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  • Morning Bell: Detroit's Liberal Nightmare

    What happens when a city buys the liberal dream hook, line and sinker? Just take a look at the City of Detroit. The once-great city lost 237,493 residents over the last decade according to the 2010 Census, bringing it to 713,777 – a population plunge of 25%. That’s its lowest population since 1910, and it marks the city’s fall from a 1950s peak of two million, over 60%. And that’s just the people who can afford to leave.

    Detroit, once known as “the great arsenal of democracy,” has made headlines of late for its notorious fall from grace. The “Big Three” automakers are no longer the biggest, falling behind their overseas rivals, and the Michigan economy lost 450,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 10 years all while Detroit lost population. And while the Motor City suffers unemployment from a decimated automotive industry, it suffers crime, high taxes, poor city services, plummeting home values, and a public education system in shambles with a $327 million budget deficit and a 19 percent dropout rate. Is it any wonder people are leaving in droves?

    But to understand why folks are really leaving Detroit, it’s worth looking where they’re headed. As Detroit suffered a population loss, its neighboring suburban counties with lower crime, better schools and an improving economic outlook saw their population increase. One former Detroiter told The Detroit News, “Detroit just got too messy for me … I was not getting the benefits of those tax dollars. The city services are poor and I could not use the school system. And you look at the cost of living and the corruption, we had to leave.” In other words, bad government drove her out, and she’s seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

    For the record, Detroit has been under liberal leadership for decades. And the city’s big problem today is that its road forward is blocked by the very same political machine that helped deliver it to its state of ruin. Case in point: the state’s powerful teachers unions. In 2003, a philanthropist pledged $200 million for the creation of 15 charter schools in the city. Despite the city’s tragic public school system, the plan failed and the offer was withdrawn following protests by the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Little has changed, eight years later. A state-appointed emergency financial manager has proposed sweeping changes to the city’s public school system, including a plan to convert 41 of the city’s schools to charter schools. Guess who’s opposed to the reforms? That very same union.

    The newly elected governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder (R), is finding opposition to his efforts at reform, as well. Following eight years of Democrat Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s rule, Gov. Snyder has embarked on efforts to change the way the state does business, including tax reform, spending cuts and empowering emergency financial managers to tackle problems in cities and schools. Who’s opposed to his reforms? Unions, once again, in Wisconsin-style protests. William McGurn of The Wall Street Journal writes:

    Michigan today is not a struggling state like California or New Jersey or even Wisconsin. It is a basket case, with worse to come if things do not change quickly—especially in the relation of the public to the private sector.

    “Many of the protesters seem to think the war is between rich and poor,” says Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Michigan-based Mackinac Center. “But the real class war today is between government and the people who pay for it. And the government’s been winning.”

    And the problems that plague Michigan and Detroit are the problems with liberal policies. The promise doesn’t live up to the results. The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone writes: “When people ask me why I moved from being a liberal to being a conservative, my single-word answer is Detroit. The liberal policies which I hoped would make Detroit something like heaven have made it instead something more like hell.”

    And now, after living in that liberal nightmare, Detroiters have voted with their feet in record number.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    91 Responses to Morning Bell: Detroit's Liberal Nightmare

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      3 – 24 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      March 23, 2011 –

      Yesterday was the first anniversary of President Obama signing the –

      Affordable Health Care Act into law.

      The health care reform law has helped tens of millions, from the

      children who can’t be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions,

      to the young adults who can stay on their parents’ coverage,

      to the seniors who no longer fall into the prescription drug donut hole.

      ALL GOOD – Thanks Mr. Prez

      ===

      Has HF mentioned – Health Insurance Exchange?

      Wonder WHY not.

      ===

      KJ

      • dirtydog1776 says:

        Not sure why you are talking about Healthcare when the article is about the failure of Detroit. However, Healthcare Reform will fail in the long run because the true cost, which have been kept hidden, will bankrupt this country. You cannot add another 43 million people to health insurance, most of whom will pay very little or nothing and not expects costs to soar. Those are working and paying for the program will find themselves either priced out of coverage as those who pay nothing are given something for nothing.

        No such thing as a free lunch.

    2. Jack Hopkins, Atlant says:

      Just the other day I was wondering about the demise of Detriot, where one homeowner could not get anyone to by his home even when only asking $1.

      Thanks for the insight, but it does not come as a suprise to me that the liberals and the unions have destroyed a once properous city. What scares me is that if they continue to implement their anti-capitalist agenda, liberty and freedom loving individuals will have no place to which we can move.

      I love freedom and deplore violence, but is that what it may have to come to?

      • dirtydog1776 says:

        Unions love power and money more. They will fight to keep it, despite the fact that is destroying the country. Kind of like wrestling for the best seat on the Titanic as it sinks.

    3. ejj, fort worth, tex says:

      There is nothing more to try with that city. Enough is enough. Let it disintegrate. No more philanthropy, no more experimental government programs or projects. I would actually favor completely eliminating any and all state and federal money that is going to the city government. Just let it rot and decompose back into natural greenspace – it would be a major improvement.

    4. Bill Brownfield says:

      Well done Mr. Brownfield. It was written by a person who has lived through it and understands the true problems.

    5. Pat, San Antonio says:

      If we allow this administration and the unions to continue with the chicanery, this whole country will resemble Detroit. Unions will be the total downfall of this once great couintry. Teacher unions are the worst!

    6. Darren says:

      Could not agree more. I don't know why there is not more talk about the fact that the largest likely reason the US has lost its once dominant manufacturing industries from automobiles to furniture to overseas markets is due to the labor unions.

    7. Roger TN says:

      The amazing part of this is that the liberals/Demorats can not accept responsibility for this decimation of a once great city. It will take a long time for the state and city to recover, it they can at all. Unions are the reason for the problems and have ruined many manufacturing companies and large producers. We drive the engines of capitalism off-shore, then complain that they are leaving. Look at why they are leaving. Detroit is a prime example of what is wrong with America today.

    8. charles labounty says:

      What happens when a Country buys the liberal dream hook, line and sinker?

      That's what we did when we voted in BHO!

    9. John Roane, Sarasota says:

      You get what you pay for and always get the government you deserve.

    10. Teria from Washingto says:

      Detroit is a very sad state of affairs. I question whether anyone Dem, Repub or Independent could bring it back in balance because the city relied on the auto industry. All the small businesses that were booming around the auto business. If the city didn't have an equally booming economy in some other area-health, medical tech–it never had shot at maintaing its vibrancy. Don't know how much can be attritbuted to Democratic leadership or government.

      • Joe says:

        We had the same problem down in Texas during the Oil Bust of the 1980's. Everyone realized we were too dependent on one sector of the economy. The state government made it's first priority to attract a wide diversity of businesses to the state to provide employment opportunities (and tax revenue). It seems like Texas has always been a business friendly environment. When we vote for candidates that support higher taxes and unreasonable regulations then the little guy shouldn't be surprised when he can't find a job.

      • David says:

        I grew up in Detroit and went to the Univ. of Michigan and got a degree in Chemical Engineering. I used to work in Detroit. Michigan had a vibrant chemical and food processing industry. I watched Attorney General Frank Kelly deny permit after permit for these industries. In the 70s and 80s they slowly moved out. I moved out, too. Moved to Texas. Michigan need not be entirely dependent upon the auto industry. It is because the government made it impossible for processing industries to stay.

    11. Marc B: Floral Park, says:

      Having lived near Detroit as a child, moved to NY when I was 8, it s sad to see a decline of a once great city… what is sadder still is to witness the fall of a great country. Our future is a simple choice of Detroit's future (and many other metro areas) of high taxes, rotten schools, poor services the government SHOULD be doing and being enslaved to pay for all as a hard working tax payer. OR… a country where the constitution is the law it should be… where freedom and prosperity for ALL in a true color blind society, is the norm, not something to be despised. Where our children can actaully learn the 3 R's, not how to put condoms on fruit or how terible the USA was and is.

      New York is not much better as a SLAVE STATE to the ultra-left and unions. The cost to live here is nearly impossible, except for the very rich or the poor who live on govenment handouts. As with many, as soon as I can I will leave here, but with one major difference… I will not import liberalism into my new location, as a strong Reagan conservative I will continue to express those views and live them by example. God bless America, please.

    12. ronaldusmagnus/birmi says:

      Don't be shocked, this was planned to break the system. Planned 47 years ago in every major metro city in US. A takeover, corruption, drugs(Marion Barry DC), prostitution, gaming, payoffs, Oh I'm sorry, not eastern europe, the unions strangle hold on the taxpayer is over. It started at 828, then 912, Tea Party, our plan is growing. Fire the bums like Reagan with Patco.

      Then:

      #1 Shut down EPA

      #2 Shut down Ed Dept

      #3 Shut down Energy Dept

      #4 Cut all Federal Salaries 25%

      #5 Sessions of Congress limited to 6 months a year–Balanced Budget Amendment

      #6 Cut back staff 50%, let the pretty boys do some work and READ the Damn bills–don't like that, then simplify the damn bills, dammit!

      #7 Exponge all agencies of all Communists, and Marxists.

      #8 Put back on gubmint applications the phrase, Are you or have you ever been

      a member of the Communist Party.

      #9 No Lobbyists, Period. You lawyers and former gubmint workers or elected

      officails-get a job or retire. You too Trent 'co-op' Lott.

      #10 All elected officials and all department employees will take a continuing

      education on the Constitution, and you must pass final test in order to go

      back to work.

      #11 Bust all unions

      #12 Fair tax system that has been proposed before.

      #13 Militarize our borders for a while until the states can handle on their own.

      Now, you want to straighten out this country to our 'First Principles'? Put this plan in place. And now watch this country put people back to work, cities be resurrected. Put the crooks in jail

    13. Greg, Albuquerque says:

      For all my liberal friends, can you not see the folly of your ways. Look at the agony of this city. A place still filled with many good and hard working people, but a people who just cannot get ahead because of the burden of paying for services for those who won't act responsibly.

    14. Frank J. Randazzo Cy says:

      That is why i left NY.liberalism is killing big cities and BHO is trying it on the country now.

    15. Bill Broderick says:

      Good summary of the plight of Detroit. Here is a premise I would like to see explored by Heritage:

      The fortunes of the Big 3 have been in decline for several decades, ever since the advent of CAFE standards in the '90s, which seems to have had the nasty side effect of ceding market share for production of mid-sized, profitable cars to foreign competition. If you have to make small, less profitable cars to meet the standards, and your competition does not, you lose market share for mid-sized cars. As the auto industry declines, so goes the economy of Michigan.

      The Big 3 had 50%+ of the US auto market 12-15 years ago, has about 35% market share today. Why? Could CAFE be an explanation? Inquiring minds…. Thanks for consideration!

    16. Jim-MN says:

      Hey Jarvis;

      I suggest you move to your functiong liberal haven in Detroit to experience first hand what your rant and raving quotes want to support on here. Then we will see what comes out of your mouth. I lived in MI for 13 years and saw every night on the news what havoc Coleman Young was doing to create the utopia that you so covet.

      OH, I forgot, it's George Bush, the Republicans and of course, HF & Murdock's fault for the past 40 years

      Have you opologized to Ben C. yet? Were still waiting…….

    17. KC - New Mexico says:

      Good for the smart and resilient folks in Detroit. Get out while you can and leave the mess to the liberals who stay behind. But don't come to NM. Nice place but just as liberal and controlled by the unions. Our new republican governor can't make many changes for the good of the state because of the union influence and liberal politicians. Unions have got to go! The majority of union members do not gain anything from the unions.

    18. George Colgrove VA says:

      Detroit is a microcosm of our future. Go out to any mall in America – 10 miles outside the DC beltway (except that Springfield, VA is already trashed), you will find that nearly half or more than half of the stores are closed. Any main street is showing the same thing.

      Detroit literally has city blocks and regions nearly deserted. Why? Big government, grandiose budgets, overpaid public workers and no one in power that is willing to get it under control.

      Now take that to the national level. Who's winning? Look inside the DC beltway. Nearly all the stores in the malls are open with luxury high-end stores. As they say follow the money. The feds build themselves luxury office buildings, give themselves super high salaries and you are starting to see it. DC is like a vacuum on the America citizens earning, savings and now their debt. The greed in the federal workforce is doing to America what the greed in the Detroit government workers did to Detroit.

      Detroit is buldozing it vacant and abandoned communities. What town, city or state will we need to buldoze after the federal thugs get done with us? If we do not change things in DC, America will be Detroit!

    19. Lynn Cleveland says:

      This is exactly what has happened in Cleveland. We are Detroit's mirror only further south. Corrupt government (still, even after some of the big criminals were brought down by the feds), corrupt county, ridiculously high taxes, poor services, and this incessant belief that you can mix people who work their rear ends off to support themselves with people who think they are entitled to be supported by the government (read – my tax dollars) and not work or even try to support themselves. Most people who can have moved to the suburbs and the corruption. liberal agenda, high taxes have followed them to those cities as well. Now my family is looking to move out of the county and probably eventually out of the state. I am tired of being punished by sky high taxes for having worked at minimum wage jobs during college, struggled, and sacrificed to have a job where i can support myself and my family. All this while a few streets over people are living in section 8 housing, sitting in their houses all day doing nothing while they are pefectly capable of working. It just amazes me that anyone is surprised that people like me, who work incredibly hard for their higher incomes, move away from people who do not work and are tired of having to support them and the government that allows this to happen.

    20. Linda Williams, Napl says:

      The city started going downhill in the late 50's, but it was the riots in the 60's that sent the white population to the suburbs. Of course, the downfall of the American auto industry, due primarily to unsupportable union contracts, sealed the coffin.

    21. Mary............WI says:

      Our the governments winning?? Sure seems like the unions and their liberal minions are winning in WI.

      These governors simply need to FULLY and EXPLICITLY explain just what it means

      to the taxpayer's property tax bill if collective bargaining is ended. Clearly, that message is not being reinforced. I just heard Gov Christie explaining to a disgruntled state worker how it works……the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay retirement pensions, wage increases, etc., for state workers. The taxpayer is struggling to take care of THEIR own family needs without the added burden of paying state worker "priveleges" NOT "rights", as well.

      There is NOTHNG special about a state union worker. But the liberals get what they want through whinning, cheating, threatening, lieing, and ALWAYS hogging a conversation, loudly I might add, to prevent anyone else from contributing a point of view.

      So, NO, states with Republican governors are NOT winning. But I'm STILL praying that people will WAKE UP and see the "evil" ways of state unions and liberals.

    22. Fran ces/ Indianapol says:

      We know the problem…so what is the solution?

    23. Stuart Fl says:

      I left Detroit in 1977, Detroit was very good to me and my family. I now live in Florida, and thank God that I do. I went back 3 years ago to Dearborn Mich when my mother passed away. Dearborn looks and acts like a foreign city. My mom visited me every year for several months so I had no need to go there. Shocked I guess is the only words that describe Dearborn.

    24. MainStreet, Pawleys says:

      Unions are for the unions, not for the people. Teachers should be ashamed of themselves for blindly supporting their unions, knowing full well, the union couldn't care less about the children. Not only has Detroit lost its auto standing to overseas companies, those same companies are employing thousands of workers here in the good old USA. Where? In the friendly to business, non-union South.

    25. Mike from Long Islan says:

      It was once said, "That you can fool all of the people for some of the time and some of the people for all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people for all of the time". The time has come now when you cannot fool most of the people and "The chickens are coming home to roost"!

    26. Jim --New Haven, Ct. says:

      The teachers' unions are no better than the Teamsters, auto workers, etc. in that they only care about their jobs; the kids are secondary.

    27. Robert, North Richla says:

      The Liberals' plan (as always) is to simply ride out this wave of "tea party" fanaticism, and allow the do-nothing republican leaders to literally un-lead themselves out of a job. Then BHO and company will ride to the rescue in 2012 with bailouts for CA, NY, NJ, IL, MI, OH, and WI among others. And Detroit, LA, Oakland, and Chicago will get a piece of the pie. And we will blame big, bad BHO instead of the lying, do-nothing republicans.

    28. Frank, Florida says:

      It was the Founding Fathers intention to allow citizens to "vote with their feet" by keeping the Federal Government small & limited in powers & permitting the States (& local governments) to have broader powers & to thus experiment. When those experiments fail, like in Detroit, the voters leave. But there is no place to go to escape an over-powering, out of control, "one size fits all" Federal Government.

    29. Brad, Detroit, MI says:

      The article fails to mention that the first response of the local politicians was "the census is inaccurate". Right ! I am surprised that the number wasn't lower. One of the local radio stations put the flight from Detroit very succinctly – the population loss was the equivalent of a large one-way charter busload of Detroiters leaving the city everyday for the past 10 years.

      In my lifetime, the only mayor that stood up to the completely corrupt city council was Dennis Archer and he was called an Uncle Tom for actually trying to fix some of the city's problems.

      I live in the suburbs and whenever we make suggestions to help the city, we are simply told "you don't live in the city, so shut up !"

      Some areas of the city are nice, but most of the surrounding neighborhoods look like a Third World country – Beirut comes to mind. One suggestion I have – don't have party affiliation on ballots. Detroiters blindly vote for anyone that has a D next to their name. That logic for the past 50 years has gotten them where they are today. Congratulations, you have turned a once great city into the butt of late night TV show jokes.

      Hey Kwame, still waiting for your comeback !

    30. Steve says:

      It's funny how libs drive cars not even made by union members…

    31. cathy, maine says:

      where is Michael Moore? and why isn't he proving to us and Detroit that unions and progressive liberals know the way?

    32. Bernard Mulvaney Fos says:

      Former Governor Granholm is not going to the Obama administration. Where is she headed? She will TEACH at UC Berkley and help California with our problems…

    33. Blake, Niceville Flo says:

      Detroit IS the future America…I use to believe that there are many more people who see through the evil that destroyed Detroit and stop the cancer from spreading…but, look at all the people that voted for "obomber" and his mindset. We deserve our fate….we are now the land of the "controlled" and home of the " it's all about me" people…..What has the government done for you lately?

    34. Steve Heckman, Sprin says:

      Instead of taking the kids to Europe this summer take them to Detroit for a Econ 101 lesson they will never forget. Having worked for GM when it was the dominant player in a number of industries, I was in a position to observe what liberal policies did to a once great city as well as a once great corporation.

      Steve Heckman, GMI 1973

    35. Samuel Burkeen, Rest says:

      I grew in Detroit in the 50's and 60's. In fact it was about one mile from Henry Ford's original model T plant. Even though I grew up in a flat – some might refer to it as a tenement – I have very fond memories of the city. It was Highland Park, and the streets were lined with elm trees, McGregor Library, built by a renowned architect in 1926 was a block away. The housing stock was superb, single family homes, multi-story brick apartment buildings, two, three, and four flat buildings were abundant. Detroit was no doubt one of the richest cities in the world at that point, and it had one of the best housing stocks.

      Well, McGregor library is shuttered, and one and one quarter million people have been replaced by green space. If it was not the block busting of the 50's it was Lyndon Baines Johnson's great society, or should I say family eradication and slum creation machine, plus the final blow consisting of Federal housing policy plus easy money from the Fed in 2008. You would think it impossible to speculate in real estate in Detroit in the 2000-2008 time period, but the Fed made it happen.

      Detroit represents one of the greatest deliberate government policy driven destruction's of wealth that I have seen in my lifetime. And it was middle class wealth that was destroyed. There is literally nothing left. The housing stock has been blown up, The ornate and architecturally unique buildings have been abandoned.

      You cannot blame this on the auto industry. Detroit was too desirable a place to live in 1950. The 67 riot caused a stampede, but that could have been dealt with. What followed over the next thirty years was awful government. It was not a failure of markets, or capitalism, and the fact that you need only cross the Detroit border to find a viable neighborhood, or place of employment is proof.

    36. Breck Caine says:

      It's not just free spending policies that have killed Detroit- it's easy to spend other peoples money, But the poor social planning that has killed many major cities in this country. What parent Black or White wants their kids bussed across town to go to school? The "Projects" were another major failure. And NAFTA forced millions of Mexicans to this country and many of our jobs out of country. At every turn our GREAT social planners are causing way more harm than our free spenders.

    37. Inverbrass, Kansas says:

      Whether a liberal, a progressive or a union, it makes little difference. Any one of the three can turn a city, country or culture into a third world slum given time.

    38. Liz Hammond, Clarkst says:

      I think an interesting follow up study from this article would be: where did the 450,000 Michigan jobs that were lost in the past 10 years go? The liberal arguement is based on the assumption that they went overseas, but I would be willing to bet a high percentage went to the southern right-to-work states.

      My fiance is in engineering and we are leaving Michigan for a job in a southern state. Not because we had to, but because the he had a much more lucrative job offer there. Manufacturing there is growing, and they are in need of skilled people. Suprisingly to us, there are a lot of people from Michigan at his new plant in North Carolina (in both engineering and shop floor manufacturing positions). There is no union in this plant, all shop floor positions are salaried instead of hourly; and compared to the manufacturing plant we both worked at in Michigan, it is much more productive.

      I know this is just one example and is not necessarily an indication of what it is like across the entire industry, but I think it raises some interesting questions about the relationship between the Michigan job losses to manufacturing in the right-to-work states.

    39. RUTH SC says:

      When the framers started the constitution, they had great ideas in mind for what should and could work. And then there is Detroit!. It don't work. Why? because it is one sided politically.not leaving room for changes. Too much of the same ole same ole, that was no good back then, it is much worse now. If the framers had made provisions for changes in parties, each side would have an opportunity to do some good, instead of trudging along in the same rut, and when that happens the ruts just get deeper. The only way for Detroit, or any other city that is traveling in ruts, is to change parties, view things from a different perspective, and give the city a change of leadership, since the leadership it has had has not done it's job, it is time for different, wide eyed leadership. Until the people get their heads out of the sand and realize that what they have had has not worked, they will not quit traveling in ruts.I pray in the years to come the people in Detroit and any other bogged down city,will get their act together and vote out the stagnant politicians and get new blood moving around the cities arteries.

    40. f stickler says:

      Detroit like all the rest of the liberal bastions, can be discribed as "dogs eating themselves." At first, the bites seem small and go unnoticed.Then before to long, the bites become larger as the appeitite can no longer be appeased with smaller bites. Then they begin the "tax death spiral." The tax base begins to decrease because people and businesses start leaving. But, government services do NOT decrease. Union pay and benefits do not decrease.Taxes have to be raised to keep up. This causes more people to leave. But, still government services continue. Without a stable and growing tax base, they run out of money and people to tax. When wil they ever learn?

    41. Jack Thompson Garlan says:

      Message to Michigan and Detroit:

      Choice One: Continue down the same Prim Rose path and,

      TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, THE PARTY IS OVER!!

      Choice Two: Remove restrictive, oppressive, rules and regulations on the private sector and get your pseudo-intellectual government bureaucrats out of office. Governments have never created jobs or wealth!!

      When I was a boy in the late forties and early fifties most cars had a manual choke for the air/fuel mixture in the carburetor/intake manifold. Early morning starts were somewhat tenuous at best. My Dad would let me operate the manual choke to regulate the air/fuel intake, especially on cool mornings.

      If I did not pull the choke out, there was to much air and the mixture was not rich enough to start the engine. If I pulled the choke out to far, and restricted most of the air flow, there was to much fuel and it would flood the cylinders. When the cylinders were flooded with raw fuel, we would have wait several minutes (Ten to Thirty, depending on severity) while the fuel evaporated. It was during those times that I received most of my instructions about taking extreme measures either way to start the engine.

      Very soon, I could pull the manual choke close to the optimum air/fuel mixture position the first time. Sometimes, I would have to manipulate the choke back and forth slightly to get the ideal air/fuel combination. When the exact correction was made, the engine would smooth out and purr like a kitten.

      Moral: Allow the engines of Michigan and Detroit to run with the least amount of interference. Once you restart your engines, continue to supply fuel through the carburetor, with the least restriction of air flow.

      Michigan is a great state and we love her. Her best days are not behind her. She is ready to go if we will just get out of her way and prime the free enterprise pump. Tax revenues will flow into the state and the city of Detroit! The sky will open up and the sun will shine through. Michigan will be restored to her position of leadership and honor, which she so richly deserves.

      P.S. This message is for all fifty states that make up the greatest Nation on God's green Earth!

      God bless you Michigan and the United States of America

    42. Jon Angeli Wisconsin says:

      I read liberal websites and the comments are as irational as these and this article. Each side locks into its perspective and cannot move an iota to get a different view of the situation. The evolution of this country and Detroit is much more complex than the shortsighed article presents. Just trying to keep track of the narrow views on each side that are driving our country.

    43. Judith in Michigan says:

      It is one thing to read about the failures of Detroit. Try driving down our streets. Mile after mile of wreckage. Vacant, trash strewn streets and lots. Boarded up houses and businesses. Once beautiful mansions and homes now reduced to squatter and crack houses. Crime? Wow! Streets are too dangerous to walk on even in broad daylight, let alone night. Jobs have disappeared. Safety has disappeared. A future has disappeared.

      What is left in Detroit? The uneducated, the unemployed, the poorest of the poor plus many are culturally poor. Our Mayor, Mr Bing, is trying hard to turn things around, but stiff resistance is being put up by corrupt unions and bureaucrats. Our schools graduate less than 25% of it's students. Many don't even have 8th grade reading proficiency if they are lucky enough to crawl through the school system.. No future there. What business in their right mind would want to invest in this mess? Who will invest in the very basic needs that the population needs, such as grocery stores, to at least stabilize the place? We sure don't need more liquor sores.

      Can Detroit be saved? Who knows. But someone with guts, influence and determination must take charge and others must join the challenge.. Detroit used to be beautiful and full of pride. Isn't is worth fighting for.?

    44. Tom Georgia says:

      I believe that you will find the word "kleptoparasitic" is, unfortunately, one of the most useful words in the English language for describing the kind of institutions that our governments at all levels of government have become.

      As in: We, the people, have been consigned to being the value producing host population who are being vicitimized by the dogmatic statist idiocy of our kleptoparasitic so-called "liberal" governments.

      Our nation's primary political divide is now between those people who depend on governments for their survival and those people upon whom governments must depend if the governments are to survive. Unca Scam is in the process of committing hari kari.

      In Detroit, as indeed is the case in many if not most of our major cities, the size, mass and the demands of the ever-growing kleptoparasitocracy has for several years now exceeded the size and mass of the host population that is available and able to help provide for the support of the kleptoparasitocracy.

    45. David, Washinton Twp says:

      Dennis Archer was indeed the first Detroit Mayor in many years to try to turn things around and gain control of the city but received no help. Notice he did not try to run for re-election. Then comes KK and well, we know how that has worked. Now comes a business man, Dave Bing, and he is trying to run the city like a business and make the hard decisions that have been long over due. (Same for the new Gov. Rick Snyder.) But who is in the way still? Liberals and Unions. They still want to be entitled to everything and the economies of scale cannot provide that any longer.

    46. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      Hey Jarvis!! You mention health exchanges. Are you aware that the prediction that more than 250'000 people would sign up had not been even remotely met? In fact only 12,000 have signed up. Why you might ask? Because if you can get med. insurance without pre-exsisting conditions there is no need to pay any premium untill you are on the way to the Hospital. Think unintended consequences if wou want the reason!!!

    47. Richard, Michigan says:

      In the City of Detroit what is the percentage of people who have public sector jobs versus government jobs? I am guessing the majority of people living in Detroit have government jobs. The people moving out are the entrepreneurs, small business people, people who are not afraid to take a risk and make an investment. What's left is Government Motors and you and I are paying taxes to keeping it from failing. There is no end to that racket.

    48. AC, Raleigh NC says:

      Big unions had a time and a place, ie for the coal miners in the 1920s-1950s and I fully support unions for people who have extrememly hazardous jobs: firemen, police officers, oil rig workers, coal miners, ect. to give them extra protection. But you don't need a union for the service industry and city workers and you deffinately don't need one for teachers….what is dangerous about these jobs! Unions are to protect workers from dangerous and hazardous conditions that the employers don't always take into account (Railraod Baron Days.) There's nothing hazardous about being inside a climate control building all day and having to grade papers at home. These unions need to be abolished period and control given back to We The People.

    49. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Thank you Mike for your excellent article. Brad and David are exactly correct with their posts. I moved to Michigan in 1959 and have watched the demise of a once great city. In my mind Coleman Young was directly responsible for its downfall. Coleman alienated the business community and the emergence of Southfield Michigan as the business epicenter is the result. Yes, Denise Archer tried to reverse the trend and simply gave up due to the profound corruption in city government. Dave Bing is giving it his best shot and I hope he is successful – but I doubt it. The culture of Detroit must change and my Detroit friends tell me it will take at least five generations to achieve this transformation. Not an easy task when their perception is "don't worry, Obama will take care of me with free health care and government entitlements – after all, I deserve it."

    50. John in Az says:

      I belonged to a union that placed a 3.5% dues checkoff on the gross hours I worked this was on top of the regular dues I paid. the dues checkoff was put on a ballot and voted on by the rank and file, the vote was 400 to 1 against. The union bosses then mandated the checkoff against the rank and file members.

      I am still pay anon-working dues even though I am retired, they claim it is for death bennifits.

    51. Bob, Raleigh, NC says:

      So sad to think that Detroit's major industry now is Eminem, white white rapper–properly attired with chains around his neck, sloppy fitting clothes exposing his brand of underwear and the classic ball cap spun around sideways on his empty head. How sad! We are all doomed!!

    52. consumed says:

      What tripe! Detroit success wasn't the liberal dream, it was the American dream . . . it's what conservatives wax nostalgic for. It's what gave US the middle class en mass.

      Detroit collapsed because the car manufacturing industry in the US was exported along with all those middle class jobs with benefits. NAFTA and all the other FTAs after that that. It wasn't diversified and suffered accordingly. Now someone in Latin America makes Fords and Chryslers while non-union workers in the Southeast make "foreign" cars like Kias, Mercedes. But you go on blaming libruls for Detroit's collapse, k? God forbid you look at the Big 3's management (or lack thereof)

    53. Keenan Ann Arbor says:

      Did you really just write an argument for the mass exodus of Detroit without mentioning sprawl???

    54. Norm LA says:

      The unions are the single biggest scourge on America; exclude the current president, both are trying to bring change. Apparently people like Ken Jarvis are not disturbed about dropout rates, graduations without basic skills and 50% failure rate in the Los Angeles USD right along with the desecration of Detroit and other cities governed by democrats. Oh, I realize the latest and greatest scape goat; George Bush, HF and Republicans. Is George Bush making people march in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin and planning in many other cities because they want their neighbors to pay for their retirement? No; grownups are trying t fix the problems created by democrat policies. The pap about the HC bill insurance bill from Mr. Jarvis, which is so great that 1,000 waivers have been issued and insurance carriers are declining to provide coverage for, is just sad. Sad because, just like the high public salaries are being paid by those of us underemployed or unemployed. I pay 796.00 a month for my individual policy and do not want to pay for people who never thought about health insurance before I became a reason to whine. I wonder if I can buy fire insurance while my house is burning. Beyond Detroit, which is an example of democrat policies, New York City, all of California, the states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida, all were governed by democrat failed policies. It is not a me and you issue; not a me win – you lose game.

    55. Pingback: Morning Bell: Detroit’s Liberal Nightmare | Big Propaganda

    56. Salty Sailor,Boyne C says:

      We all know what the problem is. The real problem is: why is it continuing? Looks to me like we are being set up for a strong-man takeover, just lie in 1930s Germany and Czarist Russia. To solve a fixable problem. Read Hayek. Just a thought.

    57. Robert A. Hall says:

      Thomas Sowell has pointed out that Detroit once had the highest black income level in the nation. That was before the riots by blacks destroyed black infrastructure and drove many of the most productive and educated black folk from the city. In 1998, I wrote a science fiction short story about the future of cities like Detroit, entitled, “A Bit of Colored Ribbon.” ~Bob Hall.

      A Bit of Colored Ribbon
      http://www.anotherealm.com/1999/flash/ribbon.html

      The Old Jarhead Blog
      http://www.tartanmarine.blogspot.com

    58. Pingback: The liberal union dream come true – Detroit : USACTION NEWS

    59. Geppetto says:

      And this is Democracy at work? There is something terribly wrong here. Either Detroit has a mutant population, one far removed from what would be considered normal or election fraud is a rampant, undetected problem. How can such political incompetence go on undetected for decades? It is a mystery, a disease that must be diagnosed and resolved before it effects the whole country. I fear it has already spread to dangerous, epidemic proportions.

      The American people need to get back to first principles and stop drinking the polluted waters of victim-hood, personal irresponsibility, Corporate evil, insufficient taxation of the rich, the Government as the solution to all problems and the Democrats as the "party of the people."

      Does any long term resident of Detroit ever ask themselves what the Democrats have done over their long rein of power to improve their lives and those of their neighbors? Has the Republican Party been so successfully demonized as to make a hapless, feckless, one party, system the only desirable governing system.

      There's an old saying attributed to Albert Einstein that the citizens of Detroit should become familiar with. Insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…" Of course if they get the same results then perhaps these are the desired results and I'm back to being baffled and fearful for the future of this country.

    60. Sandy, AZ says:

      Now let's take a look at the Golden State of CA. From economic showpiece to economic basket case. All brought about by liberal policies of the past 40 years. It seems this pattern of showpiece to basket case is endemic. The thing that attracts is the same thing that destroys. Sort of like too much chocolate cake makes you sick. People & governments are incapable of moderation.

    61. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      As Detroit has gone – so goes the United States. It's too late to stop it. We've already driven off the cliff and are too ignorant to realize it until we crash land. We have been mis-managing our economy on the basis of political agendas rather than economic principles for many years.

      Both the Establishment Right and the Marxist Left are fully owned and operated subsidiaries of central banking. Bush rhetoric versus Obama rhetoric are light years apart, but all results are identical. More debt and more interest payments to the privately owned Federal reserve system. All of Congress should be impeached.

      The average American voter is a dumbed down, abject fool, clamoring and freely voting to be economically enslaved into the return of feudal serfdom. You can laugh at my observation, but then take a look around you. For example, why are we killing Al Queada in Iraq and supporting Al Queada in Libya? The sycophant press doesn't even question this and the abject voter is listening to the press.

    62. Eric, California says:

      If liberalism were the cause of Detroit's suffering (instead of misguided policies), then the country's most liberal city, San Francisco, would also be doing poorly. The world's most liberal country, Sweden, would also be suffering. Perhaps you are attacking multiculturalism instead of liberalism? High standards and hard work are seen in liberals and conservatives, and matter more than governing philosophy.

      I am open to argument about the country's most conservative city (Lubbock, perhaps?) and the world's most conservative country (Saudi Arabia? Somalia?). Pro-religion and guns-for-all policies have not been as instrumental as oil in leading to prosperity.

    63. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Detroit was once the Motor City. Now it's the Handout City.

    64. JM, Goleta CA says:

      Millions of left leaning reformer and do-gooder half-wits want to change our other cities in the way they did Detroit and cannot see what has happened in the last 50 years. It’s like the blind leading the blind. They are indeed the most angry, spoiled and self-centered fools on the planet. They obviously do not or can not see they have ruined our economy and warped the thinking of our offspring by their entitlement and socialist thinking and their selfish need to control and command the rest of our society. How absolutely sad and pathetic that these people cannot see anything but their own self serving, blind and ignorant schemes.

    65. Thomas Termini Temec says:

      You cannot just blame the liberals. Corporations, Ford, GM, Tigers, Lions, Pistons, RedWings all tried to keep their roots in Detroit. They pitched in and cleaned up the city for the Super Bowl. It was clean for a day. I blame those same corporations footing the bill for everything that went wrong in the city. They were enablers, but they were also duped. They thought they were doing the right thing by lending a helping hand. They just followed the pattern of our Federal government.

      The city has always blamed someone else for the problems which plaque the city. Companies left the city in droves and the residents followed. Now the city blames the suburbs for their problems. When does Detroit take responsibility for itself. They are now preaching that the census number isn't correct. Same old story. Same decreasing population. Bill Cosby, Dave Bing, Mike Illitch, William Ford, Pete Karmanos, Roger Penske, and the power magnets of the city cannot return the city to its former self. They have no longer a social obligation to save a city which always has their hand out, followed by blaming others.

      I grew up in Detroit and left for the suburbs in 1975. It was bad then. It has been a steady decline. New buildings, new stadiums, and a new water front doesn't replace years of dismay and promises. When the residents (all) pick up a broom and sweep the street in front of their homes and storefronts, that will be the beginning of pride. I cleaned the street in front of my home in Detroit for 25 years. Go to that neighborhood today and you might very well see a dead rat in the street. I did, on one sunny day not to many years ago.

      Detroit is sick. The new mayor, any new mayor will face the same problems. The city has a disease of corruption, laziness, lack of education, but mostly they the will to fight. They left it up to corrupted people they continued to vote into office. Ever hear of Kawamee Kilpatrick

      It will take a strong will and a firm fist to restore the city. Will the people left have any desire to fight the fight? Why should they? Many are left without the skills, or the desire. They have been promised, taxed, borrowed, and unprotected for 40+ years. The last train pulled out years ago.

      The only folks left are the owns who can't afford to leave, or they have no where to go. It is truly sad to see my old home destroyed because of a lack of ownership and pride. I have many fond memories of a once popular place to say was my home.

      I have probably written to much, but I feel I know more about the city then most folks. I could share more. But, I think most don't know what happened and don't care. My story isn't new, but it is the real history of one proud city.

    66. mike hutchings says:

      cast your bread upon the water…but dont build your house upon the sand

      the wrong people are being rewarded for their industry by being

      shaken down to equalize an outcome…

      pardon me…. to eqailize an income….

      pardon me again….to provide an income for work that cant be quantified.

      make work to manage what cant be quantified

      i know something of poverty…. but we all worked and made things…

      that will always be so…no matter how chic redundancy is made to be..

      no matter that redistribution of produce without merit has gutted detroit

      like a bloated carp, leaving piles of rubble to bleach in the sun…

    67. David Bess, Carson C says:

      Detroit was once the pride of the industrial revolution. A beautiful city with an abundence of good jobs. A city America could be proud of. Today it is a third world country hidden within our boarders. However it has taught us nothing, nil, zip.

      As you travel across this once great country you will find many Detroits. They're just smaller and hidden from the national spot light. You can see areas of the once beautiful cities declining at an alarming rate. The cause is evident, without good private sector jobs these towns and cities cannot be maintained.

      this is a country that was once strong and full of pride, lead the world through it's strong work ethics, determination and abundant natural resources. The individual had the right to persue happiness in his own way. He did not have a guarantee of happiness, only the right to persue it.

      Today we have politically restrained that persuit of happines through government regulation and control. Couple this with locking up our vast natural resources through environmental restraints. Shutting down our manufacturing, mining and agriculture by over burdening the system with labor unionism and costly constraints and doctrines that make us uncompetetive in a world market we are rapidly becoming a third world nation.

      These changes have been comming for decades and did not all come about on obama's watch. He just took advantage of them to devastate America.

      America won't wake up as long as the majority of good jobs are government jobs. As long as our public employees are union controlled, and 40% of Americans depend upon the government entitlements for their very existance. Dosen't leave many of us hard working men and wemon to change the course that we've chosen.

      In short, don't feel sorry for Detroit, because your town is headed there. Fight to change what is happening. We don't need to save Detroit we need to save a nation and then and only then will Detroit save itself.

    68. Lou, San Diego says:

      Liberal policies are nothing more than paternalism and the consequences of this is the shattered example that is Detroit. When you have a population that contributes nothing, nothing becomes the standard. When you have politicians who enable this thinking for the sake of re-elections, nothing becomes the goal. The fecklessness of these supposed "leaders" offer nothing but the consequences that the city of Detroit is experiencing. When people expect "something for nothing," which is the hallmark of liberalism, "nothing" is again the achievement. Sadly "achievement" is no longer the goal.

    69. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      Focus on defeating or unfunding health care. Do not get side-tracked by all the latest liberal problems or crisis around the world. The Democrats & lifer Republicans want to continue to fragment the push to destroy Obama medical care. The whole first year Obama was in office all they did was focus on taking over health care. Heritage needs to focus – fight on battle at a time. Keep in mind…we're losing.

    70. Mike, Chicago says:

      Sandy in AZ, you're right about California, but that happened during Regans term. He repeated the same damage that occurred during his term as Governor while President – and we're still paying for those mistakes.

    71. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      Ken Jarvis is the same mind set as those who collect welfare, food stamps, etc yet they drive expensive cars, have flat screen TV's, they but expensive clothes for their kids. I was a single mother, a widow and I made it the hard way, I paid for my medical Ins. it came out of my check, I made alot of my daughters clothes and my own, I even made shirts for my sons, and my drapes, slipcovers, I still make a chicken last three or maybe 4 meals, a roast two or three, I shop end of season sales. First of all most trips to the doctors are unneessary, a simple course in first aid would tell you unless it's broken or the cut needs sutures most can be treated with simply washing with soap and water, a little antibiotic ointment and a band-aid. Sore throats with salt water, I could go on. I do not agree with Ins. companies running the doctors offices nor telling me that the paper work is more important than my patient, THAT is where change is needed. Let us nurses and doctors do our jobs and Insurance companies go back to paying for emergency, surgical and obstectrical care, Mom and Dad pay for the routine like I did and my mother did. You want everything covered than expect to pay for it, but don't expect me or others that work to pay your bills. Welfare needs to be changed, if you get it than you must work community service jobs, exception would be those physically unable. It's time to break the trend, no more getting something for notheing in return.

    72. Hermes C LIBERTY New says:

      The Liberalism in a nutschell is the process by which the light looses its properties and turns into darkness. Our unvisible enemies knows it and they hit Detroit hard first, when Obama took service. The automobile is a symbol those enemies adore to use in perverse way; the liberal context helped them greatly. To get away with this enemy, who is happy to use our weakest part, ideologically speaking, a strong backing to what made America great is a must. But this cannot be only a return to what the Fathers fathomed; it must of course include it but also go beyond for the sake of a different temporality that must use intelligently all timeless Principles. The Detroit and California and …America case needs a strong positive reaction. The Conservatives are in good standing to do so, and…include those Liberals the enemy uses.

    73. James, Grand Rapids says:

      There is hope for Detroit, but it will not come by throwing money at it. It will come through an army of people courageous enough to bring integrity, kindness and industriousness back to the city. Where will those people come from? Who is willing to stand up to the culture of corruption, anger, violence and hopelessness? Some people of conviction need to be willing to stand up to the ingrained corruption in the city. We can either curse the darkness or light a candle in it.

      An additional concern for me is that Islamic radicals tend to take advantage of such situations. They will pour hundreds of thousands of Arabian oil dollars into community centers and Islamic schools and mosques, making themselves look like saviors. The results could become disastrous in Detroit, more so than they already are..

    74. Pingback: The Foundry « Sister Toldjah

    75. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      Great Article and very true. Unions have killed my city, my home. The new UAW Union head King was in donwtown Detroit last weekend. Screaming the stupid marxist crap to his useful idiots. When will humans ever learn. As the lawyer to the teachers union said. It is not about teaching the children. It is about the hundreds of million of dollars the unions get in union dues from the teachers(indirectly from tax payers) . The rich are not abusing the poor, our government is stealing from the tax payer. However, the liberals must keep the myth alive that the rich are stealing from the poor. That is how the liberals get their power and other's wealth. Detroit is the result of the liberal lies.

    76. Pingback: Hispanic Growth in the South Is A Repudiation of Liberal Economics | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    77. Pingback: Hispanic Growth in the South Is A Repudiation of Liberal Economics | Big Propaganda

    78. Lester Bakon says:

      …or they built their entire economy around one single emerging industry that peaked and waned. Yeah that's probably it. But you know when charter schools fail we know its the liberals fault. When Wall Street fails like it did in '08, whose fault?

      The liberals.

      Considering how badly these liberals are destroying this country, we should think about rounding them up and…

    79. Jeff says:

      Mike from Chicago, give us all a break blamming Reagan for California's problems as well as our countries. Please go back under the rock you crawled out from.

    80. Susan, Michigan says:

      I am a Detroiter who left the city because of the corruption. The ex-mayor is currently in federal prison. The wife of the congressman from Detroit is in prison (yet he got re-elected). The FBI is still investigating the payoffs and corruption which runs rampant in the city. The ex-mayor is involved in an investigation into the murder of a stripper at one of his parties. Need I go on ?

    81. jb says:

      The Detroit Public School system costs something like $14,000/pupil/year. Under a no-strings voucher system, 10 kids' vouchers could rent a building, stock it with everything needed, and pay a teacher very well. It should go to a voucher system and all the current employees fired.

    82. Dave W. Provo. UT says:

      As my grandpa taught me 60 years ago. There ain't no free lunch, if wishes were horses beggers would ride and the longest foresight a union worker and a politician have is a month short of two years. Liberal have great dreams but they never can pay for them. Obamacare is Detroit on a national scale.

    83. Amelia Wasiluk says:

      I once was a democrat liberal. It was hell! As i began to shrink back from all the liberal habits, I saw clearly the forces that drive a democrat/liberal to be or become one. It is laziness, greed, always acting and feeling victimized by hard working conservative republicans and wanting what they earn!

      Every time I listened to a story on politics, weather be a nun, a veteran, or any other identified Democrat, I always heard the same negativism and attitude towards those i described, they all want more gov't involvement, through handouts, jobs, wealth distribution, etc….and a lot of them are FAT pigs, haters of good!

      Amelia

    84. Ron Hert, CA. says:

      Mr. Barone-wonce a liberal-maybe a moderate-but usually always a liberal. You have made some good statements, but, you will slide back into the liberal mode when the economy goes to the center point. Also, the country will lose its sovernity, and Obama's accomplices will get a pass from you in the area of Abortion-the murdering of partially born bablies-you know humans, as well as in the area of the Enviornment and population. I didn't realize that you have slipped into the Conservative base because on only one example-better that you go back, the Conservatives don't need those that slip or make a move because of only one challenge. I f you can't see that all of Obama's accomplices are a part of the same Facist-Socialist-Communist-Nazi-Islamic group, and that these wacko groups serve only the anti-American agenda because of their extremist-political approach to getting their way, then you are as I stated-you have not stopped being liberal. You have not gone far enough yet-much more is needed for you to see the naked truth of anti-Americanism.

    85. Pingback: Dave Johnson: Budget Fight: Why Are Republicans Forcing A Shutdown? | Politimo

    86. HawkWatcher, Mi. says:

      I left Detroit, my home city, when street whores and crack came to my northwest 'hood, Brightmoor. Vice wouldn't stop the illicit activity, so residents began to torch and demolish crack houses. We'd identify johns through their license plates, telling them to stay away. Crack dealers were beaten senseless and shot at. But too many people moved out of the 'hood, and we couldn't keep up without the cops help, so I left. I live north of the city now, and Brightmoor has fallen to the wolves.

      As for liberal policy and all the decay…I'm not so sure. I think the city has been looted from top to bottom for decades. Ignorant voters re-elected crooks and marxists repeatedly, and got what they voted for.

      We regular Americans just voted in a conservative Governor, and Republicans also control Michigan's legislative body. Better times are on the way, and we are working hard to elect more of the same.

    87. Pingback: Un-American Activity: Americanism vs. Communism/Socialism « Romanticpoet's Weblog

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