Sunday, March 27, 2011

Detroit's Population Crashes as Ignorant Residents Flee the Liberal Paradise

"Detroit’s Population Crashes" shouts the Wall Street Journal headline (link) the other day.  For some this must be stunning and perplexing news.  After being run by liberals and controlled by unions for generations, in what by now should be a worker’s paradise and the envy of the world, Detroit is in shambles and going feral (link) as most residents and businesses of past decades have fled the city.

Expressing disbelief at the data, a major liberal union leader (but I repeat myself) lashed out at those who left: “This is a great city, with great, safe neighborhoods that have wonderful schools, with honest and efficient government, and with a highly skilled and hard-working labor force that any business would be lucky to have. That people have left here just shows you how stupid the average American is, to be incapable of recognizing this city for what it really is.” This is an unconfirmed report.

Writes Steven Malanga at City Journal in "Feral Detroit" (link):
Though some blame Detroit’s population losses on larger economic forces, economists Edward Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer argue in a groundbreaking paper that the city’s problems are mostly self-inflicted. (The paper, called “The Curley Effect,” gets its name from legendary Boston mayor James Curley, who favored Irish residents and pushed other groups out.) After winning election in 1973, Detroit’s first black mayor, Coleman Young, consolidated his power, driving white residents, who had voted against him, out of the city by withdrawing services from their neighborhoods. Eventually, Glaeser and Shleifer write, Detroit became “an overwhelmingly black city mired in poverty and social problems”—and shrinking fast.
Meanwhile, proving that stupidity is both contagious and mutually reinforcing, the recently-arrived Italians and the long-entrenched unions who now own Chrysler are actually boasting in TV commercials that their cars are made in Detroit (link) -- "Imported from Detroit" is the new tag line.  Demonstrably, the Italians have actually never been there.

More from Henry Payne at National Review Online (link).

(The photo is from the poignant photo essay at the blog Sweet Juniper, also linked above)

John M Greco

Related Post:
Chrysler Boasts that Its Cars Are Made by Detroit Union Workers. Yes, That Detroit, Those Workers.

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