Skip to comments.The Downfall of Detroit (Mark Steyn)
Posted on 07/19/2013 10:26:39 PM PDT by neverdem
It took only six decades of progressive policies to bring a great city to its knees.
By the time Detroit declared bankruptcy, Americans were so inured to the throbbing dirge of Motowns Greatest Hits 40 percent of its streetlamps dont work; 210 of its 317 public parks have been permanently closed; it takes an hour for police to respond to a 9-1-1 call; only a third of its ambulances are driveable; one-third of the city has been abandoned; the local realtor offers houses on sale for a buck and still finds no takers; etc., etc. Americans were so inured that the formal confirmation of a great citys downfall was greeted with little more than a fatalistic shrug.
But it shouldnt be. To achieve this level of devastation, you usually have to be invaded by a foreign power. In the War of 1812, when Detroit was taken by a remarkably small number of British troops without a shot being fired, Michigans Governor Hull was said to have been panicked into surrender after drinking heavily. Two centuries later, after an almighty 50-year bender, the city surrendered to itself. The tunnel from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan, is now a border between the First World and the Third World or, if you prefer, the developed world and the post-developed world. To any American time-transported from the mid 20th century, the citys implosion would be literally incredible: Were he to compare photographs of todays Hiroshima with todays Detroit, he would assume Japan won the Second World War after nuking Michigan. Detroit was the industrial powerhouse of America, the arsenal of democracy, and in 1960 the city with the highest per capita income in the land. Half a century on, Detroits population has fallen by two-thirds, and in terms of...
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
It’s amazing to me that a large city in this country has come to this.
Not just the bankruptcy...but (from what I have read) the utter devastation.
Of course there were towns in the past that became “ghost towns”...but this has to be one of the most exaggerated cases in our history.
Maybe it is time to have a law that public employees can only be so employed for 10 years. No exceptions. And no retirement.
Why beat a dead horse? Let Detroit rot. I sure as hell don’t want to bail them out. They got what they voted for.
All that has to be done is to do away with the public retirement system. Public employees should contribute to their own retirement like that of the private sector.
Not to forget the privatization of as many public services as possible.
Copy and paste is your friend.
It's like a hard-core alcoholic, or a glue-sniffer. There's really not much else you can do.
A perfect Steyn column! Thanks for the post!
here is to an astounding leftist success story
Thanks...what a sad state of affairs.
All the white firefighters were forced out and moved to other states like Florida, my retired FF hubby was telling me. He worked with many of them.
Ever wonder how it is we find all those cities buried underneath other long lost cities?
A couple of weeks ago, I read an essay by a teacher in an all black high school. He posed a question to his students “ What happens if all the white people disappear?” The answer he got was “We’re (Black people) screwed!”. Detroit is what happens on a much grander scale, as most of the whites started leaving in August 1967.
Mark Steyn ping.
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Thanks for the ping neverdem.
“Why beat a dead horse? Let Detroit rot. I sure as hell dont want to bail them out. They got what they voted for.”
Except that Detroit - as Steyn points out - is a microcosm of Progressive, Liberal-Democrat, Socialist controlled America. And in America, despite our desire to be free from such parasites, we are getting the government they deserve, too.
In the Detroit-area, people fear that the suburbs will die without a vibrant, vital Detroit. The truth is, the suburbs have been pulling Detroit’s weight and propping it up for decades. Detroit’s suburbs have been doing fine without a major city for years. They will continue to do just fine without Detroit.
The population center of the Detroit metro area stopped being in Detroit a long time ago. Last I heard, it was in Southfield, although Southfield is starting to show some of the same idiocy in its local politics that Detroit showed at the beginning of its demise. Some people just never learn.
I have visited Michigan several times in the last decade and I refuse to go near Detroit much less give a damn if it dies and I believe most who value their health feel likewise
Municipal unions are killing the Cities all over America.
Besides that, uncivilized, criminal negros having extorted almost royalty-like privileges from society have doomed any institution or City they become the majority in.
As far as the Bankruptcy goes why not? Here in Syracuse we are blessed with a precious negro with 3 Bankruptcies under his belt that wants to run for Mayor. An expert I presume.
“Not just the bankruptcy...but (from what I have read) the utter devastation.”
One of the employees where I worked got off at the wrong exit in Detroit and was murdered. Workers in Sterling Heights tell you to never pull up to the next car at a stoplight in Detroit. You must leave maneuver space in case a car-jacker walks up to your window. (Oh, and always, always, gun it and bash your way out as they tend to kill you regardless.) In the Sterling Heights parking lot you can pick up expended bullets fired from Detroit.
Mark subbed for Rush yesterday. I was on a road trip and so listened to the whole thing, and almost all of the show was expanding upon and hammering home the general concepts covered in the column.
It was great!
Brilliant as always.
Detroit....The Democrat Edsel City
Mo-town no mo’...
BREAKING NEWS: Detroit Declares Bankruptcy.
Yes, breaking news.
Why evade the OBVIOUS CAUSES? There are plenty of Leftist, Progressive run major cities worldwide and in the US w/ public employee unions that have managed to avoid becoming Mogadishu, so guess again the primary contributing factor....hint, hint, has a propensity to riot.
It has happened over and over for centuries.
The best example of that is just east across the river from St Louis ,Cahokia, a thousand or so years ago. A great city, larger than many European cities at the time (including London)
Bert’s rule: The kids move away,the old folks die
Detroit aka Western Zimbabwe.
Notown the new Chocolate city.
I guess no one asked "what are we doing that isn't working"?
Government officials NEVER ask this question. Instead what they ALWAYS say is "We didn't go far enough." When their redistributionist policies fail to produce what's promised (and they ALWAYS fail in that regard, BUT they buy
Unfortunately they never face any personal consequences from their stupidity. The honest working citizens are the ones who take it in the shorts, and they are the ones who have no recourse - best case scenario would be to decorate the lampposts with the council members who voted the fat pensions and cut off all payments for the parasties - work or starve. Never happen of course, the JBTs are there to protect the government not the citizens.
Term limits for public employees ?
Good idea !
Now that we have an enlightened leader, we can learn a lot about the future of America by looking at these more noble African republics.
sterling heights is 8 miles away from detroit.. you must be talking about warren...
I'll re-fix it for you. It's not about what public employees would prefer it's about what is best for all.
Looking at the life span of a city as if it were a time-lapse movie, it could be compared to a specimen on a petri dish. Growing from a microscopic start to a full-blown circle and then as the circle increases, the center begins to rot. The edges are still ‘healthy’ but if the ‘specilmen’ is as rotten as Detroit, it has to collapse and go back to nature.
“Odd. It took close to 62 years for the Soviet Union to finally collapse. How long is a pyramid scheme’s shelf life?”
I like Steyn’s work. Most of the time, his stuff is brilliant. But how do you write a story on the downfall of Detroit without ever once mentioning the, um, 800-pound gorilla in the room?
>>Most public employees do. They get 5% 401K matches as well as pensions. In most states their pensions are also state tax free. And they almost always get free health care starting at 50 or 55. So you see, pensions are only the start.
Maybe that’s true in northern states. I am a public employee in Florida and I get NONE of those things. I’ve checked out the other municipal utilities in Florida and none of them get any of that. I’m sure that the rest of the south is the same.
Let China buy Detroit. They will be buying low.
What city is next to go broke?
My bet is on Chicago.
It seems that quite a bit of Detroit has migrated to Southfield. I've seen more of it in some of the other suburbs also.
The demise of old Cahokia is still something of a mystery. Present-day Cahokia, where I grew up, is rapidly going the way of Detroit.
But, to continue your analogy, you neglect them at your own peril.
More likely, St. Louis.