published Friday, July 26th, 2013

Hart: No surprises: Liberal policies turn Motown into Notown

By Ron Hart

It was a nice summer day. Kids were enjoying their summer break, diving for murder weapons in the Detroit River, when news of the city filing for bankruptcy broke. "I am shocked" -- said no one.

As we do an autopsy on Detroit, once the symbol of American industrial might, we learn several undeniable facts. The city's bankruptcy is the direct result of decades of insidious liberal rule, heavy-handed union thuggery and a dependency culture. Sound familiar?

An endless succession of corrupt mayors propagated the untenable notion of equal outcomes through a flawed notion of economic and social justice. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of large-scale corruption. As punishment, he should have been sentenced to serve another term as mayor.

While the city continues to heavily tax its citizens, it cannot provide even basic services. In Detroit, it takes 58 minutes for police to respond to a crime; the national average is 11 minutes. Perhaps it can change the 911 number to 912 to lighten the load on police responders. Maybe George Zimmerman will relocate there and start a Neighborhood Watch. Detroit is an embattled and divided city, one of the few with a North Korea-town.

Perhaps the feds will bail it out using some archaic regulatory justification like Detroit being a sacred burial ground of Mafia leaders. Maybe to keep the police force employed, tax credits could be offered to criminals to attract them back to the city to keep them employed as well.

Detroit's population has gone from 2 million to 800,000. Airlines and bus services have gone bankrupt: they cannot compete with feet. Detroit has two seasons: winter and killing.

Half the people do not pay their property taxes. About 45,000 homes have been abandoned; many have become crack houses. Mayors probably demanded the owners be taxed half their crack profits to fund the short-falls of government union pension funds. The city has seized property for taxes. This caught the attention of the Obama administration, which is always looking for fresh new ideas.

Any substantive reforms proposed for Detroit raised the specter of racism for even the suggestion of fiscal sanity. Liberals love crises they create because they can promise more, take more and blame their enemies. They then continue to play the card they know best, crying racism when the poverty rate is three times the national average. That game eventually ends, as it has in Detroit.

Left behind is a disillusioned city of uneducated citizens raised on dependency. Dependency robs people of their ambition, pride and ability to see beyond what politicians tell them they are "owed."

Corrupt politicians make it hard for nonunion businesses to come to a city. Wal-Mart, which could provide a poor population with needed goods at great prices, as well as jobs, was targeted. Only politicians in Detroit and D.C. would accuse a 99-cent store of price gouging. The result: good businesses move elsewhere, resulting in a Mad Max, apocalyptic, hellscape of a town.

The process of bankruptcy is a good one. It helps you and others who watch it realize how you got there. I really hope Obama will not butt in. As it does in corporate America, reorganization purges bad management and cleanses debts to provide a fresh start. I hope the process will be unfettered by the Detroit-in-Waiting, Washington D.C.

Detroit exemplifies the anxiety we all have about what could happen to America. Our trajectory is that of Detroit, given the liberal Obama administration. Denial is not a strategy. We must look at Detroit and determine if that is what we would like to be. To paraphrase our president, "If he had a city, it would look like Detroit."

No city or country can expect to survive when its people take more than they give. Until people reject the lies that liberals codify into law and reject the ideology of "progressivism," they will continue to go financially and morally bankrupt. Detroit is a warning to us all.

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www. RonaldHart.com.

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librul said...

Mr. Hart well represents the callous, casual, mindless and poisonous tea party attitude so typical of those of the libertarian bent who revel in the suffering and decline of communities but are too swelled with satisfaction at the distress of others to have EVER been willing to seek equitable, proactive solutions.

The decline of Detroit, in progress over 50 years, lies at the feet of a capitalist system wherein money flows from the bottom to the top and when all the foundations of a once thriving city, embodied in a strong, vibrant middle class, have been weakened the system falls in a heap. The auto industry got bailed out, the city and the population that sustained it did not. Fait accompli.

But even as Detroit careens toward economic collapse, there is a $400 million stadium being proposed for the Detroit Redwings. The barons of sport and development proposing THAT probably look at it as "business" as usual. I guess they figure that after all the profiteers are given the chance to "remake" Motor City into enclaves for the nuveaux riche by the appointed "manager" whose job it is to invalidate every swatch of democratic government in the city and virtually steal the remaining residents' opportunity for participating in self-governance, there will still be other people who want to amuse themselves at hockey games. What a dystopian circus!

Richard Wolff explains it in a way Mr. Hart could not ...

July 26, 2013 at 7:59 a.m.
librul said...

One of the shining examples of the utopian world libertarians would bring us is illustrated by the Wal-Mart empire and its one-hundreth-of-one percenters, the Walton family ...

A messaage from Senator Bernie Sanders:

"In the midst of all the discussion about welfare reform, it turns out that the major welfare beneficiary in our country is the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame. The wealthiest family in America is worth more than $100 BILLION. One way they got so rich is by paying workers so little that tens of thousands of Wal-Mart employees use food stamps to feed their families and Medicaid to pay doctor bills. So with the number of Americans living in poverty in America near a 60-year high, with the gap between the rich and the rest of us growing wider and with youth unemployment in America at staggering levels, one proposal Bernie backs is raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. It’s been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009. In addition to helping workers, a catch-up raise would have a side benefit. There would be “real savings for taxpayers who would not have to subsidize Wal-Mart because of its low wages,” said Bernie. Some Republicans don’t just want to keep the minimum wage from going up. In a blunt exchange at a Senate hearing, Sen. Lamar Alexander told Bernie the minimum wage, on the books since the 1930s, should be abolished."

Gee thanks, Lamar. You want Tennesseans to pay more taxes for online purchases AND throw millions of barely subsistence-wage workers under the bus too! What a shining example of libertarian governance you are!

July 26, 2013 at 10:03 a.m.
librul said...

Another pearl from an oracle of the right. There's more wisdom and substance in their pinkie fingernails than your entire body, doofus.

July 27, 2013 at 9:54 a.m.
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