Mayor Daley Says The U.S. Is A Nation Of Whiners

UPDATED 03/04/11 8:47 a.m.

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) – Mayor Richard M. Daley said Thursday that the United States has become a nation of “whiners,” and said it’s time to snap out of it.

In a wide-ranging speech Thursday night at the J. Dennis Hastert for Economics, Government and Public Policy at Wheaton College, Daley was responding to a question about restoring the nation.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“I think we have to have confidence. We have become a country of whiners,” Daley said in a remark that received applause.

Daley said for decades, Americans have feared that another nation would sweep away its economic power.

“We started whining about the Japanese – ‘The Japanese are going to take us over! We thought we defeated them in the Second World War, rebuilt it – they’re taking us over in the 1970s. What’s going to happen to America? They’re going to own our country! That’s it! We’re all out of jobs!’” Daley said. “Then we start whining about the Mexicans. ‘We’re losing all the manufacturing to Mexico! Look what’s taking place! We cannot compete, we can’t do this! We can’t do this!’ Now we forgot about the Mexicans. Now we’re whining about the Chinese and the Indians. We’re a country of whiners. That’s what we are.”

He said this was the wrong attitude.

“We should have enough confidence that we can compete with people if we all sacrifice a little bit for the common good,” Daley said.

In the wide-ranging speech, Daley also took issue with the city’s teachers’ union, and said the city has to change policies for teachers in the Chicago Public Schools.

He told the packed auditorium he was sad that when he tried to extend the Chicago Public school day by 15 minute, the Chicago Teachers Union refused unless their pay increased.

“Unions understand that you have a responsibility. It’s not just a paycheck. It’s a responsibility to the students. You have to solve everything, but that time clock doesn’t work when younger people maybe don’t have all the wherewithal.”

He also criticized what he said are short workdays for the teachers themselves.

“Our teachers work 6 hours a day — 6 hours a day — now think of that — 30 hours a week!” Daley said.

The head of the Chicago Teachers Union blasted Daley’s assertion that teachers work short hours, saying that most educators spend extra hours at home grading papers and preparing lesson plans.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya Reports

“After controlling the Chicago Public Schools for 15 years, I would have thought Mayor Daley had a much better understanding of what 30,000 teachers do every day,” said union president Karen Lewis. She called the comments a political parting shot, intended to influence public opinion as the teacher’s contract expires this year.

Daley also pointed to education when asked about his legacy.

“I hope that education is the foundation and the cornerstone of this city in the future,” he said.

The mayor also said he will soon be heading China again, to promote business opportunities in Chicago and the suburbs.

He will be speaking at more colleges in the coming weeks, as he prepares to hand over the mayor’s office to Rahm Emanuel in May.

  • bob

    Good to hear the guy that doesn’t support the constitution ripping his own country. Funny we heard Daley whining just the other day that the gun industry controls the country. We’ve seen him run the city of Chicago into the ground and when there’s nothing left he bails out. He spent millions of tax payer dollars to get the olympics only so his friends could get rich off it. Every time the feds leaked the word of an investigation ie. the truck scandal, he’d feign some injury or medical condition and the focus would fade away in the media.

    Glad he’s leaving regardless who’s taking over, can’t be any worse. Too bad though, anytime he decides to whine about something, the media make us watch his incoherant rant.

    • Paulcycles in this City

      And if Chicago won the bid, you would not attend, or watch it???
      He’s just a mayor, and much of his legacy is VERY, VERY good.
      A 5th GEN Chicagoan.

    • penelope

      I agree about Daly 100%. However I get the feeling his replacement is worse than Blago and he has the presendent covering his back and trail.

  • Antwain

    Mayor Daley has it wrong. Its the corporations that whine about having to pay american workers a decent wage. Its the corporations who whine about not getting enough tax breaks from local for federal government. Its the corporations who whine about having to provide medical benefits. Why does the citizen have to sacrifice something while the corporations sacrifice nothing?

    • LJD

      It is and has been the corporations and the wealthy that need to sacrifice. Every since Ronnie Reagan killed off minimum wage and then gave tax cuts the rich gained the most benefit. The corporations have been ripping off the worker with very low pay increases which are taken away by increases in health benefits. The companies complain about too much regulation, too much taxation and too much competition. The truth that the Americans forget, is that the companies were regulated because the abused the workers , polluted the planet ,ripped off the public and stole from the taxpayer. The corporations asked to be relieved of the burdens placed upon the,them saying they have learned their lesson. The republicans say sure we’ll do that and what happens? The bankruptcy laws are changed to benefit the banks. the banks are allowed to charge interest rates that would make a loan shark go pro. The unions are busted up. The companies use blackmail to demand workers and whole communities to give them givebacks. Then they go on a investment spree in other countries that use child labor. All the while they scam the investment market that nearly destroys the world economy , destroys the balance sheets of of state and local government, wipes out the retirement funds of millions of people and throws them out of work for good measure only to maybe hire them back at even lower pay than they made before.. So we find that according to the government companies are sitting on one trillion in profits. So what are the companies are asking for? Deregulation and tax breaks. Daley’s right , Americans shouldn’t whine. They should be ready to throw out the republican party and their subsidiary Teabags and demand that the Democrats make the rich and the corporations pay up and shut up!!!

      • Citizen

        JJ, You hit the nail on the head. Damn freeloaders!!!

      • Rob131

        JJ–where have you been? do you know what is a bail out? it is like a hand out for corporations using tax payer dollars….LJD has it right, you are just clueless.

      • JJ

        You should change your name to LSD. Your incoherent, nonsensical babble clearly shows you are on it.

        We have become a nation of freeloaders who vote Democratic for free handouts. Before you ask the rich to pay more why don’t you losers pay more, pay something.

      • Sticking my hands over JJ's Whine

        JJ and friends; IS THAT YOUR WHINE I hear?

  • Norm Knott

    Daley’s been trying to bust the unions for along time.

  • Jim

    Funny, this is almost identical to what Hosni Mubarack said about the Egyptians who were fed up with HIS regime.

    Daley was a failure in law school because he wasn’t bright enough to pass the bar so daddy spoke to the U of Chicago to make sure he passed. He became a big mouthed States attorney who ended up putting innocent people on death row. Then he tore up the Bill of Rights at every turn to try to destroy the Second Amendment. He calls American whiners? That just shows the arrogance of a low-class punk who became more powerful than he ever deserved. Good riddance.

    • Paul from the BOY

      Jim, Jim are you a Northside with a gun under your pillow? Maybe Bro Bill took an exam, but our Mayor knows and obeys most all laws, God’s, Federal, State, & Muni, just as we all do. ps Who’s callin’ who a low class punk?

  • bob

    Would you believe that Daley is going to be a public speaker for money? This guy can’t connect two spoken words if his life depended on it. Actually, if you listen to his speeches, he is a bigger whiner than most Americans

    • Paul from the BOY

      He’s famous. Famous people get paid to speak. It’s the American Way. Get elected, then famous, then remember to pay your taxes. Doubt Mayor Daley will do time, he paid his.
      Seems his ‘whiner’ comment shows he’s savvy, and commands a very bully pulpit..

  • ron

    Bob, I don’t know what rock you’ve been hiding under but Chicago didn’t get the Olympics. Also, no taxpayer money was used to chase the Olympics, only private donations from corparations and wealthy individuals. How old are you? I’ll guess either too old or too young to know anything.

    • JimBo

      Wow! Maybe the nation became ‘winos’ after we lost the olympics………..Caramba!

    • Daddy

      There’s $70,000,000 of missing pension money that nobody wants to talk about.

    • Bill

      Ron,what rock have you been under?These private donations were investments in political payback for favors (contracts)from the past and a gamble on the potential for future contracts and profits if we got the olympics!Nobody gives out money for nothing,especially in this town!These “private” donations get paid back by the taxpayers to these people as a favor in thanking them for their support!If it looks like a duck,smells like a duck,walks like a duck,then the taxpayer are getting “goosed”.signed,lifelong city resident for 60 years!Pay to play or get out of the game!Nobody plays the shell game better than the Daleys!Remember,the autocratic dominant political party in chicago is for the “little”guy……right!

  • S W

    Sacrifice!? REALLY?! I have been sacrificing. Going to school, working part time, doing charity work. Not owning a car, using mass transit or riding a bike. From now on, anybody that tells me to sacrifice can just shove it.

    • JJ

      WOW. Now that is sacrifice.

  • lily

    Daley is absolutely right,we need to start making some sacrifices. Most people do nothing but complain about how hard life is becoming. Honestly,we americans don’t know what that means.

    • dj

      Maybe you and Daley need to learn what it is to sacrifice. Maybe you haven’t lost anything. Some have lost everything. He is nothing but a whiner. Always has been. Did you hear him include himself. Not.

    • Roberta Waker

      Americans HAVE sacrificed their jobs to China, India, etc.; their homes for greedy banks that we bailed out; the schools, who teach less and less; ILLEGALS who we support with free medical, free dental, free education, free housing, free social services when we can’t afford these necessities for ourselves and our children. We keep sacrificing and get nothing in return. What has Mayor Daley sacrificed? He gave up his job but will get a very nice pension, free insurance and protection for him and his family for the rest of their lives. Take away his benefits and other perks and he will become the king of the whinners.

      • Jim

        His pension will probably be more than 80 – 90% of Chicagoans with working jobs. Why would HE whine?

      • rbag

        Right on Ms. Walker!

      • Who is sacrificing something in America

        Can we stop this particular whine at the messenger?

  • MIKE

    yahoo censures at work. will not let you say the truth about mayor SHORTSHANKS

  • mike

    i would bet anything his I.Q. is under 80 any takers ??

    • Southside

      Mike, the guy dumbs down brilliantly. Probably the smartest politician in the country.

      • matt n.

        Dumb downs brilliantly? – How about just dunb.

    • Jim

      I’m definitely taking the under here!

  • MareDaley

    Whining is silly. Whining is not #winning. I have more IQ in my stool than you idiots have in your brain.

    • JimBo

      I suspect your ‘stool’ to be a barstool and that you are one of the ‘winos’ he was referring to……….

  • J.H.

    Funny he pops off just as he is ready to bolt office after getting rich on his fraudulent under the table deals. There are a lot of suffering Americans that are suffering in this blight economy that Daley and his political cronies created for us by sending our jobs overseas and sending Americans to the soup kitchens and foreclosure. Daley will be able to live quite comfortably for the rest of his life and not have to worry about anything, except for his nephews involvement in the death of the young man at a Chicago bar and his other crooked relatives.

    • tourney

      Ssssh dont say that so loud, he is coveriing up the murder his nephew committed and the courts and police are hiding it too, I hope the Suntimes makes someone talk…his nephew is whining now at home, cause Uncle Daley is trying to cover his name…we all know that his nephew is guilty!

  • Nobody exist

    There he is! Very good example of “City Slickers”… City people always whiners about almost everything! City people sucks!!

  • Daddy

    Since last week he’s doing all this “give-your-fair-share” socialist mantra, parroting what Rahm’s been saying.

    We have seen our fair share of our tax money go right into Daley’s pocket.

    Everybody in the United States had the God-given right to “whine” about US jobs going to Mexico. Nice of Daley to get a good laugh out of it.

    I’m tired of his parting shots. It’s not our fault he was quietly removed from office. Leave us out of it.



  • Rob131

    Stay classy your Honor.

  • Judindizgise




  • Roberta Waker

    Sorry, but that is a very low blow. Leave his wife out of this; she is NOT the Mayor and she has her own problems with cancer. Bringing his terminally ill wife into this shows a lack of class and I’m sure you are normally a better person than that. Aren’t you?

  • MareDaley

    that’s just an evil comment. What happened to you personally to make you have such hatred?

  • J-Diggity

    Teachers only work 6 hours a week? That’s news to me. I guess they don’t grade papers, write lesson plans, or continue their own education after their “work day” is over.

    But in all honesty, I’m sure you could recruit lots of talented teachers who would be willing to work longer hours IF teaching paid anything, and IF teaching wasn’t constantly under attack.

    Here’s what CPS offers now: “Hey there! Would you like to work in a school where 99% of the students are below the poverty line? Would you like to break up fights every other minute? How about deal with gangs? Well, this glamorous lifestyle could be yours, and with the benefit of $40,000 a year in salary! In the very near future, your salary could be attached to the test scores of your students (who attend 40% of the time), and if you fail your name will go in the paper! Hurry down and sign up for the chance of a lifetime!”

    • disgusted

      “Teachers only work 6 hours a week? That’s news to me. I guess they don’t grade papers, write lesson plans, or continue their own education after their “work day” is over.”

      He’s never heard of “taking your work home with you.” He is told that teachers work 6 hours a day, just by being in the school building. Wait till he starts in on the police and firemen.

  • J-Diggity

    Oops, I mean 6 hours a day.

  • Bob

    I can’t stand this old fart- why doesn’t he just move to a far side of the country so Chicago no longer has to deal with him. Though, I must blame a lot of the voters- they are the ones that kept this old GOON in office so long. That, and the corpses.

  • Jim

    That’s like Daley saying that we are a country of corruption. People always end up pointing the finger at someone else when they are guilty so that you don’t see their own problems.

  • backasswards

    PLAIN AND SIMPLE, Liberals have a disdain for America

  • Chivi

    You’re a whiner too Mayor Daley!!!!! Everytime you or your family get in trouble you send out your thugs to shut them up for awhile until someone brave comes along and opens up the can of bed bugs. We wouldn’t whine if we had the luxury of erasing all our mistakes and sweeping them under the rug!! Just shut up and go away!!!

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