Mark Steyn wrote a great piece about Detroit last summer. I can’t believe I missed it. The entire thing is worth reading. Here are just a few of the better passages:
“To any American time-transported from the mid 20th century, the city’s implosion would be literally incredible: Were he to compare photographs of today’s Hiroshima with today’s Detroit, he would assume Japan won the Second World War after nuking Michigan.”
“Judge Rosemarie Aquilina declared Detroit’s bankruptcy ‘unconstitutional’ because, according to the Detroit Free Press, ‘the Michigan Constitution prohibits actions that will lessen the pension benefits of public employees.’ Which means that, in Michigan, reality is unconstitutional.”
“[W]e’re told that ‘innovation hubs’ and ‘enterprise zones’ are the answer. Seriously? In my book After America, I observe that the physical decay of Detroit — the vacant and derelict lots for block after block after block — is as nothing compared to the decay of the city’s human capital. Forty-seven percent of adults are functionally illiterate, which is about the same rate as the Central African Republic, which at least has the excuse that it was ruled throughout the Seventies by a cannibal emperor. Why would any genuine innovator open a business in a Detroit “innovation hub”? Whom would you employ? The illiterates include a recent president of the school board, Otis Mathis. . .”.
“Americans sigh and say, “Oh, well, Detroit’s an ‘outlier.’” It’s an outlier only in the sense that it happened here first. The same malign alliance between a corrupt political class, rapacious public-sector unions, and an ever more swollen army of welfare dependents has been adopted in the formally Golden State of California, and in large part by the Obama administration, whose priorities — “health” “care” “reform,” “immigration” “reform” — are determined by the same elite/union/dependency axis.”
“Detroit needs urgently both to make it non-insane for talented people to live in the city, and to cease subjecting its present population to a public ‘education’ system that’s little more than unionized child abuse.”Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList