One of America’s oldest and proudest cities, the once great metropolis of Detroit, has become a pale shadow of its former glory. The disgusting display of long-term liberal Democrat dysfunction, has left the Detroit almost completely destitute. Despite pundits from the left being eager to blame “capitalism” as the source of Detroit’s woes, the actual villain in this modern American tragedy is the unfettered pursuit of liberal goals.
Detroit was the first major city to be a target of the left’s “model cities” program, back in the last century. Essentially, the idea was to involve as much government planning as possible in the growth and development of communities and private enterprise. The actual results however, bore the unintended fruits of crony capitalism, bureaucratic favoritism, gross financial sinkholes and an ever-growing “dependency class” population. When unelected bureaucrats have the power to pick and choose what businesses can open, where, what they can charge and who they can sell to, “capitalism” no longer exists.
Then, the utterly destructive influence of unions on the price of automobiles, must be factored in. Cars imported from Asia did not sell better because they were necessarily better cars, they sold better because the cost of labor to produce those Asian cars guaranteed their prices would be lower. When the automobile brands being manufactured in Detroit were forced to limit production due to flagging sales, the Democrat backed the unions were still angling for ever-increasing paychecks and greater perk packages.
Current Democrat leadership in Motown, not to be outdone by their predecessors, are displaying a dysfunction guaranteed to keep the city destitute for decades to come. Private enterprise and free market capitalism are still being discouraged, expanding the dependency class is still seen as a “cure” and the proposed bankruptcy solution only seems to be taking money from the people who have actually earned it. Police, firefighters, “city works” employees and the like, are all being asked to accept pay cuts.
Banks and other loan institutions, which were foolish enough to lend money to the Motor City for years, are being told they should expect 20 percent of their actual loan values to be repaid. While in the meantime, federal and state grants are expected to be increased – at least requested to be increased – so that social programs can continue to grow the dependency class. Any system which has more being taken out of it than is being put into it, is inevitably doomed to failure.
Crime in the Motor City is running rampant, yet the police are told to make do with less and less. Moreover, members of the police department itself have come under criminal investigation. The newest chief of police, Mr. James Craig, is the fifth man to serve in that position in the past five years. The challenges Craig face might seem overwhelming to some, but he appears eager for the responsibility. Indeed, under his leadership, the Detroit Police Department is enjoying more accountability and better morale.
Craig has been very high-profile since taking the job seven months ago, and earned notoriety amongst his more liberal peers when he suggested that more law-abiding armed citizens, would help keep his city safer. A theory which has always held true in reality certainly, but which is universally decried by Democrats and the major media.
Detroit is suffering a terrible urban blight. Houses, commercial buildings, factories, warehouses and the like, sit vacant as sad reminders of the glory which once was Detroit. Packs of wild dogs and even bears have moved in to some of the open areas. Many of the buildings themselves are in a very dilapidated condition, making them hazardous to the squatters, homeless and illegal drug rings which use them as shelter. Tearing them all down – which is one of the stated goals of the city’s emergency manager – may cost as much as $1 billion, all by itself.
The real world solutions to the Motown dilemma are known, accurate and historically viable. However, the people in charge of solving Detroit’s problems insist on following the same patterns which put the Motor City in the condition it’s in, to begin with. To adopt conservative or capitalist cures, would mean admitting that “leftist solutions” do not work.
Therefore, sadly, the ongoing display of Democrat dysfunction will continue, keeping a once great city destitute and probably spelling the death of Detroit.
Commentary by Ben Gaul
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