A lot has been said in the weeks since the city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in history; talk about how Detroit was mismanaged for years, how there was corruption, etc. Detroit is nothing less than an absolute disaster at this point. This is embodied by essential public services that are barely functioning, hours long waits for police response to calls, trash that doesn’t get picked up, and yet it has one of the highest local tax rates in the nation. There are houses that would be worth something elsewhere that people can’t give away in Detroit. Yes, Detroit was mismanaged, but it’s much more fundamental than that. Detroit was mismanaged by an ideology. In Detroit we see the long term consequences of ignoring common sense and the reality of human nature.
I wrote in an article last year over how, in the outcome of Governor Walker’s recall election, the voters of Wisconsin had rejected the poison that’s ultimately done Detroit in. One very important aspect here is how the kickback corruption scheme of public service unions and political cronyism ultimately ends in disaster. As the very powerful public service unions bankrolled political candidates and successfully got them into office, when the subsequent time of collective bargaining for salaries and benefits rolled around a few months later, the union bosses simply controlled both sides of the negotiating table. So, lavish salaries and pension promises were made while those being obligated by those promises (the taxpayers) were shut out of the picture. The public and taxpayers were simply being fleeced in the process. In some cases those being obligated by these promises, gained through political cronyism, were not even born yet. So, many of these citizens simply voted with their feet. Instead of subjecting themselves to obligations that they never signed up for, they simply left.
The second aspect here is the end outcome of unions on private industry. There was nothing wrong with the American auto industry, save for one thing, Unions. In the middle decades of the 20th century the American auto industry dominated the world, and that dominance could have and should have continued. But when free markets and the ingenuity of free enterprise is oppressed, companies can’t compete with competitors located where such oppression isn’t taking place. Ultimately the inflated salaries and benefits, combined with the apathy and inefficiency that comes with guaranteed employment regardless of productivity, did the American auto industry in as well. It’s now a shadow of its former self and, in order to survive, plants are now being set up overseas. So the employers and the industry (or what remains of it anyway) is leaving too.
The last aspect here is simply the nanny welfare state that afflicts not only Detroit but the rest of the nation as well. Simply put, the economy ultimately is people working, so when you pay and reward people not to work, it hurts the economy. Yes we need a safety net but what we have now is not a safety net, it’s an entitlement system that rewards people not to work and not to realize their potential. Ultimately it’s an oppression of freedom that destroys people by indoctrinating them into complete dependency on the state. This effect contributed to Detroit’s fall.
All three of these aspects come from the same place, liberal progressive ideology. Detroit is a perfect example of where this ideology eventually leads. Truth be told, Detroit is simply one of many examples throughout the world. The plight of Greece, the situation in California, the perpetual stagnation that is Cuba, the fall of the Soviet Union, all are shining examples of how liberal progressivism and its economic cousins (socialism and communism) are abject failures when applied in reality because they don’t jive with human nature. Freedom and equality (equal treatment by government towards all citizens) is what works. It’s why America has been so successful up till now.
The examples of this are becoming so numerous and so blatantly obvious that liberal progressives (in the media, in our universities, and in the government) are becoming ever more extreme in their attempts to hide from honest debate. Their ideology simply can’t survive even two minutes of honest debate and critical thought. So demonization and slander of opponents, manipulation of the news and of history, and eventually government corruption and abuse of power, becomes the tools used to promote a meritless ideology that cannot be promoted on its own merits. That’s the way it is with oppression and inequality from any political direction and liberal progressivism is no different. Ultimately it requires these tactics.
The question for America is this, is this going to succeed with you? Or are you going to wake up to the lies and indoctrination that are ultimately eroding your freedom and your equality (and the prosperity, safety, and serenity that comes with such things)? Mankind worked way too hard to get us here for us to throw it all away.
The interesting thing is that Detroit’s debt is $18 Billion which, with approximately 700,000 residents, comes to roughly $25,700 per resident. The US Government debt is now just under $17 Trillion which comes to roughly $55,000 per citizen. It’s only a matter of time before the nation as a whole faces the same conundrum as Detroit. America, take a good hard look at Detroit, if you don’t wake up from the lies and the delusion that is liberal progressivism, this will be your future.