Sam Congdon, spent a summer in Troy, Michigan. Troy is north of Detroit a few miles. That was in the mid 90s. Even then, Detroit wasn’t exactly an example of beauty and splendor, but it’s certainly going downhill since then. That’s a shame, really. To think that Detroit used to be a shining city on a hill of American industry. Ford and Chrysler have their headquarters there and of course Henry Ford invented the automobile in Detroit. So much can change in so little time. But this is what happens with socialism, statism or whatever you want to call it. I recently had a conversation with an employee of mine who ironically is a socialist, or a socialist anarchist – whatever that is. When I brought up the fact that socialism always ended in death and misery and that socialist countries have to put up walls to keep people in he gave the overused and tired answer: that the wrong people had been running socialist governments. I have yet to see the right people run socialist governments! But I digress. If Detroit was a socialist country they would have to put up walls to force people to stay in. But since they cannot people are free to leave. This is as close as we may ever come in the real world to an Atlas Shrugged scenario. Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged. It is a fictional book about all of the makers in society exiting stage left, leaving all the takers to fend for themselves. It’s fiction of course but it demonstrates a point. And Detroit is as close as we’ll probably ever come to an actual example of exactly that. Take a look:
*The following are 25 facts about the fall of Detroit that will leave you shaking your head…***
*1)* At this point, the city of Detroit owes money to more than 100,000
*2)* Detroit is facing $20 billion
debt and unfunded liabilities. That breaks down to more than $25,000
*3)* Back in 1960, the city of Detroit actually had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.
*4)* In 1950, there were about 296,000
manufacturing jobs in Detroit. Today, there are less than 27,000
*5)* Between December 2000 and December 2010 48 percent of the manufacturing
jobs in the state of Michigan were lost.
*6)* There are lots of houses available for sale in Detroit right now for $500 or less.
*7)* At this point, there are approximately 78,000 abandoned homes in the city.
*8)* About one-third of Detroit’s 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.
*9)* An astounding 47 percent the residents of the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
*10)* Less than half the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
*11)* If you can believe it, 60 of percent all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
*12)* Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, but
over the past 60 years the population of Detroit has fallen by 63
*13)* The city of Detroit is now very heavily dependent on the tax revenue it pulls in from the casinos in the city. Right now, Detroit is bringing in about 11 million dollars a month tax revenue from the casinos.
*14)* There are 70 hazardous waste sites in Detroit.
*15)* 40 percent of the street lights do not work.
*16)* Only about a third of the ambulances are running.
*17)* Some ambulances in the city of Detroit have been used for so long that they have more than 250,000 miles on them.
*18)* Two-thirds the parks in the city of Detroit have been permanently closed down since 2008.
*19)* The size of the police force in Detroit has been cut by about 40 percent the past decade. over
*20)* When you call the police in Detroit, it takes them an average of 58 minutes to respond.
*21) *Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day
*22)* The violent crime rate in Detroit is five times higher than the national average.
*23)* The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.
*24)* Today, police solve less than 10 percent of the crimes that are committed in Detroit.
*25)* Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk
It is easy to point fingers and mock Detroit, but the truth is that the rest of America is going down the exact same path that Detroit has gone down.
Detroit just got there first.