Skip to comments.Remake Detroit, or Empty It
Posted on 07/22/2013 7:36:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
If Detroit were its own city-state a bizarro version of prosperous Singapore it would be a place the U.S. State Department would regularly issue travel warnings about, where long-term, protracted conditions make a country dangerous or unstable. Detroits murder rate, for instance, would be higher than that of all but a handful of other countries. The Democratic Republic of Detroit would also be relatively poor, with annual per capita income of around $15,000, making it a middle-income country like Mexico.
Except Detroit would be a nation in decline rather than on the rise. Detroit would be a nation literally dying off, its shrinking population abandoning territory the central government could no longer afford to supply with basic services. Oh, yeah, its disastrous public finances. Well, maybe those would be a minor bright spot in this alternate reality: Detroit could always pay creditors, at least for a while, with devalued Fords, the local currency named after one of its founding fathers.
Eventually, however, this shrunken, crime-ridden, impoverished city-state with no one willing to bail it out might be forced to make a choice: capitalism or collapse. Out of options, it might just make the China choice. A key part of Deng Xiaopings pro-market economic reforms in 1979 was the creation of four Hong Konginspired special economic zones of liberalized labor laws and tax incentives to attract foreign investment. One of these little pockets of economic freedom, Shenzhen, located just north of Hong Kong itself, is now a center for technology manufacturing and one of Chinas richest cities. The stunning success of Chinas economic experiment showed economist Paul Romer how better rules and institutions could work wonders for economic growth. Romer has proposed that developing nations allow the creation of charter cities, where the host nation would provide a large, uninhabited piece of land to be governed by market-friendly rules and perhaps run by a foreign government. Workers, businesses, and investors from anywhere could move in and out freely. Basically, Hong Kong in a box, ready for delivery. For example, instead of giving foreign aid to some poor African nation such as Mauritania, New Zealand and Norway might partner together to run a charter city there. With good governance in place and cheap land and labor available, the theory goes, private investment would pour in.
Although Romers concept remains just a fascinating thought experiment a deal with Honduras fell through in 2012 and was intended for what used to be called Third World nations, why not turn abandoned Detroit into New Detroit, a business-friendly charter city where taxes are low and regulation light? Governance could be guaranteed by some outside entity. Although neighboring, well-run Canada is an obvious choice, maybe an American city could play the role in exchange for a cut of future tax revenue. Reason Foundation analyst Shikha Dalmia suggests Houston as a candidate.
All this may sound like it could be the plot from next years remake of the 1987 film Robocop, in which a bankrupt Detroit sells itself to a private company with plans to transform the city into an enclave for the 1 percent. But no one would be forced to live (or invest or create jobs) in New Detroit. As Romer said in a TED speech addressing criticism that charter cities are a neo-colonialist plot, This model is all about choices, both for leaders and for the people who will live in these new places. And choice is the antidote to coercion and condescension.
And whats the alternative? A decaying urban core surrounded by reclaimed farmland? As Edward Glaeser documents in Triumph of the City, Detroit spent decades trying to counter the decline of the auto industry by building things a monorail, sports arenas, office complexes rather than trying to attract smart, wealthy, entrepreneurial people.
If Detroit cant fix itself, maybe Washington could help, with an idea proposed by economist Enrico Moretti, author of The New Geography of Jobs: People living in areas of high unemployment, such as the Motor City, could receive part of their unemployment check in the form of a relocation voucher. The idea might even inspire a film, Escape from Detroit.
James Pethokoukis, a columnist, blogs for the American Enterprise Institute.
If hard-working conservatives could fence off an area of Detroit and do their own thing, we’d have a Galt’s Gulch.
A bunch of stranded blacks that overpopulate it till it turns cannibal.
It would cost more to raze Detroit than it’s worth.
“Detroit”, coming t s city near you soon.
INdeed, there are consequences for voting “demodummie”.
The emptying part seems to be taking care of itself.
I think the first thing any city in economic trouble should do is outlaw the Democratic Party. For the last fifty years the Democrat Party has been the party of non-stop societal disintegration and growth of the parasite class in the citizenry and the elected officials. Ban the teachers unions and other job-destroying unions. Then make a severe slash in welfare benefits. And lastly impose semi-martial law and severely punish gang members and any other criminals. Establish armed police/militia in all troubled areas and quick “justice” for those caught committing crimes of violence. Then things might change. And I’ll leap across the Grand Canyon on a tricycle before any of those things happen.
Reminds me of the movie ‘Escape from New York’.
3rd option, Nuke it.
One interesting solution would be let the city default on it’s debt and then auction remaining holdings to the highest bidder and let capitalism rebuild it.
Leave the city be and very soon it will be known as the New Orleans (post Katrina) of the north. Can hardly wait for Shepard Smith to set up shop there and bitch about the lack of FEMA response.
Americans: Look at Detroit and see present day Black America!!! Look at Detroit and see the coming of POTUS, Barack Hussein Obama’s future America!!! The fall of the Roman Empire and the fall of the great American Empire brought about by Barack Hussein Obama are one and the same!!! It’s called self-inflicted terminal wounds by a society adrift at sea with a leader (Obama) that hates the country!!! Russia, China, Iran, India, Brazil, the whole world is laughing at and mocking us openly. No major world leader, including Sub-Sahara Black leaders have one iota of respect for our incompetent,incapable POTUS Obama!!!
Please, Please do not relocate these people! The entitlement class are entitled to reap what they have sown.
Nah. The STANDARD solution is:
1. Nuke it.
2. Pave it over
3. Build Condos. . .
Plow it under and let nature reclaim it.
Put a fence around it, declare it a wilderness area and make it a National Monument as a tribute to unions in America.
What is the reason for Detroit’s existence in the first place? Proximity to coal, steel, and transportation.
There is now no reason for Detroit, except that it is there. And that not for much longer, as unmaintained things fall apart rapidly.
If rabid Obamazombies are in the area, rinse and then repeat again as needed...
Corporal Hicks, from the movie "Aliens"
Trade it to Canada for Flin Flon and an Acadian island to be named later.