My beloved birth city of Detroit is bankrupt and dying a quick, tragic death by misadventure. It is $18 billion in debt with no way of digging itself out.
Dr. Nuge to the rescue. The MotorCity Madman could have saved the MotorCity Madhouse.
Truth is, there isn’t much left of this once powerful and arguably the most productive city in America. Now, Detroit has been reduced to tens of thousands of dilapidated and abandoned homes and tens of thousands of empty lots and a few thousand soulless zombies. The living dead isn’t a movie back in Motown. It’s a sad reality.
It pains me no end to write this, but Detroit is quite possibly a lost cause. It is a city wracked with terminal cancer of the soul. The cancer could have been prevented, but decades of poor planning, corruption, punitive taxes and classic liberal backwards leadership allowed the cancer to metastasize. Terminus Eldorado indeed.
Predictably, cancer of the soul’s best friend, the Obama administration, is stepping in to provide millions of dollars in grants (i.e. more unauthorized U.S. taxpayer dollars) to artificially prop up the Motor City and keep it on life support. That dog won’t hunt.
Economic lesson No. 1: Never throw good money after bad. This most basic of economic lessons has yet to be learned by Obama and his crazy Fedzilla gang who continue to borrow and spend tens of billions of dollars we don’t have every day.
Detroit is a microcosm of things to come. Other cities such as Chicago are also on the verge of financial insolvency. Chicago is reported to be $20 billion in debt. Rham Emanuel’s windy city blows.
The ugly and painful lesson to be learned is to either let Detroit go bankrupt, die and turn into a giant ghost town full of rats and packs of roaming dogs, or think in very different and radical ways.
Let’s admit one thing: Stacks and stacks of taxpayer dollars are not going to put Humpty Dumpty Detroit back together again. If Detroit is to be pulled from its grave, it is going to take a radically different perspective on city planning, services and taxes.
Huge swaths of the abandoned dead city should literally be given to private industry for them to build new industries. These industries that build there should be promised, in writing, that their taxes will be the lowest of any city in America.
Because Detroit is broke and bankrupt, industries that take the offer would be responsible for paying for their own police, fire, schools for the children of their employees and other services typically reserved for government employees. Detroit could literally be an experiment in privatization instead of the guaranteed deathwish of standard bloated, corrupt and ineffective bureaucracy.
With the right incentives, only industry can potentially save Detroit from doom. If Mitt Romney thought rescuing the Olympics was a challenge, I recommend he step in and lead the way in Detroit’s privatization and revitalization efforts.
Digging Detroit out from its grave will not be accomplished with stacks of tax dollars and central planners out of D.C. Radical new ways of thinking are required to save the Motor City.