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To Mayor Emanuel, some jobs are worth more than others

What’s really saved by privatizing a couple dozen positions at the water department?

The time has come to consider the curious contradictions in Mayor Emanuel’s views of how government can help save or create jobs.

When the state of Illinois announced it was giving a multimillion-dollar tax break to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange—one of the world’s wealthiest trading houses—the mayor hailed it as a boon for the local economy. The truth is that CME is cutting jobs as it moves toward electronic trading.

In contrast, the mayor recently decided to pink-slip 34 city workers in a privatization deal that he says makes government more efficient. Yet the city’s only saving $100,000 by replacing these middle-class jobs—most held by black south- and west-siders—with part-timers.

To Mayor Emanuel, some jobs are worth more than others