyed Danny’s company. I didn’t want what I told myself were minor character flaws to sour a fun friendship.
Danny’s picture should be on the Alpha Male cereal box: He’s tall, dark, aggressive, handsome, gregarious, cocky and socially adept. He can’t take two steps without hitting on a girl. He drives a black Lexus and hangs out at the hottest night clubs in Chicago. Danny really has his shit together.
Or so it seemed . . .
1. The First Thing Danny Told Me Was A Lie
I was new to the big city and Danny was giving me a tour, taking me to some of his favorite eateries. We stopped by this great Mexican place that serves $1.50 tacos every Wednesday. During lunch, I asked Danny how old he was and he told me he was 32. A few months later I heard a woman wish him a “happy 36th birthday”. I laughed and asked him why he told me he was 32.
He said, “I’ll tell you whatever I want to tell you.”
I’m still not sure why he did this. Like, what did he stand to gain by subtracting three years from his age? Maybe he is so use to lying to women about how old he is he just does it as a reflex now. Or maybe he thought I wouldn’t want to do business with him if I knew he was quite older than me.
2. Danny Immediately Glommed Onto Me
Danny called me every single day for months on end after our first meeting. We discussed business ideas for hours. We talked girls and money. We talked life. We went bar hopping and picked up girls in night clubs and hung out in pool halls. We went out to eat constantly. I really enjoyed the guy’s company because he seemed so motivated and full of life. Although, in the back of my mind I thought it was weird that our friendship had gone from 0 to 60 overnight.
3. Danny Lives Well Above His Means
After I realized what Danny did for a living and estimated how much money he made I found it weird that the dude drove a new Lexus. I also couldn’t understand how he could afford to go out to eat every single day. And not just with me. He probably takes three different girls out to eat every week. Then, I found out he lived with his mom. Something didn’t add up.
4. Danny Is Super Ungrateful
I let Danny borrow $500 dollars like two months after I met him. He paid me back a week later so it wasn’t a big deal. Then, Danny and I went to a bar with a group of friends. When we I arrived, I realized I had forgotten my wallet. I asked Danny to let me borrow 50 bucks so I could buy drinks. He was like, “Hell no, dude. Buy your own damn drinks. I’m not your bitch.” I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. I said, “Are you serious? After everything I’ve done for you, you won’t let me borrow 50 goddamn bucks?” He said, “This is different, bro. You gotta remember to bring your wallet.” I was flabbergasted. I finally harangued Danny into buying my drinks, but he wouldn’t let me hold the money. He would go up to the bar and buy every drink for me. Then, he made a big production of it every time he handed me the drink. “Look everyone. I have to buy Askari drinks because he’s too broke to afford Heinekens.” He had the nerve to call me “broke” after I let him borrow $500.
4. Danny Always Has Some Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
Whether it is multilevel marketing nonsense or bullshit concert promotion or border-line illegal money gram schemes, Danny is not big on developing genuine skills or working hard.
5. Danny Has A 200+ Notch Count
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I mean, what man doesn’t want to have that much sexual variety? However, the more I live, the more I notice that the men who really, really clean up with women are some of the most sociopathic men you will ever meet. We all know many women are attracted to criminals and con artists.
6. Danny Loves Crazy Women
He actually enjoys them as people. And he attracts them like a magnet. It’s as if every other date he goes on is cut short because the woman has to be dragged out of the restaurant for drunken and belligerent behavior.
7. Danny Really Doesn’t Have That Many Friends
Besides the women who follow him around like ducklings, Danny doesn’t really have that many friends. Which is weird for such a charismatic guy. When it comes to men, Danny eventually rubs them the wrong way or does something to piss them off.
8. Danny Has Horrible Taste In Absolutely Everything
He listens to nothing but Top 40 and gangster rap. He’s also obsessed with professional wrestling. This might not be a tride-and-true sign of a con artist. However, there is something a little off about a man in his mid-thirties who knows every Taylor Swift song by heart.