In our latest book The Great Withdrawal, we opened with a chapter titled “Welcome to Debtroit: Where the progressive road leads”. I must warn you, it is not a pretty journey.
There are certain events which are extremely predictable, one being any city run by progressive Democrats will ultimately fail. Detroit, or Debtroit if you like, is a gleaming example. Unfortunately, it is a harbinger of things to come in America as the most progressive, ideologically driven administration is clearly fulfilling two promises made in 2008: fundamentally changing America and spreading the wealth around.
So if you want to see what America will look like in a few years, just look at Detroit.
Detroit, once a crown jewel of American cities boasting a population of nearly 2 million, is now a city of 701,000. More are leaving each day. It struggles for survival under $18.5 billion in debt. 77,000 abandoned/empty homes sit with no buyers, some with a price tag of $1.00. There are at least 66,000 vacant lots, many on which once stood beautiful homes. On average, 32 fires now burn daily in Detroit. The city's firefighters must make the decision whether a structure is even worth saving. Most are not, considering the value of the structure and the cost to fight the fire.
A city that in 1950 was home to 296,000 good-paying jobs now desperately clings to a mere 30,000. However, it still has nearly 15,000 well-compensated government employees and nearly 30,000 government retirees to support with pensions and premium health care.
The city is so broke that services are breaking down. Response to a 911 call in a town with 11 times the murder rate of New York City is now 58 minutes, 47 minutes longer than the national average. That is if they even answer; 911 service goes out regularly, sometimes for up to 15 hours.
Need a ambulance? More than a third of the city owned vehicles are broken, and the ones still running have over 250,000 miles on them. The chance of surviving a serious heart attack when being transported by ambulance is less than 2%.
All of these horrific changes took place over the last 4 decades. Why? Simply put, progressive democratic leadership, equipped with a belief that bigger government is better government. With enough tax dollars they can fix and cure everything from poverty to AIDs. That's the progressive way! But it doesn't work. Never has, never will.
The same thinking that lead Detroit to Debtroit is now leading the nation with $17 trillion in short-term and $100 trillion in long-term debt. President Obama and his radically progressive administration truly believe America needs to be changed in very fundamental ways.
Go all the way back to our first openly Progressive President, Woodrow Wilson, and examine the seeds of liberalism, progressivism, Marxism, call it what you will, that sent cities like Detroit down the pathway to hell which I'm told is paved with good intentions.
I do not believe Wilson, FDR, LBJ, or Barack Hussein Obama wish to destroy the nation. I really don't. I truly believe they trust in their progressive ideology. There is only one problem: it has never worked in the history of the world and it will not work now.
In fact, we can see the results of its failures are all around us: the highest amount in our history of people on disability, unemployment, food stamps, and government assistance; lowest participation rate in the nation's job market; 50% of all American household now receive some kind of government check; anemic economic growth of 2% after trillions of freshly printed dollars from the Fed, stimulus packages, and deficit spending have been pumped into the system.
This is not a winning formula for a bright future for the young and old alike.
If you want to see America in ten years, look no further than Detroit. City after city is now facing the possibility of bankruptcy. This list is growing daily.
On Tuesday December 2nd, 2013, Judge Steven W. Rhodes handed down a ruling on the Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing of Detroit, of which the consequences may be felt throughout the nation. In his ruling, the bankruptcy trustee will have the ability to change the structure of public employee pensions. It will allow Kevyn Orr, the emergency city manager, to pay only absolute necessities of its $18.5 billion debt, just enough to keep basic services running. Plain and simple, many creditors are not going to get paid. That is not good news to the thousands of vendors, many of which are small businesses, that extended credit to Detroit.
It will trickle down to hurt real, everyday people, like those who depend on a government pension in their retirement or healthcare in their older years. The utopia promised by progressives like Mayor Coleman Young starting in 1974 are, excuse the expression, “coming home to roost”.
It would take far too long to explain in this space the implications for our nation at large. Therefore, my publisher is providing Breitbart readers a complimentary copy of our book The Great Withdrawal for a limited time. It portends what we face as a nation unless we seriously change our direction.
The problems are fixable if the people understand the problem, but time is running out. That is why I am so grateful to Idea Factory Press for making you this unprecedented offer. Get a copy of the book, read it, and then pass it on to someone else. Take the time to inform yourself of what we face.
In the process, you may want to take steps to protect yourself and family as well. If change does not occur soon, each one of us will pay the price with a collapse of our dollar and possibly the collapse of the economy. Your hard earned savings may well be at risk. Are you willing to take a chance when we see day after day broken promises from Washington, D.C.?
As I said, certain things are easy to predict. Detroit was one of the easier ones. We wrote about it well in advance of the city being granted Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Who will be next?
Craig R. Smith is Chairman of Swiss America Trading Corp. Mr. Smith's publisher is offering Breitbart.com readers a FREE copy of his latest book, The Great Withdrawal, referenced above.